Monday, August 17, 2015

Letter re Methodist President's location

from w
I too was surprised by the Fiji Methodist Church decision to relocate the President's house in Davuilevu. Of course Davuilevu has a lovely environment but what about the people who need to visit the President? It's an extra bus ride or drive out of Suva - at least half an hour.  And a mention of relocating the offices away from Epworth House - what about people who work in the offices and those who visit the offices?
From Fiji Times Letters to the Editor.


REV AKUILA YABAKI, Suva | Tuesday, August 18, 2015
SOMETHING does not sound right here. The reason given for relocating the Methodist president's residence to Davuilevu near Nausori may need to be reviewed (Sunday Times 16/08).
What is wrong with having the president of the Methodist Conference based in Suva where all the actions and interactions are happening.
In the secular state which Fiji now is the head of Methodist Church needs not be located away from the centre to isolation. It's not enough to say that Davuilevu is the heart of the Methodist Church as perhaps it is no longer.
The heart of the Methodist Church needs to be where the action is. 
Eleven years of my life I spent in Davuilevu. First as a pupil in boarding school at Lelean for eight years and then I went back in the mid sixties to be trained a church minister at the vuli talatala for three years. There would be many others who look back with a sense of gratitude and satisfaction for years spent there.
However, in light of re-envisioning the mission of the church in the 21st century ? much talked about and heard about these days. this relocation away from Suva seems a regressive policy. The move which is away from the Capital may need re-thinking.
Methodists do believe that God does make all things new! And we all need to be open to new possibilities and unlearn catch phrases of the old heaven and Earth.
This current catch phrase "new exodus" or lako yani vou surely means working with new-found partnership in the gospel; and to work as co-workers with others including being more available to others; ordinary street and village people and at least other main line churches and challenge politicians and MPs, Government and civil society organisations.


Andrew Thornley said...

Dear Wendy and Peceli,
The "heart" of Fiji Methodism has always been where the gospel has the greatest opportunity to influence and transform society. This is an evangelical goal. From Lakeba to Rewa, Viwa, Bau (for 50 years) and then to Suva. During all those years, the educational centre of the church moved from Lakeba to Viwa to Richmond (Kadavu), Navuloa and then Davuilevu. All these places have been close to the "heart" as indeed they should be but I have not seen a good argument for combining the evangelical focus with the educational. It is not necessary and, furthermore, raises many practical problems for the day-to-day running of the church. The Qase Levu would quickly become a figurehead and the General Secretary would effectively direct the Church.

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

Hello Andrew,
Thanks for your thoughts. I regard Davuilevu as central - but for education not for the main offices. Suva is much more convenient. The life of the church of course is in the hundreds of small gatherings throughout Fiji in the villages and towns and islands.

When we visited Tonga we were mightily impressed with the beauty of the churches there, very costly, highly decorated. The way of life in Tonga appears to focus on a life of faith even more so than Fiji. Our daughter-in-law works in Nukualofa and I loved our short holiday there. We were told that their church ministers are quite wealthy as the church members are generous in giving gifts to them.