When the church calls on its flock to put on an event, it’s not just the members of the congregation who join in, the event becomes a community event.
This is what happened on Saturday when the two villages of Alofi North and Alofi South joined efforts as Alofi Matakaukiafaga to commemorate and celebrate the efforts of Alofi Ekalesia Kerisiano Niue.
The Ekalesia Alofi unveiled commemorative plaques with the names of the Pastors and their wives from Alofi who served in other countries and in other villages around the island, including the names of men and women from other villages who served as Pastors for the village of Alofi since the church was established more than 150 years ago.
Also commemorated with their own plaque were the Head deacons or Ulumotua of the village.
Another significant part of the day’s celebrations was the launch of the book Ko e fenoga he talamitaki about the history of the church, those who served the word of God for the village and the church of Alofi.
The leaders of the Ekalesia Kerisiano were all present including government dignitaries, Premier Dalton Tagelagi, and Ministers were present along with the representatives of New Zealand and Australia.
Reverend Navy Salatielu led the church service after the unveiling of the plaques and the launch of the book “Ko e Fenoga he Talamitaki” an historic account of the Alofi church from its beginnings as part of the London Missionary Society (LMS) to when it became known as the Ekalesia Kerisiano.
The book was officially launched by Premier Dalton Tagelagi.
At the church service, invited guests and representatives from the other fourteen village church congregations presented their donations for the day. Forty-three thousand dollars were collected on the day and twenty-eight thousand dollars from online donations received from the descendants of the pastors who served at Alofi and the diaspora of Alofi living abroad.
Deacon Tutuli Heka announced that after the first count, more than $71,000 was donated for the Alofi Ekalesia.
Months of preparations culminated in a successful event on Saturday for Reverend Navy Salatielu and his organising committee.
After the church service, the second part of the day was the lunch and entertainment, and to say lunch was an understatement. Four large marquees erected in front of the pastor’s residence at the Alofi village green was the venue of the feast.
Under the marquees were tables and tables laden with food of all types. It was estimated that at least sixty pigs were cooked for the occasion. There was more food than the guests were able to consume and take home.
In a genuine community effort, the descendants of the pastors who served in Alofi and pastors from Alofi who served elsewhere all contributed with the Ekalesia of Alofi to put on this successful event.
To complete the festivities there was dancing and singing, some of it in the rain but it was a day to remember for the Ekalesia of Alofi.
It is not surprising that the event was so big because the two villages of Alofi North and South combined probably account for nearly fifty percent of the island’s population.