PREPARATIONS for the 2010 synod of the Evangelical Lutheran church of Papua New Guinea is underway after the symbolic ground breaking ceremony at the Martin Luther Seminary grounds in Lae last Wednesday.
A special tree planting ceremony led by the acting head bishop of the church Rev Zau Rapa marked the start of the preparatory work by church members from the Jabem district.
The ceremony put to rest speculation that the synod could be held outside of the seminary at a venue in Lae city.
Jabem district president Rev Gedisa Okamaisa made it clear that Martin Luther Seminary was the venue for the synod.
Rev Rapa said Jabem district would host the next synod in 34 year’s time and so the planting of the trees was specially significant for the younger generation.
The last synod, hosted by the Jabem district, was 24 years ago at the Logaweng Seminary in Finschhafen, Morobe province.
The next synod will go to Eastern Highlands province.
Rev Okamaisa said the 2010 synod was duped the “Rainbow synod” that would see the whole church walking together into the future.
The synod is the highest policy-making body of the ELC-PNG.
The church had a long list of issues on the agenda for the synod including the establishment of the proposed Lutheran University of Papua New Guinea.
Rev Rapa revealed he received personal assurances from Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare of his support for the establishment of the new university.
The highlight of the synod will be the election of a new head bishop for the church to replace the late bishop Dr Wesley Kigasung who died last year.
The synod will also elect a new assistant bishop and church general secretary.
All Lutheran MPs and the professionals of the church have been asked to attend.
The church general secretary Isaac Teo said the elite would have a separate programme which will involve them looking at ways to help the church move into the future.
Meanwhile, Momase regional police commander assistant commissioner Giosi Labi, also from the Jabem district, assured the church leader police would ensure law and order was maintained throughout the synod.