Contributor of the Month

Jasmin Crismo, 25, is on her last year of being a UMYFer and is grabbing every opportunity to be involved in the ministries of the fellowship. She is a member of The Francisco Homes United Methodist Church in Bulacan where she serves as organist and youth Sunday school teacher.

Jasmin is an Education graduate and worked as a Math teacher for two years. She then worked as a Bible translator in Philippine Bible Society, which she considers a great plot twist in her life. She is a part of the team that translates the New Testament of the Bible into Pinoy version—a version that reflects how we use language in daily conversations. The team finished the project last December 2017, and so right now, Jasmin is in her transition period.

Being a girl with many dreams and random ideas, Jasmin is excited on how she will be spending the first five months of 2018 as she waits for the next school year to start. She hopes to be used by God during these months, particularly for Vacation Church School trainings around the country and for UMYF ministries.

Download the file: UMYFP Devotions_January

NAFAUM News Coverage (Day 3)

Agtarap’s Challenge to GO and MAKE

January 5 – “Making Disciples is not a Program. It is a PROCESS” At 10:00 AM this morning, Rev. Dr. Bener B. Agtarap, Associate General Secretary of the Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church, started his lecture on INTENTIONAL DISCIPLESHIP: A Strategy to New & Vital Church Development. He started the discussion by reiterating the message of the passage from the book of Matthew 28:18-20 and asked this question, “Why Discipleship?” He quoted two important words in the passage, and that is to GO and MAKE.

The Rev. Bener Agtarap highlighting discipleship intentionality

He also stated the 3 C’s in Jesus Model of Discipleship. The first C is “CALLED”, we are called by Jesus to be His disciples, to respond to His call and to share that call to others. And in order for us to justify this calling, he added, we must believe that we are called. Second C is “COMMUNITY”, Rev. Bener emphasized that the relationship happens in the community. He used John Wesley as an example wherein our founder started by building communities of faith during his time. And the third C is “COMMISSION”, he highlighted that the actuality of us being commissioned is not just to be gathered but to be scattered as well. This model is our guide to go and make other disciples.

Making Disciples is OUR MAIN THING. During this presentation of his lesson, he wanted us to talk with our neighbours and answer the following questions, IN WHAT WAYS DOES THE CHURCH ENCOURAGE ME TO “OWN MY OWN GROWTH AS A DISCIPLE? IS OUR CHURCHDOING EVERYTHING IT CAN TO OFFER OPPORTUNITIES FOR DISCIPLES TO GROW AND MATURE? ARE WE INTENTIONAL? These are the questions that challenged the delegates both clergy and lay of the NAFAUM.

Making Disciples WITH A THANKFUL HEART. In this part of the lesson, he showed us the kind of disciples that we should be, DISCIPLES WHO GROW TO GO. DISCIPLES WHO MATURE TO MAKE DISCIPLES. And, DISCIPLES WHO TRANSFORM THE WORLD. To do this, we must share the love of God to many. We are not to promote the church but we are to promote the love of God to others. Knowing our purpose and how to live it out will help us big in understanding our task.

And finally, as he ends his lesson, he shared 5 ways to vitalize congregation. 1. Be a Leader. 2. Extend Yourself. 3. Notice God’s Activity. 4. Engage Your Church to do New Thing. 5. Refresh Yourself. …“If you try to build the church, you will rarely get disciples. But if you will make disciples, you will always get the church.”-Mike Breen

NAFAUM News Coverage (Day 3)

Buenaventura visits NAFAUM Convocation

5 January- Unprecedented events took place today in the convocation of the National Association of Filipino American United Methodists (NAFAUM) in Central United Methodist Church, Manila, Philippines.

