No endorsement for Samoa SDA to worship on Sunday

The debate of which day is the 'seventh day' Sabbath in Samoa has taken aanother twist with confirmation from the Seventh-day Adventist worldheadquarters in America, there is no documented action by the GeneralConference endorsing or supporting the action of the Samoa SDAadministration to change its Sabbath day of worship to Sunday.The current Samoa Sabbath dilemma in fact has come about because the SDAleadership in Samoa and the Pacific region failed to accept that the Samoagovernment implemented a lawful and legitimate shift in the InternationalDate Line, effectively moving Samoa to the same side as New Zealand andAustralia for trading purposes.While most Christian churches in Samoa also call Sunday the Sabbathcommemorating the day of Jesus' resurrection on the first day of the week,Seventh-day Adventists keeps the Sabbath on the 'seventh day' of the weekwhich is Saturday like everywhere in the world.In order to facilitate the IDL adherence change, Samoa missed one dayresulting in a 'one off' 6 day week. This experience is normal when crossingthe IDL from the American to the Asian side. Friday 30th December 2011 inSamoa did not vanish into thin air as promoted by the local churchadministration whereby making Sunday 1st January 2012 the 'seventh day' ofthe weekly cycle in Samoa.What happened in December 2011 was not a calendar change, nor was there anyname change. What is confusing is the notion being promoted by the localadministration and the South Pacific Division (SPD) regional office inAustralia, "The practical result in terms of Sabbath keeping is that Sundaynot Saturday has become the seventh day of the week."In fact, understanding which day is the 'seventh day' of the week is quitesimple, contrary to a statement in a public notice from the Samoa TokelauMission that was published in the local Samoa Observer newspaper 1st Julysaying, "The subject to the change to the IDL and resulting implications forthe weekly cycle and for Sabbath keeping is a complex one";Simply, Sunday is still the 'first day' of the week and Saturday is stillthe 'seventh day', both before and after the IDL change in Samoa likeeverywhere else in the world.In its presentation last year to promote Sunday Sabbath worship toAdventists in Samoa, the statement formulated by the SPD "The presentpractice of Sabbath keeping in the Pacific Islands around the dateline bemaintained" was said to have been endorsed by the General Conference.The statement refers to the current situation where SDAs in Tonga, Kiribatiand recently Wallis and Futuna worship on Sunday; the later countries due tothe precedent set in Tonga.With the confirmation that the General Conference did not endorse or supportthe change to Sunday worship in Samoa, nor endorsed or supported the viewbeing promoted by the SPD of Sunday keeping for those Island States in thePacific around the IDL, the motives behind the South Pacific Division'sactions to deliberately mislead is now being questioned.The General Conference has since referred the Samoa Sabbath issue back tothe Pacific regional office to be further discussed. A meeting is scheduled2 August in Australia to be attended by senior Samoan ministers from Samoa,New Zealand and Australia and SPD executives with the hope of finding a wayforward.Today, church members from 21 Seventh-day Adventist churches around Samoahave returned to keeping the 'seventh day' Sabbath on Saturday, joiningAdventists in American Samoa and the rest of the world.Source: eventpolynesia.com

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