There is a need for an ‘Umbilical Church’ that reconnects life to Mother Earth.
This was the message for ‘Seasons for Creation Communion Service’ led by PTC Principal Rev. Professor Dr Upolu Va’ai.
Seasons for Creation is celebrated every year. It is time to thank the Lord for all our natural blessing like the soil from which our food grows.
In the Pacific Islands, life is intimate with nature. This intimacy can be seen in the way various elements of nature like plant and fish feature in Pacific traditions and customs. For many Pacific communities, life is utterly dependent on nature.
Soil, root crops, and other traditional iconic crafts were prayed over at the thanksgiving service held at the Islander Missionaries Memorial Chapel on September 11.
Principal Rev. Professor. Dr Upolu Vaai delivered the sermon titled ‘The Umbilical Consciousness’ emphasizing the importance of Sabbatical biblical principles in Leviticus 25 that allow the Earth to rest and breathe and a Jubilee economic framework that prioritizes liberation and redemption.
These principles he said have already been part of Pacific economies such as Tabu in Fiji, Kogatapu in Tuvalu, Fakataputapui in Tonga, and Faasao in Samoa for example that allow time for recuperation and restoration for the Earth.
These indigenous ways need to be included in any economic development framework for the Pacific.
The Umbilical Church has an umbilical mission to disconnect its communities from ‘economies of death’. This economy serves only the interests of the rich and elite by extracting and harvesting all year round without rest.
The Umbilical Church should reconnect communities and societies with economies that respect the dignity of life for all, including the Earth.
Members of various Christian denominations in Suva, Fiji attended the service.