Church leader steps aside

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The leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Papua New Guinea has stepped aside for family health reasons.

The family of Pastor Joseph Talipuan, who became president of the Papua New Guinea Union in September 2010, needs to receive vital ongoing medical treatment in Australia. It became apparent to Pastor Talipuan and his wife, that the medical needs of their family were preventing him fulfilling the role as president.

Pastor Leigh Rice, currently the General Secretary of the Papua New Guinea Union, will fill the temporary role.

In the process of considering the best option for the Talipuan family and the Church in Papua New Guinea, Church leaders had consulted with leadership at the General Conference, as well as church leaders and lay people in Papua New Guinea. They explored every possible solution. However, strong medical advice meant that family members currently receiving medical treatment must remain in Australia. And further, any ongoing family separation could be detrimental to their health.

The church’s South Pacific Division Executive Committee has appointed an acting senior administrator for the Papua New Guinea Union. Pastor Leigh Rice, currently the General Secretary of the Papua New Guinea Union, will fill the temporary role.

A permanent replacement will be elected by a full meeting of the Division Executive Committee later in 2011.

Pastor Talipuan has accepted a pastoral appointment in Greater Sydney Conference, funded as an initiative of global mission. He will fill the position immediately.