E NEWS 2 JUNE 2023
Ou te fa’atalofa atu I le Suafa o Iesu Keriso. Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ. Not only is this weekend Kings birthday, it is also Samoa’s 61st birthday since becaming an Independent Nation in 1962. So celebrations are happening both in Samoa and wherever there are Samoan Communities throughout the world.
This week is also Samoan language week which is coming to a close. The theme is ‘Mitamita i lau gagana, maua’a lou fa’asinomaga’ which translates to ‘Be proud of your language and grounded in your identity.’ I saw on the 6 o’clock news last night that “The Samoan population in New Zealand are one of our fastest-growing populations and largest Pacific group. They represent 47.9 per cent of all Pacific people in our country. “Gagana Samoa is our third most spoken language – following English and Te Reo Māori, and the second most spoken language in Auckland. Wow, interesting statistics.
I’m currently talking with a ministerial colleague in Nauru. I was honoured to ordain her as the first woman in the Nauru Congregation Church to the ministry of the Word and Sacrament in my capacity as Regional Mission Secretary for the Pacific for the Council for World Mission back around 2015. She tells me that when her mother died recently she left the family home to her children to live in. In the event that they got married they were encouraged to leave and find their own homes and the single siblings would continue to live there. Sadly her married brother and his wife have taken control over the home and are forcing my friend to find somewhere else to live. At the moment she is in hiding and staying with a friend but she feels she is an imposition. I’m inviting her to come here to Aotearoa for a break, am waiting to Facetime with her as I write, so watch this space.
This Sunday is Trinity Sunday and one of the lectionary readings I have chosen is Matthew 28:16-20 the Great Commission. However, I was awoken at 4am on Thursday morning with a sermon busting to get out of my head which is an interesting take on this text. It is to do with how the mission agencies in this case the London Missionary Society now known as the Council for World Mission were complicit in the trading and owning of slaves in the Transatlantic slave trade. In a nutshell the Nazareth Manifesto in Luke 4 (Jesus reading from the Prophet Isaiah) which refers to “proclaiming freedom to the captives, to setting the oppressed free” is one text among others that were removed from the slave bible. The Anglican church in the UK in admitting their shame in their collusion with the slave trade have a so-called museum dedicated to their role in the slave trade and they have a slave bible on display which has 90% of the Old Testament removed and half the New Testament, all biblical passages that referenced freedom , liberty and justice. So Matthew 28:19 “Go you therefore into all the world baptising in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit” was the scripture that became the impetus and mission mandate of the Christian churches and agencies and not Luke 4 verses 18-19 which the marginalised have adopted as their Nazareth Manifesto instead of Matthews 28:19. My theme is: Mission “from” the margins versus mission “to” the margins explores some of this history. I’ve given you the gist of my reflection but it would be good to see many of you on Sunday as well. Manuia le weekend. Fei
You can read the full E-news here: https://mailchi.mp/92e775f789f1/this-weeks-newsletter-from-st-andrews-on-the-terrace-9350535