Leaders and delegates from across the Trans Pacific Union Mission (TPUM) joined together to report on leadership, finance and discipleship methods in the Adventist Church over the past five years and to appoint new leaders at their Constituency Meetings on November 18 to 21.
Church leaders from American Samoa, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Niue, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu met in local board rooms and joined for the first time via Zoom to participate in the meetings and present reports from their local region.
One of the first matters discussed was the change of status for American Samoa from an attached field to a mission, as decided at the recent South Pacific Division (SPD) Executive Committee meetings. This news was well-received by all.
TPUM president Pastor Maveni Kaufononga—who has been re-elected president for the next quinquennium—presented a report on the overall progress of the union, including the work of media, discipleship strategy and methods of outreach. Attendees were encouraged by seeing the scope of the work that has been completed over the past five years.
Beginning next year, Pastor Kaufononga will serve alongside a new CFO Fraser Alekevu and a new secretary (yet to be appointed).
Outgoing TPUM secretary Bob Larsen presented an encouraging report on membership growth from 2015 to 2019, which showed that, overall, missions are moving forward and baptisms are increasing. However, he outlined the difficulty of collecting accurate data regarding baptisms and church membership, and presented some new methods intended to combat this issue.
Outgoing TPUM CFO Kingsley Wood also presented a financial report which revealed that, overall, tithe has outperformed its budgeted amount for the past year. Nevertheless, he highlighted that the TPUM had gifted generous financial packages to some missions, including Vanuatu and Fiji, which had their tourism industries severely impacted by cyclones and COVID-19 this year.
Next year, Pastor Larsen will serve as president of the North New Zealand Conference and Mr Wood will serve as secretary/CFO for the New Zealand Pacific Union Conference.
Except for confidential matters, including the selection committee and nominating committee meetings, the entire event was livestreamed to the TPUM Facebook page so that all church members could tune in and watch.
The nominating committee met to discuss and appoint new leaders for of the missions, as well as new departmental leaders for TPUM. The outcome is listed in the tables below.
Messages of love and support flooded in on Facebook, with each of the leaders congratulated on their appointments, prayed for and encouraged to serve God wholeheartedly over the next five years.