UCCP 71st Anniversary Celebration

UCCP 71st Anniversary Celebration-UCCP 71st Anniversary Banner

Celebrate Our Vibrant Unity at 71st and Moving Towards UCCP’s 75th, Our Diamond Jubilee 

This is the theme of the UCCP anniversary celebration held on May 25, 2019, at Union Theological Seminary, Palapala, Dasmarinas, Cavite.  It was attended by 3,800 registered participants of the clergy and laity all the way from Northwest Mindanao Jurisdiction, South East Mindanao Jurisdiction, East Visayas Jurisdiction, West Visayas Jurisdiction, South Luzon Jurisdiction, Middle Luzon Jurisdiction, and North Luzon Jurisdiction.

The atmosphere may be humid and warm for the sun had shone all day but the crowd felt joyful and relaxed atmosphere.

The liturgy started at 9:00 am and culminated at past 12 in the afternoon.

Objectives and Significance of the Celebration 

A. Objectives

  1. The 71st-anniversary celebration will accentuate the seven decades long of positive evolution and constructive transformation of the UCCP as a Church;
  2. It will firm up the resolve that the mission of the Church has its locus in the local church and being supported by the higher judicatories and sustained by the power of the Holy Spirit;
  3. It will encourage more local churches and conferences to meaningfully celebrate the 71st anniversary in the backdrop of their unique culture and history that provides color and radiance in their festivities.

B. Significance

  1. Loyal and committed UCCP leaders and members are standing strong on the 71st, pursuing unity and living out the mission in the midst for justice and peace in these challenging times.
  2. Celebrating the 71st anniversary will show forth UCCP’s resilience in the midst of challenges and attempts to divide the Church.
  3. Church constituency both the laity and clergy from the local, conference, jurisdictional and national levels will participate as a manifestation of their unwavering support to the program ministries and the leadership that they have democratically chosen to lead the church towards the future and providing direction for responsible, sustainable and shared stewardship development.
  4. The 71st and moving forward to the 75th the Diamond Jubilee is a step towards making the UCCP responsive to the needs of the local churches, raising the level of competence of church leaders and witnessing to the love of God in Christ through its teaching, preaching, healing and stewardship programs.

 

THE GATHERING

The Call to Celebration                                                                 Sounding the Budyong
                                                                                  Chant (Elena Maquiso’s Umari Katawhan)

Gangsa and Kulintang ensembles

Procession of Symbols and Colors                             The Annual Conferences and their colors                                                                          with Dangtalan UCCP (North Highland) and Middle
                                                                                   Highland Conference Gangsa Ensembles

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE GATHERED COMMUNITY

Acknowledgment of the                           Mr. Keith Arleigh Quebral
Gathered Community                              Chairperson, UCCP General Assembly

Words of Welcome                                  Dr. Eleazar Fernandez
                                                                President, Union Theological Seminary

                                                                Rev. Eric Baldonado
                                                                Conference Minister, Upland Cavite Conference

                                                                Bishop Emergencio D. Padillo
                                                                Bishop Assigned to Middle Luzon Jurisdictional Area        

                                                                Bishop Joel E. Tendero
                                                                Bishop Assigned to South Luzon Jurisdictional Area    

                                                                Bishop Melzar Labuntog
                                                                General Secretary

Greetings and Statements of Solidarity         Senator  Cynthia Villar       

                                                                       Secretary Leonor Briones                                                                                                         Department of Education

                                                                         Former President Fidel V. Ramos

Partner Churches and Organization:

                                                                      NCCP
Iglesia UNIDA Ekyumenikal
Iglesia Filipina Independiente (IFI)
PCU
Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea    (PROK)                                                                  Presbyterian Church USA                                    United Church of Canada                                      United Evangelical Mission (UEM)

 

THE ACT OF PRAISE

Hymn of Praise                                   “Kadakilaan Mo”
                              (Words: S. Ruperto; Music: B. Custodio; Eng. Para: R. del Rosario)

Kadakilaan mo, O Diyos sinasaysay
Ng bawat tanawing aking minamasdan,
Kapangyarihanmosapusonakintal,
Kayamagpupurihabangnabubuhay.

Sa hangin at bundok, sa tubig at lupa
Sa dagat at batis, sa bawat nilikha,
Kapangyarihanmodooynababadha,
Kaya’tkagalakanangmagpuringkusa.

O Diyos dakila! Dakila kaylanman!
Puso’y sumisigaw, di ko mapigilan,
Kalagayahanko angakingisaysay,
Kal’walhatianmo nadimapaparam.

Our hearts ascend to you singing worship unrestrained;
We offer thanks and praise for your eternal care;
we marvel at your love which never, never fails,
Andpledgeourselvestotellofyoutoalltheworld.

