Tag: pcec

Apr 03 2016

WE HELPED BRIDGE TOP PCEC AND MILF LEADERS

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02 April 2016. Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao — The PeaceBuilders Community initiated the top leaders’ meeting between the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), led by Bishop Noel Alba Pantoja, and the Central Committee Office of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), led by Chairman Murad Ebrahim.

The two bodies discussed how leaders of Evangelical Christian and Muslim religious groups can work together for a justice-based peace and reconciliation initiatives in Mindanao and in the whole Philippines. Among those who were with Bishop Noel Pantoja were Dr. Aldrin Penamora, Bishop Gene Udang, Pastor Nemuel Castrodes, Prof. Annabel Manzanilla Manalo, Ms. Jay Atiolla, Rev. Alborne Llera, Ms. Beng Bicaldo, and Bishop Tomas Duan Mascariñas.

This was an initiative of the PCEC Peace and Reconciliation Commission.

For Joji and I, this is like a culmination of 10 years of relationship-building on the ground. For this, we express our deep gratitude to Peace Mennonite Church, our sending congregation, the Mennonite Church Canada for being our administrative support as we focus on field tasks, and to all our congregational partners who have walked with us in prayers, in financial support, and pastoral guidance.

Most of all, we give all the glory to God for allowing us to serve in this way.

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PCEC Statement on the PCEC-MILF Leaders Dialogue
April 2, 2016, Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat

We, the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) is very much appreciative of the leadership of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) headed by Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim and Peace Panel Chairman Mohagher Iqbal for the warm reception they accorded to our delegation during the entire duration of the PCEC-MILF leaders meeting held on April 2, 2016 at Camp Darapanan. We are thankful to God for this Christian-Muslim gathering that has led to a deeper understanding not only of each other’s positions on the Mindanao situation, but also as to what Scripture means that every person is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).

In conformity with PCEC’s previous statements that proclaim our biblically based endorsement of the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the MILF, we reiterate our unwavering support toward the attainment of genuine peace that is founded on justice for the Bangsamoro people. In this regard, PCEC highly commends the MILF for its continuous dedication to realize through peaceful negotiations the Bangsamoro’s aspiration of self-determination, especially in view of the non-passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) within the term of President Benigno S. Aquino III.

The meeting between PCEC and MILF leaders had shown the importance of sincerity in dialogue. When participants are sincere and open minded, dialogue can lead to a deeper understanding and unity among Christians and the Bangsamoro people. Indeed, without unity it would be impossible to forge a lasting peace in Mindanao. The importance of unity is reflected in the biblical passage that says, “Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Cor.13:11). In loving reverence and obedience to God, we shall appropriate the message of the Scripture by cultivating unity with Muslims and building peace in Mindanao as expressed in the following ways:

  • We call on the Government of the Philippines to persist in moving the peace talks with the MILF forward, and to explore new avenues in bringing about peace for the Bangsamoro and other people groups in Mindanao.
  • We call on all Christians to help diminish and bring down the walls of prejudice toward Muslims, and vice-versa, by being good neighbors to our Bangsamoro brothers and sisters, as exemplified by the “Good Samaritan” in Luke 10:25-37.
  • We shall conduct dialogues with other Muslim and non-Muslim stakeholders in the peace process in order to help in forging a truly inclusive peace agreement.
  • We shall form partnerships with the MILF and other Muslim and indigenous people groups for the purpose of providing necessary services such as disaster management training, psychosocial training and trauma healing that will benefit people on the ground especially those affected by the conflict in Mindanao.

In those aforementioned ways, we hope to demonstrate our solidarity with the just aspirations of the Bangsamoro people. In those aforementioned ways, we hope to faithfully follow God’s mandate to live in peace with everyone (Romans 12:18), and as Scripture attests, “the God of love and peace will be with you” (2 Cor. 13:11).

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Cor. 13:14).

