Every moment is a fresh beginning.
That is the best description for 16 graduates of Malua Theological College who received their Bachelors in Theology and Divinity yesterday.
Rev. Elder Tavita Anesone led the celebration with a service at the Jubilee Church.
The Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II and other Members of Parliament were among hundreds of families and friends who gathered to witness the momentous occasion.
The graduates in Bachelor of Divinity are Arthur Milo, Iese Uele, Tuto'atasi To'alima, Toantemam Ueanteiti (scholarship students from the Kiribati Uniting Church) and Wanikaie Wanikaie (scholarship student from the Kiribati Uniting Church).
Bachelor of Theology graduates are Clarke Stowers, Fa'amoana Leaupepe, Fa'aui BJ Fa'aui, Fiafiaga Lusama (scholarship student of Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu), Panapa Jr Panapa, Pao Pele, Peniamina Fa'alave, Risatisone Taua, Steven Palala, Vaegato'oto'o Magele and Valo'aga Ropati.
Principal of Malua Theological College, Rev. Ma’afala Limā thanked the 2017 graduate class for all the hard works.
“To the class of 2017, congratulations,” he said. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.”
Mr. Lusama from Tuvalu was grateful to God for his achievement.
Speaking to the Sunday Samoan, Mr. Lusama described their four-year journey at Malua as “enjoyable”.
“But it was tough as well, but through Christ we managed to here today,” he said.
“Having the opportunity to attend Malua Theological College for four years was made possible through the leadership of our Heavenly Father.
“The end of another chapter starts another one; we are ready to serve God in whatever calling lies ahead.”
Mr. Lusama believes yesterday was made possible by prayers and the support of families and friends.
“To the Congregational Christian Church in Samoa, the Principal Ma’afala Lima and staff of Malua, thank you for your unending support and love through all these years.
“I also want to thank my wife and children, my family and friends.”
Malua Theological College was established in 1844 with the main objective of teaching and educating local students so that each village of Samoa would eventually have an educated pastor as spiritual leader.
By the end of the 19th century, a pattern of ministry had emerged.
It was modelled on the Samoan village structural organization and aimed at preserving, as much as possible, the value systems of the Samoan way of life.
The church community functions in the same way as the village, where five main groups – matai (titled men), spouses of matai, untitled men, unmarried women, and children, each have their own individual and corporate roles and responsibilities for the maintenance of order and welfare.
The village congregation is the basic unit of the C.C.C.S. with the pastor as the spiritual leader.