Church pay hike call lauded

Fiji Sun - - Fiji To­day - ari­eta.vaka­sukawaqa@fi­

area of work.

“Some of us re­ceive our stipend af­ter a month or three months, mis­un­der­stand­ing in the ar­eas of our work and in which we need to look into our job de­scrip­tion. “Some­times we are called into to carry out cler­i­cal work dur­ing school breaks even though our job de­scrip­tion is only to look at the ar­eas of re­li­gious ed­u­ca­tion and spir­i­tual lives of teach­ers and stu­dents.

“This is good news and I hope that the church will look into this area,” she said. Rev­erend Bani­vanua said: “Our chal­lenge is to sup­port our daugh­ters and sis­ters in Christ that feel the call to serve God and of­fer them­selves to serve as min­is­ters and dea­conesses.

“To en­cour­age our cir­cuit and di­vi­sions to be open to re­ceiv­ing fe­male min­is­ters and dea­conesses as min­istry lead­ers in our lo­cal churches and not just chap­lains for schools,” he said. Rev­erend Bani­vanua, how­ever, said that one out­stand­ing is­sue that re­mained part and par­cel of the equal sta­tus of min­is­ters and dea­coness – the equal­ity in stipend that they re­ceived.

He said dea­conesses only re­ceived half of what the min­is­ters re­ceived.

“At last year’s con­fer­ence, a pro­posal was given for a re­view of the min­is­ters’ stipend – to have $10,000 as base for or­dained min­is­ters and $8,000 for as the base for pro­ba­tion­ers,” Rev­erend Bani­vanua said.

He said it would be dis­cussed in the one- week meet­ing. “It is my hum­ble prayer that we will also re­solve as one church that this base stipend be also ap­plied to our dea­conesses,” Rev­erend Bani­vanua said.

He said he had the plea­sure of con­duct­ing the first min­is­te­rial ses­sion of con­fer­ence un­der the new con­sti­tu­tion of the church. Rev­erend Bani­vanua said it was a his­toric event for the church as it was the first time “our sis­ters from the Dea­conesses Or­der to be part of the event.” He re­minded church min­is­ters to fol­low the cloud and not the crowd.

“This is also very im­por­tant for our dea­conesses and min­is­ters, to lis­ten to the prompt­ing of the Holy Spirit. It should be a ba­sic re­quire­ment of any­one called to or­dained min­istry and lay lead­er­ship or ser­vice,” Rev­erend Bani­vanua said. Edited by Ne­mani De­laibatiki

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