Tuesday, March 15, 2005

the melanesian brotherhood

Originally uploaded by gwbrark.

I had the opportunity to live with the Melanesian Brotherhood in the Solomon Islands during 2002. It was an experience I will never forget, and for which I am inexpressably grateful. The Church in Melanesian is, from what I know of it, the kind of catholic Christianity for which we ought all to be striving. The Melanesian Brotherhood is also the largest religious community in the Anglican Communion, with something like 500 brothers.

Here is a link to the transcript from a radio program with interviews with Br. Richard Carter, and some other of the brothers. Great reading. http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/8.30/relrpt/stories/s1156164.htm

"From 1999 onwards, basically, MBH made a decision that they couldn't just sit by and watch the country divide like it was dividing. But had to take an active stance. The HQ of the MBH here at Tabalia became a refugee centre for the displaced people - first for the Malaitans as they fled off their land when they were threatened. Later when the Malaitans were to strike back, many Guadalcanal people camped at Tabalia - so really we helped refugees from both sides during the conflict. In addition to that our houses in Honiara became safe houses; places where people come who felt threatened."

Of further note, the Church in Melanesia is celebrating the glorious witness of the seven brothers martyred on the weather coast of Guadalcanal on April 24, the date of the martyrdom of the first three brothers, two years ago. It is my hope that ECUSA will authorize an American commemoration for Lesser Feasts and Fasts. I encourage you to observe liturgically April 24 as the feast of the Seven Martyrs of Melanesia in your church. I will be posting appropriate readings and collects and what not in future.

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