Lectionary Selection: Matthew 25:14-30
Prayers for the Philippines:
Dear Creating and Creative God,
At this moment Lord we too often see our leaders utilize fear, power, and violence as ways to address this global health crisis. They are not the servants that you call them to be. They do not fulfill your reign but instead, extrajudicial killings are on the rise once again threatening the lives of human rights defenders throughout the Philippines, so-called ‘Anti-Terror’ Laws are passed to firm the dangerous grasp of the current government, and lies live on the lips of those who are put into positions to protect us but continue to cause more harm.
Lord, we know you put firm footing beneath our steps us we stumble forward. Remind us of the disciples you wish us to be. Actively engaging in our surroundings and not settling for a status quo but creating your kingdom here amongst us.
We welcome your peace and grace to renew our lives.
In your loving name, AmenRead more
The United Church of Christ through Global Ministries has a long history of partnership and solidarity with the people of the Philippines. For the past few years, many of our church partners have been targeted by the government of President Duterte. Both the United Church of Christ in the Philippines and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines have been “red tagged” as groups that support the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) fighting against the government. Their offices have been searched and pastors and church members have been harassed, arrested, and/or killed.Read more
The International Ecumenical Convocation on the Defense of Human Rights in the Philippines was held as an online forum on Thursday, 17 September 2020. The National Council of Churches in the Philippines, in cooperation with the Ecumenical Voice for Human Rights and Peace in the Philippines (EcuVoice), ACT Alliance, The Asia Pacific Forum, Christian Conference of Asia, Council for World Mission, International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines, National Council of Churches in Korea, United Evangelical Mission, World Communion of Reformed Churches, World Council of Churches, and World Student Christian Federation convened the historic meeting, which concluded with the reading of a Unity Statement for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights in the Philippines.
While Philippines is bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, the human rights situation in the country has been exponentially worsening. In July 2020 the Philippines government enacted the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, which legitimizes unlawful arrests and detention, undermines the due process of law, and runs contrary to Philippine Constitution. Critics say the legislation undermines the Philippine Constitution’s bill of rights guaranteeing to every Filipino basic and fundamental rights and liberties.
In critical times such as these, the NCCP, in cooperation with EcuVoice and international partners, convened the consultation to call on the accompaniment and solidarity of the wider international ecumenical community for the protection and promotion of human rights in the Philippines. Partner organizations and churches are invited into a space of deep reflection and concrete action through an online International Ecumenical Convocation on the Defense of Human Rights in the Philippines.
We live in uncertain and challenging times even made prickly by an unseen enemy in Covid-19 pandemic. We are whisked from all sides by all sorts of challenges: poverty, health dangers, natural and human-made calamities and a host of other life’s perils.Read more
Press Statement, July 4, 2020
We in the National Council of Churches in the Philippines condemn in the strongest terms, the passing of the Anti-Terrorism Bill into law. It is a travesty against God’s will, as it gives the government, or even just a few persons in the Anti-terrorism Council, the absolute power that determines what course people’s lives will take by putting forward a very vague definition of terrorism. By so doing, the government has usurped the functions that rightfully belong to God. By playing God, the State commits the highest form of sacrilege. It is an affront to God’s gift of human dignity and a threat to all people of goodwill. President Duterte’s signing it into a law, shows that he does not listen to the legitimate cries of the people, especially our Moro sisters and brothers, who appealed for him to veto the Bill. He only listens to his coterie of generals and sycophants.
Rev. Dan San Andres Sr., as a servant of the Lord Jesus, is a good, honest, hardworking, and courageous defender of human rights. He is assigned as a Church Worker at UCCP Sipocot, Camarines Sur. His teachings and actions are in accordance with the UCCP’s Statement of Faith, Declaration of Principles, and in fulfillment of its laws, such as the protection of human rights. He firmly believes that protecting and upholding human rights is an imperative based on the UCCP’s Declaration of Principles in Article II, Section 11.Read more
En medio de la incertidumbre
Suave ciertamente es la luz, y agradable a los ojos ver el sol; pero, aunque un hombre viva muchos años, y en todos ellos tenga gozo, acuérdese sin embargo que los días de las tinieblas serán muchos. Eclesiastés 11:7-8Read more
Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.
However many years anyone may live, let them enjoy them all.
With the current pandemic-stay-at-home-quarantine situation, I find that some days I am incredibly annoyed by the smallest of things. An entire day can be turned upside down by a simple gesture over digital communication. Yet on other days, I feel ‘productive’- practicing a new skill, reading a book, cleaning out my email inbox, or doing my laundry by hand with the courtyard hose.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 10:40-42
Prayers for the Philippines:
Wellspring of Life and Love, we come to you with hearts grieving, tears flowing, voices trembling, and hands shaking. We are overwhelmed by torrents of life’s challenges: natural (and not so natural) disasters compounded by human actions that destroy our life support system as a whole and by those who feed on the flesh of the most vulnerable members of our society.
Of the many challenges that we as a people in the Philippines are facing and in solidarity with others around the world, we are raising our laments and questions. Help us, dear Spirit of Wisdom, to find some answers to our anguished questions:Read more
If you listen to the news often the stories will ring out with a few catch phrases: “unprecedented times”, “abundance of caution”, “unforeseen circumstances” and so many more. Reading it can be an overwhelming moment where it seems like nothing is stable with the earth constantly shifting under our feet. Instead of standing on solid ground the sands of incessant swirling and falling cause us to stumble.Read more