DAVAO EPISCOPAL AREA UPDATE REPORT TO THE COORDINATING COUNCIL-PCC

Updates from the Davao Area
Philippines Central Conference Coordinating Council
Malolos, Bulacan, August 31 – September 1, 2012

Grace to you and Peace from our Lord Jesus Christ,

It is our joy again to share updates from the Davao Area. Most of these updates came from the reports of the District Superintendents.

Lay Leadership Development

1. Lay Speaking

Acknowledging the dedicated and effective ministry of the lay specially the “lay servants” of our local churches, the Northwest Philippines Annual Conference started this conference year a “Lay Speaking Course” in four modular Seminars through the year which will culminate in the awarding of their lay speakers license next March of 2013.

Lay speaking seminars are also being conducted and continues to be held at:
a. Mindanao Central East District lay speaking Seminar: Phase I – September 28-30;
Phase II – December 7-9; Phase III – March 25-27 (graduation.)
b. Central Bicol District Lay speaking Seminar by phases: I – August 10, 19, 30;
II – September 7, 21, 28; III – November 9, 16, 23. Persons who finish the course are
certified as Lay speakers.
c. North Bicol District conducted lay speaking seminar last August 11, 2012.

The MOLDEN District of the North-West Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference programmed through its Committee on Lay Leadership chaired by Dr. George Raguingan, a lay speaking seminar for this Conference Year. This seminar aims for the empowerment of lay people for the continuous advancement and proclamation of the Gospel of Christ, that people may become disciples of Christ for the transformation of the world. Participants are expected to be more equipped after finishing the course, for the ministry of the church especially in preaching, teaching and living the Christian faith.

There will be four series. First series will be about History of the Christian Faith and Methodism, Heritage and Articles of Religion, General Rules, Wesleyan Quadrilateral and Social Principles. Second series: Church polity, principles and guidelines in Preaching, Hymnody and Liturgy-Making. Third series: Methods of Bible Study, Biblical Interpretation. Fourth Series: Christian counselling, Stewardship.

2. Vital Congregation

The Rev. Willy Vargas started to implement in his district The Call to Action made by the Council of Bishops in developing a Ministry Plan for vitality and fruitfulness among the pastor, lay and congregation in his area in southern Bicol. To do this they scheduled seminars for Vital Congregation in four phases: Phase I – July 27-28 in Tambac. Phase II – September 1 in Pioduran. Phase III in Mt. Zion. Phase IV – January 11-12 in Claveria.

Mission Summit -EMPAC

The bulk of mission work happens in the life of the local congregations. The local churches provide the most significant arena through which disciple-making occurs. However, many of our member and local churches have become complacent in our mission as a church saying this is mainly the work and ministry of the pastors.

The East Mindanao Philippines Conference have taken the bold step of “Experiencing God’s Power for Mission.” For this to happen they conducted two mission summits for clergy and 2 for lay in the Annual Conference level and followed it up with Mission and evangelistic Summit in the district and zone levels for more grassroots participants.

The Board of Discipleship of EMPAC concluded the seminars with an altar call challenging the participants to commit themselves to keep a set of regular spiritual discipline and to attend weekly meetings that would lead to faithful discipleship.

This resulted to the formation of several “Covenant Discipleship Groups” who were willing to do the following spiritual disciplines:

1. Meet together once a week to pray, share and study together.
2. Give two hours time each week to the Church.
3. Give 1/10 of his/her earnings.
4. Spend time each morning between 5:00-6:00 in prayer and meditation.
5. Will witness for God by sharing their experience to others.

Clergy Recruitment and Sharing it to Other Annual Conferences

Recruitment and training of candidates for the Ministry to be licensed as local pastor is basic to the growth of our churches in the Davao Episcopal Area. During the last quadrenuim the Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference top in the recruitment and training of candidates for the ministry with an average of 5 persons yearly. In the spirit of mission and connectionalism they have shared many of their pastors to be transferred and appointed to the Visayas Philippi Annual Conference and to the Bicol provisional Annual Conference. Today they have 62 licensed local pastors and 15 pre-seminary students taking up Bachelor of Arts major in Theology.

Updates from the Districts

North Bicol District

Workers Fellowship and Welcome (with pictures)
The first workers fellowship was held at Capacuan Mission, Capacuan, Paracale, Camarines Norte on June 16, 2012. The workers planned their activities for the conference year 2012-2013. The NBD workers are in solidarity for the progress of the district. This was also a welcome party for the workers from other Annual Conferences who were assigned to Bicol Conference.

District Planning
The NBD conducted District Planning on June 23-23, 2012 held at Saint Luke United Methodist Church. There were 34 participants who attended the planning including 7 UMYF. During the first day we list down our possible activities and on the second day we consolidate our plans.

Second Workers Fellowship (With Pictures)
Last July 21, 2012 the NBD workers held their fellowship under the bridge of San Antonio, Labo, Camarines Norte. Our activity is very informal. We have fellowship meal, storytelling and swimming. The aim of our fellowship is just to unwind and to relax.

District UMM Operation Linis and Fellowship (With Pictures)
On July 14, 2012, 13 Methodist men conducted an operation linis of planted mahogany and narra trees at Mabillo II, Labo, Camarines Norte.

