Samoan church marks 50 years

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS - By JESS LEE

A LOT has changed in the 50 years since the Con­gre­ga­tional Chris­tian Church of Samoa’s hum­ble gath­er­ings in a small Grey Lynn home.

Just 20 peo­ple at­tended ser­vices at its first New Zealand par­ish in 1962.

But to­day the EFKS church has more than 25,000 fol­low­ers across its 73 churches from Auck­land to In­ver­cargill and is host­ing a cal­en­dar of events this month to cel­e­brate its 50th an­niver­sary.

Pa­cific Is­lands Af­fairs Min­is­ter Hekia Parata, Labour leader David Shearer and NZ First leader Win­ston Peters met with church el­ders at Par­lia­ment House to kick off cel­e­bra­tions with a tra­di­tional Samoan ava cer­e­mony last week.

The Grey Lynn church is hold­ing a me­mo­rial ser­vice to­day a few streets away from where it was es­tab­lished.

Rev El­der Lucky Slade says it is a joy­ful oc­ca­sion for the church and an op­por­tu­nity to re­flect on its achieve­ments.

‘‘This is a time to cel­e­brate in the Pa­cific way and a time to ac­knowl­edge the work of those who helped to grow the church,’’ he says.

‘‘We came from very hum­ble be­gin­nings but we have peo­ple from all over the coun­try coming to­gether for this oc­ca­sion.’’

The church pro­vides a home and guid­ance to Samoans mi­grat­ing to New Zealand, he says.

It was founded in Samoa by the Lon­don Mis­sion­ary So­ci­ety in 1830 and is now well-es­tab­lished world­wide with parishes in Aus­tralia, Hawaii, the United States and Fiji.

Plan­ning is un­der way to es­tab­lish a multi-pur­pose hu­man devel­op­ment cen­tre in Auck­land to ben­e­fit all mem­bers of the com­mu­nity.

Rev El­der Tavita Taule’alo says the an­niver­sary is a good chance to cel­e­brate Samoan youth and look to­wards the fu­ture.

A youth con­fer­ence, sports day, Fi­afia night and golf tour­na­ment will be held in Auck­land this week­end.

Man­gere MP Sua Wil­liam Sio and Maun­gakiekie MP Pe­seta Sam Lotu-Iiga will be on the field at Ngati Otara Park for Fri­day’s cricket match.

Mean­while, the Cru­saders’ Rob­bie Fruean, opera singer Joel Amosa and the Laugh­ing Samoans will be mak­ing ap­pear­ances at Satur­day’s cul­tural show be­fore a fi­nal ser­vice on Sun­day.

Spe­cial oc­ca­sion:

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.