How do you create community during the time of social distancing? I have been in the Philippines for a little over two weeks and during this time the global situation and reaction to the coronavirus COVID-19 has dramatically changed. And the Philippines is no different. We are all navigating the new landscape of what a pandemic looks like for our daily lives. Our routines have been altered, businesses we frequent are closed for the foreseeable future, and folks are hunkering down at home. Spending unprecedented amount of time with lucky dogs, their families, new babies, and Netflix. This new landscape for me also comes with a literal new landscape as well. I’ve only been in Cebu for 4 days (the city and island I will be based out of for the duration of my time here). This is the crucial time to build those initial relationships, establish community, and develop rapport. My own supervisor is not here due to the travel and movement restrictions. Currently we are on “community quarantine” which limits domestic travel in and out, reduces or closes businesses, and creates police checkpoints throughout the city. All of this in the very necessary and important step of creating “social distance”.Read more
Dumaguete Kalauman Center in the Philippines is a Child Sponsorship partner of Global Ministries. The money received by Global Ministries from child sponsors is used for education expenses, medical assistance, cultural activities and establishing a college or trade school savings fund for each child. In addition to facilitating the child sponsorship program, Kalauman also works to strengthen partnerships with the nearby communities to promote opportunities for children and families to participate in community affairs, and to connect parents of children at Kalauman to employment opportunities.Read more
On November 5, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) was included on the list of “front organizations of local communist terrorist groups” presented to the Philippines House Intelligence Committee by the Department of National Defense (DND). The NCCP was one among several humanitarian and service-oriented organizations on the list that the government is “red-tagging” by alleging they provide funds to the Communist Terrorist Group (CTG) through “International Solidarity Work.”Read more
Dansalan College is an educational ministry of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP). The school was established in 1948 with the vision to be a responsible, empowered, self-reliant, and caring community of Christian believers committed to the pursuit of a transformed church and society. The main campus of Dansalan College lived out that vision in Marawi City, which is almost entirely Muslim.
In 2017, a group of militants attacked Marawi City on the southern island of Mindanao; the college suffered fire, vandalism, and hostage-taking. Most of the Marawi campus was destroyed. You can read more about these events here. The 2019 Global Ministries Award of Affirmation for East Asia and the Pacific was given to Dansalan College for its resilience and dedication to carry on its important bridge-building mission to educate all of God’s children.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 12:49-56
Prayers for the Philippines:
Our land is bleeding, O God, as well as your people. We raise to you our pains and laments!
Extractive industries continue to expose the veins of the earth, mine its wealth, plunder its resources, destroy its ecosystem, and displace the indigenous peoples. Those who resist are often silenced. The Philippines has now topped others countries in the numbers of people killed in defense of land and the environment. Pile of dead bodies, especially indigenous people and environmental defenders, continue to rise. God, hear our cries.
Beyond natural calamities and poverty, the war on drugs and counter-insurgency campaign have already claimed the lives of many, especially the poor and the marginalized sectors of our society. In recent weeks, a surge of killings happened on the island of Negros, and perpetrators continue their killing spree with impunity. Hear our cries, O God.
Help us, just and loving God, to see the signs of your presence in the midst of our troubled society. Remind us that violent reaction is the usual default of the power wielders and social division is a reality when the good news is preached to the disenfranchised.
In the hours of trial empower and sustain us with your steadfast love, dear God, so we can continue to hold on to what is right, and let your spirit guide us to faithfulness. Amen.Read more
Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) General Secretary offers prayers and sympathyRead more
This spring we have had two new projects at the seminary. First, Union Theological Seminary in the Philippines was part of the celebration of the Second Founding Anniversary of Peasants and Church People Movement of Cavite (PCPMC).Read more
Y de hacer bien y de la ayuda mutua no os olvidéis; porque de tales sacrificios se agrada Dios. Hebreos 13:16
Desplazados de sus hogares ancestrales por causa de la minería, la militarización y otras formas de agresión del desarrollo, los Lumads (pueblos indígenas de Filipinas) han buscado un refugio temporal entre las comunidades hospitalarias. El consorte de Ministerios Globales, Seminario Teológico Unión (UTS por su nombre en inglés) ha tenido el privilegio de albergar a los Lumads. Los Lumad se quedaron durante un mes en el campus de la UTS, donde se sintieron como en casa debido a su bello entorno natural. Gracias a la hospitalidad de UTS, la niñez Lumad pudo continuar su educación a través de la Escuela de Bakwit (evacuados) itinerante, la cual proporciona educación a los muchos Lumad que fueron evacuados.Read more
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16
Displaced from their ancestral homes because of mining, militarization, and other forms of developmental aggression, the Lumads (indigenous people of the Philippines) have sought temporary sanctuary among hospitable communities. Global Ministries partner, Union Theological Seminary (UTS) has been privileged to host the Lumads. The Lumads stayed for a month at the UTS campus, which felt like home because of its beautiful natural surroundings. Through UTS’ hospitality, the Lumad children were able to continue their education through the traveling Bakwit (evacuees) School, which provides schooling to the many Lumads who evacuated.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Luke 1:39-45, (46-55)
Prayers for the Philippines:
God of mercy and steadfast love, incline your ears to the cry and anguish of your suffering people. They have suffered so much from the hands of the haughty and the mighty, and many of them are dying before their time. Many are without bread and hungry even as they labor day and night in the fields and factories, while others are wallowing in wealth and affluence. The farmers, such as that of Lupang Ramos, have given their sweat and labors to till the land, but they are under threat of eviction. The Lumads, the indigenous peoples of the Philippines, and other indigenous communities around the world, have been displaced from their ancestral domains in the name of development. Many lives have been wasted, especially the lowly ones, in the name of the war on drugs and in the name of peace.
Knowing your mighty acts of liberation and your steadfast love, we come to you to with our prayers and hopes. As in the past, we trust that you will bring down the mighty from their thrones, lift up the lowly from the mire of misery, and fill the hungry with good things.
With your ever-present Holy Spirit, comfort your people in their hours of tribulation that they may not waiver in their hopes and empower them to conspire with others in the work of helping usher your peaceable and livable world.
This we pray in the Name of the One who was crucified and resurrected with the people. Amen.Read more