Manila, Philippines: Church of the Nazarene Philippines is celebrating its 75th Diamond Jubilee Anniversary this year. The theme of the celebration is Rise Up and Go Philippines! A worship celebration was held at the Philippine International Convention Center on 8 May 22 and was attended by over 3,000 Nazarenes physically and online from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. This is a significant gathering in the Church of the Nazarene two years after the Covid-19 pandemic.
The three-part program started with a worship celebration, followed by the honoring and awarding of pioneer churches and members in the country, and culminated with an ordination service of 18 ministers.
The worship celebration was opened by praise and thanksgiving songs led by the talented young people Metro Manila District. There were also cultural presentations from New Hope Church of the Nazarene and children represented from 6 Child Development Centers. The theme song “Tumayo Humayo Pilipinas, was also presented by the winners Rommel Bonus and Hannah Morales together with a group of young pastors from the Metro Manila District. Dr. Mark Louw, Asia-Pacific regional director shared the anniversary message and challenged the Philippines church to be part of the movement, participate in the great commission and rise up and go!
“While we celebrate the work of the Church and its servants these past 75 years, we also need to confess that we have not reached our full potential. That at times we have missed opportunities to impact, and that at times we’ve allowed comfort and a desire for calm to override the need for sin to be confronted in love and issues to be dealt with…. We will walk in it! We want to walk in it! We want to see Your Glory! We want to be Your instruments of reconciliation and righteousness”
We have been receiving, but now we want to give, to go, to make, to plant, to cultivate, to harvest. We want to see your hand at work! We want to be your Hand at Work as you fill us and form us and send us to Make Christlike disciples in the nations.“ – Dr. Mark Louw, Asia-Pacific Regional Director
Philippines Direction by 2030
The second part of the celebration focused on honoring the people who pioneered the work in the Philippines. These are the men and women who have committed their lives to spreading the Gospel, planting churches, and making disciples. Ms. Axa Jane Encarnacion – daughter of the founding minister in the Philippines Rev. Marciano Encarnacion gave a very inspiring video message. She emphasized three words that described her father when he started the work of the Church here in the Philippines – sacrifice, faith, and humility.
Rev. Arnel Piliin Philippines-Micronesia Field Strategy Coordinator also presented the vision and goals for the Philippines Church of the Nazarene. He challenged the members, pastors, and district superintendents to work together to achieve the goal of planting 587 new churches and 74,000 new members by 2030. He emphasized that this can only be achieved through the power of the Holy Spirit and by everyone working together – to each one, discipling one; each local church planting a church; each district sponsoring a new district.
The final part of the celebration was the ordination service led by Dr. David Graves, Jurisdictional General Superintendent for the Asia-Pacific Region. Dr. Graves ordained 17 pastors during the Jubilee celebration, and another 9 pastors in Cebu City on 10 May 2022.
Dr. Graves gave an inspiring and challenging message to the ordinands and everyone who attended the celebration. “And I think it’s good for us occasionally just to stop and to look back at the past. In fact, I think it’s really good for us spiritually to stop once in a while and look back at the past and see how faithful God has been to us. I mean to see the answers to prayer. To see how He has worked in our Church. And to see what He has done. You think about what God has done here in the Church of the Nazarene in the last 75 years…”
The Jubilee celebration is not just a one-day event. It will continue to make an impact as the church raises funds for the Diamond Project which hopes to raise funds for the construction of a retirement home for Filipino pastors and a mission training center.
The field also launched a book “Holy Fire: The Diamond Jubilee History of the Church of the Nazarene in the Philippines written by Jason Hallig, Floyd T. Cunningham, and Ernesto Rulloda. The book is available through the Field Office. Proceeds from the book sale will also go to the Diamond Project.