10th February, 2017
The Standing Committee of the Methodist Church in Fiji, in its ministerial session of 27th January, 2017 found that Rev. Ropoama Nabiri, Circuit minister of Nadrau Circuit, Tavua Division to have committed serious breaches of the Regulations for Ministers of the Word, Sacrament and Pastoral Care and the Code of Conduct of the Methodist Church in Fiji.
After prayerful consideration, the Standing Committee has resolved to terminate Mr. Nabiri’s appointment and withdraw his recognition as Minister Word, Sacrament and Pastoral Care in the Methodist Church in Fiji.
This was relayed to Mr. Nabiri, the Divisional Superintendent of Tavua and the Senior Circuit Steward of the Nadrau Circuit by a delegation from the Methodist Church in Fiji Secretariat, led by the Deputy General Secretary, Rev. Ili Vunisiwai.
Mr. Nabiri’s status is now as a member under pastoral care. As such he will receive pastoral care from the minister of the circuit in which he resides.
According to the Regulations for Ministers of the Word, Sacrament and Pastoral Care of the Methodist Church in Fiji, if a former Minister whose recognition as a Minister has been withdrawn, desires to be reinstated as a Minister, he or she may after 5 years apply for reinstatement through the Leaders Meeting, Quarterly Meeting, Annual Divisional Meeting and Conference. If accepted, he or she is reinstated as a Minister and can be given an appointment.
The specific charges and issues relating to Mr. Nabiri, are, according to the aforementioned Ministerial Regulations, confidential. However I would like to point out that prior to ordination, Methodist ministers, must express belief in the Doctrines of the Church, knowledge and acceptance of its discipline. The probationer shall promise to retire quietly from the ministry if, during future service as a minister, personal views of doctrine or discipline change.
Ordained ministers are also required to be annually endorsed in the ministerial session of the Bose Yabaki / Annual Divisional Meetings as to believing and preaching the doctrine of the Methodist Church in Fiji.
According to our Wesleyan/Methodist tradition, any theological reflection, preaching, teaching, and discussion of the interpretation of God and God’s action and involvement in the world, the church, and in our individual lives is revealed through a balanced consideration of Scripture, tradition, reason, and experience. Wesley believed that the living core of the Christian faith was revealed in Scripture, illumined by tradition, vivified in personal experience, and confirmed by reason.
I caution our preachers, teachers, lay pastors, deaconesses and ministers, to ensure that their theological reflections follow the process highlighted above.
I caution our congregation to be wary of any teaching, preaching or pronouncements that do not follow this basic process; that speak out of context from the true meaning of the Bible, profess a direct or unique revelation from God that is not consistent with the salvation history of the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures.
Please remember that all teaching, preaching, praying and reflection must ultimately grow in loving God, loving neighbours, and loving one another as Christ loves us.
I encourage all members to familiarise themselves with the Methodist Church in Fiji’s 2016 Constitution and Regulations as well as the Code of Conduct as part of their contribution to transparency and accountability of leaders at all levels of the Church.
Rev. Dr. Tevita Nawadra BanivanuaPresident, Methodist Church in Fiji