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Issue 5, April 2015


Editor’s Note This issue of ENGAGED coincides with the 75th Anniversary Celebration of PGCAG (PGCAG75). To us staff, who are involved in the publication of this material and are opportuned to take active roles in preparing for the PGCAG, we are nonetheless exceedingly blessed! Preparing for ENGAGED and the PGCAG75 opens opportunities to browse through our movement’s record and appreciate the demonstration of God’s power in and through our denomination. Spending long hours to inspect decades-old photos and white-turned-rusty-yellow documents proved to be more than just a walk-down-the-memory-lane experience. It also builds faith to believe that the Holy Spirit’s flames that consumed the hearts of our ‘forefathers’ to be sold out for Jesus will burn in our hearts and the generations after us. Having seen our history through moments captured in photos creates a yearning to experience in our days the Pentecostal power that gripped our predecessors. The pressures that come along with the preparation for the main celebration on April 28 to May 1, 2015 dissipate at the thought of celebrating with the PGCAG family the faithfulness of God, whose grace qualified us to know Him and make Him known. Nothing is as exciting as anticipating, together with the whole PGCAG family, an outpouring of the Spirit that will unleash us as powerful harvest force relevant to this age! On the other hand, writing and editing for this issue of ENGAGED opens up more opportunities to revel at God’s goodness to PGCAG. This issue focuses on Local Church Structure and World Missions Enterprise, two equally important parts of our leadership’s 8-Point Agenda. After 75 years, God has forged the simple undertakings of our pioneers into a movement of empowered local churches, faithfully proclaiming the gospel and planting churches in our nation and overseas. The unrestrained growth of the ministries underscores both the need for strengthening local church structures and the limitless opportunities to preach the gospel so that every tribe and nation may hear of Jesus. Participating in these two remarkable endeavors is already an achievement. Yet, we know that whatever we have attained is attributed only to the One who made it all happen. Being part of the movement, along with the privilege to work for the ENGAGED and PGCAG75, points to one great fact: that we can all be participants to the great works of God. At the end of the day, we will marvel not at what our hands have achieved but by what our great God has accomplished, especially through all our failures and imperfections. And, as the Psalmist put it, “Not to us, LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness” (Psalm 115;1). Blessings! Sur del Rosario Editor-in-Chief

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Table of Contents How the PGCAG was Organized and Structured Building Healthy Relationship with the Church Board Presiding and Deciding: Dynamics of Church Leadership Meeting Structuring the Church for Missions Developing a Culture for Harvest Highlights on World Missions Enterprise On PGCAG’s New Constitution and By-laws 75th Anniversary of the Assemblies of God in the Philippines SEC Recognizes Court-Declared PGCAG Leaders PSA (formerly NSO) Recognizes Rev. Calusay as PGCAG Head

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The Editorial Team Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Editorial Support Staff Layout Artist Adviser Consultants

Sur del Rosario Jilmer Cariaga Mary Arlene Chua-del Rosario, Evelyn Anden, Adsville de Leon Patrick Tan Alex Fuentes Rey Calusay Alex Fuentes

Contact Us Philippines General Council of the Assemblies of God (PGCAG, Inc.) Website: www.pgcag.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/pgcagofficial PGCAG Secretariat Telephone: (02) 292.6613; (02) 294.6136 Mobile: 0908.8217812 (Smart), 0917.7965025 (Globe), 0932.8620336 (Sun) Email: PGCAGoffice@gmail.com

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How the PGCAG was Organized and Structured by Rosanny Engcoy

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GCAG started as a district under USAG when the Philippines was a colony of the United States but Pentecostal works began even before PGCAG was organized. In fact, Filipino Pentecostal churches were branded as cults because of the lack of government recognition. As US policy, any organization must register with the US Consul General in Manila to operate in the Philippines. The organization’s head in the country must be a missionary or church leader appointed by the home body in the US. Thus, it was a high time for Pentecostal ministers to officially organize themselves and secure government recognition in order to avail of legal protection, rights, and privileges, such as the authority to solemnize marriage. They also believed that the organization would help them stabilize the fellowship and unify their efforts of spreading the Pentecostal message guided by standard doctrine and practice. The Philippines District Council of the Assemblies of God (PDCAG) Meantime in the US, Rodrigo Esperanza and Esteban Lagmay made a formal request to USAG to send

