On October 24, 2022, in Cavite, Philippines, more than 300 pastors from various religions gathered for a fellowship lunch hosted by the regional Seventh-day Adventist Church. The purpose of the invitation was to foster wholesome spiritual relationships between fellow pastors and ministers of the many religious organizations in the adjacent areas of the province of Cavite. The first of its kind in Luzon, this gathering brought together ministers and pastors from various faith groups to pray, fellowship, and celebrate God’s goodness and provide hope for the world, organizers said.
Muslims, born-again Christians, United Methodists, Unida Christians, United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Christian pastors for the deaf and mute community, and members of the Pentecostal Church were among the religious ministers and pastors present. Representatives of the local government from a variety of sectors attended the event to demonstrate their support for this fellowship of Christians. Kevin Anarna, the mayor of the municipality of Silang, Cavite, attended the gathering and gave a speech of appreciation for seeing different religious organizations work together to promote Christlike character in society and in the congregations they serve.
“I am a product of various religious organizations. [Experiencing] Christian education at the onset of my upbringing helped me to hone my character and encouraged me always to strive and become a better person,” Anarna said.
This program reflects the church’s advocacy for engaging in interfaith talks and developing positive connections with other religious organizations in society.
Roger Caderma, the president of the Adventist Church in the Southern Asia-Pacific, thanked the event’s organizers and welcomed fellow ministers and pastors from other religions to attend the fellowship lunch.
“We are all geared to achieve one mission, and that is for all of us to reach heaven,” Caderma said. “We all have a valuable task to accomplish, to be God’s disciples in preparing people for God’s salvation and soon return,” Caderma added.
Adventist leaders offered a brief introduction to the Adventist Church and its advocacy for working with the community as it seeks to establish an enduring and positive impact on families and individuals.
The meeting also included several presentations on publishing and health. Ministry magazine was provided as a free subscription to the meeting attendees. Since 1928, the Adventist Church has published that theological magazine, which is written for a multidenominational and international readership.
Bernie Fontalba, the senior pastor of the Faith Fellowship Church-Tagaytay Regional Chapter, responded to the fellowship by expressing his gratitude and reminding those present of the divine call that God has given to His ministers and pastors.
According to Fontalba, the responsibility of being a pastor is a gift from God. Despite all the challenges we are currently facing, “our mission is to let people see the blessed hope in Jesus,” he said. “We [tell] the world that hope is found in Jesus.”
At the end of the program, organizers announced they expect to repeat the experience in 2023.