March 13, 2024

Interfaith Convention Fosters Unity, Community Impact in the Philippines

Regional Seventh-day Adventist Church hosted the event for Christian ministries.

Melo Anadem Ong, Northern Philippine Union Conference, for Southern Asia-Pacific Division, and Adventist Review
Group photo of the pastors from various Christian denominations who convened at the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in San Pablo City, Laguna, Philippines, for a recent interfaith convention. [Photo: NPUC Communication Department]

Pastors from various Christian denominations recently convened at the headquarters of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in San Pablo City, Laguna, Philippines, for the PREACH Project for Reaching Every Clergy at Home.

A total of 56 participants from the provinces of Batangas, Laguna, and Quezon attended the event, themed “Feed My Lamb.” The primary objective was to forge positive relationships with other clergy members and share insights to better serve their congregations by nurturing their faculties, organizers said.

Feed My Lamb

Presentations covered a wide range of areas vital to the life and ministry of pastors, including physical and mental health, music, family, the congregation, and personal spiritual growth. All presenters hailed from the North Philippine Union Conference (NPUC), the main office of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Luzon. 

NPCU health ministries director Jadaza Hintay addressed the crucial topic of maintaining physical health through a proper diet, citing concerning rates of obesity and hypertension among clergy members. Emphasizing the connection between a healthy diet and mental, social, physical, and spiritual well-being, Hintay underscored the importance of a balanced diet. 

Following this, NPUC music ministries director Josie-Felda Calera discussed the significance of nurturing the soul with music, describing it as soothing and uplifting, promoting physical and mental well-being. Additionally, Ardie Diaz delved into the necessity of feeding the mind with spiritual sustenance. “What you feed your mind will determine the health of your emotional and spiritual state; it will either eat you up or fill you up. Feeding the mind with God’s truth will keep you strong,” Diaz said.

Delba de Chavez, NPUC director of family ministries, underscored the significance of family worship in her presentation. She emphasized that spiritually enriched households prioritize faith interactions, including family worship, prayer, and Bible reading. She further highlighted that modern technology often disrupts family bonding, noting, “Phones have become an unwelcome addition to the dinner table setting.”

Highlighting the spiritual nourishment of the congregations, data privacy officer Jose Orbe Jr. outlined three reasons to nourish the church: to reinvigorate, to replenish, and to reproduce. He said, “When we fail to bring the flock to faith in God, they are hungry. They keep eating but remain hungry. They keep drinking but remain thirsty. What should we feed them? Christ. How will we feed them? By leading them to faith in Christ, Christ will satisfy them. Christ is enough.”

NPUC ministerial secretary Marvin Diaz wrapped up the session with the topic “Feeding the Minister With a Biblical Diet.” “When the sheep are well fed, milk is good,” Diaz said. He encouraged ministers to prioritize spending time in the study of God’s Word, stating, “True happiness only comes through the Word of God. The Word of God sanctifies us. We must have encounters with the Word of God. The Bible isn’t merely a tool for preaching; it is for the transformation of our lives.”

Feedback and Reflections

“Everything here is godly,” said Nestor P. de los Santos, a delegate from Jesus Christ Refiner’s Fire Church. “We can feel the presence of God. We are eager to replicate your good practices, methodologies, and teachings and how you live as Christians.”

Senior pastor Arcangel Santonia, of The Light of the World, expressed heartfelt gratitude for the opportunity to fellowship with Adventist pastors. “This gathering goes to show that although we are from different organizations, we are united in one Spirit and one God,” he said.

In his closing statements, Jasper Flores, president of the South-Central Luzon Conference, extended appreciation to all pastors in attendance. “It’s a great joy to be with our fellow pastors. It is our intention to exchange best practices and learn from each other to enrich our ministries,” Flores said.

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