LAST weekend two very important events unfolded in the history of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELC-PNG).
The events happened concurrently at the headquarters of the church’s Simbu district at Ega Lutheran church grounds in Kundiawa last Saturday and a church service the next day.
The eighth National Pastors Conference was the first event, followed by the launching of the 75th anniversary of Lutheran church coming in to Simbu and the Highlands region.
Notable speakers were Morobe Governor Luther Wenge, Lae MP Bart Philemon, Kundiawa-Gembogl MP Joe Mek Teine, principal of Kelly Naru Lawyers Kelly Naru, president of PNG Law Society Kerenga Kua, acting Bishop of ELC-PNG Rev Zau Rapa and former politician Sir Jerry Nalau.
Mr Kua was a guest speaker for the conference opening, while Rev Rapa unveiled a metal plaque to commemorate the arrival of first missionary Rev William Bergmann into Simbu on Sept 12, 1934.
A presentation of a K20,000 from Simbu district to Sir Jerry by ELC-PNG’s Simbu district, marked the recognition of impact contribution of first missionaries from Yabim and Kote areas in Morobe where the knight hails from.
Pastors from ELC-PNG establishments nationwide gathered at Ega for the Sept 14-18 conference.
Mr Wenge said church had been in the forefront of basic service delivery in rural places where the Government’s presence was lacking.
He called for closer ties between the Government and the church in the many years to come.
Mr Wenge congratulated Simbu district and the Highlands for upholding the church’s philosophy and teachings for the last 75 years.
He challenged the upcoming leaders in the church to maintain the integrity and reputation of the church in future.
Mr Teine and Mr Philemon expressed similar sentiments, saying the church had been active in molding and shaping the lives of the people by delivering the words of God and provide most of the basic services.
Sir Jerry, a former district commissioner for Simbu, said his people of Kote-Yabin would continue to maintain closer ties with the Simbu district to further spread the words of God.
Mr Kua called for renewed strength for the church to keep going for the next 75 years.
He said concerted efforts from leaders and Christians over the years kept the church alive to these days, similar level of cooperation is required to uphold the principles of the church into future.