Some were ordained as residential pastors, others as missionaries overseas and over 80 enrolled online to undertake theological courses, leading them into ministerial training for ordination. Most signed in to attempt degree level studies through the Aenon Bible School of Theology coordinated from the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World headquarters in Indianapolis, Indiana.
We are the 43rd Episcopal District of the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, with 68 Diocesan Bishops within the organisation and over 4,000 churches scattered throughout the world.
Bishop Tutai Pere, the 43rd Diocesan, is overseer of the South Pacific region, 86 churches in Andrapradesh, India and over 200 in Lahore, Pakistan.
This year’s was one of our most successful Councils with over 600 candidates attending. More than $US126,000 was raised by the churches, to assist and help settle newly-ordained pastors and missionaries into their new posts locally, regionally and internationally. The money was specifically assigned to missionary and pastoral responsibilities.
Under Apostolic policy each pastor or missionary and their families are given full travel tickets, a fully furnished home, their own family vehicle and three months’ rental and family upkeep to avoid imposing pressure and responsibilities on local parishioners.
“They must be totally independent and self-sufficient and they are given three months’ support towards the day they are fully able to stand on their own two feet and have a well-established church to sustain them,” says Bishop Pere.
They leave with strong words of encouragement from their Diocesan and the entire Council. They are reminded that they are called not to go on holiday, but with one purpose only and that is to fulfil the Great Commissioning of their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as summed up in Mathew 24:14 and Mark 16: 16, “And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; he that believeth not shall be damned.”
A further $147,492 was raised for internal and headquarter administration and management purposes. Rarotonga is headquarters of this South Pacific Diocese and is where head Diocesan, Bishop Tutai Pere resides.
He attends international meetings twice a year. Council is a business meeting where all pastors and missionaries come together, bringing their own fundraising proceeds for the entire year to help assist and support missionary work. All fundraising is free of any form of gambling, and street or house-to-house begging, Tere parties or government donations, says Bishop Pere.
“God has his own way to fund his own Church on earth through the hearts, beliefs and convictions of those who are truly born again in Water, Spirit and Truth in Jesus Christ and to owe nobody nothing as Paul states in Romans 13: 8. Jesus in Mathew 16: 18 says, ‘…I will build My Church, not the government, not the world, not sinners and unbelievers, not even by worldly standards but by the convictions, dedication, commitment, faithfulness of the saved believers in Him, hard-earned savings of the believers who gladly and cheerfully pay their tithes and offerings, love and serve their Almighty God and Savior Jesus Christ to the fullest…(Titus 2: 13) and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’.”
Finally, Jesus said, “Lay not for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consumes and thieves break in to steal, but lay up for yourselves in heaven where neither moth nor rust consumes nor thieves break in to steal; for where your treasure is, so shall your heart be also” (Mathew 6: 21). Every newly-established church is exempted and given one whole year grace period before they can start supporting their Council financially.
We sincerely thank those who one way or another helped us host this great Council, our outer island churches in Aitutaki ($10,000 hosting fund), Mangaia ($10,000), Atiu ($5,000 and Rarotonga (over $30,000). Catering and hireage services by T&M Heather, Turamatuitui (Aunty Mau and family), Tim and Tam, Steven and Kathy Matapo, food vendors, Kaumaiti Travel Tou Ariki and traditional leaders, RAC chairman Bobby Matapo and Mrs Matapo, Ministry of Culture secretary Anthony Turua and your staff and lastly but not least our prime minister, Henry Puna and Mrs Puna, all Cabinet Ministers and MPs, and for his opening address.
To all who attended both the opening and closing ceremonies and midweek sessions, we appreciate your attendance and support,
Kia Orana e Kia Manuia rava!
- Bishop Tutai Pere on behalf of the SPDC.