The Office of the Bishop of the Davao Episcopal Area of The United Methodist Church is deeply saddened by the brutal killing of Mr. Freddie Neri on June 22, 2010. We enjoined our hearts to convey our sincerest condolences to his family, friends, and to all members of the Nuevo Iloco United Methodist Church.

The untimely demise of Brother Neri from the hands of a military man, made our hearts and spirits in anguish. We would like also to express our utmost outrage over this incident because it speaks about the irony of official oath. “Men in uniform are supposed to be protectors of the civilians and not be their executioner. The Office of the Bishop pledge to work out in solidarity with all the victims of this irresponsible act to let justice prevail and the full force of the law is applied to the perpetrator.

We lament because we lost a man of God. While we lament over his death we celebrate his life because he has been an active member of the body of Christ. He remains faithful to the church and never turned his back. In his death we could not see any tilt of defeat instead we are seeing a challenge for the quest for social responsibility, social accountability, justice and peace. With trust and confidence with the glorious message of life, death, and resurrection we say: “Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?” Indeed, Brother Freddie Neri is no longer with us yet his life remains in us because in one way or another he has journeyed with us towards the fullness of life.



June 28, 2010


2010 Annual Conferences

In the Davao Episcopal Area

Grace to you and Peace from our Lord Jesus Christ!

In Memoriam

Let us be in silence as we remember members of this Annual Conference, both clergy and lay who have gone ahead of us.


One of the beauty of the Wesleyan Tradition is the Annual Conference where both clergy and lay gather together to share experiences that has transpired in their individual lives and in their congregations as well.  Such experiences were aptly expressed in a famous hymn written by Charles Wesley.  It is fitting for us to sing it now, (TUMH #553/ TMH# 336)

And are we yet alive,                                                  Then let us make our boast

And see each other’s face?                                         Of his redeeming power,

Glory and thanks to Jesus give,                                  Which saves us to the utter most,

For His almighty grace.                                               Till we can sin no more.

What troubles have we seen,                                      Let us take up ;the cross,

What mighty conflicts past,                                        Till we the crown obtain,

Fightings without, and fears within,                           And gladly reckon all things loss

Since we assembled last!                                            So we may Jesus gain.

Yet out of all the Lord

Hath brought us by his love;

And still he doth his help afford,

And hides our life above.

We continue to work on the quadrennial emphasis of “Four Areas of Focus” as the center of our programs.

Leadership Development

Christmas Institutes

The Christmas Institutes held in the districts of Visayas Conference were highlighted by the baptism of several youth delegates. In the Eastern Visayas District, 8 youths responded to God’s abundant grace and received the baptism of the Holy Spirit through immersion in the beach waters of Baybay, Leyte . New confessing members were also baptized in Boracay Beach during the Christmas Institute of the Western Visayas District. Also, hundreds of people flocked the town plaza of Zamboangita during the evangelistic night of the Central Visayas District CI.

Meanwhile, successful Christmas Institutes were also held in different venues over the Davao Episcopal Area. Notwithstanding the geographical difficulty and the present threats in the area, record-breaking numbers of delegates were recorded in the Christmas Institutes in the Mindanao Annual Conferences. Despite the fact that Southern Mindanao is a densely populated Muslim area and still recovering from the brutal Maguindanao Massacre, hundreds of youths trooped to attend the CI.  Also, the church new starts in the three Bicol Districts held a joint CI in Naga City that saw a record setting number of delegates. The difficulties and threats were not hindrances for the youths in the Davao Area to gather and fellowship this Christmas season. Below is a summary of the different Christmas Institutes in the DEA as reported by their respective District Superintendents.

