Friday, 24 August 2018

President's Fiji Diary

Friday 17 August

Delighted to be in Suva to attend the Methodist Church in Fiji (MCIF) Conference. In the lead up to the Conference there was a Choir festival with many gifted choirs singing beautiful praise to God. 

IChoir festival 2 It was great to be spending time with the President-elect of the Methodist Church in New Zealand Rev. Setaita Veikune, We had an inspiring meeting with Julie Chang Tsulu and Frances Namoumou, staff from the Pacific Conference of Churches, and Rev James Bhagwan, former MCIF Communications Secretary. Looking forward to the Conference this weekend. PCC meeting in Suva

Sunday 19 August

Choir Festival concluded last night with a feast of beautiful music. Today - the opening service of the Methodist Church of Fiji Conference at Centenary Church. Rev Dr Epineri Vakadewavosa, the President, was the preacher. Lunch hosted by Wesley Church - good conversations with women leading Women's Ministry.

Womens Fellowship

Monday 20 August

Today, I brought greetings from the Uniting Church to the Methodist Church in Fiji. Heard an inspiring address from the President of the Conference and interesting conversations about theological education. Wonderful warm and generous hospitality.

A conversation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights regional representative in the Pacific was very informative, challenging and inspiring, leaving much to reflect on. And I saw more of beautiful Fiji, the ocean and mountains. UN Human Rights Commissioner

Tuesday 21 August

Another amazing day in Fiji with our generous hosts, the Methodist Church in Fiji. Conference in the morning with discussion on schools. A visit from the Prime Minister who spoke on the importance of education, and equality in education for girls and boys. He also spoke of Fiji's leadership in addressing climate change. Then lunch with the Prime Minister and good conversations with the President of the Methodist Church. MCIF banquet with PM Bainimarama

This afternoon we visited Navuso Agricultural College - developing agricultural gifts in boys and men.

I also met Emali who is planning to come to our Uniting Women conference in Brisbane at the end of September, and Deaconess Meresiana from Diakonia.

A full and rich day - with deep thanks to God for the global communion of the Body of Christ.

Wednesday 22 August

My last full day with the Methodist Church in Fiji before returning to Australia. This morning at the Conference meeting I met faculty from their theological college and women engaged in the Methodist Women's Fellowship. They are celebrating their 70th anniversary. In the afternoon we visited the Dilkusha Children's home and met the children and staff. The Methodist Church through this home are providing children a loving environment in which they can flourish. 

Tonight I participated in the ordination service for 20 people - 17 were ordained as Ministers and three as deaconesses. It was an inspiring time of worship. 

I am deeply grateful for the witness and mission and gracious hospitality of the Methodist Church in Fiji! I look forward to sharing stories of our partner church with the Uniting Church in Australia.