Rev Jack Urame is the new bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Papua New Guinea (ELC-PNG). He was installed along with fellow leaders Rev Lukas Kedabing (assistant bishop) and Mr Bernard Kaisom (general church secretary), at a worship service in the eastern port city of Lae this month.
A vibrant procession featuring traditional costumes, music and dance led worshippers into the service at St Andrew’s Lutheran Church Ampo, which was followed by two hours of greetings. Bishop John Henderson led the Rite of Installation and Consecration, bringing greetings based on John 14:25-27, from the Lutheran Church of Australia.
Others present at the service included representatives from other ELC-PNG overseas partner churches, and PNG ecumenical and other invited guests.
LCA International Mission supports Bishop Urame in his doctoral studies at Madang’s Divine Word University with a scholarship. He is expected to complete his thesis in the coming months. The topic for his research thesis is the effect of money brought in by missionaries on the life of the people of PNG.
He is a former director of the Melanesian Institute (in Goroka, the capital of PNG’s Eastern Highlands Province), where he has been a colleague of LCA member Nick Schwarz. Together they have researched and written a book about sorcery. Their research has influenced PNG government laws on sorcery and killings related to sorcery. They also have been guest lecturers on the topic at the University in Canberra.
Bishop Urame, who served as a pastor in Germany for more than five years, is the joint chair of Lutheran Overseas Partner Churches, a consortium of Lutheran churches serving in PNG, of which LCA is a partner.
The new bishop is from the province of Chimbu and is the first highlander to hold the position.