Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Methodist Conference is on but...

from w
The Fiji media and blogs are busy with cautious tales of tomorrow's start to the Methodist Conference in Fiji that has been banned for a few years. It's hard to see why mild-mannered Methodists are treated differently from other Christian organisations in Fiji. The agenda is structured and barely even touches on social justice issues - it's mainly housekeeping matters, elections and receiving reports, and of course having tasty meals and yarning with friends you only see once a year.

From Fiji Village today:
Govt officials/Military to be part of conference
Publish date/time: 22/08/2011 [13:13]

Military and government officials will be part of the Methodist Church of Fiji conference as observers.

Military spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Neumi Leweni said they want to ensure that the church follows the conditions set and deals with activities of the church and the spiritual development of its members.

Lieutenant Colonel Leweni said the military and the government hopes that the church members do not discuss political issues in the conference starting from tomorrow.

He also makes it clear that the church’s current President Reverend Ame Tugaue, General Secretary Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu and executive Reverend Manasa Lasaro are not allowed to chair any of the meetings during the conference.

The Methodist Church conference will be held from tomorrow to Thursday at Suva’s Centenary Church.

The first item on the agenda tomorrow is the election of the new President and General Secretary.

Story by: Vijay Narayan


Andrew Thornley said...

Dear Wendy and Peceli,

Greetings; the involvement of government and military officials in Methodist Conference procedures, to the extent that is suggested, is unprecedented and I would hope not to become the typical.
The Conference should have every unfettered right to choose whom they wish to be their next Qase Levu.
Any alternative, clearly unconstitutional activity, would be very unfortunate.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

I wonder if the committee meeting this afternoon will succumb and be obedient and ask Tui and others not to do their task of presiding but find someone bland enough to submit. When Jesus spoke of 'turn the other cheek' did he mean to just take orders from others? I remember heroes such as Martin Luther nailing his thesis at the Council of Worms, Bonhoeffer writing his letters, and many others. Watch and pray.

Anonymous said...

Today - Monday afternoon - news that the conference has been cancelled.

Andrew Thornley said...

And cancelled because the QL and the GS refused to abide by the Government demand to step down, for the very plausible and worthy reason that they [the QL and the GS] are beholden, as ordained men, to the Church Constitution.
The Government must understand this or they lose the respect that Romans 13 accords state authorities.