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World Prayer Day unites Tongans from various Christian denominations

1 March 2019

Brisbane, AUSTRALIA: World Prayer Day brought together Tongans from various Christian denominations to mark this important day in the Christian calendar.

Due to Brisbane’s wide metropolitan spread, religious activities were observed on both Brisbane’s north side and south side providing a geographical option for residents across the River City.

Mrs ‘Ilaisaane Taumoha‘apai, Mrs Lesini Vakalahi  and Rev Lita Haufano joined forces to organize the 6.30pm service at the Uniting Church of Australia Tongan Congregation (Park Church) at 21 Hampstead Road, Highgate Hill.

The service brought together a range of Uniting Church of Australia Tongan congregations as well as the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints, Tongan Catholic Church members amongst others.

Meanwhile Tongan families and congregations on Brisbane’s north side gathered at the local Church of Christ chapel in Kedron, which serves as a place of worship for the Siasi ‘Uesiliana Tau‘ataina ‘o Tonga ‘i ‘Aositelelia (SUTTA). The SUTTA have utilised this venue for the past 11 years. Prayers were specifically dedicated to the people of Slovenia, women and children, also families that may have seen better days. 

The north side gathering brought together the congregations of the SUTTA Nuku‘alofa, SUTTA Maka Mo‘ui and Tukulolo, Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga Australia, Aristocratic Church of Tonga (Siasi ‘o Tonga Hou‘eiki) Geebung, Aristocratic Church of Tonga (Siasi ‘o Tonga Hou‘eiki) Banyo, Wavell Heights Wesleyan Methodist Church, Zillmere Wesleyan Methodist Church, Bracken Ridge Wesleyan Methodist Church, Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints, Catholic Church Tongan Congregation, members of the Uniting Church of Australia, Anglican Church of Australia Tongan Congregation and the Tongan Seventh Day Adventist Church.  

Mrs Loviana Tupou, Mrs Losehina Vea and Mrs ‘Alisi Manu and members of the community in the north side of Brisbane formed a committee to co-ordinate the north side gathering.

As they gathered at the table of the Lord, the Tongan women and their families lifted their voices in prayer and worship.

This year’s theme was “Come. And to enable the response – Everything is ready. Come to praise, thank, and proclaim the kingdom of love.” Each year World Pray Day focuses internationally on a particular country. This year’s focus country was the European nation of Slovenia.

Much of Brisbane’s Tongan community social interaction is based around the community’s various church activities, therefore it was both symbolic and rare to see these congregations combined.

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