Ethnic Background: Tongan
Conference: Mountain Sky
Probationary Date: 06/16/2000
Full Membership Date: 06/17/2003
Number of Eligible Quadrenniums: 2
Education Hawaii Loa College – Kaneohe, Hawaii 1985-1989
Bachelor of Arts
Iliff School of Theology – Denver, Colorado 1995-1999
Master of Divinity
Ministry Student Pastor Burns Memorial UMC 1996-1998
Experience Local Pastor Tongan Fellowship, Burns 1998-1999
Associate Pastor Springfield/Walsh 1999-2001
& Two Buttes UMCs
Associate Pastor Korean-American UMC 2001-2002
Colorado Springs (English Speaking)
Senior Pastor Calhan and Rush UMCs 2002-2004
Senior Pastor Stratton and Kirk UMCs 2004-2008
Senior Pastor FUMC Rock Springs, WY 2008-2012
District Superintendent Utah/Western 2012-2016
Senior Pastor FUMC Greeley, Colorado 2016-2021
Senior Pastor Tongan UMC Salt Lake City 2021-
Jurisdictional/General Conferences 2008-2020
Community and Ecumenical Involvement:
Community and Involved in all Communities I served 1996-
Ecumenical Involved in Clergy Ecumenical meeting 2000-
Involvement Involved in some of the schools 2000-
Other Relevant Experience:
Other Relevant Iliff Week of Lectures every year – Denver 1999-2002
Experience The Center for Pastoral Effectiveness 2002-2003
of the Rockies – Colorado Springs
Speech Therapy Training 2004-2005
Iliff Week of Lectures – Denver 2006-2009
Quadrennial Training, Jacksonville, Florida 2009
Missional Leadership Study – Denver 2010
How to Manage Emotions and Excel 2010
Under Pressure – Salt Lake City
World Methodist Evangelism Conference 2011
School of Congregational Development 2012-2015
Waiting for God’s New Thing – Gil Rendle 2012
Transition Intentional Interim Ministry 2014
Specialist (TIIMS) – Salt Lake City
Fresh Expressions – Graham Horsley 2016
The Large Church Initiative – San Diego 2018
Living Culture/Cross-Cultural Appointments 2019
Online Clergy Ethical Education 2020
Why are you being called to the episcopacy at this time? What is it that you especially bring to the role of bishop with the current challenges facing our denomination and the Western Jurisdiction right now?
I am called to the episcopacy at this time, because I believe in God’s time. I believe that
God is calling me to become a bishop at this time, and my answer is “Here I am Lord,
send me.” I believe that God is sending me with gifts and graces from different cultures to the role of bishop and in cause will bridge cultures in the family of God, while keeping in mind the current issue of homosexuality. It is a very sensitive issue in all cultures, and I believe that we should understand the power of our own witness to the beautiful, compassionate, and inclusive love of God in Jesus Christ. This is the cross and the flame. This is our story. This is our song. Praising our Savior all the day long!
I believe that we are a holy people of different races, ethnicities, cultures, and ideas united by the power of the Holy Spirit, driven by the mission of Christ, and allowing the good news of an unmerited grace of God that changes lives and transforms communities.
I believe that we are called to unity and to gather around the table of God, to make space
for one another, appreciate one another, and look for Christ in each other. I believe that
we should prohibit creating individual tables only for those who think, act, look, and
perceive the world like we do. We cannot be a church or community of faith that breaks
its identity and commitment to Christ by aligning itself with Anti-Christ organizations.
We cannot be a traditional church or a progressive church or a centrist church. We cannot
be a gay or straight church. Our churches must be more Christ-like made in the image of
God. This is the way of God.
Describe how the last two years have affected your ministry.
Last two year have been very awkward years in my ministry. I’m saying, “awkward years
in my ministry” because in that time we hardly did any ministry in-person.
In September of 2019 we kicked off the beginning of a one-year celebration of the
Church’s 150 th Anniversary and continued to highlight that on every last Sunday of the
Month. Every month we had a theme picked by the 150 th committee in relation to the
church history. We were looking forward to having Bishop Oliveto preach on Sunday,
April 26, 2020 to mark the church’s Anniversary, but COVID-19 changed those plans.
