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October 27, 2015
ABM’s Programs Director Dr Julianne Stewart is currently in Papua New Guinea together with PNG Program Coordinator Meagan Schwarz and Board Member Fr David Battrick. They are attending the Church Partnership Program Forum in Kimbe this week for strategic discussions including the design of the third phase of the program which spans the next 5-6 years.
Bishop Allan Migi, from the Diocese of The New Guinea Islands, gave the opening devotion on Monday morning which Julianne describes as “quite inspiring”. Here is a copy of his devotion.
Anglican Church of PNG’s Bishop Allan Migi’s Opening Devotion for Church Partnership (CPP) Forum, Kimbe, West New Britain, 26 October, 2015
The Church Partnership Program is a partnership between the Australian Aid Program, the Papua New Guinea government, seven PNG churches and their seven Australian church partners which aims to provide the people of Papua New Guinea with improved health and education services and greater fullness of life. ABM partners with the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea (ACPNG) in this ambitious program which has just entered its 12th year. Bishop Allan is the Senior Bishop of ACPNG, and Bishop of New Guinea Islands, where the Forum was held. He used the text from the Gospel of John, 15:4-5 to talk to the members about how the Church Partnership should work.
Text of Bishop Allan’s Devotion
Let us pray…
Heavenly Father, we thank you that you are always with us in all our walks of life. May your presence be with us in this CPP Forum. Be our guide this week. Fill us with the wisdom and knowledge of your Holy Spirit, so that our talking, our deliberation, our planning, and the outcomes of our Forum will be guided by your will. In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, Amen.”
First I greet you all with peace and love from our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus said in St John 15:4-5. Remain united to me, and I will remain united to you. A branch cannot bear fruit by itself; it can do so only if it remains in the vine. In the same way you cannot bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear a great deal of fruit; for you can do nothing without me. (Good News Bible).
How I see and understand CPP, or Church Partnership Program, is like this. It is a partnership – government to government, government to church, church to church, and church to communities. Connecting from one to another. If these connections and partnerships are strong, good and healthy, the outcome we will see will be good service delivery.
The key to success in these partnerships is collaboration, meaning we should work together and have respect for one another. We should listen to each other. We want to see good governance, meaning that what we do must be transparent and well administered. Our approaches must be based on honesty and truth. We should all be in one boat, moving together, sharing one common mind and understanding. There should be active support from every party.
Because many of us are Christians, we should now join ourselves to Christ as the branches to the vine. We should now strengthen our spiritual partnership and connection with Christ. What God wants to see is what type of Christian service we are delivering to the people.
Jesus said I am the vine and you are the branches. Therefore let us now connect our partnership to Jesus Christ, so that we can bear good fruit. Let us count the government of PNG as one branch to the vine; the government of Australia as another branch to the vine. ABM is another branch to the vine. Caritas is another. Seventh Day Adventist Church is another. United Church and Lutheran Church in PNG are other branches to the vine, and so the list of branches goes on.
Jesus said, those who remain in me and I in them will bear a great deal of fruit. You can do nothing without me. The outcome of service delivery to our rural churches and communities are the fruit every branch bears. May God bless you all in whatever you do in his name, and I wish you all the best in this Forum.
|The CPP Forum in Kimbe, PNG.|