 

Bishop Noel A. Pantoja
National Director
Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC)
Philippine Relief and Development Services (PHILRADS)

 

Photos by Lakan Sumulong

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2016/04/03/we-helped-bridge-top-pcec-and-milf-leaders/

Jun 30 2015

PCEC PEACE AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION IS RE-ORGANIZED

See Photo Album

The Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Commission of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) had their strategic planning last June 23-26, 2015, at the Center for Christian Development, Tagaytay City.

As a result of this four-day workshop, we came up with a Peace and Reconciliation Vision for 2020, stated in the present tense:

  • Peace Revolution. Peace revolutionaries throughout the country are exponentially growing and reproducing peacebuilders engaged in their local, national, and international contexts.
  • PAR Beyond. PAR is integrated in various existing conflict transformation strategies and processes (traditional and institutional) across 81 provinces in the Philippines.
  • Church Transformation. The Body of Christ has become fully engaged in just peace processes in the Philippines. Churches across the country are applying transformative, radical, and redemptive strategies in responding to local, national, and international concerns.
  • Organic Peace Movements. An organic and dynamic peace movement effectively engaging local, national, and international stakeholders towards a society where truth, mercy, justice, and peace reign.
  • ‘Earthnicity.’ Earth. Art. Ethnic. City. Earthnicity summarizes the prayer, “Your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.” It magnifies the importance of valuing ethnicity, culture, and the arts of local contexts, whether they are from rural or urban origin. The Body of Christ is faithfully living out the Shalom of Christ by recognizing and embracing the diverse historical, social, and cultural realities of all people groups, especially among IPs and Muslim communities in the Philippines.

In our hearts and minds, these are present realities. They govern our actions as members of the PCEC PAR Commission.

 

 

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2015/06/30/pcec-peace-and-reconciliation-commission-is-re-organized/

Apr 10 2015

WE HELPED FACILITATE AN EVANGELICAL DISCUSSION ON CHRISTIAN-MUSLIM PEACE PROCESS

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06 April 2015. The Philippine Council of Evangelical Church gathered around 200 Christian leaders from all over the country to talk about the controversial Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). Together with the peace negotiating panels from both the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), PCEC and PBCI spearheaded a forum dubbed “Understanding the Impact of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) on Christianity in the Philippines.” It was held on April 6 at the Capitol City Baptist Church, 111 West Avenue, Quezon City.

The BBL is a product of the final peace deal between the Philippine government and the the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, and seeks to address decades-old grievances by creating a new regional government with greater fiscal and political powers than the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

Mohagher Iqbal, Chair of the Peace Negotiating Panel of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) presented the MILF Peace Panel perspective on the BBL. Secretary Teresita Quintos Deles from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), meanwhile, presented on “The BBL from the perspective of the Government Peace Panel”.

PCEC National Director Bishop Noel Pantoja (my younger brother) facilitated the ensuing open forum, while I led a workshop on Peace and Reconciliation in the afternoon.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2015/04/10/we-helped-facilitate-evangelical-discussion-on-christian-muslim-peace-process/

Jul 18 2013

PCEC SUPPORTS THE NEWLY-SIGNED GPH-MILF WEALTH SHARING DEAL

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L-R: Prof. Abhoud Sayyed Lingga, Bishop Efraim Tendero, and Chairman Mohagher Iqbal discuss how the Church could enhance its support to the GPH-MILF Peace Process, 14 May 2013, Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao.

I’m so happy to be a part of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) as it advance biblical peace and reconciliation as an integral part of their calling as a Body of Christ in the Philippines.

This is well-expressed in their latest statement supporting the current agreement made as part of the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF):

PCEC STATEMENT ON THE GPH-MILF SIGNING OF THE WEALTH-SHARING ANNEX OF THE FRAMEWORK AGREEMENT ON THE BANGSAMORO

 

The Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) congratulates both peace-negotiating panels of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) for their excellent work of cutting a breakthrough deal on the Annex on Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB).

We thank God for the GPH Peace Panel talking with the MILF for their sincerity and firmness in guarding the interest of the Republic of the Philippines, and yet being flexible enough to recognize the Bangsamoro as a people with a distinct identity; as a people with their right to self-determination; and, as a people who have the right to manage their God-given resources.