Because of COVID-19, I hardly visited people in-person, but I made phone calls to people regularly and as needed. I have made myself available to return phone calls too. I have been doing live Facebook devotions every Wednesday evening at 7:00 pm and Friday morning at 9:00 am, which is something that I never done before.
Due to COVID-19, we combined our two worship services every Sunday morning: a non-
traditional at 8:00 am and traditional at 10:30 am into one service at 10:00 am Sunday
morning. We had been doing one online service for a while.
I have learned that the online worship service had been reaching out to more people of
the church and beyond. This is a new addition to our ministry in reaching out to people of
the church – and beyond with God’s Word through live stream service.
There are some other missions and ministry that have been active in the midst of these
uncertain times. When the public schools reopened – a group from the church began
volunteering to fill Backpacks for Kids at the Weld Food Bank twice a month, serving
lunch at Abundant Life every month. We had put together packets for children’s lessons and those have been delivered.
Endorser: Bruce Berger
Relationship to Candidate: Long time friend at church and conference
Letter of Support
For Episcopal Candidate Reverend Sione Tukutau
For 2022 from Bruce Berger
I am very pleased to provide a letter of support for the Reverend Sione Tukutau. I am currently the President of the Council for Finance and Administration and Chair of Responsible Stewardship for the Mountain Sky Conference.
My wife and I have known Sione and Olympia and their sons for over 25 years. I met Sione when he was a student at Iliff School of Theology and he became a student pastor at Burns Memorial UMC where I was his supervisor. He did an excellent job as the student pastor and exhibited a level of maturity and abilities far beyond his actual age.
Since that time, he has served both rural and urban, ethnic and mixed congregations with honor and distinction. His churches have grown in numbers and in their Christian commitment. He has also served as a District Superintendent.
Sione cares deeply for his family and his church. He brings the advantage of a Tonga background.
I can support the candidacy of the Reverend Sione Tukutau for the position of Bishop in the United Methodist Church.
Endorser: Rev. Michael Seui
Relationship to Candidate: Friend and colleague at Pacific Islanders Caucus
Recommendation/Support Letter for Rev. Sione Tukutau for Episcopal Candidacy
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My name is Michael Seui. I hold several positions within our United Methodist Family. I am an elder serving as pastor of Kalevaria UMC in the Pacific North West Annual Conference and have been serving there since June of 2005. I am also the chair of PINCUM and the Pacific Islander Ministry Plan, and at those capacities since 2016. Also, I serve as the President of the Samoan American Caucus of the UMC since 2014. I’ve known Sione from the School of Congregational Development in Jacksonville Florida in 2009 to the various PINCUM and Tongan Caucus meetings and other Pacific Islander gatherings. As a District Superintendent, a pastor, and a UM, Sione carried those callings to their maximum in my view. A great asset is that he is of Tongan ancestry. Even his family is very much involved in ministry. He is very much engaged with the Pacific Island community and with that he can bring vision and collaborative methodology to connecting and bonding the different ethnic cultures within our UMC tradition and beyond. Differences in language, culture and theological opinions never discourage Sione from “Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.” I put forth my full support for him as a candidate for Episcopacy in the United Methodist Church.
Rev. Michael Seui
Endorser: Rev. Siosifa Hingano
Relationship to Candidate: Friend and Pacific Islander colleague
WJ Committee on Episcopacy
To Whom it May Concern,
My name is Reverend Siosifa Hingano, pastor of the Laurel United Methodist Church in Oakland, California. I am the Chairperson of the Tongan Mission Cal-Nevada Conference and Director at the GCORR.
I am writing to recommend The Reverend Sione Teiapa’a Tukutau for bishop of the UMC.
I have known Sione for 20 years as a colleague at Pacific Islands Caucus of the UMC and have nothing but positive things to say. There is no doubt in my mind that Sione will be an excellent addition to the Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church.
I have always known The Reverend Sione Teiapa’a Tukutau to be of sound character, being compassionate, creative, disciplined, flexible, honest, humble, patient, sincere, and having a great sense of ambition. Over the course of 20 years, I have witnessed tremendous growth in Sione’s adaptability, communication, leadership, organization, teamwork, cultural bridger and problem solving. I am certain these cultivated skills will allow Sione to excel.
Last but not least, he would bring to the Western Jurisdiction Conference his everlasting faith, collegial spirit and facility with bridging cultures in God’s family.