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Coronavirus prolongs Methodist ministers' service

The Methodist Church has deferred its decision to recall all church ministers serving their final year of their seven-year missionary work to 2021 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic.

The Methodist Church Secretary Minister, Reverend Eteuati Leuo Tauati, told Samoa Observer that the decision to defer the recalling of all the church ministers went through a lengthy discussion by the church hierarchy before a decision was made.

“Every church ministers who have reached their final years of service in a church, and were supposed to swap with the other church ministers due to usual church practices, are to extend their stay in their current churches for at least one more year,” he said.

Normally, Methodist church ministers serve in their allocated churches or villages for seven years. 

In a phone interview with this newspaper, a church minister in American Samoa on the extension list, shared his views on the matter.

Reverend Mataita Leifi, his wife Serafi Leifi and their children are in their seventh year of mission at Leloaloa in American Samoa. 

“Everything we do, we do it for the people as we’ve dedicated our lives to serving and guiding the people in our congregation,” he said. “Whatever plans the church had for all the church ministers we will follow and it's understandable, especially at this time of a global pandemic.”

Despite looking forward to his deployment to a new church or village, Rev. Leifi says there are benefits behind the extending of his stay in American Samoa by another year.

The Methodist Church in Leloaloa is in the final phase of its reconstruction before they open for services.

“We’ll use the opportunity to spend more time with our new church building and our congregation one more year,” Rev. Leifi added.

Serving seven years at Leloaloa its challenges, according to Rev. Leifi, but mostly fond memories for his family.

"This is also a matter of health so whatever the church plans for the church ministers, we're very we honored to follow," he said.

The Methodist Church membership within and outside Samoa currently stands at 24,228.

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