CCCAS annual conference will meet virtually this year — July 11- 25
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — With American Samoa’s borders remaining closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Congregational Christian Church in American Samoa (CCCAS) Fono Tele XXXIII — or annual conference — will be held virtually from July 11 to July 25.
CCCAS Secretary General, Rev. Nafatali Falealii made the official announcement last month in a letter sent to the church’s parishes and congregations locally and overseas. There have been inquiries from some members off island on the status of flights to and from American Samoa asking if the territory is re-opened, as well as whether or not the conference would occur this year.
Under current COVID-19 restrictions, all scheduled flights remain suspended and the American Samoa COVID-19 Task Force said last week that they are looking to resume air service between Pago Pago and Honolulu sometime in August or September, after the conclusion of the repatriation flights in July.
Last year’s Fono Tele was postponed to this year, as the coronavirus spread globally affecting nations where CCCAS member churches are located — such as the U.S., New Zealand, and Australia.
For this year, Falealii, the Secretary General, wrote in a Apr. 9th letter annoincing the dates of the Fono Tele, which will be held virtually due to scheduled flights in and out of American Samoa remain suspended.
Falealii recommended to CCCAS membership outside of American Samoa that they can participated by gathering at a designated church site, hall, etc., with internet connection. But it’s left up to each church membership as to how they would participate, dependent on the number of participants and when meeting inside “social distancing” must be observed at all times.
Delegates in American Samoa will gather at the CCCAS headquarters at the Kanana Fou compound, at the Kanana Fou church “Ua Taunu’u”, during the Fono Tele.
Prior to the Fono Tele, the week of July 11 to July 17th is set for various standing committee meetings. However, other support-committees may convene earlier or towards the end of June, but additional information will be released.
During that same week of July 11-17, the Committee of the Elders and “Mafutaga Aoao a Tina”, or women’s committee, will also meet.
If any of the overseas membership needs assistance to connect virtually, the Secretary General suggested that they look to the church’s young generation, who are knowledgeable on this modern technology.
CCCAS continues to post updates on its website — https://efkasonline.org — which also has Falealii’s letter, in Samoan. Specific issues to be covered during the Fono Tele are not mentioned in the letter or on the church’s website.
The annual Fono Tele usually brings many delegates to the territory and helps boost the local economy. It also keeps flights in and out of American Samoa busy during the summer months, especially with delegates from the U.S.