It is good news that a large number of men and women today were ordained as ministers in the Methodist Church in Fiji including three from Indian cultural backgrounds and the list also including several women. Its a good sign for the future. From conversations with people recently it is clear that some of the churches are active and inclusive and joining in creative training programs such as in Nadi about one hundred people have taken part in the Emmaus Walk program. And good stories are coming out from Sigatoka and the Prem Methodist Church. It's a pity that the head office doesn't yet have a website to immediately give us names and locations for the ordinands today. Well, perhaps in three months they'll go on-line with up to date news for us who are distant from the action.
Passing on the baton- a lot of men have retired, after reaching seventy. Isa, these guys I knew as twenty-year olds when they were studying in Davuilevu. They're just a little bit younger than Peceli!
In Fiji the candidates work in parishes before ordination unlike the Uniting Church in Australia where exit students may be ordained when they commence work in their first appointment, such as Rev Ikani Vaitohi, a Tongan, who is our minister at East Geelong Uniting Church where we are indeed blessed by his leadership and lovely family..
There a good interview on ABC radio Australia with Rev James Bhagwan about the process of ordination..
Though there already re some Fiji women as Methodist ministers such as the Rev Meraia, it is still hard to go against the patriachal structures and perceptions in Fiji. Here's a story though about a courageous woman - from Monday's media:
from Fiji Village yesterday afternoon:
|6 women ordained into Methodist Church|
|Publish date/time: 02/09/2012 [17:07]|
Reverend James Bhagwan and two other Indo Fijians were amongst the 27 Methodist Church ministers ordained at Centenary Church in Suva today.
These ministers have completed their six year services within the church.
Church President Reverend Ame Tugaue declared and blessed the ministers and deaconesses to set themselves to be examples to the people in the church, in work, in deeds, in love, and in faith in holiness.
Out of the 27 ministers six are women ministers and two deaconesses.
Meanwhile, the service today was to farewell the conference members and seventeen retired ministers who have reached 70 years.
This includes former church president Rev Tomasi Kanailagi, Rev Laisiasa Ratabacaca, Rev Ilaitia Sevati Tuwere and Rev Manasa Lasaro.
More than one thousand people witnessed the service.
Story by: Watisoni Butabua