We also thank God for the MILF Peace Panel for their firmness in upholding the principles of the Bangsamoro, yet affirming their respect for the national integrity of the Republic of the Philippines. Their patience, their flexibility, and their willingness to find a win-win path to come up with this breakthrough agreement on wealth sharing would eventually lead to a lasting and genuine peace in Mindanao and the whole Philippines.

We call on all who claim to follow Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, to “Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” (Psalm 34:14 ESV). We can apply this biblical exhortation through the following:

• Seek to understand this Agreement using the biblical lenses of justice (Amos 5:24), and peace (Matthew 5:9). While we pray and work together for the unity, integrity and transformation of the Republic of the Philippines, we also want to affirm the diversity of each people group (ethnei) as the understanding of nationhood in the Gospels (Matthew 28:19).

Get your facts and information directly from the sources. Read the document called Annex on Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing. Get your information from both the GPH and the MILF sources and perspectives. Refuse to be manipulated by black propaganda, calling for war and violence as the answer to the conflicts we’re facing as a nation, especially coming from those pockets of our society whose interests are to protect their war-based wealth and power.

• Be a channel of healthy dialogue and relationship-building discourse. As Christians, let us listen and seek to understand the point of view of our Muslim neighbors. “Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” (Colossians 4:6). This real-life discussion on resource sharing is a kairos-moment for us to engage our Muslim neighbors in love. (Matthew 22:39)

Like climbing Mount Apo, this newly-signed Wealth-Sharing Agreement would help all citizens of the Philippines–Christians, Muslims, and Indigenous People–reach the summit of peace in accordance with the will of God. Let us be mindful that the nearer we are to the summit, the more difficult the terrain and the more tiring the climb can become. But with God’s grace and mercy, there is new energy, new hope, and new sight of the summit of peace getting nearer each day!

Hallelujah! Alhamdulillah! Let there be peace in Mindanao! Let there be peace in the Philippines! Let there be peace on earth!

”Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.” (2 Thessalonians 3:16 ESV)

PCEC Board of Directors July 18, 2013

For more information, please contact Bishop Efraim M. Tendero, tel. 9131658 or email info@pceconline.org.

May God continue to bless PCEC as it envisions to be a transforming presence of Jesus Christ in the Philippines.

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2013/07/18/pcec-supports-the-newly-signed-gph-milf-wealth-sharing-deal/

May 14 2013

PCEC BISHOP LISTENS TO MILF ON HOW TO ENHANCE CHURCH’S SUPPORT TO PEACE TALKS

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L-R: Professor Abhoud Sayyed Lingga (MILF Peace Panel Member), Bishop Efraim Tendero (PCEC National Director), Chairman Mohagher Iqbal (MILF Peace Panel/Bangsamoro Transitional Commission): PCEC and MILF discuss how to enhance their partnership in advancing just and sustainable peace in our land during their May 14 meeting in Simuay.

Cotabato City, May 14, 2013 — PCEC Bishop Efraim Tendero met with MILF Peace Panel Chairman Mohagher Iqbal this afternoon in Simuay, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. Tendero asked Iqbal on how the Church can enhance its support to the GPH-MILF Peace Talks.

Before answering Tendero’s question, Iqbal gave an update on the current state of the negotiation between the GPH and the MILF. He highlighted the need to sign the Annexes in the newly-signed Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB). The said FAB Annexes include crucial details such as wealth sharing, power sharing, and normalization.

“The Church can help in the peace process more effectively if its constituents would support the hastening of the completion of the Annexes in the newly-signed Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro, ” Iqbal said. “The resolution to the GPH-MILF conflict is political in nature.”

Atty. Naguib G. Siwarimbo, a member of the MILF Peace Panel, also suggested that the Church will have “to journey with the government and with the negotiators and keep the pressure on both panels not to further delay the transition, as time is of the essence.”

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L-R: Rev. Daniel Pantoja (his back on the camera), Prof. Abhoud Sayyed Lingga, Bishop Efraim Tendero, Chairman Mohagher Iqbal, Datu Kharis Baraguir. The PCEC delegation and the MILF team prayed together after the meeting.

