The Principal of Pacific Theological College, Rev. Professor Dr. Upolu Luma Vaai, was the keynote speaker at the Council for World Mission Pacific Region Members Mission Forum held in Nadi, Fiji Islands, last week.
In his presentation on the CWM theme “Rise to Life: Radical discipleship and transformative spirituality” the Principal made observations about the life of the churches in the Pacific, raised issues of national and regional stability, considered some of the challenges and threats to the ‘Rise to Life’ vision and outlined strategies and responsibilities for taking the ‘Rise to Life” vision forward.
Rev. Professor Dr Upolu Vaai commenced with a Fijian proverb “me na tubu yawa mai na kau levu na kau lalai me rawa ni bula” meaning “let the small trees grow far from the shadows of big trees so they can have life” and explored some of the shadows that control Pasifika life: –
• shadows of colonial labels and agreements
• shadows of coloniality
• shadows of the Babylonian economic systems
• shadows of institutionalization
• shadows of bad theologies
• shadows of bad theologians
• shadows of social and ecological injustices
• shadows of poor leadership and power
He then spoke about the importance of strategies to implement a life-centred vision to free the church from these dominant shadows. One of them is the need for education for transformation and exploring the #wholeoflife pathway in Pasifika education that the Pacific Theological College is now pursuing.
The keynote address shaped the discussions throughout the week from CWM member churches about how to address the many issues that Pacific Island nations are currently facing.
Photo Credit: Fuata Singh, CWM