Friday, June 10, 2022 to Monday, June 13, 2022
Western Jurisdiction United Methodists commit deeply to Tongan relief efforts

Through song, dance, tool drives, informational videos and more, ministry settings across the Western Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church are doing their part to provide support and relief to the small island nation of Tonga in the aftermath of a devastating volcanic tsunami in January.

With many Tongan United Methodist faith communities scattered throughout the Western Jurisdiction, the College of Bishops and Western Jurisdiction Leadership Team have committed to supporting Tongan siblings as they begin to pick up the pieces.

“As followers of Jesus, we are called to demonstrate our love of God and neighbor through generous acts of compassion,” said Bishop Karen Oliveto, episcopal leader of the Mountain Sky Area and current president of the WJ College of Bishops. “As United Methodists, it is the strength of our connection that enables us to do this. We in the Western Jurisdiction are committed to our Tongan siblings through our prayers, our financial commitments, and our labors.”

To be culturally responsive in its efforts and understand how the Methodist Church in Tonga works, the Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops has created a Tongan Relief Task Force. Tongan representatives from each Conference will decide how best to respond and the specific needs on the ground in Tonga as they move from disaster to response and relief mode.

Rev. David Niu, Central Valley District Superintendent in the California-Nevada Conference, and Rev. Dr. Siosaia Tu’itahi, East District Superintendent from the California-Pacific Conference, are co-chairs of the Tongan Relief Task Force.

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