- Venue: Kabacan Central UMC, 109 delegates, Theme: “May God smile on us this season”, (Mindanao Central District)

- Spottswood Methodist Center , Kidapawan, 109 delegates, Theme: “UMYFP: Straining towards an empowered nation”, (Mindanao Central East District)

- Augistina Memorial UMC, Koronadal City , 102 delegates, Theme: “UMYFP: Straining towards and empowered nation”, (Mindanao South District)

- Wesley UMC, Villamor, Sultan Kudarat, 156 delegates, Theme: “UMYFP: Straining Towards an Empowered Nation” (Mindanao Southwest District)

- Limbahan UMC, Lupon, Davao Oriental, 104 delegates, (Southeast District)

- San Andres UMC, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur, 87 delegates with 15 new commitments and baptism, (Northeast District)

- Good News  UMC, Ibajay, Aklan, 66 delegates with 8 newly baptized members, Theme: “UMYF Ako, asin at ilaw; Kaligtasan ibabahagi ko, Oo para kay Kristo” (Western Visayas District)

- Zamboangita UMC, Zambuangita, Negros Oriental, 52 delegates, Theme: “UMYF Ako, asin at ilaw; Kaligtasan ibabahagi ko, Oo para kay Kristo” (Central Visayas District)

- Visca UMC, Baybay, Leyte , 77 delegates with 8 newly baptized members, Theme: “UMYF Ako, Asin at ilaw; Kaligtasan Ibabahagi ko, Oo para kay Kristo” (Eastern Visayas District)

- Alae Mission , Alae, Bukidnon, 54 delegates (North Central Mindanao District)

- Sta Cruz UMC, Plaridel, Misamis Occidental, 79 delegates, (Zamboanga Peninsula)

- Kalilangan UMC, Kalilangan, Bukidnon, 136 delegates, Theme: “UMYFP: Straining towards an empowered nation”, (Bukidnon District)

- The FUMC, Bagong Bayan Norte, Naga City , 180 delegates (Joint CI of Bicol Central, South and North District)

Festival of Faith

Festival of Faith is one of the most awaited yearly joyful celebrations of the Methodist Faith by lay people of all ages in Mindanao.

This year the districts that celebrated the festival of faith are:

1)       Mindanao Southwest District of MindPAC held at Wesley UMC, Villamor, Sultan Kudarat, with 200 delegates.

2)      Southeast District of EMPAC at Limbahan UMC, Lupon, Davao Oriental, with 160 delegates.

3)      Northeast District of EMPAC held at San Andres UMC, Bunawan, Agusan del Sur, with 87 delegates.

4). Mindanao Central District of MindPAC held at Cappia UMC, Gayonga, Cotabato with 271 delegates.

The annual celebration of the Festival of Faith in several districts in Mindanao has inspired the Davao City Churches to declare Methodist Day in Davao City with the “Walk of Faith,” a motor parade in the streets of downtown Davao which ended with ball games and thanksgiving service at the First United Methodist Church.

New Church Start

Maramag Mission

March 16, 2010 was the inauguration day of  a new church building in Maramag, Bukidnon. The congregation in Maramag was the fruit of the mission work of the Rev. Joseph Cornito. This is  with the support of a former deaconess, Mrs. Ruth Beatisula Acosta.  The construction of the church building is made possible by a generous Php 1,300,000 from Real Peace Korean Methodist Church in Seoul, South Korea. This generosity was made possible through the initiative of the Rev. Lee Chang Sun, a Korean missionary in Bishop Han Theological Seminary, Malaybalay Bukidnon.

Biao Mission

In one of my trips to the USA, I was invited to speak in Forth Branch UMC, a local church in Indiana.  The Pastor indicated to me that his local church is interested in opening a mission in Biao, a community near Bacolod City.  An evangelistic team, including the pastor is coming to Biao on the week after Holy week to do this evangelistic campaign. They will stay for about two weeks. They have committed to support a pastor, buy a lot, build a church until the congregation is stable and can stand on its own.  They are going to distribute bibles in the community (Hiligaynon.)

Cordova Mission

A new church building was also inaugurated in Cordova, Cebu last November 27, 2009.  Cordova, Cebu is one of the mission outreach of VisPAC through the Cebu United Methodist  Church.  For several  years no significant fruit was visible, but the congregation decided to persevere in the mission work.  By the grace of God, the core group of Cordova Mission grew and expanded. Through the initiative of the Rev. Han Kee Yeuk, the amount of Php 450,000.00 was donated to construct the building, now served by Pastor Avelina Bohol.