District Cook Fest (With Pictures)

Through the leadership of the WSCS, we celebrate Nutrition on July 28, 2012 held at Saint Luke United Methodist Church, Daet, Camarines Norte. We open the activity with a message about the importance of proper nutrition. Each Local Churches prepared a menu for the contest.

Different Menu’s Buko Pansit – the winner

Lay Preaching and Leadership Training
On August 11, 2012, we conducted Lay Preaching and Leadership Training held at Living Word United Methodist Church, San Roque, Mercedes, Camarines Norte. We discussed about proper counselling and we conducted actual counselling process. We study also the different functions of the officers of the church council.

Linggo ng Wika (With Pictures)

Through the Women Society of Christian Service, we celebrate Linggo ng Wika on August 18, 2012 at Alanao United Methodist Church, San Jose, Lupi, Camarines Sur. There were 75 participants who attended. We emphasised the importance of Filipino values among the Methodists people.

Opening Worship Guests During Linggo ng Wika

Central Visayas District

Livelihood Seminar (With Pictures)
A livelihood seminar was conducted in Bacong United Methodist Church on August 13, 2012 with the theme, “Empowering the Poor through Livelihood Skills,” which was participated in by more than 70 lay and clergy delegates coming from the UMC churches all over the district. The seminar was spearheaded by Congressman Henry Pryde Teves who was also the resource person and the Honorable Saturnino Santos, Barangay Captain of Liptong, Valencia, Negros Oriental. Being a UMC, Barangay Captain Santos became the bridge between the UMC and the Congressman’s office. Informative topics were presented as eye opener to the participants that gave ideas how to start from “where we are and what we have.”

District Parsonage (With Pictures)
After waiting for so long, Central Visayas District now has a district parsonage. A member from MinPAC, in the person of Dr. Carmelita Sagun Lacar, who used to teach at Siliman University before migrating to the USA made a major renovation of her library and converted it to a parsonage. The parsonage is located in Camanjac, Dumaguete City. Dr. Lacar sent Ph 175,750 to cover the cost of the roof, construction of the comfort room and a separate shower room, kitchen and painting. The work was supervised by our District Lay Leader, Mr. Isidro Santos. The building was finally dedicated on August 4, 2012, the day the District Superintendent moved in. Valencia UMC members joined in the dedication service. Mr. Santos also offered his truck to haul the things of the DS and her family.

Church Renovation (With Pictures)
Renovation of Grace UMC in Maloh, Negroes Oriental started on February 24 and ended on the second week of May with a budget of Ph 535,000.00. Rev. Kwak Noyoun, the missionary sent by Osan Methodist Church and DS Rev. Irene Respuesto, after meeting twice agreed to proceed with the renovation. The renovation was supervised by the District Lay Leader, Mr. Isidro Santos.

Southeast Davao District

Interfaith, Ecumenical Advocacy

In the second week of August a group of missioners from the California-Pacific Annual Conference came to Davao to be in solidarity with an indigenous and farming community in Davao Norte. This group which is headed by the chair of the Church and Society of Cal-Pac, the Rev. Sandra Richards of FUMC in Los Angeles, includes not only United Methodists, but also missioners from other Christian denominations and religious persuasions. They went to Barangay Talaingod, in Kapalong, Davao Norte and did missions that dealt with health, human rights, environment and farming. The following Sunday the advocacy group attended the 60th year anniversary of Kapalong UMC, where the Rev. Richard, accompanied by the bishop was guest speaker.

The UMYF

The Youth of the Davao Area plans to hold a DEA-wide Christmas Institute. They intend to hold in the Visayas State University in Baybay, Leyte on December 26-30. Aside from the yearly fellowship and learning experience of the UMYF youth during Christmas Institutes. This DEA-wide CI aims to gather for the first time the youth leaders from the Bicol, Visayas, and Mindanao to strengthen the connection among the youth for vital UMYF groups in the Davao Area.

National Laity Congress (With Pictures)

The 8th National Laity Congress was held in General Santos City on August 17-19, 20012. More or less 200 delegates attended. The theme was, “Make Disciples of Jesus Christ To Transform the World.” Rev. Fr. Ed “Among” Panlilio, former governor of Pampanga gave the morning meditation on the second day. World Boxing Champion Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao greeted the assembly and also gave a bible study. Many were amazed of his ability to conducted a bible study. He has memorized so many bible verses and spoke from the heart.

Commission on General Conference

At the closing session of the General Conference a charge was given to the Commission on General Conference to listen to the delegates to the 2012 General Conference and prepare proposals for changes in the way General Conference is structured and works. In addition, the Commission has charged the General Conference secretary with finding opportunities to observe United Methodist meetings outside of the United States to help the Commission understand how it might be more inclusive in the General Church’s procedures.

As acting President of the COB I have officially invited the Rev. Fitzgerald Reist to be present during the 2012 Philippine Central Conference session on December 12-16 in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya.

He would be seeking opportunities for conversations with the delegates over meal times and outside of the business sessions of the Conference and observing the business sessions.

Conclusion

We praise and thank God for His grace that sustained us in our work in the vineyard.

To God be the glory!

Leo A. Soriano
Bishop

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