Sunday, August 19, 2012

Some might call it a Clayton's Conference

from w
Not quite the usual Methodist Conference, but at least they are meeting this year, even with the provisos set by the regime - no bazaar, no choir competition, no soli (offering).  Only three days allowed, and of course the discussions will be monitored for any suspicious political comment!  Well, they've kicked off with the installation yesterday of leaders chosen four years ago but not installed then.. The discussion meetings will take place after the Hibiscus Festival finishes - another proviso.

(added later:  I think the title is misleading. It should read 'inducted' not ordained. There is rather an important difference.  'Ordained' is a significant step for a candidate for the minister to be accepted and blessed. 'Inducted' means to be blessed when accepting a position -  of leadership in this case.)

from Fiji Times:

Finally ordained, 3 years on

Unaisi Ratubalavu
Monday, August 20, 2012
Centenary Church in Suva was, yesterday, full to capacity as members gathered to witness the induction of executives of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma after they were elected into office by the church conference in August 2008.
The chief guest and leader of the Uniting Methodist Church in the United States, Bishop Warner Brown Junior, in his opening sermon, said it had been a long wait for everyone.
Church president Reverend Ame Tugaue was the first to be inducted, followed by Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu as the general secretary and his assistant Reverend Tevita Nawadra Banivanua.
Another 12 executives were installed at yesterday's church service.
Mr Banivanua said the church executives were happy that the government had finally given the green light for the church to have this important church service and the annual conference in Suva.
The annual church conference will be held on August 29 at the Centenary Church.
Bishop Brown Jnr is also in the country to sign a bilateral agreement with the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma where the two churches will be working together.
"Last week, we received a container full of medical supplies from our friends in the United States who have offered to help the needy and poor in Fiji," Mr Nawadra said.

from Fiji Village:
Reverend Tugaue installed as Methodist Church president
Publish date/time: 19/08/2012 [17:03]
More than 500 members of the Methodist Church were present at the Centenary church when Reverend Ame Tugaue was installed as its church President today.

Reverend Tugaue was elected to the position during the annual conference in 2008 and since then the Methodist church annual conference was canceled which led to no installation. 

Other senior executives of the church who were installed today include the General Secretary Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu and Deputy General Secretary Reverend Tevita Nawadra.
Also present at the service was Reverend Dr Bishop Warner Brown Junior from California/Nevada Annual Conference of the United Methodist church.

The three day annual conference of the Methodist church will be held at the Centenary church next week.

Story by: Watisoni Butabua

1 comment:

Andrew Thornley said...

Dear Wendy and Peceli,
Indeed the government still holds the upper hand in dealings with the church. This is a sad fact for which there is no precedent in Fiji's post-contact history.
At the same time, the three-day Conference, if permitted to meet (recalling that last year the state called off the Conference a few hours before it was due to convene because one of the church leaders rightly stood up to the military), has some important decisions to make, most notably in leadership change. President Ame Tugaue has carried huge stress for five years and needs to rest. The choice of his replacement will be a significant indicator of the mood of the talatalas and their feelings towards the present regime.
I am not confident that this Conference will be permitted to proceed. However the simultaneous proceedings of the Constitutional Commission may just tip the balance in favour of the Almighty.