Friday, 26 October 2018

God’s Mission in the Diaspora

Written by Rev. Sophia Lizares

The 4th Filipino National Conference of the UCA met on 19-21 October 2018, gathering close to 40 participants from New South Wales, Victoria/Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.

This year’s conference theme, “God’s Mission in the Filipino Diaspora”, was elaborated in two keynote speeches.  Bishop Rex Reyes, Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines (ECP), spoke on the roles that Filipinos in diaspora would take to follow God “who became flesh to be in solidarity with God’s creation”.

Dr Deidre Palmer, UCA President, posed challenges and gave words of encouragement to all who participate in God’s mission in a global context. She said that participation in God’s mission needed to be holistic, meaning making, and grounded in Christ who came to bring abundant grace and liberating hope. 

Participants engaged the theme in table discussion around four topics:

  • NextGen in the Uniting Church –Christian education and leadership development
  • International Solidarity & Ecumenism
  • Celebrating Filipino Participation and Leadership in the UCA
  • Incorporating Filipino Theology and Culture in the Uniting Church life. 

To carry out recommendations, the conference elected a Working Group made up of Rev Berlin Guerrero, Convenor; Rev Sophia Lizares; Lori Suarez; Rev Rodel Palma; Bener Reyes; and, Gabby Ocampo, the National Conference’s Immediate Past Convenor. Three youth members are to be nominated from the three Filipino congregations.

Task groups were organised to focus on the following.

  • Youth and NextGen
  • Worship and Christian Formation
  • Discipleship and leadership development
  • Social justice advocacy
  • Mission

The Filipino National Conference is one of 12 national conferences within the Uniting Church. Established in 2007, the Conference seeks to establish a national network of solidarity, support and fellowship among Filipinos within the Uniting Church in Australia. The 4th National Conference was hosted by St. Alban’s UC in Melbourne.

Expressions of interest in joining the Filipino National Conference may be addressed to Rev Berlin Guerrero, tel. (02) 6024 6842 or 0499 303 911.