Preparing for the Philippines Celebration
A Word From Our Executive Director
I traveled to the Philippines for the writing process five months after typhoon Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Typhoon Yolanda, had made landfall in central Philippines. With WDP sisters, Prima Formilleza and Zenaida Maturan, we visited Tacloban. Corazon Reyes, Executive Secretary of the Fellowship of the Least Coin, contacted Josefina Evangelista, United Church of Christ Women’s President, who welcomed us.
We spent the trip listening to the stories of the day that Yolanda hit Tacloban. The sound of the strong winds, the prayers of the children, the ship stuck on the street, the cemetery at the Catholic Church yard for the community’s victims, the hunger, the resilience and the faith. In that context, there are many questions with no easy answers.
That is quite the same feeling when listening to the story Jesus told about the kingdom of heaven in Matthew 20:1-16. While Jesus sees no wrongdoing in giving generously, the workers who felt entitled to receive more, strongly complained. This dialogue was then turned into a question for the 2017 WDP theme - “Am I Being Unfair to You?”
The WDP Philippines Committee
Protestant Christianity arrived in the Philippines during the late 19th century and the early 20th century. It was introduced by North-American missionaries during the American occupation. Wives of these missionaries introduced the World Day of Prayer in the Philippines. The celebrations brought together the church women leaders of the different Protestant denominations. In 1947, the United Evangelical Council of Church Women, today known as the Church Women United of the Philippines (CWUP), was organized. Its main activity was the observance of the World Day of Prayer. For the past 70 years, the CWUP coordinates the celebration of the World Day of Prayer in the Philippines through its WDP National Committee.
WDP Philippines is composed of women representatives from nine women organizations of member churches of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. These are: Episcopal Church Women, Federation of Baptist Women’s Missionary Unions, Inc., Kalipunan ng kababaihang UNIDA Ekyumenikal, Philippine Lutheran Women’s League, Salvation Army Women’s Ministries, National Christian Women’s Association of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, Kapisanan ng mga Kababaihan ng IEMELIF, Women of the Philippine Independent Church, and United Methodist Women’s Society of Christian Service.
As we prepare for the worship, women and girls from the Philippines enter carrying symbols, each with a story. Rowena, after listening to the reflection of the WDP writing groups, tells the story of God’s economic justice in contrast to the economy of the strong and the powerful in her beautiful artwork.
God gave the Philippines abundant resources, both human and material. God is the great provider and provision is for all of creation. This is God’s display of economic justice in contrast to the economy where the strong and powerful take God’s resources for themselves and their families. The kingdom of God provides for all, even for those who do not acknowledge it.
A Glimpse of the Philippine Situation
By: Rowena “Apol” Laxamana-Sta.Rosa
For the Children
"Oh children, I welcome you to the Philippines, called the Pearl of the Orient Seas..."
Our worship services are always inclusive towards children. We want them to begin learning, at a young age, about Jesus' love and how to share their love with others around the world.
Gather the children around and have a world map in an area for everyone to see. Ask the children to draw a line beginning from where they live and ending in the Philippines. Encourage them to imagine traveling towards the Philippines. And let them share how they feel about this travel.
Bible Study on the Workers in the Vineyard
By: Ulrike Bechmann, Austria/Germany
This Bible Study was held at the YPray? - Conference of the WDP Committee of England, Wales and Northern Ireland (EWNI) at Northampton, 30th of April 2016. It is based on the main Bible text of the World Day of Prayer Service for 2017, written by women from the Philippines.
We thank Ulrike Bechmann and England, Wales and Northern Ireland Committee for offering this additional resource to World Day of Prayer annual celebration.
Click here to download this Bible Study:
©Text of the Bible Study: Ulrike Bechmann, Germany; Music: Siegfried Macht, Germany/Strube-Verlag, München; English text of the songs: Ulrike Bechmann, Germany.
To join WDP, to participate in the program, to learn the prayers, concerns and ways to be in solidarity with, please get in contact with your National Committee.
The Republika ng Pilipinas is the focus country for the 2017 Annual Celebration of World Day of Prayer.
During the WDPIC Writer Workshop in the Philippines, an expert from the Ibon Foundation, offered a deep analysis of the economic context of the Philippines. If you want to further expand your understanding of the country and follow the current situation, you may search for more information on their website.
Some participants of the writer working group are members of the Association of Women in Theology, who published a statement about the Government’s Campaign against illegal drugs. Check out the statement on the September 5th 2016 archive of the blog entitled “Never lose sight of life.”
Migrant workers, farmers and indigenous peoples in the Philippines offer us a perspective to reflect on the main Bible text of the worship service. WDPIC attended the Lukbay Lumad USA/The Continuing Journey of Mindanao’s Indigenous Peoples for Peace with Justice when they passed through NY towards the United Nations Forum on Indigenous Issues.
They were demanding for the end of the killing of their people and plunder of their ancestral land. They were campaigning to save the schools that have being occupied by the military forces. For updates on the Peace Talks, you may visit Just PeacePH.