By WATSON GABANA
THE ONE million Lutherans around the country will know by Friday their new shepherd. The election of the church’s highest post will be conducted on Thurs, Jan 14, using a secret ballot. Four candidates are vying for that position, vacated by the sudden death of Right Reverend, Dr. Wesley Kikasung in May 14, 2008. Those contesting for the head bishop position include Reverend Kasek Kautil, manager of Kristen Press in Madang, Reverend Dr. Numu Zirajukic Kemung, a lecturer at the Balob Teachers College, Reverend Giegere Wenge, the current principal of Martin Luther Seminary and the headmaster of Kundiawa’s Lutheran Day High School. The election of the assistant bishop and church secretary will also be done in this meeting. Some of the major agendas lined up for discussion during the weeklong conference include, the churches HIV/AIDS policies and plans, the Evangelical Lutheran Church’s national constitution, the Lutheran
University update and other important district matters. The gathering of the Lutheran leaders at the Martin Luther Seminary in the church’s 27th Synod in Lae starts today with the official opening at the Sir Ignatius Kilage outdoor stadium. Young and old, male and female, boys and girls are expected to jostle through the gates of the SIK outdoor stadium to garner a perfect location to hear speeches, see performance and to grasp the reality of being a Lutheran in this great nation. The opening ceremony will begin with a procession from the Lae Pistol Club, some 500 meters from the stadium to the welcoming sounds of the kundu drums and garamut beats from the host district, Yabem. The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Sir Michael Somare will be delivering the keynote address while Morobe Governor, Songang Luther Wenge is expected to give the church’s response. Acting Bishop, Reverend Zau Rapa will officially open the 27th ELCPNG synod to a rousing faithful Lutherans. Display of rainbow colours by the youths of Yabem district depicting the rays of cultural diversity, creed and beliefs united as one will be the highlight of the opening ceremony. “Lutheran church is diverse. We are a mixture of people with different cultures, customs and background,
colorful like the rainbow,” Mr. Solomon said the chairman of the organizing committee said. “This will not be any ordinary gathering. We’ve prepared for this day and we are expecting a huge turnout,” he said. This was evident in the week leading up to today. Yabem, the host district of this biannual event worked night and day, planning and focusing for a memorable event. A massive crowd of more than 10,000 Lutheran faithful followers have flocked into the industrial city to be host to the other 16 districts. Parishers from Finschaffen, Deka, Laulu, Malalo, Sangan, Buang, Aseki, Menyamya, Wampar, Lae City, Lae, Kaiapit, Wantoat and Yabem circuits gathered early this week to prepare meals including breakfasts, lunches and dinners to 800 plus delegates from the 17 districts of ELCPNG. The synod will be end on Friday.