President attends Tongan Conference
President Lynne Frith recently attended the Annual Conference of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga, held at Neiafu on the island of Vava’u. She was accompanied by the Superintendent of Vahefonua Tonga o Aotearoa, Rev ‘Epeli Taungapeau, and a senior member of Wesley Wellington Parish, and former vice president Mr Lani Tupu.
The Wesley Wellington Tongan Choir, who became known as the President’s Choir’ had been invited to sing at the Conference. The Ellerslie choir, from Auckland–Manukau Parish, along with a number of presbyters and lay people from Te Haahi Weteriana o Aotearoa, also attended the Conference.
Because of transport difficulties, the start of the Conference was postponed by a day. Radio bulletins kept people advised of changes to the Conference programme.
Free Wesleyan Church Congregations have been established in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Hawaii, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Alaska, California, and even Salt Lake City. There are ongoing issues of relationship between the two churches in New Zealand.
Lynne says highlights of her visit were the splendid performances of both the New Zealand choirs, participating in an early morning prayer service at the King’s residence, the graduation of Whitireia Polytech’s first motor mechanics in Neiafu (as a result of a new partnership between Whitireia and the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga), the opening of a new church at Makave, and a visit to the Vava’u Hospital.