Commenting on the traditional thanksgiving service at the National Auditorium earlier this month, Napa said RAC members were very happy with the way it went, with a number of denominations participating and presenting sermons and items.
“The attendance could have been close to 1000,” he said. “And the prime minister even arranged to screen a special video of Elvis Presley singing, ‘Believe’.”
Napa said the RAC had existed since the passing of the Religious Act of 1974.
“It’s primary role has been to advise government on spiritual matters regarding the nation. This role has gradually expanded to include, not just the provision of devotional services, but also active participation in seeking solutions to community issues such as juvenile delinquency, alcohol abuse, gender issues.”
Napa says the RAC also provides spiritual counsel and advice to government and community leaders as well as devotional services at government, ministries and formal community functions. It participates in NGO/government projects where appropriate and provides spiritual covering for the nation.
“Experience over the years have seen a greater awareness in government, the community and the general public of the need for a formal body that provided godly spiritual services to the nation and her people,” Napa said.
“It provides a sense of security to the people with Christian values.
“The increasing attendances at the two annual RAC combined services, plus the increased demand for the services of the members of the RAC by government and the community at large is evidence of the growing recognition and importance of the role the RAC plays in the life of the nation.”
The organisation holds services on the first Sunday in April and the last Sunday of October, organised by the current chairman of RAC. Government functions in which it participates include the Constitution celebrations, Anzac Day services, welcomes for visiting foreign dignitaries and regional forums. Community services include university graduations and House of Ariki and Koutu Nui formal functions.
Napa, who is the Cook Islands district president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, says the RAC meets every two months or as needed.