The Invocation                                                             The Podong Rite
                                                                                     Through North Luzon Jurisdiction

Litany of Praise

Leader: Be joyful! The heavens have spoken, the walls have fallen, a church is risen!

People: THAT ALL MAY BE ONE IN GOD SO THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE

Leader: Be joyful! The blind can see, the lame can walk, the people are free, the lowly are lifted up!

People: THAT ALL ME BE ONE IN CHRIST SO THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE

Leader: Be joyful! From where the sun rises and where it sets; from where the gentle wind breezes in and exists, a church gathers. Here and now. United and uniting. Covenanting anew. Declaring her common faith and message: “Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, our Lord and Savior”.

PeopleTHAT ALL MAY BE ONE IN THE SPIRIT SO THAT THE WORLD MAY BELIEVE

Leader: Be joyful! The Church marches on. Journeys! Seventy-one years. Seventy-five years thereafter!

 

Choral Acclamation                                                      “Be Joyful and Sing to the Lord”
                                                                                     (Words and music: Jay Althouse)
                                                                                        The UCCP 710-Voice Choir

THE ACT OF REMEMBRANCE

The UCCP Story                                                            Teatro UCCP

The Act of Contrition

Leader: Our story as a community of faith reminds us how faithful God is from the day that we were conceived and born as United Church of Christ in the Philippines; how our parents and forebears labored to make the prayer of Christ a reality in our common witness; how the church that was established by our radical remembering of the Christ pursued its mission with much vigor and creativity.

Forgive us, our most merciful God, for our forgetfulness. We have failed to live and celebrate the unity that you so desire for us. We have caused so much pain to your body that now writhes in agony.  Take our self-serving thoughts and actions, our feuds and divisive factions.  God, have mercy on us.

(Those who are able and who may feel they want to kneel in an act of contrition may do so)

Cantor: Blest are the poor in spirit, the kingdom of heaven is theirs

Choir/People: AMEN, AMEN, IT SHALL BE SO. AMEN, ALLELUIA!

Leader: O Christ our Lord, you asked the Father that we may be one even as you are one that the world may believe.  But how can the world believe when what they see and behold is the scandal of a divided church? We come to you to confess our brokenness and division.  Forgive us when we become a party to disunity, instead of enhancing our oneness in You and in your body, the Church. As the Apostle Paul admonished may we “do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than ourselves”.  Let each one of us look not only to his or her own interests but also to the interests of others.  Instead, may we have this mind among ourselves, which is ours in Jesus Christ. Christ, have mercy.

Cantor:  Blest are the pure in heart for they shall see their God.

Choir/People:      AMEN, AMEN, IT SHALL BE SO. AMEN, ALLELUIA!

Leader:  Forgive us, O most gracious God, for our forgetfulness.  We have failed to see the expanse and reach of your presence and activity. We have retreated back to the parochialism and exclusivism of our sectarian and denominationalistic past.  Helps us see a world bigger than our recluse churches and communities. Heal us of our forgetfulness and help us see the vision of our founding parents.  Help us see your presence and your activity in other faith communities, and your mighty hands and outstretched arms among the poor and marginalized.  God, have mercy.

Cantor:  Blest are the gentle, the gentle, the earth shall be their own

Choir/People:  AMEN, AMEN, IT SHALL BE SO. AMEN, ALLELUIA!

Leader: Forgive us, our most merciful God, for our forgetfulness. We have failed to understand and live what it means to be holy, to be set apart for your use. We have confused holiness and spirituality with our quests for moral perfection, and with material reward and prosperity—thinking that these reflect our election and blessedness.  Help us abandon ourselves.  Lead us and your church to the way of Jesus who lived, dined and struggled with those who need God the most. Christ, have mercy.

Cantor: Blest are the poor in spirit, the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

Choir/People:  AMEN, AMEN, IT SHALL BE SO. AMEN, ALLELUIA!

Leader: Forgive us, our most merciful God, for our forgetfulness.  We failed in our task as stewards of the faith and teachings of the apostles and the prophets.  We have preached gospels that promote bigotry, hate, exclusion, exploitation, and plunder; gospels that try to separate us from our neighbors, blind our eyes and plug our ears to the cries and affliction of our fellow human beings and our planet. Lord, have mercy.

Cantor: Blest are the gentle, the gentle, the earth shall be their own.

Choir/People:  AMEN, AMEN, IT SHALL BE SO. AMEN, ALLELUIA!

