“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
The first ECSA camp with theme “P.U.S.H” which means Pursuing and Understanding Social Holiness was spearheaded by the National United Methodist Youth Fellowship Philippines, held last June 2015. It focused on the issues faced by the LGBT community. The activity served as an eye opener to the youth as they dug this topic more than the usual. For better understanding, the umyf’ers visited a bar, attended by the LGBT, to see, feel, hear, smell and taste the current situation of our LGBT brethren. Through the collaborative effort of NUMYFP and Board of Women’s Work, the event succeeded as some Annual Conferences responded by having forums and discussions about the topic.
NUMYFP seeks to continue the pursuance and understanding of social holiness. During the 2nd National Youth Council Meeting, participated by 20 out of 26 Annual Conferences, an ECSA time was conducted. The Ecumenical and Church-Society Affairs Department Head, whom personally heard first hand information, shared stories of struggles experienced by our co-Filipinos. These are some oplan tokhang, political prisoners and Lumad from Talaingod testimonials.
The delegates of the said council meeting felt the injustices happening in our country today. In response, coin bank out of softdrinks bottles were given or commonly known as Puso Bottles which implies generosity from the heart. At the moment, more than 120 bottles were scattered all over the Philippines where some Annual Conferences are making effort to bring it up to the local chapter for widest dissemination of information and generosity. The goal is to save 10php a day for 70 days, all proceeds goes to the Lumad community in Mindanao.
ECSA camp aims to bring youths outside the walls of the church to reach the least, the lost and the last. This year’s theme “O.I.C” One In Christ exemplifies solidarity with our Lumad brethren. In this sense that may we found ourselves as one body of Christ and that none is unreachable in God’s love even we differ in native language, color, gender or traditions.
OIC can also be interpreted as an expression “Oh! I see”. A saying goes “to see is to believe” where questions are answered when we see it with our very own eyes. Unheard stories, unseen reality and unfelt burdens of the indigenous people community, these are what our youths want to discover. Where in human and environmental injustices, militarization, and human rights violation occurred. That through immersing to the reality of life we will be motivated to pursue and understand social holiness and institutionalized Church and Society programs in the context of their respective Annual Conferences.
Fueled by the theme verse Galatians 3:26-28 upholding our belief in any social circumstances that we are all sons and daughters of God and equal to His eyes. As brothers and sisters we strive for peace and unity. In such we open our doors, minds and hearts through reaching one another in best way we can.
The ECSA camp-PUSH with the theme “OIC” envisions to be relevant young people in being and making disciples of Jesus Christ to transform the world through showing camaraderie with our Lumad brethren. To inspire youths to institutionalized programs for Church and Society that we can fulfil our goal to know Christ and make Him known.