Archbishop Loy Chong leads an ecumenical first celebrated in Suva

In the first ecumenical service of its kind in Fiji, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Suva, Reverend Dr Peter Loy Chong, presided at a liturgy conducted with the leaders of the major Christian churches in Fiji.

The service marked the inductions of the new leadership team of the Fiji Council of Churches. (FCC)

The liturgy in the Methodist Centenary Church had been prepared by the Roman Catholic, Anglican and Methodist churches.

Hymns, action songs, prayers and scripture readings were provided by other member churches of the Fiji Council of Churches.

Chong said that part of the vision of the Fiji Council of Churches was to establish unity among all the Christian churches in Fiji in order to be a prophetic voice in Fiji by embracing the values of the Kingdom of God.

He said the door was open to all Christian communities which confess the faith of the universal church in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

“We acknowledge that the life of faith to which they are called is a gift of the Holy Spirit continually received in word and sacrament and in the common life of God’s people. We acknowledge the word of God in the Old and New testaments, discerned under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, as the supreme rule of faith and practice for all God’s people.”

He called on the leaders being inducted to ensure the council offered opportunities for theological reflection, prophetic action, collaborative mission and by fostering mutual understanding and respect among the Christian churches in Fiji, the Pacific and the World.

In the sermon, Reverend Amy Chambers, an Anglican priest of the Diocese of Polynesia and principal of the St John the Baptist Theological College, challenged the council in her message to work together as the body of Christ and speaking with one voice on issues confronting our country such as climate change and gender-based violence.

Those inducted were Reverend Dr Tevita Banivanua of the Methodist Church in Fiji, president, Major Uraia Dravikula of the Salvation Army vice-president, Reverend Bruce Edwards of the Fiji Community Churches of Christ, treasurer and Reverend Simione Tugi of the Fiji Evangelical Fellowship, general secretary.

Founded in 1963 the FCC is made up representative from Methodists, Catholics, Congregational Church of Samoa, Coptic Orthodox, Fiji Baptist Convention, Fiji Community Churches of Christ, Presbyterian and Salvation Army

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News category: Asia Pacific.

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