Addington and Aranui Samoan churches in Christchurch, New Zealand, celebrated the last Sabbath of the year with a historic ordination service of two women elders, Vevesi Togiaso and Su’a Alo Collins.
The two faithful disciples, aged in their 70s, are the first women elders in the Addington Samoan Church, which was established some 35 years ago. The women have served God at the church for more than 20 years. They are gifted with sharing God’s Word during Sabbath school lesson studies, prayer meetings and have held several church officer roles.
They are both retired civil servants: Su’a Alo Collins, 71, was a registered nurse and Vevesi Togiaso, 74, a school teacher. They are very active and in good health.
Their children, grandchildren and families were all present at the Sabbath worship service on on December 25, 2021, to witness this historic celebration.
Two deacons were also ordained: Jackson Fialii of Addington and Tafao Peleti of Aranui Samoan Church.
Addington and Aranui Samoan are the only two Samoan churches in the South Island of New Zealand. Addington is an organised church with 31 families and Aranui Samoan a company with 10 families.