Malua Conference on track, for now
Despite the coronavirus fears wreaking havoc on major international gatherings worldover, the Congregation of the Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S.) says it has no plans yet to cancel its annual conference.
Thousands of members of the nation’s largest Christian denomination gather at Malua in May each year from as far away as the United States of America to discuss matters pertaining to the Church’s future.
The General Secretary of the Church, Reverend Vavatau Taufao, told the Samoa Observer that the Church’s Elders’ Committee has not discussed the matter yet.
“So at the moment, as it is now, it is still [going to be staged] as planned,” he said.
“We might have a look at the possibility of postponing; the Congregation will do what needs to be done.”
Rev. Vavatau said the Church may discuss the issue sometime this week, saying they have not had time to do so after a full agenda dominated their last meeting.
He said that during an informal chat with the Congregation’s Chairman a while back, they thought to give the matter some further time before reaching a final decision.
But, Rev. Vavatau noted, this was before the disease was officially declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation at the end of last week.
“So we’ll have a look at it,” he said.
But another denomination, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has responded to growing global concerns about the spread of the virus - known by the acronym C.O.V.I.D.-19 - by suspending all Church meetings and activities.
That announcement was made by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the Church’s official website.
It stated that there are major changes for the Church’s general conferences, other large Latter-day Saint gatherings, and missionary work and training.
“The public will not be admitted to the Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City for the Church’s April 2020 general conference,” the statement said.