Bishop Arichea led the NAFAUM delegation into a moment of prayer together with Rev. George Buenaventura

In the second study of a three-part Bible study series, the Rev. Daniel Arichea, Retired Bishop of the UMC emphasized the call for the Church to express love in more tangible ways amidst the diversity within. Themed as “Therefore Go in Unity”, Arichea expounded on the writings of Paul to the Corinthians. After expounding over the diversity of spiritual gifts among the believers in 1 Corinthians 12, he furthered that as per the succeeding chapter of the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians, such gifts are nonsense and futile if not used inspired and motivated by love towards God and towards one another. He points out that such love includes loving beyond economic, social, political and even between gender lines.

In addition, Arichea highlighted the parallelism between the Corinthian church and the Philippine Methodist church of today as he claimed that the divisions within the former are also present in the later. He added that the reason of such is the absence of authentic love within the church.

In response, delegates shared their opinions and laments over the state of the church. One of the issues pointed out is that of the Ang Iglesia Metodista sa Pilipinas (AIMP) that decided to form a new organization away from that of the United Methodist Church.

The Rev. George Buenaventura on his greetings to the NAFAUM delegation

After the study, the Rev. George Buenaventura, one of the leaders of AIMP was warmly welcomed in the plenary. Buenaventura extended the greetings of his denomination to the delegates, and wished them the best as the delegates confer together. In response, the delegates, inspired by the lecture of Arichea calling for the church to love, joined hands and prayed, also led by Arichea. ###

Richard Mel Caplis

NAFAUM News Coverage (Day 2)

Arichea, Tapia, Reyes, Bautista inspire NAFAUM Delegates

4 January- Some of the country’s leading Biblical scholars and Church leaders joined forces in the second day of National Association of Filipino American United Methodists (NAFAUM) convocation in Central United Methodist Church, Manila.

The NCCP Teatro Ekyumenikal on their presentation of Filipino Migration Situation as one of the highlights during the 2nd day of the NAFAUM Convocation

The Rev. Dr. Daniel Arichea, Retired Bishop of the United Methodist Church, led the morning Bible Study focusing in the theme “Therefore Go for Justice.” In the study, he weaved in that the God has consistently been on the side of the poor, and that the “…In God, it is always the strong adjusting for the weak….” In this, Arichea drew parallelism between how God reached out to a weak humanity. He then challenged the delegates to live a life of justice and righteousness because God is just and that the Just God requires his followers to be just and righteous as well. Posed by an inquiry regarding religious pluralism, Arichea claims that “Christ is above all” where he recognized that God is at work in the lives of every individual regardless of religion.

Bishop Arichea on his Bible Study lecture (Day 2)

Following the lecture of Arichea is the Keynote Address of the Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Tapia. Tapia, herself a balikbayan is currently a Global Ministries Missionary of the United Methodist Church and Professor of Theology, Bible and Mission in John Wesley College, Tuguegarao after serving for years in the United States. In her message, Tapia highlighted the role of the young people in the struggle for justice through a performance of the Teatro Ekyumenical of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. She also presented statistical facts and possible mission trends that calls for action of the entire Church.

Dr. Elizabeth Tapia on her discussion on Global Trends

Also, the National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) General Secretary, the Padi Rex Reyes, Jr, delivered an update of the situation of the Philippines, especially of the Philippine churches in their collective pursuit for peace and justice. He highlighted the participation of the ecumenical community in fighting for a just and lasting peace in the country by pushing the National Democratic Front- Philippines (NDFP) and the Government of the Philippines to resume peace talks to end the 49 years of armed communist insurgency. A key feature of the involvement of the NCCP is for the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Socio-Economic Reforms (CASER).

Padi Rex Reyes on his presentation of the Philippine National Situation (Day 2)

In response to the situationer presented by Reyes, the Rev. Liberator Bautista, Assistant General Secretary for United Nations and International Affairs of the General Board of Church and Society of UMC provided a response. There he singled out that even if the birth of Protestant movements in the country is ideologically motivated, he said that what is clear in the UMC stance is that “…Jesus is peace. There is no alternative to peace but Jesus….” ###