Victoria - News
From the State of Victoria and the city of Melbourne:
Many of the Tongan ministers in Melbourne and across country Victoria are currently serving in various congregations in the Uniting Church.
Rev Feke ‘Uiha Kamitoni our current TNC Chairperson, is at St Albans & Sydenham UCA,
Rev Lauleti Tu’inauvai is currently at Nunawading & Blackburn UCA but will be moving to Ballarat UCA in October this year.
Rev Semisi Tauali’i is at St John’s Mt Waverley UCA
Rev Lavingi Tupou is at Ashburton UCA
Rev Sylvia Tongotongo is at Burwood UCA
Rev ‘Ikani Vaitohi is at Belmont UCA, Geelong
Rev Tevita Holani is working part-time as a prison chaplain and part-time as a Minister of the Noble Street UCA congregation in Newtown.
Rev Siotame Paletu’a is now working as a Presbytery Minister for all Ministers and congregations of Northern Region Sunraysia.
Rev Salesi Faupula is at Canterbury Balwyn Rd UCA.
The above ministers are currently or have been actively involved in various roles across Synod and Presbyteries. Rev Lauleti Tu’inauvai was the Chairperson of the Yarra Yarra Presbytery for a few years. Also, Rev Sylvia Tongotongo and Rev Semisi Tauali’i are the Convenor and Secretary of the Intercultural Committee of the Synod.
One of our former and longest-serving Chairperson for TNC in the past is Rev Siupeli Taliai who is now retired. His wife Heleni Taliai and Rev Feke Kamitoni used to organise an annual get together for the Missionaries who are living in Melbourne. Now, it’s Heleni and Rev Salesi Faupula who are organising the annual get together over lunch or afternoon and just sharing some of the work that they are doing or have been doing for the church and the people of Tonga.
From Canterbury Balwyn Rd UCA –
This is our second year with our Minister Rev Salesi Faupula and his family and we are blessed to have a young Minister who has come and introduced some new things to the congregation like Contemporary Service and different programmes for various groups. The Youth’s band started again and it’s great to have a few of the youth people and young adults get involved either by playing an instrument or singing.
Our Sunday School children had a successful Faka-Me this year thanks to the Sunday School teachers and the parents for their support. Our youth and young adults held a successful Youth Connect service recently and youth group members from Hoppers Crossing UCA, Brunswick West UCA, Sunshine UCA together with their families and friends attended this service at Canterbury. Bradon French was the special guest speaker and he delivered a powerful and emotional message of ‘The choices of Life’. The hope for this connected platform is to encourage and empower our youth through these services and each youth group is running their own services in order to connect with other young people in their own faith journey.
One of our member Sione Hehepoto is an active member of the 2nd Gen Team of the TNC and he is doing his POD. Sione is involved in other things across the Youth Ministry of the Synod of VicTas.
Sadly, our Church Council’s Chairperson, Lisiate Veamatahau passed away on Saturday 22nd June 2019 at his home in Craigieburn. Lisiate was 56 years of age and he was our Council’s Chair, our Choir Conductor, was an Elder, was a lay preacher, was a member of the Minister’s Support Team, was a member of the Worship Executive Team, a member of the Men’s Group and was helping out with their music. He was very active was involved in various areas of church life. He was committed to all the roles he had in the church. Lisiate was married to Fieme’a Veamatahau and they had 4 children, 1 grandson and an adopted daughter. He will be greatly missed by his family, relatives and friends and his church family at Canterbury.
Until then, God bless and ‘Ofa atu & Lotu,
Makelesi Kavapalu Facci
Secretary, Church Council,
CANTERBURY BALWYN RD UCA,