World Council of Churches

Eine weltweite Gemeinschaft von Kirchen auf der Suche nach Einheit, gemeinsamem Zeugnis und Dienst

2009: Gebete aus dem Pazifik

Loving God,

provide a voice for our struggles.
Provide extra paddles to bring us together.
Grant peace to our hearts, our ears and our eyes
to forgive and to love our neighbours and our enemies.
O Lord, give us a chance to redeem the Fonua
and to reclaim paradise.

Rev. Valamotu Palu, Fiji
(Ecumenical Prayer Cycle: In God's Hands)


Lord of the Fonua

You have blessed us with the beauty of our lands and sea
You have blessed us with fish, shells and mighty whales
You have blessed us with palms and coconut trees
You have blessed us with children of the Pacific
Glory be to your name, today and forever

Rev. Valamotu Palu, Fiji
(source: Ecumenical Prayer Cycle: In God's Hands)

***
Fonua: land and people in Tongan language


O God,

save our shores from the weapons of death,
our lands from the things that deny our young ones love and freedom.
Let the seas of the Pacific Ocean carry messages of peace and goodwill.
Turn away from our midst any unkind and brutal practices.
Let each child swim and breathe the fresh air
that is filled by the Holy Spirit.
O Lord Jesus, bless all who are makers of that inner peace
that breaks down the barriers of hatred,
and unite us with the open arms of your cross,
that all the peoples of the world may live happily together.

Amanuka Havea, Tonga
(© Christian Conference of Asia Youth, Hongkong, 1984)


Atua

Allow us to drink from the tanoa of Your peace,
Right the course of our canoes
to overcome the currents of violence, hatred, war, abuse,
Give us peace of being at rest, so that peace prevails
over any wind that gusts through our islands,
Tattoo in our hearts Your righteousness and purity,
Through all cultures and walks of life, we pray
as instruments of peace and as the people of Pasifika.

M. Aunoa, American Samoa
(International Day of Prayer for Peace 2008, DOV Pacific focus)

***
Atua: God in Polynesian languages
Tanoa: ceremonial and community bowl in Fijian language


I am the fanua

I am the fanua
The placenta buried in my ancestral land after childbirth
I am the pute
The umbilical cord buried and my link to my fanua

I am the fanua
The land which holds my history, my life, my death
I am the fanua
The land of my people, my ancestors, my descendents

I am the fanua
That which bonds me to the air, the earth, the sea
I am the fanua
That which binds me to the plants, the animals, the fish

I am the fanua
My mother's pain and joy in giving life
I am the fanua
Mother earth's pain and joy in giving life

I am the fanua
God's beautiful and unparalleled creation
I am the fanua
God's undying and steadfast love

I am the fanua
Wailing in despair at my self-destruction
I am the fanua
Dying of a slow suicide

I am the fanua
Expecting God's revelation
I am the fanua
Believing in God's promise

I am the fanua
You are the fanua
We are the fanua.

Faautu Talapusi, Samoa/Switzerland

***
NB:  In most Polynesian languages fanua (fenua or whenua) signifies not only land but also the placenta.

 

Climate change in the Pacific region

Fe'iloakitau Kaho Tevi, general secretary of the Pacific Conference of Churches (PCC) wrote about climate change in the PCC newsletter: "It is at our doorsteps, flooding our homes and damaging our houses, ravaging our plantations and crops. The problem is all the pollution we make; how we desecrate our environment with no respect for it as a gift of God for us to be good stewards of."

Learn about the PCC environment programme and its campaign "Stop the warming".