All eyes were on the Tapu Niue Faith Community on Sunday 6 February at a celebration service to welcome them as a recognised Faith Community of the Uniting Church’s Presbytery of Western Australia.

Special guests in attendance from the Presbytery of Western Australia included Alison Xamon, Chairperson, Rev Dr David Ferguson, Secretary and Rev Bev Fabb, Multi-cultural and cross-cultural network Convener. Pepe Halatau (Lay Leader) represented the Tapu Niue Faith Community.

The service was a beautiful combination of prayers, chldren’s sharing and rhythmic guitar-led hymns sang in Niue. A decorative altar table, pretty frangipani flowers, colourful Niue gifts and bright cultural clothing added a Niue essence to the proceedings.

Key elements of the service were the Presentation of the Faith Community and the Act of Reception which was followed by a huge round of applause, welcoming the Tapu Niue Faith Community to the Uniting Church family. A mutual exchange of gifts between the Uniting Church and the Tapu Niue followed. Holy Communion was served by Rev Dr David Ferguson with assistance from Gosnells Uniting Church members who shared it with the congregation. The Tapu Niue took up an offering which will be donated to the UnitingWorld Tonga emergency appeal.

After the service, the Tapu Niue invited all guests to a lavish light lunch of Niue culinary dishes and sweet desserts. There seemed no richer way to conclude this very remarkable welcome celebration.

The Tapu Niue was formed in 2014. In 2018, they approached the Uniting Church to become a recognised Faith Community. After a long period of preparation, the day finally arrived on 6 February to welcome this very special community to the Uniting Church’s Presbytery of Western Australia.

Tracey Paul

Alison Xamon, Chair of Presbytery, presided at the service
Acknowledgement of Country was led by Jazi Falakoa, with Jo Gray
Welcome and lighting of the Christ Candle by Pepe Halatau, Lay Leader of the Tapu Niue Faith Community
Jean Siumaka of the Tapu Niue Faith Community gave the Reading from 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Neville van Wyk of the Gosnells Uniting Church gave the Reading from Luke 5: 1-11
Rev Dr David Ferguson, Secretary of Presbytery, delivered the Reflection. He spoke about diversity and difference leading to more fruitfulness
Alison Xamon led the Act of Reception
The exchange of gifts – Alison Xamon receives a gift from Niue elder, May Watkins Kossiedowski
Prayers of Intercession were delivered by Margaret Johnson (pictured) and Pepe Halatau
Rev Dr David Ferguson lead the Service of Holy Communion
Gosnells Uniting Church members shared the communion
Full house!
Members of the Gosnells Uniting Church came out to support the Niue Faith Community
Lunch was served after the service – fragrant frangipanis adorned the tables
The Tapu Niue Faith Community provided a delicious light lunch
Compliments to the chef!
What a wonderful way to finish off this auspicious occasion!

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