What do you get when Methodist young leaders from the Philippines, Cambodia, and Laos come together? Lots of fun and awesome learning experiences at Pranjetto Hills Resort and Conference Center, Brgy. Sampalok, Tanay, Rizal. It was in the mountains, so we really a mountain-top experience, literally and figuratively.
What’s more, Rev. Mike Ratliff, Discipleship Ministries’ Associate General Secretary for Young People’s Ministries was also there, together with my colleague from Africa, Armindo Mapoissa.
Every activity and session during the Young Leaders Summit were meant to lead to the accomplishment of the following goals:
The objectives of this Summit are:
- To help conference leaders identify the young leaders among them and invest in their further development.
- To establish and develop relationships among young leaders in the Philippines.
- To provide information on leadership development including perspective from our own culture and context as Filipinos.
- To provide an avenue for sharing challenges and successes in ministry from differing contexts in the Philippines, allowing young leaders to learn from each other (ultimately strengthening ministries in the Philippines).
- To allow young people the opportunity to identify the current realities of their church in the Philippines utilizing a framework of the Appreciative Inquiry and Future Search processes.
Who’s Your Mary Rose?
We started the Summit with an Opening Worship with the keynote address of Mr. Jayjay Lizarondo, founder of Helping Overcome Poverty through Education (HOP-E). He challenged young people to work towards becoming God’s agent in building the kingdom of heaven here on Earth. He shared the story of how he met Mary Rose, a young child who was going through garbage for food and recyclable things at the dump site of Taytay, Rizal.
He created a short documentary about the life of Mary Rose and the other scavengers at the dump site. Eventually, he had partners that helped Mary Rose get out of a life of scavenging at the dumpsite. Along the way, Jayjay thought that he was changing Mary Rose. But it was the other way around, Mary Rose was helping him change his perspective toward God’s mission here on Earth.
Here’s the story of Jayjay Lizarondo and his encounter with Mary Rose.
At the end of his keynote speech, Jayjay challenged the young leaders to discover who their “Mary Rose” is and asked them to make a difference in such lives.
Empowering Youth Leaders in their Own Context
Rev. Mike Ratliff started led a session on the importance of location, customs, and traditions and how these inform a young person’s leadership development. He also emphasized the need to develop contextualized views and skills for leadership so that the young people can address the issues and challenges in their own setting.
After the background of leadership in the church, Ms. Earlie Pasion talked about the voices of young people within the United Methodist Church in the local church, the district, annual conference, Central Conference, and even the General Conference. She talked about the importance of representation and legislation in the church and how young people can take part in that important process.
Leadership Principles from the Philippine National Anthem
Mr. Cornel Bongco then led the young leaders in a workshop that brought out leadership principles from the Philippine National anthem. He also shared some tips and techniques in innovation, particularly in evangelism, where he uses his yoyo in telling people about God’s love.
Issues Affecting Young People: HIV and AIDS, Technology and Social Media, Climate Change.
Later in the afternoon, the delegates learned about various issues affecting the Philippine society in general, and young people in particular. The Red HAT Team led the session on HIV and AIDS. Someone from Pinoy PLUS association shared a testimony about the importance of love and acceptance for people who are living with HIV and AIDS.
In the evening, I also shared some issues and tips on social media, technology, and some issues related to faith formation and creative expression to the delegates. Technology is both an enabler and a trap for young people, and so as young leaders in our generation, we can use these technologies to empower other young people and educate them of the importance of responsible use of social media.
As part of the learning process, we also had group discussions about the major lessons by the delegates from the sessions and workshops they went through. So, they synthesized their learning and looked at ways that they can maximize the lessons they learned and worked toward applying those lessons to their own situation.
Here are the groups that presented the lessons they learned.
Here’s the list of delegates, staff, and speakers that attended the Young Leaders Summit 2014
Here’s the list of delegates and Staff
Baguio Episcopal Area
Froilan Tumamao (NorthEast Luzon Philippines Annual Conference)
Jobal Lorenzana (NorthEast Philippines Annual Conference)
Lileth De Dios (Central Luzon Philippines Annual Conference)
Roger Anselm Meneses (Tarlac Philippines Annual Conference)
Lemuel Sanchez (National United Methodist Youth Fellowship in the Philippines)
Manila Episcopal Area
Marrick Ancheta (Philippines Annual Conference)
Rio Anne Dizon (Middle Philippines Annual Conference)
L.A. Canlas (West Middle Philippines Annual Conference)
Joshua Cipriano (Palawan Philippines Annual Conference)
Pastor Ronnel Roque (Bulacan Philippines Annual Conference)
Maechelo Jim Nasal (Pampango Philippines Annual Conference)
Julie Ann Soriano (Quezon City Philippines Annual Conference East)
Gemiries Vidal (Rizal Philippines Annual Conference East)
Davao Episcopal Area
Gladimei Labagan (Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference)
Eric John Toriales (East Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference)
Pastor Jochebed Joyce Lovendino (Bicol Philippines Provisional Annual Conference)
Genelyn Rosquita (Visayas Philippines Annual Conference)
Cherry Malyn Into (North West Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference)
Mr. Sengly Chhea
Mr. Kor Thao
Mighty C. Rasing – overall program director
Rev. Dr. Mike Ratliff – Associate General Secretary for Young People’s Ministries, Discipleship Ministries
Mr. Armindo Mapoissa – Young People’s Ministry Staff person for Africa
Ms. Joanna Dacles (National UMYFP President) – Program assistant
Mr. Freddie Cardenas Jr. – Documentation Staff
Mr. Renan De Dios – Photographer, Video documentation