Pasifika Anglicans urged to to be disciples and go out on mission


There was a need for church leaders to stress the importance of discipleship to members, said Reverend Canon Dr Eleanor Sanderson.

She was speaking to leaders and members of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Polynesia attending a training session  at the Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Polynesia.

Eleanor says that in the early church, “People that were alive with the gospel and were sent out”

By contrast, “We think ‘churches’, we have a culture where we come and consume.

“We need to send people out to be part of the mission in communities and neighbourhoods and that is a lot harder,” Eleanor said.

In 2016  she became diocesan canon theologian in the Anglican diocese of Wellington, New Zealand.

She has recently been elected assistant Bishop of Wellington and will be ordained 2 June.

Eleanor was formerly a lecturer at the School of Earth Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington.

She completed her PhD in Geography at Victoria, focusing on the intersection between community development and Christian spirituality.

“The background I’ve got in international community development fits alongside the priorities that we have in the Church.

“It’s about developing a deeper sense of Christ-centred community.”

“There’s also a commitment to the lost and the least—that is, a commitment to places of poverty, and to places of the least powerful, as opposed to the most powerful, which also means challenging our assumptions and definitions of poverty and power.”

The General Synod  of the Anglican diocese of Polynesia is taking place in Suva this week.

115 representatives of the Anglican Church from Tonga, Samoa, American Samoa, New Zealand and Fiji are discussing issues affecting the church, passing laws and making decisions which will shape the future of Anglican life and ministry in the Pacific.


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News category: Asia Pacific.

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