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The Catholic church in Fiji will offer prayers for the victims of the Christchurch shooting and their families at Mass on Sunday.
Archbishop of Suva, Dr Peter Loy Chong, has directed that a special celebration of life be held at the Sacred Heart Cathedral at 10am to remember the 50 dead and to pray for peace.
Meanwhile, Pacific church leaders gathered in Nadi to discuss a fresh focus for courses offered to develop the capacity of workers in regional churches.
The leaders from Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and West Papua discussed how capacity building courses could provide skill sets that would help change the region.
There was some reflection on the need for change of mindset from being purely focussed on cash economies to looking at economic models which sustained life and in which ecological relationships could thrive.
Reverend Dr Cliff Bird of the Solomon Islands said the Kingdom of God was established by the common people and not by armies and military might.
“It's the farmers, the women in the homes, the fishermen. When you look at the parables you will find, all the images came out of the land and sea, down here on earth, none came down from the heaven,” he said.
The meeting discussed capacity building courses offered at the Pacific Theological College’s Institute for Mission and Research based in Fiji.
Leaders agreed that lay ministers and pastors needed training in leadership and management to enable them to better manage church governance structures and membership.
'Many times church members have false expectations for their ministers, pastors. They expect these to have all this skills but they are not trained in it. The lack of skills can lead to mismanagement of church funds,” one participant said.
A major review of the capacity building courses will now take place.
Meanwhile, eleven young men have been ordained deacons of the Roman Catholic Church to serve in the Pacific.
The group was ordained by Archbishop Dr Peter Loy Chong in Suva early this month and belong mainly to missionary orders of the church.
At a packed Mass at Suva’s Sacred Heart Cathedral, Chong ordained deacons from Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa and Tonga.
The men are likely to be ordained in their home countries later this year or in 2020.
SOURCE: ISLANDS BUSINESS/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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