Rev Salesi Faupula has today been named Moderator-elect of the Synod of Victoria and Tasmania.
Moderator Rev David Fotheringham this afternoon announced the result of the Moderator-elect ballot, to rapturous applause from Synod members gathered at Box Hill Town Hall.
“We thank you Lord for Salesi’s life and ministry, and his willingness to heed the call,” David said.
Salesi now assumes the role of Moderator-elect until he takes over from David as Moderator in mid-2025.
The Moderator-elect Nominating Committee put Salesi’s name forward to Synod 2023, saying he possessed the necessary attributes required by a Moderator.
“Salesi has the skills to assist and encourage the fulfilment of mission and witness in the Church, and the experience to be able to preside over the meetings of Synod and its Standing Committee,” the committee said.
“He has the personal confidence and humble insight to be able to speak on public issues on behalf of the Church in Victoria and Tasmania, and will be able to offer general and pastoral leadership to the ministers and people within the Synod bounds.”
Following the announcement, Salesi said he was deeply humbled and grateful for the confidence shown in him by Synod members.
He said recently a sense of duty had been behind his decision to nominate for the role of Moderator-elect.
“I just couldn’t get away from the vows that I made at ordination, and they were that I would make myself available and commit myself to serving God,” he said.
“So saying yes to the Moderator-elect nomination was about honouring those vows and fulfilling a sense of duty.
“My passion in ministry is perhaps no different to others, to try and serve God as faithfully as I can.
“Sometimes this has led me to spaces in which I feel comfortable and confident, yet at other times they have been places foreign and far less certain, meaning I have needed to lean on God for understanding.
“The label of L plates we were given at the time of our ordination continues to sit well with me years later because it’s a humbling reminder that as Christians we remain learners on this journey, called forth to listen to one another, act together and bear witness to Christ in the world.”
Born in Tonga but raised in the Northern Territory and Sydney, Salesi said his multicultural background would inform much of what he brings to the role of Moderator from 2025-28.
“I have worked in multicultural ministry and that is a passion of mine, because of my own sense of journey,” he said.