“TO THE EFKAS LEADERS”
With the utmost respect, I write to express my sincere disappointment with the leaders of my beloved CCCAS. The decision to hold an unfounded "emergency" meeting resulting in the change of venue for the CCCAS Conference from American Samoa to Carson, California, strikes the integrity, trust, and credibility that underpins the Church's leadership.
The venue for the Fono is a material aspect of the "Fa'avae", and churches overseas were voiceless in this decision. This decision to hold the "emergency meeting" is not only egotistical; it runs afoul the principles of the "Fa'avae." Let me explain.
First, an emergency meeting requires the attendance of all the "komiti tumau" of the CCCAS. No "komiti tumau" (from Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, etc.) was informed nor did any attend this meeting.
Second, anything passed in an emergency meeting, especially if it is a material term of the "Fa'avae", still needs to be brought forth and passed by two-thirds vote at the Fonotele. That was clearly violated here.
Finally, what was the emergency? What was so imminent that you had to surpass all the guidelines of the "Fa'avae"? Disturbingly, the emergency reason given by Dr. Fa'ataape is "Spiritual Revival of Church members living off island." Really? Is the spiritual revival of off island church members at a verge of extinction? Even the reason you gave disregarded any input from folks whose interest you intended to protect (i.e. off island Church members). Why Carson, California? Did someone in Carson have any part in this decision? It would be really sad if this "emergency meeting" was an idea brought up because of a conversation by a few Elders.
Past allegations such as financial corruption tainted the reputation of our CCCAS Church; henceforth played a factor for some churches to claim independence from CCCAS. This decision furthers that consequence. Should we (churches overseas) still look towards Kanana Fou or should we consider linking with CCC Samoa (Western Samoa)? How about the United Christian Church (UCC)? Or how about Hawaii creates its own organization: the CCC Samoa Hawaii (CCCSH)?
I'm reminded of the late Elder Masalosalo Sopoaga, who I believe would have strongly advised against this meeting. Elder Sopoaga reminded our church in Hawaii that we can progress forward, even if empty-handed, as long as we maintain the unity and trust amongst ourselves and committing the full conviction of our faith to God.
Respectfully, your decision, Dr. Fa'ataape, plagued that unity and trust. We must abstain from yielding the Church as a political or business organization making decisions motivated by personal profit and self-centeredness. The Church should be managed as how it is: a Church. Decisions must be just, and we must be true to our founding principles. We have a saying in the legal world: "If it walks and quacks like a duck, it's a duck!" If it is wrong and unjust, no matter how you shape it, it is still a duck. Sadly, even a kid in our Sunday School who reads about this online was able to discern about the "quackiness" of your decision. Ever wonder why the CCC Samoa is progressing better than us?
Again, I am writing this with the utmost respect, and may God bless the Church, and all the Ducks in it!
Uilisone F. Tua
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