TODAY the 1.3 million “sheep”, members of the Evangelical Lutheran church of Papua New Guinea, will know who their new shepherd will be – the new head bishop to lead them over the next four years.
The 27th Synod of the church, being held at the Martin Luther Seminary in Lae, will hold elections today to elect a new head bishop to take over the top church post left vacant following the death of late Bishop Dr Wesley Kigasung who died on May 14, 2008.
All the candidates are experienced pastors in their own right having served the church in various capacities over the years.
Yesterday the candidates were presented to the synod delegates and asked to make brief statements about their vision for the future.
Rev Kasek Kautil who is executive director of the Kristen Press in Madang, paid tribute to the wisdom of the late Bishop Kigasung.
Rev Kautil said if the church was to move forward then it needed the kind of wisdom displayed by the late Bishop Kigasung during his reign.
Rev Numuc Zirajukic Kemung who is regarded as a grassroots pastor, said he wanted to spend more time praying in the morning and at night for the church.
Dr Kemung from the Kate district, is a lecturer at the Martin Luther Seminary.
He is also a co-author of the church’s vision 2020.
The son of a pastor, Rev Tom Sine is the principal of the Kundiawa Lutheran Day High School in Simbu province.
He described himself as the ‘David’ from the bush in the race for the top post.
If elected he wanted to do more inorder to give greater recognition for the work pastors do in the community.
Rev Giegere Wenge wanted to do more for the work being done by the women in the life of the church.
He also wants to do more for the training of pastors, evangelists, women and other workers of the church.
Rev Wenge who is the principal of Martin Luther Seminary wants the church to give priority to human resource development.
He also wants the administration of the church improved so that it could be more effective and efficient in doing its work.
Rev Wenge also stressed the importance of maintaining unity in the church.
Candidates for the position of assistant bishop were also asked to speak to the delegates.
Those running for the second top job at Ampo are the current acting head bishop Rev Zau Rapa, Rev Sommy Setu, who is also the president of the Papua district, and Rev Peter Wamp from Jiwaka district.
The two candidates for the church’s secretary position are the incumbent Isaac Teo and Albert Tokave from Kainantu district.