Voting begins for Moderator Elect
Synod members have agreed to discharge the Moderator Nomination Committee and begin voting for the Moderator Elect at the Synod in Session August meeting on 4 August.
Rev. Danielle Hemsworth-Smith introduced the candidates for Moderator Elect to the Synod meeting on Wednesday night.
She said that there had been 20 meetings to narrow the number of nominees down to three candidates.
“We know the future of the church is in good hands, with so many great leaders among us,” she said.
“I want you to consider now…who you might nominate in three year.”
These three candidates were previously announced, Rev. Faaimata (Mata) Havea Hiliau, Rev. Simon Lee, and Rev. Viniana (Vinnie) Ravetali.
Rev. Faaimata (Mata) Havea Hiliau told the Synod that she was a preacher and a storyteller, “that will continue to tell the story of Jesus Christ as Lord.”
She noted that the NSW and ACT Synod was yet to fully realise its gift as a multicultural church, representing some 45 language groups.
“A gift to be celebrated, a gift to acknowledge, and resource.”
Rev. Havea Hiliau pointed to reconciliation with Australia’s first peoples and resourcing churches throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as 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. Simon Lee said he was humbled by the nomination and was placing himself before God and the Synod.
“I bring the ministry that I’ve done over 23 years…in places such as Broken Hill, and Narellan…and here, at New Beginnings Uniting Church.”
“One of the things that has…been placed on my heart by God is discipleship,” he said.
Reading through the Synod Future Directions, he said that all of the churches ongoing priorities required “Revival and renewal for the Uniting Church,” especially as it regarded discipleship and evangelism.
“We need to learn what it means to walk humbly with Jesus.”
This, Rev. Lee said, meant to focus on the Great Commission and follow the Great Commandment.
Rev. Viniana (Vinnie) Ravetali said that the process of being nominated had been robust, but that this was necessary.
Rev. Ravetali added that God’s presence in the church’s life would be what the church needed.
“If you do discern in me your servant leader, in the role of Servant moderator, I would respond, here I am Lord…send me.”
“With a new synod strategic direction in front of us…with the holy spirit, we will…do amazing things in our churches, our communities.”
A candidate needs to garner 50 percent of the vote to be elected as Moderator.
Ballots are also being held for the Synod Standing Committee and the Chair of ACOMP.
Synod members were emailed their ballots (and warned to check that they received them). The vote is being conducted by Election Buddy.
The next Moderator Elect will serve from 2023 to 2026.The result will be announced during the final 2021 Synod meeting, online on Saturday 7 August. Insights will have full coverage.