Light and Life UMC, Tacloban City

For purposes of a more effective mission in the community, the Light and Life UMC in Tacloban City, has initiated in erecting a temporary church building in a rented lot.  This new Methodist Congregation in Tacloban City has been renting a house for their Sunday worship. Now they wanted more exposure for more effective witness in what is considered a bastion of Roman Catholic Church in Eastern Visayas.

Global Health

Medical Mission

A medical mission was conducted in Central Visayas District by Samsung Methodist Church in Korea under Bishop Kwon Hyuk Gu and Korean Medical Institute under Dr. Lee Hae Seon, president of the research. Two teams conducted simultaneous medical and dental mission at the following areas.

  1. Jan. 19 – Siaton UMC with more than 200 patients and Zamboanguita UMC with more than

300 patients.

  1. Jan. 20 – Santa Catalina UMC with more than 200 patients and Baslay UMC with 250


3. Jan. 21 in Jimalalud UMC with 200 patients.

4. Jan.22 in Valencia UMC with 265 patients.

Services given were: blood sugar and urine test, EKG, deworming and also free hair cut and derm services given by members of the team.
The medical mission has really helped especially poor members as well as non members in the community. Two patients were found to have congenital heart defect: one is a 10 year old boy in Baslay, Dauin, Negros Oriental and the other is a 10 months old baby girl in Siaton, Negros Oriental.  These two were considered for possible surgery in Korea.

Team Members were: Dr. Lee Hae Seon, Dr Park Sun Il, Dr Shin Sung Ju , Dr. Neki Soriano and Bishop Leo Soriano. They were joined by dentists from Dumaguete City. Through the medical mission, the church was able to reach out people in the community and invite them to come to church for worship.

Lectures in CCBPHC in VisPAC

An estimated 1,400 adults, children and infants in Negros Oriental received free medical care and counseling last January 19-22, 2010. The Samsung Korean Methodist Church and Korean Medical Institute in partnership with the Central Visayas District sponsored the medical and dental mission that serviced six areas around Negros Oriental. The communities served include Zamboangita, Baslay, Valencia, Sta. Catalina, Jimalalud and Bais. Two communities were served each day with two doctors. The medical doctors were Dr. Lee, Dr. Park, Dr. Shiao and Dr. Soriano. They were joined by nurses led by Phebe “Love” Cosmiano and volunteer dentists and pharmacists in providing medical expertise to the community. The patients were dewormed, managed, given medical advice and free medicines.

The six communities were not only blessed physically but also spiritually. The powerful and healing Word of God was heard each day before the medical clinic opens. The Bishop Kwon, Bishop Soriano, DS Cosmiano and DS Respuesto delivered the Word of God to the different communities. The medical mission team also included several lay members who warmly interacted with the people in the community, handed out tracts and shared God’s love.

The medical mission was culminated by a fellowship night by the district church workers and their families and the medical mission team. The night of fun and thanksgiving was held in the South Seas Hotel and Restaurant in Dumaguete City.

Community Health in VisPAC

A series of workshops about health were given in different areas around the Visayas Annual Conference. The workshops were given in the islands of Panay and Guinaras last November and in Negros Oriental last January. The Dr. Neki Soriano facilitated the workshops with the assistance of the respective District Superintendents of the area. The clergy; church workers and laity attended the workshops.

The workshops focused on the role of the church in promoting healthy Christian lifestyles and habits among individuals; families and communities. They identified the leading causes of lifestyle diseases that includes cardiopulmunary disorders. The workshops focused in identifying hypertension and how best to prevent it. The participants were reminded of the role of the church as the health mission outpost of God in this world; to be agents of healing and health in this broken world.

Episcopal Visitation

One of the first important decisions made by the DEA cabinet was to schedule the Episcopal visit for the quadrennium.

Conference Year 2009 –  Eastern Visayas District- VPAC, Northeast District- EMPAC, West

Visayas District- VPAC.

Conference year 2010-  Zamboanga Peninsula District- NWMPAC,  South Bicol District

District-BPPAC, Central Visayas District- VPAC, Central Bicol District- BPPAC.

