NAFAUM 2023 CONVOCATION Overall Theme: “GOD IS ON THE MOVE…”
Biblical Text: Matthew 14:22-33
As we gather on the Hawaiian shores for such a time as this, Matthew’s narrative calls each of us outside the places we feel comfortable, to leave the shore behind, and go onto the open seas with Jesus. As we go, Jesus is never far away. We are called forth as to discover and re-discover God who is on the move!
Despite the uncertainties of our time and the current turbulence within our denomination, we as a movement of Filipino American United Methodists, are moving forward and declaring “to keep the main thing the main thing” – the centrality of our faith in Jesus Christ—His life, death and resurrection. We will gather in Hawaii for the NAFAUM 2023 Convocation affirming the foundational mission of the church to make disciples of Jesus Christ so that the world will be transformed.
From the very beginning, the Wesleyan movement’s missional charge is, from the words of John Wesley, “to reform the nation and, in particular, the Church; and to spread scriptural holiness over the land.” At the very core of who we are as a people called Methodists and whose we are as people of God, we are mandated to make disciples of Jesus Christ and to participate in God’s ongoing mission to redeem and restore a broken world.
With declaration comes with a response from the people of God. This is a positive, forward looking response: ”So Shall We!
We will gather in Hawaii for the NAFAUM 2023 Convocation challenging our movement that we are indeed called to be the “people on the move” with God! Kuya Pong pointed this out and lifted the idea from our Litany of Social Creed.
Therefore, as the NAFAUM community and as “people on the move” with God, our collective response will come with three pillars (thru programs and workshops) in alignment with the goals & objectives of Asian American Language Ministries of the Global Ministries:
First: Church Revitalization & New Church Start
Development of new congregation: New congregations and fellowships of Filipinos in diaspora will be birthed in North America and in countries where there are concentrations of Filipino migrants. Specific objectives will be established in collaboration with bishops, annual conferences and judicatories of the church.
Second: Leadership Development & Language Materials
Recruitment and training of clergy and lay leadership: This is an essential ingredient to support the birth and nurture of new faith communities. The global network of Filipino United Methodists has the capacity to identify, enlist, train and deploy new leaders in collaboration with annual conferences and general agencies of the church.
Development of language resources and materials: Recognition of the language and cultural context that animate the Filipino faith communities is a high priority. In many instances, Filipino migrant workers are more receptive about faith in their native language than in English; and, there are many languages or dialects in the Philippines. Hence, production of language resources and materials is important; and, again, the network of Filipino Christian leaders will be harnessed to bear fruit in this regard.
Third: Global Filipino United Methodist Movement/Churches in Diaspora
Strengthening Filipino migrant ministries/churches in diaspora:
The NAFAUM launched a global movement dubbed “Global Filipino United Methodist Movement” or GFUMM, right before 2019 Special General Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. GFUMM aims to assist Filipino migrant ministries and partner with churches in diaspora in planting new faith communities, revitalizing existing programs and developing pioneering leaders and church planters.
Bishop Rudy Juan of the Davao Episcopal Area stated, “We praise God for the birth of this new organization, born out of a vision entrusted by God upon Filipino leaders in diaspora. I believe that relationships will all the more be strengthened among our ‘Kababayans’ (fellow countrymen).
“With collective efforts, our people living across the seas will share best practices on how to create new places for new people starting with Filipino communities. Most of all, we can work together to deal with societal problems like human trafficking, immigration and oppression, especially in work places.”