December 30, 2023

In Northern Philippines, Ministerial Team Unites for Year-end Fellowship

Event highlights wholistic development of Adventist pastors and their families.

North Philippine Union Conference Communication Department
Seventh-day Adventist pastors and their families in the North Philippine Union Conference recently attended the first-ever regional Ministerial Year-end Fellowship, which opened with a parade. [Photo: North Philippine Union Conference]

Pastors from the Seventh-day Adventist churches across the North Philippine Union Conference (NPUC) recently convened at the Adventist University of the Philippines (AUP) campus for a historic event — the first-ever North Philippines Ministerial Year-end Fellowship. The gathering brought together pastors and their spouses and children for a five-day experience focused on fostering fellowship, sportsmanship, shared meals, and collaborative learning.

The five-day event, themed COMMUNITEAM, aimed to strengthen the bonds of community and teamwork among Adventist pastors. This historic occasion saw a notable turnout of 1,080 participants, including a substantial delegation of 311 pastors and their families from the Central Luzon Conference, the largest church territory within NPUC.

The festive ambiance of the fellowship commenced with a parade from the campsite to the AUP gymnasium, where the opening ceremony unfolded. Offie Rivera, a representative from the local community leadership, attended the event in honor of Community Chief Mario Marqueses. Rivera acknowledged the positive impact of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the AUP community on the lives of the local constituents. Furthermore, he assured the delegates of a peaceful and secure stay on campus throughout the duration of the event.

The guest of honor at the event was Honorable Assistant Secretary John L. Tejano from the Philippines Department of Justice (DOJ), who brought a wealth of personal experience to the gathering. As the son of a minister, a former ambassador, and an AUP theology graduate, Tejano emphasized the valuable role of education in his community service. Drawing from his three-term tenure as a municipal mayor, he encouraged pastors to actively engage in and contribute to their communities, underscoring the unparalleled significance of pastoral ministry as “the greatest and noblest of all professions,” involved in leading individuals to Jesus. Tejano motivated pastoral families, stating, “When you get discouraged, look at the Cross.”

The lighting of the friendship cauldron signaled the official start of the year-end fellowship. NPUC leaders went a step further in fostering a sense of community by arranging a remarkable 100-meter table to accommodate the collective dining experience, symbolizing the unity among the attendees.

The Ministerial Year-end Fellowship not only provided an unprecedented opportunity for pastors to come together for fellowship, sportsmanship, shared meals, and collaborative learning but also served as a platform to reaffirm their commitment to the community and the shared mission of the Adventist Church, organizers emphasized. “The success of this historic event sets a promising precedent for future gatherings that aim to strengthen the bonds within the pastoral community across the North Philippine Union Conference,” they said.

The original version of this story was posted on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division news site.