 

The Absolution                                                                         Rev. Dr. Ruth Billena
                                                                                                Conference Minister, LCSMC

Minister: And now may the Lord in his mercy cleanse you and give you a new heart just as the Lord said: “I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanliness, and from all your idols I will cleanse you.  A new heart, I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances”. (Ezekiel 36:25-27)

People: THANKS BE TO GOD

(sprinkling of water by members of the clergy…)

Minister: Now, rise from the ground, and extend the hand of peace to your neighbor

Choral response:                                            “Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace”
                                                                       (Words and Music: by Mary McDonald)
                                                                         The UCCP 710-Voice Choir

 

THE WORD FOR THE CONTINUING JOURNEY OF FAITH

Scriptural Witness                                                  Teatro UCCP

Scriptural Reading                                                  Deuteronomy 6:20-22, 23;
                                                                                Hebrews 11:8-12, 23-28, 12:1-2

Choral Proclamation                                               “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”
                                                                                  Manila Concert Choir

Introduction of our Anniversary Preacher             Bishop Reuel Norman O. Marigza

Anniversary Message                                            “Continuing Call for Unity and Mission”
                                                                                Bishop Erme R. Camba
                                                                              Former General Secretary, UCCP (1986-1994)

Choral Acclamation                                                 “We Are One”
                                                                                               (Words and Music: Mary & Joseph Martin)
                                                                                                The UCCP 710-Voice Choir

Statement of Faith                                                    Teatro UCCP

 

THE ACT OF THANKSGIVING

The Offertory     

Leader:  Called to make the voices of Moses and the Prophets reverberate in these critical times, let us respond through the sharing of our gifts, talents, and resources even as we renew our commitment to the work of prophecy and to our unity as a body.

The Offertory                                                                                  “How Great Thou Art”
                                                                                                       Manila Concert Choir

(Offerings are gathered and brought to the altar with the bread and wine and offering bags from the conferences)

Doxology                           

Praise God the source of life and birth
Praise God the Word who came to earth
Praise God the Spirit, holy flame
All honor, glory to God’s name.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

Leader:  With the offering of our lives, O God, we come to express and manifest our desire to build up this gift of unity that you blessed us with.  As we remember the work and struggles of our forebears in bringing forth a united and uniting church, we pray that we may be given the courage, the perseverance and the firmness of resolve to continue building on what they have built that your church, our beloved United Church of Christ in the Philippines. may be of one heart, one mind, and one purpose.

May you bless our endeavors and efforts that we may serve you and your Church faithfully and with fervor.  We ask all these for your glory and in your name. AMEN.

Choral Acclamation                                               “One Church, One Mission: The UCCP”
                                                                              The NCUC and UCCP 710-Voice Choirs

The Eucharistic Meal

Sursum Corda

Celebrant: Christ be with you

People: AND ALSO WITH YOU

Celebrant: Lift up your hearts

People: WE LIFT THEM UP TO GOD

Celebrant: Let us give thanks to God

People: IT IS RIGHT TO GIVE BOTH THANKS AND PRAISE

The Eucharistic Prayer …

Pasasalamat (Lucio San Pedro)
The UCCP 710-Voice Choir

The Breaking of the Bread

Celebrant: We break this bread for our broken selves

People: FOR THE UNHEALED HURTS AND WOUNDS THAT LIE WITHIN US

Celebrant: We break this bread for our broken humanity

People: FOR THE POWERLESS AND THE AFFLICTED

Celebrant: We break this bread for our broken earth

People: SAVAGED AND PLUNDERED BY OUR GREED

Celebrant: We break this bread to share in the body of Christ

People: THROUGH OUR BROKENNESS, O GOD, MAKE US WHOLE

Celebrant: Through the cup of blessing we participate in the new life in Christ

(Music Offerings: The New Generation Praise Team, UCCP Kaunlaran, Rev. Joel Gervacio)

Prayer after Communion                                                            Angela Nicole Ampusta
                                                                                                  UCCP Anabu, Cavite

Hymn of Christian Unity                                                              “Christian Unity”
                                                                                                           (Words and Music: Luna and Pearl Dingayan)

Jesus Christ our Lord, we pray, that our lives shall be
Living channels of faith and love, Christian unity.

Bless O Christ we humbly pray, this our Christian unity
So our faith and love shall be following your way.

When the way may seem so hard, and our faith is tried,
May we help each other, Lord, carry each one’s load.

May we help each other grow in our faith in you,
May you help us to forgive, and your grace to show.

As we seek, Lord, to reclaim living faith of old,
May the lessons of the past guide us in the tasks.

Our commitment be renewed to our mission Lord,
Make us channels of unity, following your way.

 

THE COMMISSIONING

The Charge…                                                                                 Bishop Melzar Labuntog

The Act of Blessing                                                                        Wasiwas Rite
and Choral Rendition                                                                       (Bishops, Ministers, and Elders                                                                                                                                   to be assisted by NLJ People)

Recessional                                                                          Kulintang and Gangsa Ensemble
(Solidarity Dancing with North Highland and Middle                                                                                                   Highland Conference Delegates)

The celebration culminated with this dancing.