Conference Year 2010 2011- North Bicol District- BBPAC, North-Central Mindanao District-

NWMPAC, Mindanao South District-MINDPAC, Southeast District- EMPAC.

Conference Year 2012- Bukidnon District- NWMPAC, Mindanao Central District- MinPAC,

Mindanao- Central East District- MinPAC, Mindanao Southwest District- MinPAC.

This year as scheduled the Bishop visited the Eastern Visayas District under Rev. David Cosmiano. This was followed by the visitation of the Northeast District under the Rev. Abraham Perasol.  The visitation to the West Visayas District under Rev. Sharon Aradanas had to be postponed due to a very important and urgent meeting which the Bishop had to attend.

The Episcopal visiting team was composed of the Bishop, some members of the cabinet in the area, and DEA staff. The visitation brought several results: (1) inspiration and encouragement on both the Bishop and members of the team and the local churches visited, (2)  increase educational and deeper awareness on the mission of the church both on the local, national level, and worldwide level, (3)  deeper exposure of the Bishop and his cabinet to the life situations and local concerns of the churches, (4)  and  strengthened the local churches belongingness to the world wide United Methodist Church.

We are looking forward for a more fruitful and meaningful visit to the district and local churches this year.

Inter-religious Affairs

Asian Journey

Asian Journey Philippines is a Philippine version of the Journees Romaianes. It is a conference of people working with Lumads and Moros.  This year, laymen and clergy from the RC, UMC, UCCP came making a total enrollment of 49 participants. UMC participants were: Miriam Flauta,  Lorenzo and Rosalina Miguel, Elpedio Tangunan, Rudy Tabago, Noel Agustin, Samuel Domingo, Gito Yamo, Eduarfdo Maandig and DS Ester Nasayao.   Theme:  Overcoming poverty, embracing poverty, towards a Spirituality of Interreligious dialogue in Mindanao.

Global lnvolvement

Your bishop is a member of various committees in the global church. Allow me to share with you now highlights of what transpired in those meetings I have attended. There is a need for those information to be brought down to each Annual Conference, and better still, to all local churches and church members.

Standing Committee on the Worldwide Nature of the UMC

The WWNUMC was created by the 2008 General Conference.  Twenty persons are appointed jointly by the Council of Bishops and the Connectional Table.  All geographical regions are represented.  Those representing the Philippines are Rev. Rubynell Estrella and your bishop.

This Committee reports directly to the 2012 General Conference with legislation possibly altering the Book of Discipline (so that the US would be one Regional Conference out of many within the United Methodist Church.)

The study will include consultation with Affiliated Autonomous, Affiliated United Churches,  and GCFA.

In the first meeting was outlined the basic guidelines for this committee.

  1. The mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ.  The UMC must find a way to better organize itself for this global mission.
  2. The unity of the UMC is a gift gven by God.  Any proposed re-structuring of lthe UMC must ensure that the church is united by our Mission, our Doctirne, and our Disicpline.
  3. In order for the church to be effective in diverse locales, some freedom to vary witin the church must be given to Regional Conferences as long as it is not contrary to the mission, doctrine, or basic discipline of the UMC.  For example: some Regional Conferences must be given the right to ordain persons without the educational criteria required in the USA.
  4. The US portion of the UMC needs the ”Central Conferences”   as much as the ”Central Conferences” need the US.  The UMC must continually be conscious of matters of equity in the church.
  5. Since representation is key issue accross the church, the study committee will give that increased attention.
  6. Because of our respect for other churches of  the Wesleyan tradition, special attention will be given to the impact of proposed changes in our relationship with member churches of the World Methodist Council.

In the next meeting the Committee listened to inputs from the General Agencies of the Church and other Church Agencies.  It divided into several teams and each team were assigned different issues to discuss.  Among the issues are:

-           role of General Agencies, are they really global or lonely for US? 

-          Integration of Unity and Autonomy

-          Equality and mutual respect

-          Being a movement, not an institution

-          Disparity in the Book of Discipline

-          Disparity in Bishop’s term

A replica of these teams is to be created downs to the Annual Conference level (and possible to the local church level) to discuss these issues and gather their inputs. They must meet at least two times land send reports to the Committee.

