19 Jul 2005

American Samoa church annual assembly opens today

10:20 am on 19 July 2005

The issue of whether women can be ordained as church ministers is one of the topics that will be discussed during the annual assembly of the Congregational Christian Church of American Samoa which opens this morning

CCCAS chairman Governor Togiola Tulafono says he expects the issue to be hotly debated.

He says gender equity is not only a modern issue but a very human one

that affects all social sectors and institutions.

Also on the agenda is changing the frequency of annual assemblies from

every year to every two years.

The change is to help members from the United States mainland and Hawai'i who incur huge travel expenses every year to attend the conference.

The Church has 55 parishes in the Territory and 65 others in the mainland,

Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand.

Membership in the territory alone is 37,000 accounting for 70 per cent of the population.