21 January 2022

In solidarity with Tonga

The President and Vice-President of the Methodist Conference, along with the Assistant Secretary of the Conference, have sent this letter of solidarity to the people of Tonga and to the Free Wesleyan Church there following the volcanic eruption that took place  on the 14 January 2022.


For the attention of:
Dr Tevita Koloa’ai Havea President,
Free Wesleyan Church in Tonga

27 January 2022

Dear Dr Tevita Koloa’ai Havea,

It is in a spirit of solidarity with the people of Tonga that we greet you, and all our Brothers and Sisters in Christ in the Free Wesleyan Church, from the Methodist Church in Britain.

The Council of the Methodist Church in Britain, meeting on the 26th and 27th January, expressed its grave concern as we have gradually learned about the effects of the volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami which have disrupted the lives of the people of Tonga.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you start the process of clear-up and reconstruction. Especially we join you in praying that the relief efforts already underway will be able to assist those who are most in need, and that these efforts will not lead to an outbreak of cases of COVID infection. Groups in Britain with Pacific connections have also alerted us to the need to pray for rain to wash away the ash from vegetation and crops.

We praise God for the news we have heard of deep faith shining through the Tongan people in this time of adversity, and we are praying for all those involved in offering spiritual and psychological support, both in formal pastoral and professional roles, and as good neighbours. We ask that God will grant wisdom, courage and the peace of God’s presence to all those who seek to minister in the Name of Christ to those whom they serve.

We deeply value and thank God for the historic partnership of our two Churches and for the blessing of Methodist people of Tongan heritage within the Methodist Church in Britain, whom we have upheld in prayer as they have awaited news from Tonga.

Our information is still very scarce, and we look forward to renewed contact. In the meantime, please be assured of our concern and prayers.

Yours,

in Christ,

The Revd Sonia Hicks President of the Methodist Conference 2021/2022
Mrs Barbara Easton Vice - President of the Methodist Conference 2021/2022
The Revd Michaela A Youngson Assistant Secretary of the Conference and Connexional Ecumenical Officer

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