Church to convene emergency general assembly

The Secretary-General for the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa has revealed the reasons behind the church's emergency general assembly next week. 

The two-day conference is scheduled for 15-16 October with the venue yet to be confirmed.

Reverend Vavatau Taufao also dismissed reports the church is considering paying for a flight to bring in overseas members.

"Everything [about the meeting] is spelled out in my letter your newspaper obtained," Reverend Vavatau said, in reference to an earlier report carried in this newspaper late last month.

"It is clear in that letter that we will be selecting 14 representatives from each committee. 

"Under the Church's constitution, an emergency meeting can be called, if there are issues that need to be addressed urgently. 

"And looking at the time and moment we are in right now, we are living through uncertainty and times of emergency as we continue to face the global pandemic that is affecting the world. 

"Because of [this] uncertainty and [living through] emergency times, our annual fono tele [conference] got canceled. 

"However, the leaders of the church saw that there are quite a few works pending that require the approval of the church.

"For example, the budget for work in the next financial year.

"We have so many outstanding works and reports that need approval. As you may have been aware, the reports from the different committees are passed and approved during the fono tele, usually, from one financial year to the other.

"The cancellation of this year's [earlier planned] fono tele because of COVID-19 has stopped works for some of the projects by the church. 

"That is why [we need to] have this emergency meeting."

The emergency conference has been organised to comply with state of emergency [S.O.E.] orders.

According to Reverend Vavatau, 14 members from the six different church committees will make up a total number of 84 members. 

Ten representatives will also be drawn from the Mafutaga Aoao a Tina, and six more from the Au Leoleo and Au Taumafai Committees. Altogether bringing the total attendees to a hundred. 

"Fourteen members will be selected from the different six committees that includes the Elders Committee, Finance Committee, Developments Committee, Missionaries Committee, Education Committee, General Purposes Committee," he said.

"The rest will have to join in using [video teleconference software] Zoom."

He then moved to set the record straight on previous rumours about the emergency conference, which he declined to comment on in an earlier report published by this newspaper. 

"We never considered paying for a flight to bring in Church Ministers from overseas as mentioned in the story you guys published before," he said.

"We don't have the money to do such a thing [charter a plane], in fact this is going to be the cheapest fono ever. 

"The other thing that we need to clarify is, the decision to call for an emergency meeting was not done by one person or by the Chairman alone. 

"With all due respect, the call did not come from him, because people might think that he came up with that decision, but that is not the case. 

"It is under the Constitution of the Church to call for an emergency meeting if there are outstanding issues."

The venue for the conference is yet to be confirmed as the church is looking at convening the conference where internet connectivity is fast and reliable. 

Reverend Vavatau said they might possibly host the conference at the C.C.C.S. hall at Sogi if the internet connectivity is not fast and reliable at Malua. 

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