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News from the UU's in the Philippines

Philippine UU General Assembly Report

by: Rev. Arman Pedro

The Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines, Inc. (UUCP) held its second General Assembly last April 24-26, 2022 with the theme, “A Resilient Faith Amidst in Uncertain Times”. Doni Gino, an active young adult member from Calapayan Congregation was this year’s keynote speaker during the opening ceremony on the evening of April 24. As an Agricultural Engineer, he talked about the impact of the Covid19 pandemic on many fronts of human lives particularly on agricultural sector, which was very relevant as many UUCP members are farmers. The limited face to face event was attended by eighty five delegates coming from different congregations, who were all very excited to attend after two years of strict protocols on travels and gatherings.

The Executive Minister and the Church Administrator delivered their three-year report and a new budget for fiscal year April 1, 2022- March 31, 2023 was presented by Rev. Arman Pedro. In the afternoon, election for new members of the Board of Trustees was conducted and Rev. Hector Condez from Samaka Congregation was elected as the new Executive Minister and will serve for six years.

One of the highlights of the general assembly was the 67th Church Anniversary on April 25, 2022 with an anniversary worship service in the evening. The Rev. Howard Lomeran from Cansauro Congregation gave the homily. The second part of the celebration was the ordination of the nine new ministers with six males, one female, and two representing the LGBTQ. Rev. Hector Condez gave the sermon which focused on his journey as the young minister under the supervision of the late Rev. Toribio Quimada. After the ordination, a simple handover ceremony formally transferred the responsibility from Rev. Tet Gallardo, outgoing Executive Minister, to Rev. Hector Condez as the new Executive Minister.

The assembly ended on April 26, 2022 with the advance memorial birthday service of the founder of the church, the late Rev. Toribio Quimada who was born on April 27. In the shared reflection many senior ministers shared their direct experiences of the ministry of Rev. Quimada. Several young adult members shared how they were impacted and inspired by the life and ministry of the late Rev. Quimada. From his grave in the public cemetery in Sta. Catalina, his bones were cremated and his ashes together with his wife were now transferred in the new tomb inside the garden of the church in Dumaguete City.

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