Hours before Perth and the South West went into its second lockdown, the Presbytery of WA ordained Rev Sione Lea’aetoa as a Minister of the Word at All Saint’s Floreat Uniting Church. Sione has begun a placement at St Andrew’s Uniting Church, in East Perth.
Bob Hunt, Chair of the Presbytery of WA, led the service and Rev Steve Francis, Ex-Moderator of the Uniting Church WA delivered the Preaching of the Word.
Sione began formation for ordination in February 2018, after already completing a Bachelor of Ministry. During his candidature, he also completed a Master of Theology, with a focus on the theology and polity of the Uniting Church. During formation, he completed supervised field education placements in Applecross, Wagin and Nedlands Uniting Churches, as well as a year of Clinical Pastoral Education studies at Royal Perth Hospital.
Sione said his time in formation has helped him to grow in his understanding of the theology, polity, ethos and diversity of the Uniting Church. It has also helped him to develop practical skills and to grow in confidence in ministry.
“The Candidates for the Ministries Committee have been impressed by his maturity – personally spiritually and theologically – and also by his sense of call and passion to share the gospel,” said Rev Bev Fabb, Convener of the Candidates for the Ministries Commission.
During the Service of Ordination, Sione received a Bible as a sign of the authority given to him to proclaim in Word and deed the presence of Christ in the world, a stole as a sign of the joyful obedience he owes to Christ, and his Certificate of Ordination. Members of the Presbytery of WA then gave their COVID-19 friendly greetings via ‘elbow bumps’.
Sione responded to his ordination reflecting on two things: God’s faithfulness, and the love and support of his friends and family during his formation.
“I can see God’s faithfulness in every area of my life,” Sione said. “I remember when we were still back in Sydney in 2010, me and my wife were praying and seeking God’s direction for our family, and we felt strongly to come to Perth. I never had any idea that I would end up being a minister, but God had other plans.
“I’m thankful to God for the calling and the privilege to participate in [God’s] mission. It’s not my mission, it’s God’s mission and for me to have the opportunity to participate in it, this mission of reconciliation in the world, it’s a great honour and privilege.”
Watch the service online on YouTube.