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Female pastors in ministry in papua new guinea

Female pastors in ministry in papua new guinea

Papua New Guinea Union Mission (PNGUM) and Pacific Adventist University (PAU) hosted the first Women in Pastoral Ministry Conference in Papua New Guinea, September 13–16, 2013. Papua New Guinea (PNG) has the largest number of women in pastoral ministry at any time in its history. The conference provided an opportunity for the female pastors and female dormitory deans from various second­ary schools and tertiary institutions throughout the country to share and explore the joys and frustrations of pastoral ministry and design a network system to provide ongoing support.

PNGUM invited a few speakers to share their insights and wisdom. Rebecca Liu shared her life story as she struggled to go from a communist and evolutionist background to how she became a full-time Seventh-day Adventist pastor in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, southwestern China, since 1989. Robyn Stanley, who currently works as an assistant pastor at Lilydale Seventh-day Adventist Church in Melbourne, Australia, shared insights on the call to ministry and how to reclaim inactive church members. Peter and Ruth Oli, a pastoral team, shared insights from an administra­tive point of view on how the church family can enhance the role of women in pastoral ministry. Leigh and Barbara Rice, another pastoral team, shared the keys to effective ministry and how to connect and share with people. Nancy Enopa, a minister in PNG, shared on the transition from being a single pastor to a married pastor and how to be effec­tive in each role.

Leeroy Elisha, currently a lecturer at PAU, provided the keys to growing a personal spirituality. David Thiele, dean of the School of Theology at PAU, provided an academic discourse on the ordination of women from a theological and biblical perspective. Dr. Thiele was excited to meet with the female pastors as he taught all of them at either Sonoma Adventist College or Pacific Adventist University. His wife, Jillian Thiele, rejoiced in the success of the former students. “The church is in good hands with these incredibly gifted pastors,” Jillian said.

The theme, “To Be a Spirit-Filled Church, Always Growing, and Leading and Excelling in All Areas of Our Ministry,” was certainly fulfilled at the conference.

[Jillian Thiele]

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December 2013

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