The leader of the church service which opened the biennial conference of the Congregational Christian Church of American Samoa yesterday, said members are calling for a critical evaluation of the church and whether its fulfilling its mission of making disciples of all nations.
Rev. Elder Dr. Elia Taase of the CCCAS Nu’uuli based his sermon on admonitions by the Prophet Micah to the chosen people when they began turning away from God and depended on their might and riches.
He congratulated the Kanana-fou Theological Seminary faculty for their work in preparing those who will serve as missionaries either in CCCAS parishes or foreign countries.
While he doesn’t doubt the new graduates are well prepared for the task, the pastor said looking at the physical appearance of some, “one wonders who long they can be of service.”
Rev. Elder Dr. Taase said church elders, some with little formal education, who have passed on, understood that holistic education, is concerned with the education of the “mind, body and soul.”
That is why they included physical activity for the body in theological education.
He observed if the graduates cannot do something about their bodies at Kanana fou, what will happen when they go out to parishes where food is a sign of a congregation’s love for their faifeau.
The reverend dr. also called for justice in the use of offerings by church members some who hardly have enough to take care of their families.
He told delegates, he’s heard that none of the construction contracts that the church put out were completed within the bid amounts.
He said after the contracts were awarded, the contractors sought additional money.
Reverend Elder Taase said he’s been told that the projects ended up costing twice the bid amounts.
He recalled historical events where farmers, the poor and down trodden, lost their lands, or short changed by the traders and the wealthy, and they could not seek relief from the courts because justice had been bought.
Rev. Taase told delegates they will be given a lot of documents during the assembly, and they should read them carefully as they are reports from the various church committees detailing their work in the past year.
He advised that as delegates chosen by their parishes to the fono tele they should use the information given them to base their decisions on how to make use of church resources and improve on the missionary work of the CCCAS.