A statement by The Pacific Islander Ministry Plan Advisory Committee

August 11, 2022

The Pacific Islander Ministry Plan Advisory Committee met, under the banner of By Faith…Let Us Run with Perseverance, on Aug. 8-9, 2022, at the Garden Grove United Methodist Church in Garden Grove, California. The much anticipated in-person meeting, led by chairperson Rev. Michael Seui and Dr. Dana Lyles, director of Multiethnic Ministries for Global Ministries, provided a time for celebration and affirmation of God’s providence and call to Pacific Islanders to press on with perseverance in “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” There was a deep appreciation for the journey of the last 50 years and for those who led and carried the heavy burden of pioneering the work of Pacific Island UMC ministries. By faith, they have brought us this far. 

As for moving forward, the PIM Plan Advisory Committee would like to share the following statements:

  • We will continue to live into God’s unity and not focus on issues that divide us. We recognize that the denomination is experiencing the storm of schism and division brought about by the issue of human sexuality. Pacific Islanders, like any other ethnic group, have varying deep theological perspectives on this issue, and we honor and respect them in all of their diversity. However, we are certain that our ministry is so much more than just about this one issue, and that there is room at the UMC table for a wide range of theological diversity within our connectional church family. Our hope is that this one issue will not “conquer and divide” us so that we can continue our journey in the UMC, celebrating, affirming and offering our Pacific Island spiritual gifts and graces to the global church and beyond, and thereby, continue to live into God’s unity. 
  • A Time of Conversation and Reflection. On Oct. 6, 2022, the PIM Plan will host the “By Faith Our Journey Continues Symposium,” an online event that will bring together Pacific Island denominational leaders, theologians, elders and young people to engage in conversation and offer relevant resources for reflection as we continue to develop a faith-full response to our current reality.  
  • Plan for an In-Person Leadership Training Summit with a major focus on Second Generation ministry. There is a strong commitment to gather in person in early 2023 for leadership training, with strong emphasis on second-generation ministries. The summit will undergird an offering of micro-grants that will support development of such ministries in local settings.

The Rev. Michael Seui is the chairperson for the PIM Plan Advisory Committee. The committee includes representatives from The Fijian Caucus, The Samoan Caucus and The Kalia `o e `Otua Felenite-Tongan Caucus.