Fiji’s Methodists face ‘worrying trend’ over misuse of funds, dictatorial style

Fiji Methodist Church conference in Suva
Participants during the annual Methodist Church in Fiji conference at Furnival Park in Toorak, Suva, yesterday. Image: Atu Rasea/Fiji Times

By Wata Shaw in Suva

Misuse of funds, dictatorial leadership and lack of consultation displayed by some Methodist Church leaders in Fiji is “a worrying trend”, says church president Reverend Ili Vunisuwai.

He highlighted this and lifestyle concerns — including the abuse of kava — during the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma’s annual conference yesterday.

Reverend Vunisuwai said leadership without respect and humility would push the congregation to search for other places of worship where their voices could be heard.

“Reports and complaints have been received at the head office regarding the misuse of funds in our churches,” he said.

“This is a serious concern as it can end up in the court of law.

“I hereby plead to uphold our Christian values with respect and humility to move forward in improving the leadership status of our church.”

Reverend Vunisuwai also emphasised the need for church members to be mindful of their lifestyles as many ministers had died prematurely.

“Some have passed on while others have been affected with non-communicable diseases (NCDs),” he said.

“We need to be mindful of our lifestyle, especially our eating habits, excessive consumption of kava, staying up late at night, and not having enough rest.”

He called on the congregation to implement the three pillars of the church’s 10-year strategic plan — physical well-being, good leadership and creating awareness for climate change.

Wata Shaw is a Fiji Times reporter. Republished with permission.

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