Queensland, Australia: The Australia New Zealand Field recently finished its annual cycle of district assemblies. After two years of disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s assemblies marked a return to normalcy for all three of the field’s districts. The assemblies were exciting times of reunion, fellowship, and celebration, particularly for several ordinands who waited more than a year for their ordination services.
The New Zealand District gathered for its 55th assembly 25-27 November 2022 at Māngere Church of the Nazarene in Auckland, NZ. Rev. Paul Talluri led his first assembly as District Superintendent with the theme “The Power of Love (Romans 8:31-39).”
On the second evening of the assembly, Jurisdictional General Superintendent David Graves ordained Shilpa Kharat (accompanied by her husband Vaibhav), John Tautua (accompanied by his wife Moana), and Louis Zibai Liu. These three newly-ordained elders exemplify the diversity of the New Zealand District; Rev. Kharat grew up in India; Rev. Tautua was born in the Cook Islands and grew up in New Zealand; and Rev. Zibai Liu came to New Zealand from China.
From 27-29 January 2023, the Australia Southern District met for its 46th assembly. For the first time ever, the Southern District met in Canberra—the capital of Australia. Past assemblies have been held in Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney, but this year’s assembly in the capital city represented the district’s heart for all of Australia. More than 125 people attended, with more than 100 of them travelling from other Australian states.
District Superintendent Satish Manmothe led the assembly with the theme “Together We Strive, Together We Thrive (Philippians 1:27).” The assembly culminated with a multicultural night in celebration of the many ethnic groups represented on the district; Filipino, Greek, Samoan, and South Sudanese congregations led dances and songs in their own languages.
One week later, 3-5 February 2023 the Australia North and West District held its 7th assembly under the theme “Holiness as Embedded Incarnational Mission.” District Superintendent Roland Hearn led sessions and services at Nazarene Theological College and at Meadowlands Church of the Nazarene; both locations are in the greater-Brisbane area. But all of the proceedings were also simulcast at Dianella Church of the Nazarene more than 4,000 kilometers away in Western Australia; Australia North and West is a massive district geographically! Delegates were able to vote from both locations.
Finally, on the last evening of the assembly, Dr. Graves ordained five new elders: Cameron Batkin (accompanied by his wife Jo), Fillaree Jade Chapman (accompanied by her husband Emman), Chang Po Ching (accompanied by his wife Emily), Kelvin Rowland (accompanied by his wife Petrina), and Andre Santos (accompanied by his wife Rachel). These five new elders represent enormous optimism for the North and West District as it seeks to engage its communities in new ways in post-pandemic Australia.
By Andrew & Jenna Stout, ANZ FCCs