Rev. Faaimata (Mata) Havea Hiliau, Moderator Elect begins in 2023
Rev. Faaimata (Mata) Havea Hiliau has been elected as the next Moderator of the NSW and ACT Synod.
The ongoing 2021 Synod meeting heard from the new Moderator Elect for the first time.
Rev. Havea Hiliau told the Synod meeting she was, “deeply humbled and ever so grateful that I have been called by God…to be your Moderator Elect” by the nomination.
“I thankyou for your bold, courageous, risky, and prayerful decision.”
She paid tribute to her late parents, who she said worked to give her a better life in Australia.
Rev. Havea Hiliau currently minister at Northern Beaches Uniting Church. She is the first person of Tongan descent to hold the role.
She told the Synod meeting that she was a preacher and a storyteller, “that will continue to tell the story of Jesus Christ as Lord.”
Rev. Havea Hiliau will serve as Moderator from 2023. Current Moderator Rev. Simon Hansford’s tenure was extended at the 2019 Synod meeting.
Rev. Havea Hiliau previously pointed to reconciliation with Australia’s first peoples and resourcing churches throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as two of her priorities.
This, she said, was a matter of ensuring that we loved our neighbours and ensured they had what they needed.
“I will listen to the church and explore where the Wild God leads us,” Rev. Havea Hiliau said.
As well as moderating the Synod meeting every 18 months, the Moderator speaks on behalf of the Uniting Church and exercises pastoral leadership.
In lieu of applause Synod members offered Rev. Havea Hiliau their congratulations in the discussion forum.
The other candidates for the role of were Rev. Simon Lee and Rev. Viniana (Vinnie) Ravetali.