The Diocese of Polynesia has called for prayer as they begin the search for a new leader of the Diocese of Polynesia and the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia.
The Diocese of Polynesia have announced that now the borders of its Pacific countries have reopened, their diocesan electoral college to discern a new bishop will be held in person from 18-19 November 2022 at the Tanoa Hotel in Nadi, Fiji.
Around 110 clergy and lay synod members representing each of the diocese’s churches and ministry units will gather over the two-day electoral college from across Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and Aotearoa New Zealand.
The Electoral College will open with a Eucharist and be punctuated with prayer, as the diocese hears and considers nominations, discusses the leadership needs of the Anglican Church in Polynesia, and seeks to discern the guiding of the Holy Spirit on this pivotal role for Polynesia and the wider Anglican Church.
Nominations for the new Bishop of Polynesia are now open through until 30 September 2022.
Since the Anglican Church farewelled the late Archbishop Fereimi Cama from this life in July 2021, the Archbishops have been acting as commissaries to the Diocese of Polynesia. This November he will co-preside at the Electoral College alongside Archbishop Philip Richardson.
Leading into the discernment process, the Diocese of Polynesia has identified key leadership qualities they seek in a new bishop and archbishop in addition to the episcopal qualities and duties outlined in A New Zealand Prayer Book. They are:
a. One who is knowledgeable and has the capability of exercising the Moana leadership concept and particularly mindful and celebrates the context/identity and diversity of the diocese and its community of Christians and therefore providing a unique platform to promoting an authentic response to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our time.
b. One who is aware of the calling to “care and oversight” the creation of God.
c. One who is passionate with the call to teach and to promote the teaching of the faith
d. One who adheres to the calling that looks to encourage the ministry of all the baptized (lay and ordained) and to spearhead mission of God.
e. An individual that continues to foster and strengthen unity within the Diocese focusing on Koro/Nuu community concepts enabling the spirit of working together.
f. One who has proven to be a prophetic leader and voice within the wider global community (refer Strategic Plan) regarding issues which affect human beings and our environment in Oceania.
g. An Individual who must know how to strengthen the working relations with other Diocesan Bishops within Aotearoa New Zealand and Polynesia: Participating effectively in the life of the Three Tikanga Church.
h. One who has thorough knowledge to effectively contribute to the Anglican Communion as an Archbishop to the meeting of the Primates.
i. An active participant and supporter of the work of other church leaders particularly the Pacific Conference of Churches and World Council of Churches for the success of their common mission.
j. One with the ability to engage with Pacific Leaders for the wellbeing of communities and the strengthening of the Pacific voice on global affairs.
k. An individual that has enhanced the development of specific gifts of the individual that will in turn ensure the linkages through generations to come into the church and continuing through events, stories, music etc.
The Diocese of Polynesia has asked that Anglicans and the ecumenical community throughout the Pacific join them in prayer for their upcoming electoral college in November.
A Prayer for Future Leadership
To whom all saints in heaven and earth adore and bend knee;
Pour out your Holy Spirit on the Electoral College of The Diocese of Polynesia,
upon our Bishops, Clergy and Laity as they gather to elect our new Archbishop.
In Your mercy, give Your Church in this Diocese, a shepherd after Your own heart,
who will walk in Your ways, and with loving care, watch over Your people.
Give us a leader of vision and a teacher of Your truth.
So may Your Church be built up and Your Name glorified;
through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.