Rodrigo Esperanza

Esteban Lagmay

a missionary to the Philippines to organize AG work in the country. USAG Foreign Missions Department granted the request and sent Leland Johnson for the task. Also, Esperanza returned to his hometown Pozzorubio and helped in gathering unaffiliated Filipino Pentecostal ministers pioneering in the country which paved way to organizational convention held on March 21-27, 1940 in San Nicolas, Villasis, Pangasinan. Aside from Johnson, who was appointed head by the USAG, the following were elected as executive officers at the convention: Superintendent - Leeland Johnson (Appointed); Secretary - Rodrigo Esperanza; Treasurer - Pedro Castro; General Presbyters - Rosendo Alcantara, Hermogenes Abrenica. The body also decided on the following sectional divisions for the country, each with its own set of officers: Section 1 - Ilocos Norte and Cagayan Valley; Section 2 Ilocos Sur and Abra; Section 3 - La Union and Mountain Province; Section 4 - Pangasinan to Albay and Sorsogon; Section 5 - Eastern Visayas Islands; Section 6 - Western

First convention of the Philippine District Council of the Assemblies of God (PDCAG), March 21-27, 1940, Villasis, Pangasinan

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Visayas and Islands; Section 7 - Mindanao and Islands. The Philippines District Council of the Assemblies of God (PDCAG) was duly registered at the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on July 11, 1940. Hardly had the newly organized group taken off when the Philippines became one of the battlegrounds of World War II. All missionaries were imprisoned in concentration camps for the duration of the Japanese occupation of the Philippines. Church members were scattered despite the Filipino pastors’ efforts to continue the ministry. After the war, the missionaries were released and sent back to the US. Meanwhile, the Filipino pastors lost no time in picking up the work interrupted by the war. The Philippines General Council of the Assemblies of God (PGCAG) With the new freedom, the work expanded to other provinces and missionaries started coming from the US to aid the work. On Wednesday, April 21, during the 1953 annual convention, the body in session unanimously accepted the resolution to turn the District Council into a General Council independent of the mother organization in the US. The following were elected executive officers thereafter: Superintendent - R. Esperanza; Assistant General Superintendent - J. Maypa; Secretary S. Obaldo; Treasurer - C. Barcena; General Presbyter - B. Mangingan, G. Dunn, P. Masuecos. The Philippines General Council of the Assemblies of God (PGCAG) was duly registered with the SEC on

September 23, 1953. This time, PGCAG’s geographical divisions, called as districts, were named after the 3 island regions of the country: Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, each of which had its own set of officers. Each district was further divided into sections, again with its own set of officers. Local Assemblies The strength of PGCAG as a denomination is the empowered local assemblies. The movement grows as churches fulfill the priority reason for being of the organization to which they belong. The PGCAG Bylaws recognizes two kinds of churches: sovereign and dependent. A sovereign church is duly organized and affiliated with the PGCAG through the District where it is located. It must have at least 15 active members with a duly elected church board, and it must be selfsupporting and governed by a church code that is patterned after the District Charter, PGCAG Rules of Church Government, Articles of Incorporation, and Bylaws. A dependent assembly, meanwhile, had less than 15 members and is under the jurisdiction of the District. Although, PGCAG is a cooperative fellowship, its member churches were “not an isolated and absolutely autonomous entity but an integral part of the body of Christ.” However, through the years, many local assemblies have modified their church structure. But one thing remains unchanged: PGCAG is still “a cooperative fellowship” striving “to recognize and promote Scriptural methods and order of worship, unity, fellowship, work and business for God…endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

10th Philippines District Council Convention, April 21-25, 1953, Bethel Bible Institute

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Rev. Jun Mortel ministering at their church worship service

Building Healthy Relationship with the Church Board Urban Pastor Reflects on Pastor-Board Relationship by Jilmer Cariaga

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pastored Dampalit (AG Church) for 17 years. It was never easy and I cried before I left. I think that’s what life is, there are unexpected moments.” Rev. Cipriano Mortel Jr., or simply Pastor Jun, poignantly recalls his sad farewell from the church he pastored for 17 years in order to shepherd a church pressed with many challenges. Transitioning to Caloocan Bethel Assembly of God (CBAG) maybe considered a very challenging assignment but it yields all-thingswork-for-good outcomes which he willfully accepted. Since 2003, when he started as visiting pastor to CBAG, Pastor Jun receives a consistently overwhelming trust of the church members. In the latest and third-time vote of confidence for a 5-year pastoral term, he received 97% affirmative vote reflective of the congregation’s very high confidence on him. Caloocan Bethel was established in 1954 through the ground-breaking ministry of the couple Pastors Eliseo and Virgie Cruz in the house of Caes Family formerly named as Caloocan Revival Center. The name was changed to Caloocan Bethel Temple after affiliating with the Assemblies of God in 1960. Later, the church followed its SEC-registered name Caloocan Bethel Assembly of God, Inc.

