WE ARE the OCEAN!
The Pacific Theological College marched with Fiji celebrating World Ocean Day yesterday. Led by the Principal Reverend Professor Upolu Vaai, the PTC community, from faculty, and staff to the tiniest of them all – our preschoolers from Etina Havea Kindergarten marched to celebrate our ocean. The march started at Suva city’s Flea Market, through the main streets of the capital, and culminated in a formal event at the Civic Center. PTC Principal Rev Professor Upolu Vaai led the event with prayer and a short sharing on the ocean, grounded in Psalms 139:15, that because we are woven together “in” the depths of the Earth, we are therefore inextricably and undeniably woven “to” the Earth. “If you are the ocean, what would you feel if someone threatens you?” He continued: “The World Oceans Day, should not be just about a celebration of an international day nor about the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular in relation to the Ocean, but also celebrating our identity, our deep and inextricable relationship with the ocean, our resilience in the face of climate change and extractive economies, and our sense of self-determination by developing alternative communities-based and life-affirming strategies that protect and safeguard our oceans.” Minister for Fisheries Honbourable Semi Koroilavesau was the chief guest at this event. Organized by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat, marchers and celebrants from civil society, voyaging communities, government, and crop agencies all pondered and highlighted the importance of the Pacific Ocean, a source of nourishment in food, relationships, climate stability, and life. What is life without the OCEAN? Intricately woven as we are with it! The whole of life vision of education at PTC focuses on ecological justice and advocating for ocean health.