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Condolences on death of Tuikilakila Waqairatu

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit and the WCC Central Committee moderator Dr Agnes Abuom's letter of condolences on the death of Rev. Tuikilakila Waqairatu to Methodist Church of Fiji.

11 February 2014

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, our common Lord and Saviour! In His name, we can confidently repeat with St Paul:

I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

It is with profound sorrow we were informed of the passing away of Rev. Tuikilakila Waqairatu, president of the Methodist Church in Fiji. As the executive committee of the World Council of Churches met today at the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey, it paused in prayerful silence in memory of his service and witness. He will be remembered as the leader at the forefront of reform, reconciliation and change in the history of the Fijian church and its people. We acknowledge his ecumenical journey which began very early in his ministry during his studies at the Pacific Theological College and continued over a span of thirty five years to include ecumenical cooperation locally, regionally and on a global level. He championed gender justice issues, encouraged spiritual renewal of the church and pushed for the church to continue a dialogue of reconciliation within and outside itself.

We wish to thank God for the life of Rev. Waqairatu and for the leadership and vision he provided the people of Fiji and, in particular, the church. On behalf of the fellowship of churches that comprise the World Council of Churches, we wish to convey our deepest condolences to the Methodist Church in Fiji, his wife Ioana, and daughter Salote.

Together with our sisters and brothers in the Methodist Church in Fiji we participate in mourning the loss of a beloved leader. May our common Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of life and resurrection, give rest to his faithful and beloved servant.

As St Paul reminds us, nothing can separate us from the love of God. May this message of hope provide comfort in times of grief and sadness; and, may the God of life strengthen your hearts and provide you courage.

Yours in Christ,