Despite several leadership transitions, religious strongholds, transient populace, urban poverty and local corruption, the church thrives at the heart of the city. With some church members penetrating the local government units, they would act as catalyst for effecting subtle transformation. The church’s education ministry, Caloocan Bethel Christian School, established in 1986, serves as bridge in bringing the gospel to the parents of the students. Its Christian educators, mostly homegrown, are vital ministry partners in facilitating a faith-based, government-approved curriculum to cater to the formative years of the children. Thus, when Pastor Jun assumed the pastorate, he also assumed the chaplaincyproviding spiritual guidance to the faculty, staff and students of Caloocan Bethel Christian School. “How do you build a healthy relationship with the church board?” The leadership structure of CBAG is composed of two separate boards: Board of Trustees (BOT) and Board of Deacons (BOD). The two distinct boards constitute the Church Board established “to ensure stability and to maintain a check and balance in the operations of the church” . The BOT serves as custodian of the church properties such as real estates, monetary, materials and other tangible assets. While the BOD’s primary role is in “advisory capacity with the pastor” and in the administration of the church polity. “The overseers for ministries are composed primarily of the members of the church board. The Church Board is formed by the two boards: the board of trustees and the board of deacons. In the By-laws, the spiritual qualifications for board of deacons are also in the board of trustees with additional criteria related to being trustees and property management. That only means the two boards have the capacity to handle ministries or deal with spiritual matters,” Pastor Jun explains.

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The setup works well with Pastor Jun who also sits as the Chairman of the Church Board. Every member of the Church Board is also at the forefront of ministries, providing oversight to department or fellowship assigned to them besides what is required of them by church By-laws. “How do you maintain a healthy relationship with the church board?” It is important for Pastor Jun to show respect to strengthen his relationship with the person. It is also what he’s trying to communicate by paying attention through listening when someone is talking. This also encourages participation from members of the board during meetings. There might be disagreements but everyone understands that at the end of the meeting they would have to make a decision. Church leadership is about teamwork and it is important to hear different opinions from members of the team. However, it is a golden rule that members of the board must support and promote whatever decision is made even it is contrary to their opinion. The board affirms this rule as they tell, “Pastor Jun reminded us that when majority of the board decided on something against our position, we are still part of the decision when we left the boardroom.” Another way of showing respect is by delegation of tasks. This is his way of recognizing the person’s gifts and also a way of knowing whether the person can function under minimal supervision. “When I delegate, I do not meddle. I don’t have to monitor his work on a daily basis.” He clarifies that he gives job to the person who he knew has talent and skills to accomplish the task but also allows the person to take the full responsibility and accountability. “Does the current structure promote or build healthy local church?” Someone may always find a fault in the structure and may use it to his advantage so when asked if the current structure creates or builds healthy local church, he answers: “There is no perfect structure. There is no perfect system. Any organizational structure only works for a particular organization. The truth is, it all depends on the leader and his character. Structure and system are

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Worship Service at Caloocan Bethel AG

important but the person utilizing the structure is an important factor as well in making the structure works for the good of the assembly.” “Considering that you have the confidence of the congregation and the support of the Church Board, we can say that the Church looks after of the welfare of your family. Does Caloocan Bethel have provision for financial security when a pastor loses the vote of confidence of the members?” The CBAG By-laws requires a vote of confidence for the pastor every five years. The process, if unfavorable, may create a financial drawback to the pastor and his family after losing the vote of confidence of the members. He can only wish not to have undergone the process knowing it is what the By-laws require. Here’s what he had to say about the financial plan, if any, of the church for him if he lost the trust of the people. “We have started that with the workers. The church has a trust fund allocated for their retirement. But there is no black and white document to support it for the pastors. I want to propose it but that would be self-serving. But I also sense that the church is moving toward it.” He wants to preserve his testimony and the relationship he established with the leaders and the church through years. He trusts, if that happens, the LORD will provide.

