The bi-annual General Assembly of the Micronesian Council of the United Church of Christ (MCUCC) was held April 28-29, 2010 at the Lelu Church in Lelu, Kosrae, FSM.
The biennial General Assembly of the Micronesian Council of the United Church of Christ (MCUCC) was held April 28-29, 2010 at the Lelu Church in Lelu, Kosrae, FSM.
Present at the Assembly were delegates of the four member churches—Kosrae Congregational Christian Church, United Church of Christ Pohnpei, Namoneas Congregational Churches Association (in Chuuk), and the Congregational Church of the Marshall Islands UCC (Jarin Rarik Dron, or JRD)—and the two UCC-USA representatives, Xiaoling Zhu, Global Ministries Area Executive for East Asia and the Pacific; and Charles Buck, Hawaii Conference Minister.
The Assembly opened with welcome from the Governor of the State of Kosrae, Robert Weilbacher, accompanied by his wife, the Kosrae State Chief Justice, the Kosrae State Legislative Speaker, and the Lelu town mayor. Greetings from the UCC-USA General Minister and President Geoffrey Black and Wider Church Ministries Executive Minister Cally Rogers-Witte, via letter, were also shared and gratefully received.
Each delegation was invited to report on the state and activities of its church since the last General Assembly.
A Chuukese delegate raised a concern about the State of Hawaii's earlier proposal to reduce health care services for Micronesians and Marshallese to basic levels, leaving many, such as those on dialysis, in peril. Hawaii was forced to consider this because the state was having to cover costs that were not being reimbursed by the U.S. federal government. More information was provided by a visitor who happened to be a director of the FSM Department of Healthcare. Charles commented that he had written a letter to Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle expressing concern for those who would be most adversely affected, the UCC's stance on the right of all persons to receive adequate healthcare, and the responsibility of the U.S. to care for Micronesians and Marshallese in compacts of free associations with the two countries. In response, delegates approved a resolution on heath care, to be drafted and signed by representatives.
One of the Pohnpeian delegates, Mrs. Fasi, who was also a delegate at the last Assembly, added to the earlier UCCP report the ministries of Pohnpeian women. She reported that each of the 42 churches has women's group for a total of some one thousand members. UCCP Women observe annually the World Day of Prayer and Pacific Day of Prayer. They are also working on establishing a women's center in Pohnpei, which will serve as a resource center and shelter for women who come long distances.
Mrs. Fasi then asked if means are available to hold an MCUCC Women's Assembly, as well as education and training for women. This generated good discussion about the summer training being planned, which will include a woman instructor and special program for women, and about the desirability of having a women's gathering in the near future. Delegates then passed a resolution calling for an MCUCC Women's Assembly.
Though MCUCC Bylaws state that each delegation is to have at least one youth, only the UCCP had such a delegate. She reported on the activities of youth in Pohnpei, including an annual youth rally and the effort to establish an office for youth affairs. She also asked for prayers for youth to be more active in the church: While Pohnpei has many varieties of youth groups, relatively few are active in UCCP, or Christian, youth groups.
Following on Xiaoling's earlier report, delegates passed a resolution on climate change, to be drafted and signed by representatives for forwarding to various parties including, among others, the FSM Government, Pacific Conference of Churches, and United Church of Christ.
The proposed summer church leaders training was discussed and approved by the Executive Committee (four MCUCC officers) in a meeting last year. United Church of Christ will send two instructors: Rev. Holly MillerShank and Rev. Iese Tuuao.
Each of the four member churches' appointed officers were elected for the next biennium (2010-12) to the following offices:
Moderator: Shelton Neth Pohnpei
General Secretary: Wie Fiti Chuuk
Treasurer: Lawson Matouto Marshall Islands
Secretary: Nena Kilafwasru Kosrae
Immediately following elections, the officers were installed, and the 2010 MCUCC General Assembly was concluded and adjourned. Two years later, the delegations will meet again in Chuuk.