72nd Anniversary Celebration

UNITED CHURCH OF CHIRST IN THE PHILIPPINES
CELEBRATING THE 72nd ANNIVERSARY

Theme: “Affirming the strength of our unity and mission at 72nd and Moving towards UCCP’s 75th, Our Diamond Jubilee”
May 23-25, 2020
72nd Anniversary Sunday -May 24, 2020

The context of the 72nd Church anniversary:

The Filipino nation has been undergoing the strain and stress of the health and medical emergency, the novel COVID-19 that threatened many countries around the world. With the enforced Enhanced Community Quarantine all over the country, even remote villages farmers who survive on subsistence farming are prevented from tending their farms or sell their produce to the municipal market. There are families that are economically stable prior to the ECQ but are now unable to support their family’s needs as there has been work stoppage.

Health workers such as medical doctors, nurses, medical technologists and all other health personnel considered as ‘frontliners’ have been precariously exposed to the patients infected with the COVID-19 virus and consequently many have been infected as well. In the first few days of May, more than nine thousand persons are diagnosed infected with the virus. We mourn for families who lost their loved ones due to the complications of the virus. We rejoice with those who struggle with the diseases driven by the virus and their undaunting spirits and faith in God’s healing interventions that helped them go through the most difficult situation in their lives.

Correspondingly, church workers and entire congregations have to face the challenges of the ECQ, that prohibits en-masse gathering of people including religious worship services.  Following the government guidelines and Enhanced Community Quarantine or lock down, mass gathering of people has been prohibited and observance of “social” or physical distancing enforced, thus local churches could not hold their regular services in the church, so many of UCCP local churches, whenever available, made use of internet access and technology necessary for video recording or live streaming of prayer time and worship services.

Other UCCP faith communities have initiated house worship and make use of live broadcast or recorded video meditations on the social media. Meetings were done on online conferencing applications. Responding to the need for food assistance, the national program staff packed relief food packs to supply members, church workers and distressed and underserved communities.

Many Conferences around the country have initiated food relief packs distribution to assist severely affected local churches and especially church workers working in poor urban and rural churches which subsists on meager honorarium sourced from weekly offerings. The Office of the General Secretary (OGS), the Office of the National Treasurer and the Church’s service centers have tapped sources of fund to financially aid the poor and needy church workers. Approximately 980 church workers received financial assistance.

Great is the God of life and healing! God’s love is the reason for our celebration and life together.

Amidst threats to life and liberty, we thank God for the passing of another year in the life of the Church, and despite the many challenges,

  • We are grateful for God’s providence in guiding our journey in the tempest waters of our national and global history in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent curtailment of economic, political and socio-cultural rights of the people.
  • Despite the lock down, the national secretariat wad able to respond to the needs of communities by delivering food packs and personal hygiene materials to assist, especially the underserved urban poor communities and local congregations.
  • Church workers categorized as needy and distressed were prioritized as recipients of financial assistance to severely affected by the nationwide ECQ. The financial assistance was a collective effort of the national secretariat and a Church’s Service Center.
  • The Church, on the second year of the quadrennium, 2019-2020, through the national secretariat has carried out the streamlined programs that are expressions of the preaching, teaching and healing ministries of Jesus Christ.
  • There has been a drastic drop in giving to the WMS in the last two months caused by the COVID-19 pandemic ECQ imposed nationwide. However in the period of eight months from June 2019 to January 2020 there was a significant increase in the WMS giving computed at 20 percent, and 73 percent participation from the conferences, even if one conference out of 48 deliberately withheld their contributions for the life and mission of the Church.
  • The church pursued its various programs through the nationally coordinated ministries, the LLCDM specifically the CEN, Community Ministries, JPHR, ECD, and others. These are programs that strengthen and sustain the life and ministry of the Church at the local church and Conference levels.
  • Standardization of salaries of Conference Ministers (CMs) has been implemented since October of 2019, and will continue as long as WMS are regularly remitted and new fund sources are being tapped. The Church Workers Ministry is at the forefront of implementing various programs for the church workers, from recruitment, training and nurture of future church workers; initiating Continuing Theological Education for those in active service and support for retired church workers.
  • Special meetings of the National Council and the holding of Special Session of the General Assembly have narrowed the gaps in decision making processes and solved multifaceted issues and differences in opinion with regard to property development and the entire Stewardship Program
  • Disaster response relief assistance delivery to many disaster impacted communities with support from both the churches and overseas ecumenical partners. Relief and rehabilitation assistance were extended by the Church through the work of the Community Ministry and other program units of the national secretariat.
  • The Church expresses concern for the vulnerable communities, such as the victims of human rights violations, like the indigenous peoples of Lumads, the communities of poor farmers who have been militarized e.g. in Negros Island and in many other places in the country.