The other members of the Bangsamoro Transitional Commission, which Iqbal also chairs, were also present, including the second highest ranking member of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF).

The meeting started at 1:30 in the afternoon. Bishop Tendero expressed appreciation that the MILF leadership team prepared a sumptuous lunch and that the MILF hosts waited for the PCEC delegation before taking their lunch in order to have a solidarity meal.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Bishop Tendero made a commitment that, “PCEC will initiate inter-faith and multi-sectoral consultation to advocate for the support of the prompt signing of the Annexes to the FAB.”

The PCEC bishop was accompanied by a team from PeaceBuilders Community along with Wendy Kroeker, a conflict transformation consultant from the Mennonite Church Canada.

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2013/05/14/pcec-bishop-listens-to-milf-on-how-to-enhance-churchs-support-to-peace-process/

Oct 12 2011

WE’VE FACILITATED BASIC TRAINING OF PAR COMMISSION OFFICERS IN REGION 10

Bishop Efraim Tendero, National Director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), and Bishop Genesis Udang of PCEC PAR Commission in Mindanao officially installed 18 key leaders from Region 10 who successfully completed the three-month Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Seminar Series. These monthly seminar sessions were held in three different cities:
::  August 04-05, 2011 in Ozamiz City, Misamis Occidental
::  September 01-02, 2011 in Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental
::  October 10-12, 2011 in Malaybalay City, Bukidnon

The graduation ceremony and commissioning service were held last Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 1900H in Malaybalay City.

The new officers of PCEC’s Region PAR Commission are as follows:

Regional Director:  Rev. Alex Eduave
Secretary:  Pastora Mayrle Jean Roa
Treasurer:  Pastor Cezar Egano
Transporter:  Pastor Pancho Faburada
Provincial & City Directors:

  • Cagayan de Oro City – Pastor Fernando Supangan
  • Gingoog City – Pastor Enrique Guevarra
  • Ozamiz City – Pastor Birt Isaias Roa
  • Tangub City – Pastor Brigido Pasok, Jr.
  • Iligan City – Pastor Bayani Areola
  • Malaybalay & Valencia Cities – Pastor Rodney Sarilla
  • Oroquieta City – Pastor Lucresio Alaban
  • Bukidnon Province – Pastor Provo Antipasado
  • Misamis Oriental – Pastor Jerome Degamon

Speakers’ Bureau:

  • Pastor Nasali Silva – Head
  • Pastor Christopher Florita
  • Pastor Fernando Supangan
  • Pastor Enrique Guevarra
  • Pastor Carlos Gallur

PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) facilitated the training of these PAR Leaders, who would, in turn, train and organize PAR Communities in their respective provinces, cities, and municipalities.

The PBCI PAR Training Consultants were:

  • Rev. L. Daniel Pantoja, PeaceTheology & PeaceBuilding
  • Joji Felicitas Pantoja, Fair Trade and Economic Sustainability
  • Bennette Grace Tenecio, Trauma Healing
  • Kriz Cruzado, Conflict Transformation
  • Mei Solocasa, CrossCultural Communication

This PAR training and regional organization is a part of a wider vision:  By December 31st, 2015, each of our 80 provinces will have a circle of God-fearing, justice-and-peace-oriented leaders called PAR Communities, who will organize, nurture, and oversee various PAR Teams, who will, in turn, implement just-peace oriented PAR Programs in their local contexts. This five-year plan governs all the current activities of PeaceBuilders Community as indicated in our Field Operations Map.

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/10/12/pcec-bishop-installs-region-10-par-commission-officers/

Jul 29 2011

KILOS: A NATIONAL CONVERGENCE OF PEACE NETWORKS IS FORMED

While Secretary Teresita "Ging" Deles (Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, sitting alone on the upper left corner) finalizes her presentation, Atty. Alex Padilla (Chair, Government Peace Negotiating Panel in talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines) was holding the microphone giving updates on the GPH-NDFP peace talks. Mr. Gus Miclat (Executive Director of the Initiatives for International Dialogue), in black jacket sitting next to Atty. Padilla, was facilitating the discussion between the government peace negotiators and members of the newly-formed Kilos Kapayapaan at Katarungan, a national convergence of all peace focal networks in the Philippines.