Rev. Cipriano Mortel, Jr. is married to his wife Leonila and they are blessed with four (4) children: Jerejob-Junel, registered nurse; Angeleen Jenn, office administrator; and Jasper June and Jarvis Ivan, currently studying, 4th year High School and Grade 6 students, respectively. They all serve in CBAG in their own capacity.

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Presiding and Deciding: Dynamics of Church Leadership Meeting by Jilmer Cariaga

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he office of the pastor has inherent authority and advantages. It is interesting to know how they influence the church leadership and impact their congregation. Although pastors are part of the church board, but to some degree because of their inherent authority, they are distinct member of the board. It is noted that the PGCAG By-laws empowers the pastor to act as the Chairman of the Church Council and to preside in all business meetings and in Cabinet and Church Board meetings. Could they possibly influence the decision of the board because of their inherent power? Thus, to satisfy this curiosity, I conducted an online survey which was participated by a total of 44 respondents. The goal was to understand the dynamics of church leadership expressed in two functions: presiding-a-meeting and decision-making on church affairs. The responses were compiled from September 22 to October 12, 2014. Table 1 shows the number of respondents and the role they play in their respective local church.

But what does the survey tell? Table 2 presents a comparison on roles of the pastor and the church board in a local church with a given number of active members as understood by the respondents. The result may not display the actual happenings inside the boardroom but the statistics can tell us possibilities.

Table 2. Comparison between who presides and who decides

Generally, there seems to be a distribution of functions between the pastor and church board in the church of the majority of the respondents. This assessment is shared by the following respondents: • 32 (73%) say that the pastor presides in the board meeting • 25 (57%) say that the board decides on church affairs

Table 1. Respondents Role in Church

Precisely the survey is not comprehensive nor conclusive but it allows us to make some inferences out of the responses than can shed some light as to how church leadership structure can affect local assembly. Understandably, it is a common practice to present the proposed programs and activities first to the board and seek their approval before cascading it to the congregation. The process provides them opportunity to study the proposal and allows discussion to flourish before they make a decision. A healthy church leadership team values the consensus of it members. Deciding on church affairs must not be a sole responsibility of the local pastor.

Interestingly, however, is the 18 (41%) respondents that say the pastor decides on church affairs. This needs further pondering. Referring again to Table 2, the critical roles of both presiding and deciding given to the pastor of the 11 out of 18 churches is a consideration for churches that have only less than 100 active members. This is true to some pastors of similar church demographics whose church board rely on them in decision making. The composition of the church board is as significant as to its function. The leadership model used by the 7 remaining churches, each with at least 100 active members, which gives the two separate roles of presiding and deciding to the pastor disregards the PGCAG local church code.

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Paul and Barnabas were to be sent out. Believers then were organizing initiatives so that work of the apostles can continue. From all angles, the New Testament church was structured for gospel propagation.

Structuring the Church for Missions by Sur del Rosario

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he words “structure” and “missions” seem to be contradictory when applied to the church. Structure somewhat paints a picture of the institutionalized church using all its organizational scaffolding to grow and strengthen it. Missions, on the other hand, connotes movements similar to fire: spontaneously consuming with potentials to set ablaze everything on its way. It may appear to be an oxymoron to think of the church being “structured for missions”, but a closer look reveals a dynamics that should be evident in the way the church carries out its tasks. Structuring the church for missions is focusing all its efforts toward its real reason-for-being: to reveal God to the world. This aptly synthesizes the facts that the church is both an agency of God and an organization of men. The church is no different than a sailboat, where organizational structures were the sail that interplays with the wind, allowing the boat to cruise along. However, the wind is the Holy Spirit whose action upon the sail is what really moves it forward. As the Spirit breathes life to the organized church, it becomes a formidable missions movement affecting the world with the Gospel of Christ. The Spirit that moves in the church is the same Spirit that structures it. He moves in the hearts of believers so that they can wield their resources together and funnel the same towards kingdom-advancing initiatives. The infant church in Acts show this structure-formissions dynamics. At a time when problems arose with regards to food distribution, church leaders appointed deacons to serve so that the Apostles can give priority to the proclamation of the gospel. While gathered in a prayer meeting, the Spirit revealed to the believers that

