THE TITLE: OCEANIA LACA
The choice for Oceania Laca as a title for the college newsletter represents PTC’s deep connectedness to peoples, values and cultures of the Oceanic communities we serve. We decided to use the Fijian word laca, meaning ‘sail’, to acknowledge the hospitality of the people of the Vanua for kindly allowing the only ecumenical regional institution to be situated on their land. But we also acknowledge the fact that the concept is Oceanic, found in all cultures of Oceania.
The following highlights how the Oceania Laca is a powerful metaphor:
1. It is cultural: The Oceania Laca is culturally rooted. It is born from the philosophies and values rooted in the cultural contexts and the creative imaginations of the Oceanic communities. Hence the newsletter should be able to embrace not only the multiple cultures of Oceania as a strategic way to communicate with our local communities, but also as a ground-up approach to addressing issues by using the newsletter platform.
2. It is relational: The Oceania Laca is relational and transpatial. Traditionally, the materials that are used to produce mats (pandanus) and build houses (sinnet made from coconut husk-fibres) for land-based activities are the same materials used to produce the laca for the ocean-based activities. This Oceania Laca invites readers to PTC life and ecumenical values of relational interconnectedness as well as the interweaving of different spaces, peoples, cultures, stories and communities.
3. It is contextual: Like the laca in its traditional setting, the Oceania Laca is contextual. It invites the readers to the many adjustments, changes, and shifts that the college has been through according to the challenges of the contexts it encounters whether it is turbulent or calm. The Oceania Laca should be able to reveal and promote one of PTCs purpose, which is contextualization and its ability to respond throughout the years to the unpredictable challenges it finds itself in.
4. It is resilient: Like the traditional laca, the Oceania Laca is resilient. It should be able to invite readers to experience how the PTC is resilient in confronting and withstanding the challenges of the open sea. It must be durable to adjust to certain challenges and to recover from dangerous and life-threatening experiences. Hence the Oceania Laca should be able to inspire individuals and communities to be resilient in the midst of their struggles and issues.
5. It is open: The raising of the laca signals its opening stage. The Oceania Laca represents the beginning of its openness to new journeys, new seas, new discoveries, new heights and new challenges. This newsletter presents and represents both the importance of openness and dynamism that the college has been promoting. It encourages an open, fluid, and dynamic ecumenical culture and dialogue on issues that matter for the churches of the Pacific.
6. It is original: The laca is an original revolutionary creation of the Oceanic communities. Hence the Oceania Laca attempts to capture the Oceanic communities’ originality in arts, cultural knowledge and creativity. It aims to reveal the original revolutionary creation and programs that PTC has. It will continue to offer new insights for the Pacific churches and for the international community in the years to come.
Rev. Dr Upolu Luma Vaai