Next meeting will be in Manila. In this meeting, the Committee will be meeting with some of you.

Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters

This Committee was created by the 2008 General Conference.  Paragraph 2201 of the Book of Discipline reads:  There shall be on Central Conference matters serving as an independent coordinating body.  The GBGM shall be the facilitating Agency to the Standing Committee.  The Standing Committee shall serve as coordinating body to study the structure and supervision of the United Methodist Church in its work outside the United States and its territories and its relationships to other church bodies.

This Committee meets twice during the quadrennium in order to: review; consider; develop resolutions and petitions related to Central Conferences.  It presents these petitions directly to the General Conference.  Members from the Philippines are: Rev. Johann Osias, Ms. Phebe Crismo, Bishop Lito Tangonan and your bishop.

The first meeting was in Nashville, TN.  Three task groups were organized.

  1. Episcopal task group.

-   look at issues related to the number of Episcopal areas

-   election and assignments of bishops

-   process for creating new Episcopal area

-   received 6 petitions for new Episcopal areas

  1. Central Conference task group

-   consider number of Central Conference

-   boundaries

-   Authority

-   participation in Connectional giving

-   address issues related to support structures, supervision and staffing in

Support to Central Conference ministries

  1. 2012  General Conference task group

-  focus on prioritization of legislation with worldwide impact

-  focus on its role as a standing committee of the General Conference

-  focus on opportunities for improved orientation and community among central

Conference delegates

-  Focus on opportunities for education and Holy Conferencing

GCFA Training and Consultation

The staff of the General Council on Finance and Administration is coming to the Philippines on April 12-19, 2010.  They will do training in three areas, namely:  legal, statistics, and finances.  They want to talk to the following: chancellors, statisticians of each Annual Conference, and financial secretaries of the bishops.  Part of the visit is also to look into the possibility of helping the PCC develop its non-performing assets.  The Philippines is their last stop.  They have already gone to Europe and Africa.  Result of their trip to Africa was to recommend a  GCFA sub-office in Africa to be located in Johannesburg.  This recommendation was approved by the Council in its last meeting.

Council of Bishop’s Call to Action

The Council of Bishops through its ‘Call to Action Steering Committee’ has laid out a vision of the UMC of the future and urged a systemic wide operational assessment, from the General Boards and Agencies to the Annual Conferences…

In its report, the committee said, “As United Methodists, we dream of a church with more accountability to Gospel and less conformity to an outdated, bureaucratic system; with more participation with young people and less rhetoric about good intentions; with more ministry with the poor and less with the privileged; with more expectation for growth and less acceptance of status quo…”

Every bishop will conduct a series of conversations in his/her Area because critical to the success of this project would be gathering feedback and insights from a wide range of  United Methodists. Among the topics to be discussed are, but not limited to: establishing a standard of accountability across the connection through the development of clearly defined measures; rebuilding of a leadership development system with special attention to youth and young adults; urging the church at all levels to creatively engage the younger generation; recast and redesign the plan of  the General Conference, including frequency and format; consider whether guaranteed appointments should be continued.

In Defense of Creation

The Council of Bishops’ adopted a Pastoral Letter and Foundation Document God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action.

There are two important things to be done about these documents.

1)      Reading of the Pastoral Letter, or the Pastoral Letter in Liturgical Setting, in our local churches or large gathering beginning in Advent and…

2)      Lenten Studies using the guides prepared for group leaders of adults and young people (6 sessions), and for teachers of children (3 activities.)

We have already prompted our district superintendents about this activities encouraging them to use the adopted Documents and Study Guides by groups in the congregations, young peoples’ programs, conferences or events, schools and seminaries, and ministry settings.

Result of the Ratification of Constitutional Amendments

The Council of Bishops has announced that only 6 of 32 amendments to the constitution by the 2008 General Conference have been ratified by the annual conferences. The ratified amendments will become effective immediately.

The ratified amendments are the following:

  1. Amendment II- which added a new paragraph to Par. 5, Article V:

“All official organizations, groups, committees, boards, and agencies of The United Methodist Church shall adopt ethics and conflict of interest policies, applicable to both members and employees, which embody and live out our Christian values.”

