In the photo: Rev. Giovanni Arroyo, Dr. Framer Milla, Bishop Rodolfo “Rudy” Juan, District Superintendent Rev. Joel Bengben, Dr. Revelation Velunta, Rev. Leslie de la Cruz, Rev. Elmer Victoria, Rev. Benjie Benitez, Pastor Kenneth Base, Ms. Kaykay Pamaran, Ms. Arlene Cando.
Dasmarinas, Cavite, Philippines, June 5-7, 2019 — The General Commission on Religion and Race (“GCORR”) launched a Philippines Steering Committee to equip United Methodist Church representatives in the Philippines to use intercultural collaboration and competency to reach more people, younger people, and more diverse people in their local contexts. Team Leader for Program Ministries, Rev. Giovanni Arroyo and representatives from each of the episcopal areas in the Philippines led the diverse group of individuals in this inaugural meeting.
The steering committee worked together to contextualize the GCORR Ministry Model and the Conference Commission on Religion and Race (CCORR) disciplinary mandates, and explored new networks and partnerships that could be cultivated and developed for the Philippines Central Conference. The participants discussed the importance of intercultural competency for the development of lay and clergy as they continue to work with multiple ethnicities and tribal communities. They also reviewed previous work from the 2017 GCORR Philippines Roundtables and 2014-2016 CORR Action Fund projects which helped develop intercultural competency skills of seminarians and clergy to engage better with Indigenous People and the Muslim community.
In this gathering, the committee identified three teams to guide the first phase of their work. The resource team will review and assess which of the current GCORR resources are adaptable and readily accessible to use in the Filipino context. The needs assessment team will explore with the episcopal leaders and district superintendents the current challenges of culture, ethnicity, tribe, and equity in the local church and the district levels. The CCORR team will work to translate the GCORR Ministry Model into Tagalog and explore different models for developing CCORR throughout the 25 annual conferences.
For the next six months, the three teams will continue working using online platforms with the support of GCORR. The steering committee will have their next in-person meeting in November 2019.
Click here to view videos of participants interviewed at the gathering.