Churches in three different countries join service
The Methodist Church in Samoa and its affiliates in three different countries dedicated the first Sunday of the month to the measles epidemic.
The special service on Sunday, December 1 was the initiative of the church’s top hierarchy led by the President, Reverend Faulalo Leti.
“We all feel sorry for the families that have lost their loved ones and it’s sad so we thought that by the power of prayer, we can be able to go through this roughness,” Rev. Leti said in an interview with Samoa Observer.
“That Sunday was for every Methodist Church to pray as one not including the weekly services done to pray for measles.”
The services were followed by the ‘free will offering’ (Taulaga a le fetuao), an annual money offering done by the church for its activities.
The Methodist Church General Secretary, Reverend Dr. Eteuaiti Sili Leuo Eteuati, said the normal offering collected is over $50,000 tala.
“But of course, we just finished our main financial offering of the year, so hopefully, let’s all pray that each church will donate more for our measles crisis,” he said.
It is understood the Methodist Church’s affiliates in American Samoa, South Auckland, North Auckland, Wellington, Southern New Zealand, New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland, the U.S. state of Hawaii and those on mainland America also dedicated Sunday to the measles epidemic in Samoa.
The Methodist Church service on Sunday was emotional for a lot of families at the Magiagi.
According to a member of the Magiagi congregation, who did not wish to be identified when interviewed by this newspaper, having a family member being diagnosed with measles compelled him to attend service on Sunday.
“Because my niece is in a risky state of measles right now and though I work every Sunday, I thought that I’d come to church and be a part of this wise initiative,” he said, while fighting back tears.
“I believe that with the power of prayers, our country will soon overcome this and so will my niece (for her to recover).”
According to Rev.Leti, the church hierarchy decided that because every first Sunday of the month being the Methodist Church’s Faamanatuga (communion), it was a good opportunity for the service to be done.
“It’s also important for this special service to go together with the faamanatuga as we need to pray more for our grieving families and our country's state of emergency,” he added.