PeaceBuilders Community Inc. (PBCI) is one of the representatives of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP) in the formation of a national convergence of all the peace focal networks in the Philippines. It is called Kilos Kapayapaan at Katarungan (Movement for Peace and Justice). We simply refer to it as Kilos. The formation of Kilos happened last July 27-28, 2011 at the Regalia Tower Suites in Cubao, Quezon City.

PEPP is one of the focal networks of Kilos. During the Ecumenical Church Leaders Summit on Peace last 19-21 July 2011, which was held in Mary Ridge Spiritual Center, Tagaytay City, I’ve been tapped to represent PEPP in this particular meeting of all peace networks that turned out to be Kilos. PBCI is a member of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC). PCEC is one of the federations making up PEPP.

Among the many things we have discussed were the following:

:: Kilos will be independent from the government and non-state groups, and will initiate partnerships with concerned peace funding organizations.
:: Kilos will initiate consultations with all parties involved in the peace talks — the Government of the Philippines (GPH), the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the National Democratice Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
:: Kilos will develop a structure that will focus on each aspect and facet of the various peace processes; at the same time, Kilos will also have a comprehensive structure to look at the big picture as one peace process.
:: Kilos is planning simultaneous activities all over Mindanao, Visayas, and Luzon to make the whole country become aware of the need to have a political resolution to all unpeace situations in our land.

The formation of Kilos is a culmination of a series of consultations. At the national consultation with civil society organizations (CSOs) involved in peace advocacy convened by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) on August 4, 2010, it was agreed that there would be a continuing process of communication between the CSOs and OPAPP. Initially, five and later six focal networks were identified, to which the peace CSOs present were affiliated, namely –

:: Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform;
:: Sulong CARHRIHL;
:: Indigenous Peoples Network;
:: Boses Mindanao;
:: Waging Peace Philippines; and,
:: Mindanao Peaceweavers.

Follow-up meetings were done with representatives of these peace networks on December 7-9, 2010 and again on February 2, 2012.

After various developments in the GPH-NDF and GPH-MILF peace negotiations, as well as in the closure processes for the other peace agreements, it is quite urgent that there be an opportunity for the peace CSO networks to get direct updates regarding these developments from OPAPP and the GPH panels. Thus, all representatives of the above-mentioned focal networks decided to form Kilos.

Please pray that Kilos Kapayapaan at Katarungan would be empowered by God and by the people to continually work and advocate for peace, until we finally experience genuine and lasting peace in this beautiful land — not just for some, but for all.

 

Dann Pantoja, July 27-28, 2011
Antipolo Room, 15th Floor, Regalia Tower Suites
Cubao, Quezon City

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/07/29/kilos-a-convergence-of-convergences-among-peace-advocates/

Jul 20 2011

PCEC JOINS ECUMENICAL LEADERS’ PEACE SUMMIT

Senior leaders of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) actively participated in the Ecumenical Church Leaders Summit, held last July 19-21, 2011 at the Mary Ridge Spiritual Center in Tagaytay City.

The Summit was convened to talk about the role of the Church in the peace process between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP). The theme was “Proclaiming the Gospel of Peace: An Ecumenical Imperative.”

Rationale

Peace negotiations between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) have been going on and off over the past four decades. In February 2011, peace talks were resumed in Oslo with renewed hopes for a just and lasting resolution to this conflict.

It is in this context that the united voice of religious leaders representing the various religious communities in the country can play a significant role in ensuring the validity and sustainability of the peace process. As in other countries with a history of armed internal conflict (as in South Africa, Colombia, Ireland, etc.) religious leaders can play a crucial role in bringing about a just and lasting peace.

