MY SAY : ‘One In Spirit’ But Which Spirit?

About the author:

Mataeliga Pio Sioa, Newsline Samoa newspaper editor. A veteran journalist in broadcast and print media.

  • School children led the way but everyone else gave support, the torch relay one was just one example . Photo Karanita Enari
    School children led the way but everyone else gave support, the torch relay one was just one example . Photo Karanita Enari

The EFKS Church decision to pull Maluafou and Papauta colleges out of the schools opening ceremony on account of a Sunday has not gone down too well with the general public reaction.

Even members of the denomination themselves are critical of the pull out.

Respect for Sunday is the official word reportedly from the Church General Secretary Rev. Vavatau Taufao.

But the overwhelming majority of protesting reactions are sceptical.  Mounting criticisms accused the church of playing politics with the on going controversial income tax clash with Government.

The sympathies are for the children who have worked so hard for many weeks to practice and learn their roles by heart. 

Participation in the opening and closing ceremonies to these children is their Pacific Games.

If they are disappointed at missing out then it is understandable. The unfairness of being whisked out at the last minute after all they have put in, is a betrayal of trust and of all their hard work.

The same maybe said about the parents as well who have to feel for their disheartened children.

 No parent wants to see a child who has committed so much to perform well enough to make them and the school proud, end up in heartbreak.

All of Samoa and the region will be watching and the kids have practiced every step and body sway to impress.  

Apia Park stadium will be packed and the television viewing for Samoa alone will be as close as it will ever be to 100 per cent on the opening night.

The 300 plus kids no longer in the performing group were part of the opening act that was supposed to portray worship. 

All have already learned their roles well and are ready for the big time with still the final week left to go.

Organisers are still hopeful the EFKS Church will have a change of heart, as they scramble to go into plan B so as not to be embarrassed by the opening performance falling apart.

This whole ‘Sunday must be kept holy’ kerfuffle is contradictory.  

The issue was put directly to the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches, Rev. Ma’auga Motu, weeks ago.

 He openly admitted to Newsline Samoa that the performance for the opening ceremony is basically an evangelical type of presentation acceptable for Sunday.

Fingers crossed the EFKS church leadership will agree with the National Council of Churches and allow the kids to return.

Since this is ultimately a God issue, is it not these same church people who preached the divine call to let the kids go?

The opening ceremony sets the stage for the official welcome by Samoa as the host country for the visiting guests from the region for the Pacific Games.

By now the word has gone out that there is friction between the largest denomination in the country and the Government.

Where is all that bad air going to lead?

We have all worked long and hard under the untied call of “ One In Spirit’ to welcome our regional neighbours and have them enjoy their brief stay with us.

Maybe we are  indeed “One In Spirit” but which spirit is it?

Satan is a spirit too?