  1. Amendments VIII, which added the word “gender” to Par. 16, Article IV:

“1. To refine and fix the conditions, privileges, and duties of Church membership, which shall in every case be without reference to race, gender or status.”

“14 To secure the rights and privileges of membership in all agencies, programs, and institutions in The United Methodist Church regardless of race, gender or status.”

  1. Amendments IX, which ensures every jurisdiction conference to have at least 100 delegates:

“Section IV, Par. 23.Article I- The jurisdiction shall be composed of as many representatives from the annual conferences and missionary conferences as shall be determined by a uniform basis established by the General Conference, provided that no jurisdictional conference shall have fewer than 100 delegates. The missionary conference shall be considered as annual conferences for the purpose of this article.”

  1. Amendments XVII, which allows that the “lay members of the conference board of ordained ministry and the committee of investigation may vote on matters of ordination, character and conference relations of clergy.”
  2. Amendments XIX, allows all clergy member of annual conference to vote to elect clergy delegates to the general, jurisdictional or central conferences.

“Par. 35, Article IV-  The clergy delegates to the General conference and to the jurisdictional or central conference shall be elected from the clergy members in full connection and shall be elected by the clergy members of the annual conference who are deacons and elders in full connection, associate members, and those provisional members who have completed all of their educational requirements and local pastors who have completed course of study or an M.Div. degree and have served a minimum of two consecutive years under appointment immediately preceding the election.”

  1. Amendments XXII, which amends Par. 37, Article I, recognizing Bermuda congregations as part of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference.

“The United Methodist Church shall have jurisdictional conference made up as follows:

Northeastern- Bermuda, Connecticut, Delaware, district of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, new Jersey, new York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, the Virgin Islands, West Virginia.”


We praise and thank God for calling us to be part of His body which is the church.  It was His grace that sustained us do the task entrusted to us. We thank also those who have inspired us, as well as those who have challenged us, and those who understood with us that the episcopacy is not a crowning glory but a cross to bear!

As we endeavor to make more disciples of Jesus Christ, all of us have a cross to bear.  May His grace continue to inspire and sustain us, as we follow Christ and carry the cross given to us.

Yours in Christ,

Leo A. Soriano

A new beautiful church building was inaugurated in Maramag, Bukidnon, last March 16, 2010. The construction of the church building was made possible by the generous donation of Php. 1,3000.00 by the Real Peace Korean Methodist Church in Seoul, Korea. This generosity was made possible  through the initiative of the Rev. Chang Sun Lee, a Korean Missionary of Bishop Han Theological Seminary in Malaybalay.

This new church building will be the sanctuary of a UMC mission church in Maramag, which was the fruit of the work of the Rev. Joseph Cornito with the help and support of a former UMC deaconess, Ms. Ruth Beatisula Acosta.

We pray and look forward that this church building will facilitate a fruitful mission of The United Methodist Church in this fast growing municipality in Bukidnon, Philippines.


Visayas Philippines Annual Conference March 11-14, 2010 UMC, Jimalalud, Negros Oriental
North-West Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference March 18-20, 2010 UMC, Kalingan, Bukidnon
Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference May 20-23, 2010 Spottswood Methodist Center, Kidapawan City
East Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference May 27-30, 2010 Cathedral: The United Methodist Church, Davao City
Bicol Philippines Provisional Annual Conference June 3-5, 2010 St. Luke UMC, Daet, Camarines Norte

Pastoral Statement on the Infamous “Maguindanao Massacre”

2 December 2009 17 views One Comment

by Rev. Leo Soriano
Resident Bishop
Davao Episcopal Area
November 28, 2009

Pastoral Statement on the Infamous

The United Methodist Church, Davao Episcopal Area is still in the state of shock since the gruesome Maguindanao Massacre on November 23, 2009. The killing of sixty four (64) innocent and unarmed civilians is abominable to both Christian and Islamic faith. Such a diabolic act is a sacrilege and insolence to the sanctity of human life. We denounce the “Maguindanao Massacre” in strongest terms and pray with utmost sincerity that justice will be served to all the victims of this infamous crime.

