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Suspended C.C.C.S. Reverend fights to clear his name

A Reverend of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.) in Griffith, Australia, is on a mission to clear his name. 

Reverend Asofitu Lemamea Tuivanu told the Samoa Observer he and his wife have been suspended for five years by the Church over allegations leveled against them – including alleged missing finances. How much is involved, he did not say,

But Rev. Asofitu strongly denied the allegations. He outlines his side of the story in a letter written in Samoan, in which he explains what happened (see page 11).

Emails seeking a comment from the C.C.C.S. Secretary General, Reverend Vavatau Taufao, have not been responded to.

Last week on the telephone, however, he declined to comment.

In a letter to the Samoa Observer, Reverend Asofitu, who is based in New South Wales, Australia, outlined his disappointment with the decision. 

 He explained that in July 2017, they were stood down from the C.C.C.S. Griffith Parish. 

“After the general conference in 2017, we were asked to end our covenant with the church due to the minimal numbers of church members,” a translation of the letter reads. 

“We were assured that our title as Reverend were not affected and this was said before our church members in July 2017.

“However later on, we found out that old members were asked to gather for a new church.” 

 

Tala o Tupe a le Ekalesia EFKS Griffith NSW. 2017-18 

Reverend Asofitu also explained that during the ceremony, they explained the state of the church’s finances openly. 

 “And the elder of the church said they have agreed that whatever funds that is left in the account, should be gifted to us, as a parting gift. 

 “However, we find out later that we have been stripped of our Church Ministerial titles due to missing church funds.

 “I want to clear the air that we have not used any church monies. 

“There are certain signatures required prior to withdrawing funds as outlined by the signatory agreement and that any request for loans, advances, refinance of assets (bank account, church, residence of church minister and investments etc.) has to be approved by the church minister.

“Also a debit bank (Commonwealth Bank) card was not allowed by the church,” said Reverend Asofitu.

He further pointed out that rumors circulating have tarnished their reputation, especially their families. 

 

Commonwealth Statements 

“We just want to clear the air that we did not take any money from the church, and that is why this is relatively important to say our side of the story.”

This is what Rev. Asofitu wrote in Samoan:

 

NA O LE GATA E FASIA, AE PUPULA ONA MATA.

E muamua lava ona ou  fa’amalulu atu, ma lalafo malu i pu’ega  i Tama o le Ekalesia, aemaise lava, le Paia o le Aufaigaluega Totofi a Iesu Keriso, e faapea foi, nai o ma aiga e pele i le loto ma le agaga, o loo tapu’aia o matou faiva, o uo ma au-mea-mamae I le Talalelei ma le Atunuu. Ma, e le aofia matagi i se lagona ma se manatu, pe siligia foi le tofa ma le faautautaga I Taitai o le Ekalesia. 

Ae, ua lagatila se fa’amatalaga, aua e lelei le motu o le pa, a ua silafia, ona e le’i fa’atoa tupu lea o lenei faai’uga ia i maua, ma nisi uso I le talalelei, ma, o lea lava e tutupu  faitioga ma tauvalea ai le ekalesia, ma pisapisao ai, ona o fa’aiuga so’onafai, faaiuga e le fa’avaea, o fa’aiuga le manuia ma le tele lava o fa’aiuga le amiotonu  a nisi e fou tofi i le tulai mai e fai ma taitai o le Ekalesia, ma ua le malu afei ai le aufaigaluega faifeau. 

E mafua nei mea e tutupu, ona o le apo o le pola e motu i tua, a ua le saili le sa’o ma le amiotonu ma fesiligia, le auauna e avatu sona manatu, a ua fai pito tasi lava se faaiuga.  

Ou te manatu, e mafai ona fatu se tala le moni, le sao, le fa’avaea, e mafai foi ona fai se tala taufa’aleaga, ona o le fia lelei ma le fia maua mai o se mea  e fa’amalie ai manaoga , aemaise o le fa’asiliaupule, e pei ona faia e Iuta ia Iesu.

 Lea lava, e avaga gofie iai le tofa, ma solo ai le falute I le tofa fetuunai, ma le fa’autautaga fa’amaoni e faia ai filifiliga amiotonu.  Ma, ua sa’o ai le isi faifeau, ina ua uma ona fai le fa’aiuga i se tasi mataupu, ona tula’i lea o le auauna ma fai atu, “ OU TE FESILI ATU IA TE OUTOU TAMA O LE EKALESIA, pe sa’o ea ma fa’amaoni nei faaiuga tou te faia?” na otegia ma taofi si faifeau, ae tu I luma o le au-toeaina, tali le isi toeaina, e sa’o uma lava mea ia matou te fai atu ai, peitai, o le ula  toeaina lea, e sili ona tetee I tama matutua o le ekalesia, ae o le fai mea le tonu,  toe le sa’o, e lafi I lona fai-mea-malie.

