Photo courtesy of La Croix International

Statement on the Mission of the Church
August 25, 2022

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. (Mark 16:15)

Mission is a proceeding life and witness of the UCCP expressed in varied ministries being carried out. Its concept of mission goes beyond the faithful proclamation of the Gospel of God’s reign, but extends to its readiness to be in solidarity with the struggles of the basic sectors wanting to be free from the shackles of poverty and oppression. This eventual renewal and transformation of God’s creation is our vision and action.

We hold fast to the faith conviction that mission is gleaned from Jesus’ actions and examples as attested to by the Scriptures. It is a charge to the church by the Lord of life and history. UCCP, therefore, carries out its mission only on behalf of and for the sake of the one who gave the original mission order, our Lord Jesus Christ. It cannot carry out any other task on behalf of its own self or in its own name or in the name of someone else other than the only Lord and Master it is supposed to acknowledge and serve. (UCCP Primer Study Guide to the VMG).

Correspondingly, as we fathom Jesus, filled with God’s Spirit, who did God’s business of proclaiming good news to the poor, freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free (Luke 4:18), we undertake the wholistic ministries through Christian Education and Nurture, Evangelism and Church Development, Community Ministry, Justice, Peace and Human Rights, Gender Justice, Partnership and Ecumenical Relations and their like.

Grasping the meaning and implications of God’s mission in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ in our contemporary world is to address the roots of oppression, poverty and imprisonment. The UCCP has its Church Workers and the Laity as victims and survivors of various forms of coercive acts of State forces. The recent human rights situation recorded by the Church has these cases:

Direct verbal and physical intimidation of Pastor Cris John Ramos, Pastor Elmo Gideon Manapat, and Pastor Wilfredo Gamboa, Church Workers from Manila North Conference. There was a group of people, identifying themselves as State agents, came to their Church assignment earlier this month and forced them to admit association to the New People’s Army. They are even coerced to cooperate in exchange for their safety.

Fully well understanding that Jesus Christ faithfully preached the gospel of God’s reign in words and works, and the Church exists for mission, centered in the Local Church, we equip members to engage in active ministry with the whole community, with a particular focus on those facing discrimination and injustice. Many Local Churches, living out Christ’s mission have been addressing the educational needs of poor children through Child-Sponsorship Program in Partnership with Non-government Organizations. However, the State’s preoccupation in anti-insurgency campaign through Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has frozen the bank account of UCCP Fatima in Bohol Conference with Philippine National Bank (PNB). Substantial amount of program funds could not be withdrawn which could have been used for the opening of in-person classes in basic education schools. This case has been interconnected with the freezing of UCCP Haran Davao PNB bank account.

With this inherent understanding of mission, the Church commits itself anew to be faithful even in its witness against abuse of power and tyrannical rule, for peace anchored on justice and even against historical revisionism and disinformation our country and people are confronted with. The call for justice for victims of extrajudicial killings continued, more so, the resumption of peace talks under Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. administration.

Amidst the call for resumption of peace talks, the rural communities are subjected to militarization and this has affected communities in Negros Island. When the two opposing forces clash in the area last August 10, 2022, innocent civilians were forced to evacuate away from their homes. The North Negros Conference reported that there are 16 families affected from Church outreach at Sitio Bulasot, Brgy. Buenavista, Himamaylan City, Negros Occidental. Moreover, the death of Anthony Ariola, a youth leader from UCCP Bugo was heart wrenching to his family and friends. These need our united action through legal, material and spiritual support. Let us make God’s mission responsive and relevant to the needs of our people, and persevere in rebuilding and restoration of our country and the world in accordance with the merits of God’s kingdom.

To this integral mission imperatives, Local Churches, as primary locus of God’s mission, are summoned to be faithful. One step forward and onward is establishing or strengthening the Justice, Peace and Human Rights and Partnership and Ecumenical Relations in the Conferences and Local Churches. Consider partnership and collaboration not only with purely faith communities but with government and people’s organizations with same goal at impacting change in people’s lives and communities.

Within the purview of our broader mission concerns, we express our solidarity to the family and friends of Everly Kee Jacolbe, an 18 year-old environmental advocate, her mother, former daycare worker Maria Christina Jacolbe, and relative Rodan Montero who were massacred in their home in Sitio Banderahan, Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental. Maria Christina was 5 months pregnant at the time and was shot in the head. This happened on July 26, 2022 at 5:30 AM, and allegedly perpetrated by the 62nd Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police. These are condemnable atrocious acts and violative of the value and sanctity of life. We pray that they will attain justice for the slain family members.

Relentlessly, our experiences during this pandemic have taught us a lot about living in community; that even amidst troubles of hunger and sickness and sorry reality of government militaristic and corruptive health crisis management, selfless individuals and groups both Churches and civic organizations reached out creatively for help. Doing so we manifest loyalty, love and obedience to the Lord who called us from darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).



Bishop Melzar D. Labuntog
General Secretary

Bishop Joseph G. Agpaoa
North Luzon Jurisdictional Area

Bishop Francisco S. Aviso, Jr.
Middle Luzon Jurisdictional Area

Bishop Victor L. Paller
South Luzon Jurisdictional Area

Bishop Jerby S. Salor
East Visayas Jurisdictional Area

Bishop Feliciana P. Tenchavez
West Visayas Jurisdictional Area

Bishop Ligaya F. San Francisco
Northwest Mindanao Jurisdictional Area

Bishop Daniel R. Palicte
Southeast Mindanao Jurisdictional Area

Bishops Emeritus:
Bishop Arturo R. Asi
Bishop Jerome C. Baris
Bishop Jezer E. Bertoldo
Bishop Isaias L. Bingtan
Bishop Erme R. Camba
Bishop Ebenezer C. Camino
Bishop Constante D. Claro
Bishop Gabriel A. Garol
Bishop Hilario M. Gomez, Jr.
Bishop Marino I. Inong
Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza
Bishop Roel P. Mendoza
Bishop Jaime R. Moriles
Bishop Emergencio D. Padillo
Bishop Eliezer M. Pascua
Bishop Dulce Pia-Rose
Bishop Elorde M. Sambat

Bishop Anacleto G. Serafica
Bishop Jessie S. Suarez
Bishop Rizalino Q. Taganas
Bishop Joel E. Tendero
Bishop Hamuel G. Tequis
Bishop Modesto D. Villasanta

Please click this link for the downloadable file, Summoned to be Faithful to God’s Mission 

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