Methodists to Keep Politics Out f Church

Methodist Church General Secretary Rev Tevita Nawadra Bainivanua  has reminded members in leadership positions to keep politics and the church separate, and in line with this instruction, Methodists appointed to  leadership positions in the Church must give up these positions if they choose to stand in the September Elections.They will retain their church status but not be able to perform any leadership role during the campaign.

"This is to ensure that they are not tempted to abuse the power and influence they have in the church to further their political aspirations,"  "What we are talking about is those who serve in positions of authority such as stewards, treasurers, presidents of fellowships, cell group leaders and at higher level – members of church committees such as department advisory committees, the President’s panel or the Standing Committee. This will be part of our code of conduct for the church."

“We are not discouraging our members from campaigning, far from it. If they are prepared to serve the nation with integrity, humility, compassion and servant-hood based on the principles of the Kingdom of God, we encourage anyone to do so.

Lay preachers, catechists, ministers and deaconesses have also been warned to limit their sermons  to the gospel and the church's forthcoming jubilee celebration and not on elections or party manifestos.

The church has also prohibited the discussion of issues relating to political campaigns during official church meeting. Rev Bainivanua says the Bose Vakarau (Preparatory Meeting), Leader’s Meeting, Circuit Quarterly Meeting and Divisional Annual meeting are for discussing the work of the Church.

"Political meetings, campaign or information meetings must be done outside of these meetings so that no political party, candidate or lobbyist use the church for political purposes. They are welcome to speak to individual members as citizens."

Rev Bainivanua further says church halls or properties of the church may be hired for the purpose of meetings or rallies, but worship services, official church meetings and programmes are not open for political campaigning.

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