THE TEACHINGS, CONSTITUTION AND REGULATIONS
CHAPTER I. THE NAME OF THE CHURCH
The name of the Church, is the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga, and where the word “Church” may appear, it will mean the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga.
CHAPTER II. THE EDICTS OF THE CHURCH
THE BASIC DOCTRINES
The Basic Doctrines and Teachings of our Church appears in the remarks of John Wesley regarding the New Testament and also his preaching with regard to the ultimate sin and Jesus Christ the God, the Redeemer and reconciliation he effected, and also the work and witness of the Holy Spirit and the Christian Purity.
The Church is also a member of the Umiversal Church with a single body in Christ. It also works towards the unification of all ranks in the church, in its relationship with all in the Methodist Family, and also with the internal, Regional and International branches of the Council of Churches.
THE REQUIREMENTS FOR CHURCH MEMBERS, ESTABLISHED IN 1743 BY JOHN AND CHARLES WESLEY.
This is the description by Mr. Wesley, regarding the beginning of this Church.
Towards the end 0f 1739, there came to me in London, about some ten people who claimed that their hearts were smitten with their sins, and they were sternly striving for salvation. They expressed their desire, including others that had joined them the next day, that I organise a time for them to come and join me in prayer, and for me to instruct them on what to do in order that they be saved from the impending wrath that is upon them. I chose Thursday evening of each week. I then taught to them, what I thought they would find useful, and at the conclusion of our meeting, we would always pray for the things that we were starved of.
That was the beginning of the Church, for the number increased, and it spread from London to various places. And the basic reason for this is this: They were people who had possessed only the shell of religion, and who are endeavouring to possess the essence of religion which includes Divine personality, They therefore gather together, to pray together and to receive exhortations, and also enable their cooperation and care for each other in their striving to attain salvation.
The Catechumen are divided into CLASSES of small numbers, perhaps ten, according to their residences, so that their behaviours can be easily gauged, and they are really striving towards salvation or not. The leader of the Class is known as the CATECHIST.
- The Catechumen are those whose names appear in the Book of the Catechumen Classes.
- The Catechumen Classes will include those who often met because they want the truth about Godly behaviour and to exchange views, and one of their members will be appointed a Class Guardian.
- The names of the Catechumen will be recorded in the books of the Catechumen Classes that they belong to and their attendance and ticket payments will be noted in those books.
- The Minister or Steward or any Lay Preacher appointed by the by the Chair will conduct the New Monthly Meeting of the Catechumen on the second Sunday of every month in every church building, to support each other in religious matters as well as to guide them on matters relating to the Kingdom of God.
- If it appears to the Minister that a person wants to become a Catechumen and in need of the Christian Truth, and agrees to obey the edicts of the Church, the Minister will appoint this person as a Learner.
- A person has to be a Learner for two months before being eligible to become a Catechumen, and the Ministers and the Meeting to Declare matters about People are satisfied with that person. No person who has been demoted will be reinstated unless approved by the Minister and the Meeting to Declare matters about People.
- A Roll Book containing the names of every Catechumen will be kept in every chapel.
- The Roll Books will be inspected every Quarter by the Meeting to Declare matters about People, and it is up to that Meeting to include or exclude any Catechumen. Before any Catechumen is excluded, the Minister will meet and assist him.
- The Catechumen will be issued with a Catechumen Ticket every Quar
- The Catechumen must keep and use the church services, such as the sermons and other services, the Sacrament, the Catechumen Class Meetings, family prayers and private prayers.
- The Catechumen will observe all the Laws of the Church and to give in accordance with their strength to the practices of Religion, and to participate in Christian work.
- And if a Catechumen is regularly absent from the church services without good reason, the Minister will demote him after being judged by the Meeting to Declare matters about People.
- When moving to another District, he will obtain a letter showing this from the Minister of the District that he has left, to the Minister of the District that he has shifted to, and when the Minister receives that letter, he will record that person in the Roll Book of the Catechumen of that District.
- The Minister can start a Catechumen Beginners’ Class for the Youth if he thinks it will be useful to do this.
- To hold an affirmation day, to attract those who are not catechumen, and the focus on the Minister and Steward, and to forward a report to the Quarterly Meeting.
- To conduct some Training Classes to prepare the Learners to become Catechumen, and to accept them in front of the Church in their expression of their belief in Jesus and their agreement to keep him and live a suitable life because of the promise that they will do in front of the Church. To distribute the first ticket to those who are in the front of the Church.
- To submit the Catechumen in a Chapel to the Service for the Night which is held during the day [Polotu ‘Aho] on the first Sunday of the Quarter.