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UCCP Theological Summit

The United Church of Christ in the Philippines organized a theological consultation on 20-24 June 2005 at Shalom Center in Manila to clarify and articulate the theological position of the church on a number of issues.

With the help of Filipino resource persons, four topics were specifically dealt with. An input on Christology, with emphasis on the life, message, mission and ministry of Jesus was facilitated by Dr. Levi Oracion. Ecclesiology, with emphasis on the nature of the church, unity, life and ministry, was facilitated by Bishop Erme Camba.

Two presentations were made on missiology. Dr. Oscar Suarez focused on mission and the missionary task of the church while Dr. Hope S. Antone focused on mission in relation to pluralism and inclusivity. Dr. Everett L. Mendoza dealt with the topic of church and society with focus on the world we live in.

UCCP General Secretary Bishop Elmer Bolocon gave the keynote address at the start of the consultation, calling it an attempt to open the door 'so that we may all go in, and together claim a common space' for an encounter deriving from the variety and diversity of experiences and perspectives. Co-facilitating the consultation were Bishop Erme Camba, chair of the Faith and Order Commission, and Ms. Edna Orteza, staff of the national office.

There were 35 participants, including the members of the UCCP Faith and Order Commission, the incumbent bishops of the jurisdictional areas, representatives of UCCP ministerial formation centers, representatives of some other commissions, and some staff of the national office.

The theological consultation is part of a series of processes planned by the Faith and Order Commission of the UCCP. These are intended to provide order, relevance, coherence, and consistency in the theological articulations of the UCCP. Another ongoing initiative is the writing of commentaries on the various articles of the UCCP Statement of Faith, which will constitute a study material for the local churches.

The theological consultation was characterized by a spirit of openness and dialogue. Participants coming from different theological standpoints felt uninhibited to share their concerns and questions, thereby marking the beginning of understanding and acceptance.

The UCCP is a member of the Christian Conference of Asia. It was established in 1948 when 5 denominations merged as a united church. Many of its ongoing activities are to lead up to the General Assembly in May 2006.

posted by hope on Sunday, June 26, 2005  

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