OUR NATIONWIDE CELEBRATION IN THE LOCAL CHURCHES AND CONFERENCES

  • Many local churches and conferences, whenever possible and practicable, will mark and hold UCCP Anniversary celebrations through their annual Festival of Faith on May 23-25, 2020. Local churches join in the 72nd Anniversary Celebration through Sunday Worship Service and simple Agape Meal.
  • The 72nd anniversary highlights the UCCP’s progress and positive development for the last seven decades as a united and uniting church and how the church’s is effectively and relevantly responding to the growing needs of the its church workers, local churches and conferences, including its pastoral and prophetic response to the larger society and the world.
  • This will emphasize the greater understanding of achieving church’ organizational goals and enabled church leaders both the clergy and the laity in enhancing and strengthening basic unities on the mission of the Church and adherence to and articulation of principles of integrated and sustainable property development.
  • Loyal and committed UCCP leaders and members are standing strong on the 72nd , affirming the strength of unity and mission and living out the mission for justice and peace in these challenging times.
  • Celebrating the 72nd anniversary will show forth UCCP’s resilience in the midst of challenges and attempts to divide the Church. The UCCP constituency at all levels will participate as manifestation of their unwavering support to the program ministries and the leadership that they have democratically chosen to lead the church towards the future and providing direction for responsible, sustainable and shared stewardship development.
  • The 72nd and moving forward to the 75th the Diamond Jubilee is a step towards making the UCCP responsive to the needs of the local churches, raising the level of competence of church leaders and witnessing to the love of God in Christ through its teaching, preaching, healing and stewardship programs.

    You can download the liturgical resources and messages through this link;

UCCP in Action

Due to the widespread of COVID-19 in the Philippines, most of the Filipinos was affected. Everyone wants to be safe and wants to follow the precautionary measures to prevent themselves from being infected. However, health issue is not just the only concern in these trying and challenging times.

Filipino workers in the affected areas loss their job due to the closure of the company where they are working. Some of them are suffering from “no work, no pay”.  And most of all, it only worsens the current situation of those Filipinos who are in the informal sector and those who are unable to work as an effect of lack of job offerings in our country.

Security and safety is also a concern. Despite the implementation of the enhance community quarantine in different areas, there is still a threat in safety and security of different individuals, especially for those who are responsible in finding and marketing of food and supplies for their families. There are still human rights violations that were recorded.

With this, the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, through its Community Ministry, conducted a Relief Operation that provided food packs and hygiene kit for the underserved church members and different communities in Metro Manila.

Each food pack includes 5 kilos of rice, 1 kilo of sugar, ½ kilo of salt, 1 kilo of legumes, 1 kilo of dried fish, 1 liter oil and canned goods. While, each hygiene kit includes 1 roll of tissue paper, 330ml of alcohol, 330 ml of chlorine, 2 bath soap, 1 bar of detergent soap, and 2 sachet of toothpaste.

From April 6, 2020, a small number of volunteers helped to repack 700 packs of relief goods and hygiene kits for the first part of the relief operations   at UCCP Kaunlaran Village, Sabalo, Caloocan City for the underserved members of the church residing at Metro Manila — one of the most affected area of COVID 19.

On April 7, 2020 – 350 packs of it was delivered to UCCP Cosmopolitan Church, who helped us in giving it to the beneficiaries under the Lowland South Manila Conference.

On April 8-9, 2020 – 250 packs were delivered directly to the local church, or in their nearby church, under the United Metropolis Conference. However, 100 packs were given to SINAG – ministry of UCCP Cubao and in a small community of Caloocan and Navotas City.          

On April 12, 2020 – the repacking of relief goods and hygiene kit continued for the second part of the relief operations for 700 beneficiaries in different communities of Metro Manila.

On April 15, 2020 – we gave 100 food packs and hygiene kit to the underserved urban poor residing at Harvard St., E. Rodriguez Ave., Cubao, Quezon City. The said distribution was held in front of UCCP Cubao.

On April 16, 2020 – we gave food items and hygiene kit which was good for 200 beneficiaries, and will be use in their 23 community kitchens that will feed a total of 1, 200 families during lunch time at Sitio San Roque, Quezon City.

We also gave 166 food packs and hygiene kit for jeepney and tricycle drivers in Quezon City, Malabon City, and Caloocan City.

 The remaining food packs and hygiene kit was given to the different communities in Quezon City, Rizal Province, Navotas City, Manila and Bulacan.All in all, the challenge to us brought by this pandemic is not yet finished. There is still a lot of communities that need our response, especially now that the social services that should be provided by the government is not enough to meet the basic needs of each individual/families in order to survive.

ALL LEADERS MEETING

23rd NATIONAL COUNCIL MEETING

UCCP National Office 877 EDSA, West Triangle Quezon City 1104
(632) 8 426 1729 | 8 426 3790 | 8 426 9157
  ogs@uccpchurch.com