The education department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Central Visayan region (CVC) of the Philippines called for a two-day meeting at Cebu Adventist Academy in Talisay City, Cebu, on September 16-17, 2022. The event’s goal was to reexamine, reorient, empower, and encourage church education secretaries and school board members on Adventist education’s role in students’ holistic development, organizers said.
More than 300 registered delegates from different church schools throughout Central Visayas responded and attended the first-ever CVC-wide Church Education Secretary and School Board Convention with the theme, “Adventist Education for Eternity.”
Speakers from the division office and various Adventist educational institutions were present to share their expertise. Bienvenido G. Mergal, Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD) education director; Bryan Sumendap, SSD associate director; and Lemuel G. Banday, education director for the Central Philippine Union Conference (CPUC) were among the education leaders and risk management officers who attended the event.
In an interview, CVC education director Isaías S. Guisando reiterated the significance of electing a church education secretary in the local churches because this has been a program of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as stipulated in the church manual. “It is the only office in the local church that will promote Christian education,” he emphasized. “[We want to help them] be aware of the sacred responsibility of supporting, rearing, and monitoring the status of the children in our churches … especially in preparing young people for eternity.”
During the worship service, Mergal reminded everyone to teach children to love the Lord, who is the source of all wisdom. He also expressed his praises to God for the success of the first-ever meeting with the church education secretaries and school board members. “I know you have been attentive to the different presentations, and I would like to encourage you to keep studying all those principles. We understand that we are living in the end-time, and we have a lot of challenges in our school but let us always remember that the Lord will never leave us,” Mergal said.
Robert Pabillaran, the school board chairman of the Adventist elementary school in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, said he appreciated the CVC education department’s initiative. “I am very impressed. Having seminars like this is very important because it will hone and harness the potential of our church education secretaries, school board members, and teachers, together with our local church board members, to revisit the importance of Adventist education,” he said.
On another note, Banday reported that there are 1,966 churches and companies throughout the CPUC territory, but there are only 78 church schools. “If Mrs. White was alive today, what would be her advice with establishing schools since there are many requirements that even our present church schools could hardly comply with?” Banday asked. “We thought of making the education secretary of the local church function in providing activities and training even where there are no schools … The active education secretary of the church can compensate for what [is lacking] ... Let us do all our power to make our school a blessing to the youth,” he said.
The two-day convention culminated with a commitment ceremony, which led all the attendees to accept the challenge of teaching Adventist children in the Lord until He comes.