We deeply mourn with the families who lost their loved ones and share their anguish in this trying moment. As a Church, we are actually in pain. Jimmy Cabillo of radio station DXKR (Radio Mindanao Network) Koronadal City is one of the members of First United Methodist Church, Koronadal City. We grieve for his loss yet we celebrate his life because he died for a cause. As a Church, we enjoined ourselves with all the victims in their cry for justice and in their shout that let there be no “sacred cows” in this incident. Perpetrators of this heinous crime must not be spared; they must be penalized.

With the magnitude of the crime, we call on the President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo not to be beholden to anybody in Maguindanao. Much blood of innocent civilians and helpless poor had already been spilled in Mindanao; let this not be another chapter of our darkened history that furthers hatred and animosity. Prophet Jeremiah of old, made a stern warning of the imminent doom because the leaders of his time have crushed the poor; “your clothes are stained with the blood of the poor and the innocent” (Jeremiah 2:34a). Likewise, let me remind all of us of the strong words in the Holy Scriptures; “Do not deny justice to a poor person when he appears in court. Do not make false accusations, and do not put an innocent person to death for I will condemn anyone who does such an evil thing” (Exodus 23:6).

Let me also take this opportunity to remind our constituency to be more prayerful and at the same time heedful in reading the “signs of the times.” The incident happened at the doorstep of national election. This is reflective of a political culture that some people used for their political gains. Dispel any notion that provokes distrust to Muslim and Christian relations. Let us pray and work hard so that justice will be served and no culprit will be spared.

May God’s favor be upon us, as we risk our lives for truth, peace, and social justice!

     As the end of year approachoes many Clergy elders will be renewing their Certificate of Authority to Solemnize Marriage (CRASM); we are reminded of the requirement for registration as per Administrative Order No. 1, Series of 2007. Knowing these requirements will facilitate your application for registration of your Authority to Solemnize Marriage.


From: Administrative Order No. 1, Series of 2007.

7.4 Requirements for Registration

        The SOs whose religion or religious sect are deemed operating in the Philippines and in good repute are required to register their authority to solemnize marriage with the CRG Article 3 of the Family Code shall comply with the following:

  1. Accomplished application form (OCRG-SO Form No. !)  in triplicate copies, subscribe and sworn under oath to before a person authorized to administer oath with affixed documentary stamp;
  2. Three copies of colored ID pictures (2X2) with white background taken not more than a month ago from the date of application. Pictures should not be computer generated to preserve its quality. In cases the person is using glasses, it should be removed to have a clear image of the person. The back of the ID picture should contain the signature of the applicant;
  3. A machine copy of appointment as priest, head, founder, bishop, pastor and minister of the religion or religious sect;
  4. Proper endorsement/designation/recommendation from the head of religion or religious sect to mention: the full name, nationality, complete address, location of the church, temple or mosque where the applicant regularly perform rites and indicate the extent of his territorial jurisdiction;
  5. Proof of attendance in an orientation seminar conducted by NSO for SOs;
  6. Certified True Copy of Certificate of Live Birth;
  7. I-Card issued by the Commission Immigration and Deportation (CID), in case trhe applicant is a citizen of a foreign country;
  8. Certified True Copy of Certificate of Ordination issued by his/her respective church;
  9. Payment of registration fee;
  10. Certificate of Registration, Articles of Incorporations and by-laws, and updated General Information Sheet (G.I.S.) certified by the Head of the Religion or religious sect.


For Heads/Bishop/Presidents/Founders, the following requirements are required in addition to requirement 7.4.a ton 7.4i above:

  1. Endorsement or recommendation from the Board of Trustees/Directors or Church Council.
  2. In case there are no Board of Trustees/Directors, the head/bishop/president/founder of the religion/religious sect shall submit a sworn statement duly notarized.
  3. Sworn statement containing brief history of the religion/religious sect and the list of 200 bona fide active members stating therein there complete address and signed by the members.
  4. A certified Certificate of Registration, Articles of Incorporation and by-laws, and updated General Information Sheet (G.I.S.) issued by the Security Exchange Commission (SEC).

