Issue No. 34/2020 – Monday, 14 September 2020 (Kitiona Tausi)
The Funafuti Island Community has appealed to the Ekalesia Kelisiano Tuvalu to allow the wife of the late Rev. Kalahati Tagisia, Mrs. Oliula Kalahati to be able to take charge of the Funafuti EKT Church until the end of her husband’s term of contract with the Funafuti EKT Church.
Since the death of the late Rev. Tagisia, the Funafuti EKT parish was looked after by Mrs. Oliula Tagisia, the wife of the late Rev. Kalahati Tagisia. Mrs. Kalahati holds a Diploma of Theology from the Methodist Church of Fiji’s Theological College at Davuilevu, Fiji and has been the Secretary for the EKT’s Women Fellowship for a few years.
Mrs. Kalahati has not been ordained as an EKT Minister and therefore she could not administer the Church’s Holy Sacraments and especially the Holy Communion.
Mrs. Kalahati’s husband the late Rev. Kalahati was commissioned by the EKT Church Assembly in 2018 to take charge of the Funafuti EKT Parish for a contract of 4 years ending in 2022. In fact he passed away in September 2019 leaving a three year remaining of his contract.
The leader of the Funafuti Community, Mr. Siliga Kofe in his speech during last week’s 1st anniversary of the late Rev Tagisia death spoke highly of Rev. Tagisia’s work in the parish and appealed to EKT to allow his wife, Mrs. Oliula Tagisia to complete her husband’s contract with the Funafuti EKT Church. The appeal was also supported by one of the congregation’s member, Mrs. Apiseka Fousaga.
The new EKT’s new constitution adopted in the 2014’s General Assembly is silent on this issue but the old constitution does not allow women to take charge of EKT parishes. I am sure the concern here is the ordination issue which the new constitution is also silent about it. Unlike the old constitution, it would not allow any un-ordained minister to take charge of any EKT parish.
At the 2010 General Assembly on Nanumaga Island, the issue regarding the ordination of women was passed but to date, nothing has happened and there are women who have graduated from theological colleges with diplomas, first degree and even post-graduate degrees are anticipating ordination.
So the issue of women ordination is no longer an issue but its is an issue for the Executive Committee to implement the Assembly’s resolution. EKT’s 2020 General Assembly has been postponed to next year 2021 because of the current State of Public Health Emergency and the lockdown.