REVEREND VAKADEWAVOSA STARTS METHODIST REUNIFICATION BID
The president of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma, Reverend Epineri Vakadewavosa, has started a reunification move with a breakaway group.
The breakaway group, Wesley Mission Connexion, is led by Reverend Anare Maravu, 88, believed to be the oldest Methodist clergy member.
It is headquartered at Burebasaga Village, Rewa.
The Wesley Mission Connexion church was formed after Reverend Maravu and others split from the Methodist Church in Fiji in 1989. It was in response to the action by
a group led by Reverend Manasa Lasaro that took over the church leadership from then president Reverend Josateki Koroi. Reverend Koroi’s removal was not embraced in some quarters of the church.
Reverend Lasaro and his group supported Sitiveni Rabuka’s military coups of 1987. Reverend Koroi blessed the breakaway church at its launch in 1989. Reverend Vakadewavosa said their meeting on Monday at Reverend Maravu’s home base at Burebasaga Village was their second. He said the first meeting was at Epworth House in Suva before the Methodist annual conference or Bose ko Viti. It was very fruitful, he added. He said it was more a reconciliation meeting between the two churches.
“I was very happy with my meeting with Reverend Maravu at his residence at Burebasaga Village,” he said.
He said he was happy that Reverend Maravu reacted positively to his invitation for unity talks. He hoped to continue the reunification talks.
When opening the 2019 Bose Ko Viti at the Suva Centenary Church, he said: “For where there is unity, God will command his blessings and there will be growth. I am therefore pleading that we all continue to work to maintain peace and unity so that we can witness the good times of the Lord.”
He is looking forward to having another meeting with Reverend Maravu.
When the Fiji Sun approached Reverend Maravu at his residence at Burebasaga Village he confirmed meeting with Reverend Vakadewavosa and a delegation from the Methodist Church. However, he said, he had wanted a one-on-one meeting with Reverend Vakadewavosa.
He said he would not make any further comment, especially when he saw the comments on Facebook about their meeting. Reverend Maravu confirmed he would continue to look after the members of the Wesley Mission Connexion.
At his residence at Burebasaga Village there is a church and a hall for his congregation. Reverend Maravu hails from Nakasaleka, Kadavu.
I was very happy with my meeting with Reverend Maravu at his residence at Burebasaga Village. Reverend Epineri Vakadewavosa Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma president
Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma president Reverend Epineri Vakadewavosa (left), with Wesley Mission Connexion head Reverend Anare Maravu at Burebasaga Village, Rewa on September 2, 2019.
Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma president Reverend Epineri Vakadewavosa is welcomed at Burebasaga Village, Rewa, on September 2, 2019.
Wesley Mission Connexion head Reverend Anare Maravu at Burebasaga Village, Rewa, on September 2, 2019.