Bishop’s Schedule

March-May 2010






DEA Office Davao




DEA Office Davao


VisPAC Annual Conference, Jimalalud, Negros Oriental


Travel Day


Church Blessing, Maramag, Bukidnon


NWMinPAC Annual Conference, Kalilangan, Bukidnon




DEA Office, Davao


National UMMP, Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya




Office, Davao City


Graduation, Bishop Han Theological Seminary, Malaybalay, Bukidnon




Holy Thursday


Good Friday


Holy Saturday




VCS Trainor’s Training, Bacolod City


Biao Mission,  Negros Occidental


GCFA Training- Davao-Baguio-Manila


Worldwide Nature of the UMC Meeting, Manila


DEA Office


Council of Bishop Meeting, Columbus, Ohio


Council of Bishops Meeting
11-13 GCFA Execom, Nashville, TN


Travel to the Philippines


DEA Office, Davao City


MinPAC Annual Conference, Kidapawan City


DEA Office, Davao City


EMPAC Annual Conference, Davao City


Office, Davao City




BPPAC Annual Conference, Daet, Camarines Borte


North-East District EMPAC Episcopal Visitation

The Philippines Central Conference today consist of 3 Episcopal Areas, 21 Annual Conferences, 200,540 Professing Members with an area of 477,181 square Km. More figures are as follows:

In 1908, the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church
authorized the organization of the Philippine Islands Mission into
the Philippine Islands Annual Conference, under the jurisdiction of
the Southern Asia Central Conference. The work in the Philippines
grew quickly and in 1936, the General Conference enabled the
organization of the Philippines Central Conference during the
following quadrennium. This act was ratified at the 1939 Uniting
Conference which created The Methodist Church. The first session
of the Philippines Central Conference was held at the Central
Methodist Church in Manila, beginning February 29, 1940.
Following years of growth, the 1960 General Conference
approved a second episcopal area in the Philippines Central
Conference: the Baguio Area (composed of the Northwest
Philippines Annual Conference, the Northern Philippines Annual
Conference, and the Mindanao Provisional Annual Conference)
which joined the Manila Area (composed of the Philippines Annual
Conference, Southwest Philippines Provisional Annual Conference,
and the Middle Philippines Annual Conference). The 1984 General
Conference mandated the addition of a third episcopal area, the
Davao Area.
(Source: Methodism in the Philippines: A Century of Faith and

The following figures was taken from a report to the General Conference  Committee on the World-Wide Nature of the Church.

The Davao Episcopal Area: Resident Bishop: Bishop Leo A. Soriano

Consist of the following: 5 Annual Conferences: Bicol Provisional Conference, East Mindanao Phil. Annual Conference, Mindanao Phil. Annual Conference, Visayas Annual Conference, and Northwest Phil. Annual Conference , 25,396 Professing and Baptized Members, 127 Ordained Clergy, 143 local Pastors, 201 Organized Churches, and 40 Preaching places. This Episcopal area covers an area of 3000,000 square Kilometers.

Baguio Episcopal Area: Resident Bishop: Bishop Rodolfo Alfonso Juan

Consist of 8 Annual Conference, they are: Central Luzon, North Central Luzon, Northeast Luzon, Northeast Philippines, Northern Philippines, Northwest Philippines, Pangasinan Philippines and Tarlac Philippines. The following figures are worth noting: 114,583 Professing and Baptized Members, 639 Organized Churches, 38 Preaching Places, 310 Ordained Elders, 380 Local Pastors. The geographical areas covers 447,229 square kilometers.

Manila Episcopal Area: Resident Bishop: Bishop Lito Cabacungan Tangonan

Consist of 8 Annual cConferences which: Bulacan PAC, Middle Phil. Annual Conference, Palawan PAC, Pampango PAC, Phil. Annual Conference, Phil. Annual Conference East, Southwest Phil. Prov. AC,  West Middle PAC. Statistics includes the following: 143,329 Professing and Baptized Members, 534 Organized churches, 208 Preaching places, 392 Ordained Elders, 360 local pastors. The geographical area covers around 300,000 square kilometers.