Objectives

Following the See-Judge-Act approach, the objectives of this summit of religious leaders are the following:
1) To understand the context and issues of the peace negotiations by listening to spokespersons of the GRP and NDFP panels;
2) To gain information about the current state of armed conflict and military operations in different regions of the country, as well as the estimated costs in terms of loss of lives and properties, and impact on the economy;
3) To be updated with the ongoing efforts of various Civil Society Organizations in monitoring and brokering the peace negotiations – e.g., the Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute (Waging Peace), Sulong CARHRIHL and Pilgrims for Peace.
4) To review and articulate Christian spiritual traditions from the Bible and social teachings for peacebuilding;
5) To form a Peace Constituency and to formulate an Ecumenical Plan of Action for religious communities at the local, regional, and national levels.

Participants

To ensure co-equal participation and a candid exchange of views, only active bishops, major church leaders, and major religious superiors were invited to the summit. No proxy representatives were allowed.

Five major federations of religious leaders we’re invited to send ten each participants to the summit. These are:
• Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC)
• National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP)
• Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP)
• Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP)
• Ecumenical Bishops Forum (EBF)

The heads of these federations act as co-convenors of this summit, together with the PEPP co-chairpersons and secretariat head.

Participants were chosen along these guidelines:
1. They are based in ongoing conflict areas;
2. They are major church leaders ( i.e., bishop or equivalent head of a local diocese or denomination or major religious superior)
3. They are in active service and are involved in promoting the peace process in their jurisdiction.
4. They are ecumenical in their outlook , open to dialogue, and are ready to engage in inter-faith peacebuilding activities in their own areas of responsibility as a follow-up of this summit.

The sub-regions identified with significant conflict situations are the following:
• In Luzon: Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, Central Luzon, Southern Tagalog, Bicol Region, and Metro Manila
• In the Visayas: Samar/Leyte, Negros island, Panay island
• In Mindanao: Caraga region, Northern Mindanao, South-Central Mindanao.

Please pray for the actual result of this conference in the lives of the common people who are experiencing unpeace within them and around them. Please pray that practical action towards holistic peace — that is, spiritual transformation, psycho-social transformation, socio-political transformation, economic-ecological transformation — would actually be experienced by the masses. Please pray for genuine shalom in our land.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/07/20/pcec-joins-ecumenical-leaders-peace-summit/

Jun 14 2011

STATE OF THE PHILIPPINE EVANGELICAL CHURCH TODAY: A POSITIVE RESPONSE

These are some of the pastors and Christian leaders who participated in the global prayer day gathered by Davao City Ministerial Fellowship last Monday, June 13, 2011.

Rev. Johnny Dalisay, President of Davao City Ministerial Fellowship, invited me to lead a prayer for the Philippines during our meeting last Monday.

Before I prayed, he showed a slide presentation entitled A Description of the Evangelical Church Today. Dr. Cesar Vicente P. Punzalan, Deputy National Director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), prepared the presentation.

I was glad when I saw the report of our growth as a segment of the Body of Christ in this land:

  • In 1975, there were 4,900 PCEC-based churches, but some were not counted in.
  • Today, there are 77,000 evangelical and full-gospel churches connected with PCEC.
  • PCEC-based churches are now 12% of the total Philippine population

12% of 90,000,000 is 10,800,000. That’s how many born-again Christians who are connected with church groups affiliated with PCEC. There should be more if we’ll include those who claim to have accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord but are not affiliated with PCEC-based denominations.

So, we have grown quantitatively as evangelical or full-gospel Christians! Praise God for this. We thank God for the church planters and evangelistic efforts of our congregations across the land!

Rev. Dalisay made a comment that despite the growing numbers of evangelical Christians in our land, the Philippines has become one of the most corrupt countries in Asia.

What he said was so true.

Here are the reports:

  • In 2007, the Philippines was perceived to be the most corrupt in the Asia-Pacific Region according to the annual corruption survey conducted by the Political and Economic Risk Consultancy, based in Hong Kong.
  • As of Monday, June 06, 2011, we were ranked as the 4th most corrupt country according to a similar survey by the same consulting group.

