Methodist Consultative Council of the Pacific
Samoa, 16th April 2015
Church leaders from six Pacific countries met in Au Uso Fealofani Hall, Faleula, Samoa, from 13-16 April 2015, and following four days of consultation, prayer and worship we return to our home churches today informed, inspired and enriched, taking the love and greetings of our fellow Pacific Christians with us.
A highlight of the meeting was the warm hospitality and friendship offered by our hosts. The women and men of the Methodist Church in Samoa offered us the comfort of the Wesley Motel, wonderful Samoan food and a glimpse of their rich cultural life.
We were inspired to hear of the way God is working through Methodism in the region and in other parts of the worldwide Methodist family. Climate change had been the theme of our previous meeting two years ago, and some of our members reported on their efforts since then to learn and change; as a regional council we agreed to share our churches’ theological and worship resources on this.
The main topic in this meeting was membership and, with the benefit of recent research and our own experiences, we reflected on the reasons behind growth in some places and decline in others. Council members agreed that showing clarity about a Wesleyan identity is important and that they could work together on being a contemporary, 21st-century church in the tradition of John Wesley. This will be the theme of the Council’s next meeting with preparatory work being undertaken by the existing MCCP partnership between the Methodist theological colleges in Samoa, Tonga and Fiji.
Members also re-affirmed the importance of work with the youth and will hold the next regional Youth Event in Samoa in 2016. Issues affecting women were given time in the meeting, scholarships and exchanges are made available to women as well as men, and delegations continue to be encouraged to include women’s representatives. We appreciated the presence of the Methodist Church in Britain with us but missed the presence of our colleagues from the United Church of the Solomon Islands on this occasion.
We have learned much together to take back to our churches and to incorporate into our thinking, policy and action. We know we in the Pacific have a small voice in the world and need to sing together to be heard and to be effective witnesses for Christ.
Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga
Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma
Methodist Church New Zealand
Methodist Church Samoa
United Church Papua New Guinea
Uniting Church of Australia
Methodist Church in Britain