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Church revival

Nasik Swami
Wednesday, February 05, 2014

AS the Methodist Church celebrates its 50th year as a conference this year, the country's largest Christian denomination has called on its members to reconcile with the vanua and the government.

Responding to questions from this newspaper, church president Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu said it was important for the church to commemorate its journey over the past half centaury.

"It is important that we give thanks to God for where we have come and ask God's blessings and guidance for the next 50 years," Mr Waqairatu said.

"I call on the Lotu Wesele e Viti (Methodist Church in Fiji) to observe this important year as a time of reflecting on our history, a time of reconciliation with the vanua, the matanitu (government) and our neighbours — our fellow Fijians — and a time of revival and renewal as we prepare to embark on a new journey."

He said the golden jubilee celebrations for the church meant liberation, consolation and a look toward the future.

Information Ministry permanent secretary Sharon Smith-Johns said the government would not make any comment on the call made by the church president for its members to reconcile with the government.

"We will not be commenting on this," Ms Smith-Johns said.

Mr Waqairatu said celebrations this year would be in three phases: divisional, national and the launching of the church's new journey.

"The first phase is for each of the 56 divisions, from our oldest divisions to our newest one.

"During the term one holidays all divisions are encouraged to hold their annual divisional meetings and jubilee program from April 28 to May 2."

The church held its first conference as an independent church after 129 years in 1964 after being a Methodist Mission, firstly for the Methodist Church in Great Britain and then the Methodist Church in Australasia.