O le pine faamau, o le nunumi o lou mafaufau, na saunoa le toeaina lea I luma o le mafutaga ma faifeau, ma te o fiafia ma o ma tofi, a’o lea ua atoa le tausaga, ae toe fai le isi fa’aiuga a le isi toeaina, ua aveeseina o ma tofi mo le lima tausaga, o fea la e sao ma amiotonu, e iai se isi e oti faalua? E matua fesiligia e lou faifeau fa’aiuga talafeagai, ma fa’aiuga le sa’o. A’o le fesili foi, ua ma soli se tulafono poo se iuga a le Ekalesia?

Talu ai la ona ua faateia lenei aiga i le faaiuga ua faia i o maua tofi faifeau, ina ia aveeseina, ma ua le nofoai loa I maua, ae sei tau-faamanino atu e silasila iai le atunuu poo fea lea e solo ai le falute ma mamasagia ai, ma aveleagaina ai le igoa pele o le ekalesia

Ou te tautino atu I luma o le Atua  Soifua, ua maea ona fai le fa’aiuga a le toeaina lenei i o ma tofi faifeau, ina ua susu mai e tatala la ma feagaiga ma le Ekalesia I Griffith i le uma  mai o le Fonotele 2017.

 Sa auai mai ai ma le aufaigaluega faifeau o le pulega, o molimau I upu ma saunoaga ma le faai’uga sa faia. “ia ma fa’ase’etuagalu ae ma te o fiafia pea ma o ma tofi faifeau.” 

O le upu moni, sa lagona le le fiafia o nisi sa matou lolotu pea, ma fesiligia lona mafuaaga, ae sa olo le fua ma tali I le loto maualalo.  Pau le tala lea e fai mai, E LELEI ONA MA FA’ASE’ETUAGALU MA LE AULOTU, TALU AI UA TO’AGAOGAO LE EKALESIA.  E foliga I lau maitau, e peiseai e faatauanau, ma faanatinati ma foliga mai ai o se fuafuaga sa fafau mamao mai, ina ia faasatauro I maua. 

 Na maua mulimuli le tala, o le ulugalii sa matou malaga i le fonotele,  fa’atoa  tasi le masina talu ona matou lolotu, ma totogi ai o latou pasese e le ekalesia, ma fa’ataga e le toeaina e nofonofo i tua i o la aiga i taimi o le fono,  lea na la’uina le lapisi i le toeaina, ma faaleaga ma fai tala le fa’avaea ma fafau mai ai le laau a Naamanu.  

O le fa’anoanoaga o le agaga, o lea sa matou nonofo faatasi, aai faatasi, talie faatasi, usufono faatasi, e aunoa ma se iloa, ua uma ona feso’otai mai le toeaina i tagata ia sa o ese ma le ekalesia, e faailoa iai e foi mai I le fono  ona fa’atu lea o le aulotu fou, ae e taunuu mai tatala le feagaiga a le faifeau ma le ekalesia. Lea foi, na aumai iai le isi faifeau na te tausia, ae tuli e le aulotu, ma toe foi ai le faifeau i Niu Sila ma le le fiafia tele i nei faaiuga.

Na taunuu mai le fonotele 2017, faataunuu nei fuafuaga uma, ma ua ma tumuli, ma le upu i luma o le pulega ma faifeau, “ia ma o fiafia ma o ma tofi, ona ua toagaogao le ekalesia, ma pasia ai lenei mataupu i le Tofiga a le Matagaluega a’o tasi le Matagaluega a Niusauelese ia Iulai 2017.

O le isi itu sa ma lagona ai le mafatia, ina ua tatala le feagaiga i le aso lava lea, ma fa’amavae fiafia ma le toeaina ma ana faifeau, ae tumuli ese, peitai, sa maua mulimuli ane le tala, pe tusa ma le tasi le auala e va ai lo matou fale ma le isi auala o loo iai le maota, ua faatali mai ai le isi aulotu fou, ua maea ona logoina e le toeaina ina ia omai e faavae le isi aulotu, ma ua sa’o ai le tusi, “na’o le gata e fasia ae pupula ona mata”. 

O le upu moni, sa fesiligia foi i le aso na tatalaina ai le matou feagaiga le itu tau tupe mo sina tala, ona ma faamalamalamaina lea iai ma lou toalua o tupe a le ekalesia, ma ua fiafia ma saunoa ai le toeaina, o nisi seleni o totoe ia tausi ai oulua, ma fai ma meaalofa mulimuli a le Aulotu mo oulua, sa faafofoga uma iai le aufaigaluega faifeau i nei saunoaga.

