On February 20th, the four newest members of the Pacific Theological College faculty committed themselves to serving PTC to the best of their ability, guided by God.
Before a full Chapel of friends, family, the College Community and invited guests Ms Asela Tuisawau, Rev. Colati Ledua, Dr. Darell Cosden and Dr. Gladson Jathanna were inducted.
Deputy Chairperson of PTC’s Council and Executive Rev. Dr. Epineri Vakadewavosa who is also the President of the Methodist Church of Fiji asked the new inductees, ‘Do you promise to fulfill the duties of your office with faithfulness, love, and commitment, to offer endless support to those you serve, and to live a life that brings glory to God who has called you?”
They responded with; ‘By the help of God we do so promise.’
The solemn exchange at the Veiuto Chapel brought tears to many eyes because of the significance of being called, not just to teach, but to do God’s bidding in being workers helping spread his Gospel of truth through the nurturing of theology and biblical studies students.
Ms Tuisawau is the Lecturer Academic Skills, Dr. Gladson Jathanna, Senior Lecturer in Church History, Rev. Ledua Colati is the College Chaplain & Dr. Darell Cosden the Senior Lecturer in Theology and Ethics.
A traditional Fijian iTaukei ceremony of welcome was later staged at the Fale.
Presenting the welcome with a yaqona, Reverend Tomu Asioli of the Anglican Diocese of Polynesia noted the Vanua welcomed the presence of the teachers because they were here to serve the Lord and his calling.
The evening was further enhanced with a mix of beautiful Pacific island voices singing hymns of praise and worship on high, vibrant Pacific colors of the flora, the garlands, cultural treasures and the richness of traditional practices that makes this region of the globe so renowned.
Perhaps best of all is the spirit of unity, of shared purpose and journey, that we are all in this together for the love of God.
Rev. Dr. Vakadewavosa urged the four inductees to be change makers, to dream dreams and see visions to change the situation, to change it as God wants.
‘Jacob saw bigger visions in enhancing God’s will and in his dream he realized he is called by God to be a change maker, and I shall name this place Bethel, the House of God and God is indeed in this place and I did not know,’ he said.
Rev. Professor Dr. Upolu Luma Va’ai said induction ceremonies are important.
‘Because it is not just about inducting someone to a post or initiating you to a position but it is also about going through a process of transition of adapting and adjusting of self-assessment and to being open to being disturbed and transformed,’ said Rev. Professor Dr. Va’ai.
He said induction ceremonies addressed the certain challenge of producing change makers.
‘One of the issues found in ecumenism in the Pacific and of course at PTC that is hindering ecumenism is not so much ethnic diversity but rather personal attitudes,’ he said.
‘Some of us are not willing to change our attitudes to fit in in order to freely relate to the other who is different and to appreciate and celebrate what others bring to the ecumenical mat such as their cultures and this is the challenge for PTC.’
‘PTC is a culture that makes change, that produces change makers for the PTC and therefore the importance of induction.’