The Born-Again Christians increased in number, but their influence as salt and light of the world did not seem to be felt by the society-at-large! Why?

Dr. Punzalan explains:

We do not fully understand nor attempted to recognize and deal with structural evil:

  • the lack of national righteousness,
  • the lack of social peace,
  • the lack of public justice, and
  • the lack of economic sufficiency

as the whole body of Christ.

This theological inadequacy of the church affected the methodological aspects of its ministries.

Here’s how Dr. Punzalan sees the big picture in our public ministry today.

86% of our churches do not have enough resources, organizational sustainability, or community impact

13% are healthy having the capacity to engage in impact-driven ministry

1% have more capacity for impact to transform the nation and engage in international missions.

So, how should we then respond?

What if we start with a practical articulation of  a biblical-theological framework that encapsulates all aspects of life and ministry which the Bible calls Shalom?

Shalom is understood as harmony with the Creator (spiritual transformation), harmony with our Being (psycho-social transformation), harmony with Others (socio-political transformation), and harmony with the Creation (economic-ecological transformation).

This theological framework can be adopted as one of the many models on how to develop a discipleship approach that would meet the current needs of our churches today:

  • a biblical commitment to national righteousness;
  • a biblical commitment to social peace;
  • a biblical commitment to public justice; and,
  • a biblical commitment to economic sufficiency.

We can respond positively to the 86% of our churches who want to develop indigenous resources and organizational sustainability in order to have positive impact in their respective communities.

May I share a vision called PAR 80 BY 2015 (PDF format). Dream with me for a moment: By December 31st, 2015, each of our 80 provinces will have a circle of God-fearing, ethical leaders called Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Communities!  They would serve as the catalysts to organize PAR Teams in their municipalities or cities.  These PAR Teams, in turn, would serve as conflict transformation volunteers and church-based advocates who will engage the local government units (LGUs) and other civil society organizations (CSOs) to initiate programs or to implement existing laws and government policies that are consistent with–

  • the church’s biblical commitment to national righteousness;
  • the church’s commitment to social peace;
  • the church’s commitment to public justice; and,
  • the church’s commitment to economic sufficiency.

These church-based PAR Teams would also initiate or get involved as volunteers in various community activities that will result to  —

  • spiritual transformation;
  • psycho-social transformation;
  • socio-political transformation; and,
  • economic-ecological transformation

of our beautiful land!

God willing, by January 01, 2016, the 80 PAR Communities in the Philippines would advance as a Peace and Reconciliation Movement with an integrated framework for peace-building, who are organized in partnership with various parts of the People of God, who are mobilized to do ministries of justice and peace in the name of Jesus, and who will lovingly serve all the peoples of our land unconditionally regardless of religion, ethnicity, or political ideology, to the end that our land will experience holistic transformation!

Peace and blessings to all!

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/06/14/description-of-the-evangelical-church-today/

Jun 02 2011

YOUTH LEADERS GO FOR TRAINING TO FACILITATE PAR SEMINARS

Standing (L-R): Dann Pantoja, Aki Andaya, Fread De Mesa, Bryan Jay Paler; Sitting (L-R): Twinkle Bautista, Nori Salita, Regina Mondez, Pionel Giray

 

The Executive Committee of the Youth for Social Action (YSA) went through Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Seminar Facilitators’ Training Program. YSA is “an evangelical youth movement committed in creatively engaging society towards social transformation, by providing trainings and venues for direct involvement in grass roots communities–national and global level.”

PeaceBuilders Community Inc (PBCI) facilitated this training program that is committed to biblical, active non-violent, radical transformation of our land that leads to just-peace. This PAR Facilitators’ Training program is offered to church leaders, Christian organization executives, local government officials, military and police officers, and other sectoral leaders across the Philippines.

The Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches’ PAR Commission (PCEC PARCom) sponsored this particular leaders’ training for the Executive Committee of Youth for Social Action.

May 30-31, 2011. Tagaytay City.

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/06/02/ysa-par-facilitators-training/