Peitai, o lea ua maua le tala i le tofiga a le itu matagaluega fou, ua tuueseina o ma tofi ona o itu tau tupe.  O le a la ua maea ona tapena le tala malamalama o tupe i lona faaogaina, atoa ai ma bank statements mai le COMMONWEALTH BANK, e faapea foi numera uma o siaki sa talaina, ma sui ole aulotu o loo sainia uma itu tau tupe a le Ekalesia.  Lea, ua tauaao nei ile au-toeaina mo so latou malamalamaaga.

Ua ma sauni foi e tuuina atu lenei tala manino, ina ia faia iai se faaiuga a le faamasinoga, ona ua tauvalea, ma ave leagaina o ma igoa ona o fa’amatalaga e le moni, ma molimau le faavaea.

O upu tautino, e faigofie ona faasala, ma aveese tofi, ma ua fa’ata’aloga I vai, ae a pe a seu le manu, ae tagai I le galu, e le o le mana’o foi I le ia, ae maumau ai le upega.  

Ou te manatu, ma te matua manumanu tele I le tapuaiga a nai aiga ma matua o loo tatalo I le ao ma le po.  Ou te manumamu foi I le igoa pele o lou nu’u, aemaise lava o si ou aiga pele nei tauvalea ona o i ma’ua,  le mafua’aga lava lea, ua ou ma le manofonofo lava, ae saili le fa’amaoniga o tupe, all bank statements, and signatures ma cheque butts faatasi ai ma le fesoasoani mai o isi sa galulue I le laulau a le Ekalesia e faamaopopoina lenei tala.

Aemaise lava o lenei, ua fai le iuga ona o lenei tu’uaiga le sao. Ae, ma te tautino atu, o loo iai numera uma o siaki, sa sainia e sui e toalua, ona o le maliega a le aulotu, ae toalua foi e mafai ona talaina. So’o se tupe foi e talaina lava I le tusi-siaki ma o lo o maua uma ulu siaki mai le faletupe.  Ma te tautino atu foi, ma te le’I faaogaina faa-solitulafono se tupe a le Ekalesia. 

O teugatupe uma foi, a soo se fa’alapotopotoga, ua iai le ABN number e talia ai e le faletupe, ma ua resitara i lalo o le CCCS GRIFFITH, ma o le laulau a fono, board of trustees, e sainia le maliega autu, e fa’atulafonoina foi e le bank le toalua I le toatolu signatures faatoa mafai ona talaina se tupe.

O le manatu lava ma se lagona, ia faamama o ma igoa i le tu’uaia I mea tau-tupe, ma e pei ona faailoa atu talu na faavae lenei ekalesia, e iai le laulau, “ faifeau taitaifono, o le failautusi sui aulotu, teutupe sui aulotu, e pei o le tele o tatou ekalesia.

E faamalulu atu lava I tama ole Ekalesia, aemaise o uso a faifeau ole Talalelei, se a sa outou silasila ma maimoa mai ise upu ua soona lafo, ona o tiga o le tofi FS, e lei faigofie ona saili I le Alii, aemaise o le faau’uga a le agaga paia e tauala mai le faae’e o lima o tama o le ekalesia.  

Peitai, e mata-faigofie ma augofie ona aveeseina tofi e le isi faifeau, pei o se mea-ta’aalo poo se mea totino a lona aiga, “ae a foi pe a fesili ane, “o ai e ono a’afia pe a ave’eseina se tofi o se faifeau? A fa’apefea si ona toalua? Ioe, a tiga pe afaina se vaega o lou tino, e logo le tino atoa, o aiga uma, uo ma aumeamae I le talalelei ma le atunuu.

E faamaulalo foi I nai o ma aiga pele, aemaise o nai o ma’ua afioaga tapuai mai, afai e sala tai ia tonu pea uta.  Ma te finau pea ia faamama o ma igoa I le tauleagaina, ua tuuina atu foi faamaoniga ma faamaumauga o mataupu o loo le femalamalama a’I ai.  Peitai, o loo iai foi le tulafono e fai ma sulufaiga o mataupu faapenei.

Aiga pele, afioaga, o uo ma aumea-mamae i le talalelei, faamagalo se aga ua le tau-tamalii, ae ua tonu foi ua lava ia taimi I le galuega, ae faaseetuagalu e atia’e nai aiga, ma nai fanau. Afai lava, e alu fuafuaga uma o lenei mataupu pe i’u i se to’amalie, pe iu foi I le tulafono, e fa’atali lava I le fa’asinoga a le Agaga Paia. 

Ua tuuina uma atu nei faamaumauga ma faamaoniga mai le Bank statements/signatures/withdrawals/deposits and cheque butts numbers mo le faamaninoina o tupe” e faamaonia ai la ma mau: “Ma te lei faaogaina faa-solitulafono ni tupe a le ekalesia, ma faamama ai o maua igoa”.

Ua moni ai le upu: “Na o le gata e fasia ae pupula ona mata”. 

 

Rev. Asofitu Lemamea 

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