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More modern history shows the ingenuity of churches structuring for missions. One inspiring example is the story of the five Williams College students, namely, Samuel J. Mills, James Richards, Francis L. Robbins, Harvey Loomis and Byram Green. All five were students at Williams College, and at one point they were debating on the theology of missionary service. A thunderstorm interrupted their discussions, forcing them to take shelter under the haystack until the sky cleared. That waiting turned into a prayer meeting, giving birth to a movement popularly known as Haystack Movement. As an offshoot of that meeting, the five students organized to become a missions sending organization. “Samuel Mills became the Haystack person with the greatest influence on the modern mission movement. He played a role in the founding of the American Bible Society and the United Foreign Missionary Society… In its first fifty years, [the Haystack Movement] was able to send over 1250 missionaries.”1 Our movement, the PGCAG, is a by-product of endeavors to structure the church for missions. From the Pentecostal fires of Asuza, the fire that birthed the Assemblies of God fanned across continents reaching our shores with the Gospel of Christ. Now, we celebrate 75 years of powerful gospel proclamation with over 2000 churches moving unrestrained to preach Christ here in the Philippines and to the nations. Needless to say, the church is to be structured for missions, with the latter serving as the impetus that necessitates the former. It is the drive to preach the gospel that should be our motivation for structuring our churches. We organize to mobilize. We strengthen our ranks so that we can continue knowing Christ and making Him known. Organized to Mobilize How then should the church structure itself toward missions? Below are some suggestions on how the church can organize to mobilize: Review all programs if missions-focused. A comprehensive review of the church’s programs and priorities should be made to determine if the church really is missions driven. Objectively, and with caution, eliminate activities that are not really producing fruits Continued on page 11 1 Source: http://www.globalministries.org/resources/missionstudy/what-is-haystack/the-history-of-the-haystack-pray.html

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Developing a Culture for Harvest Practical Insights from a Church-Planting Church Jilmer Cariaga

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ince its establishment in 1971, First Assembly Roxas Missions (FARM) has developed “A Church Culture for Missions” 1. Through Summer-of-Service (SOS), initiated and developed by FARM now adopted by PGCAG Home Missions, numerous churches were planted in rural and urban towns and cities across the country. Raised by dedicated FARM’s Missions Team and with generous gifts from church members, FARM has financially supported more than 500 pioneering churches as of this year. How do they accomplish that? Preparing the Congregation Data gathering, collating information, mobilizing its volunteers, and organizing the upcoming missions convention: these are things that occupy the FARM’s Missions Team’s busy schedule. They do this to prepare the congregation on the actual day. They should present to the congregation the names of local and foreign pastors and missionaries that they will be supporting, their location for missions or ministry, and the corresponding amount of support broken down into specific expenses for each of them. Sermons on Sundays prior to convention are designed to put more emphasis on missions and to encourage the members to give financial support to the church’s thrust. This is also done to give enough time for the congregation to pray for the God-impressed-in-their-heart amount that they shall give for missions. Gathering Pledges on Missions Conventions FARM’s Missions Convention is held annually. By the time the members enter the Convention Hall, their hearts are attuned to the challenging messages of the speakers. They are also responsive to the leading of the Holy Spirit if prompted to give generously. Pledges that were gathered at the convention are recorded and will be reported to the body during regular church services. 1

http://farminc.wordpress.com/know-us/945-2/

One of the SOS 2015 Teams for Palawan

Reports, Reminders and Records of Pledges The task of FARM Missions Team does not stop after the convention. They shall be preparing a report of pledges gathered during the convention and to be presented to the congregation the following Sunday services. The report summarizes the total number of people who gave pledges and the total amount of pledges. The following days and months will be a bit more challenging for the team. The team has to ensure that those who committed to give financial support for missions are reminded of their pledges; that is also to ensure the projected amount needed to support missionaries and pastors is hit. They have established a follow-up system via text messaging, snail mail, emails or voice calls if necessary, to remind the members of their pledges. They also send “thank you” response to those who have given the pledged amount. Collections are done using the church’s “stewardship envelope”. Aside from pledges, the church also allocates the 10% of its monthly tithes and offering for missions. They also open their books for auditing both from internal and external independent auditors. Going for Extra Mile Services and Support FARM commits to give its full financial support for pioneering pastors and missionaries, but gradually reducing the amount of support after two years; thus, giving the beneficiary churches ample time to be selfsustaining including the support given to their pastor and workers. In addition to these churches covered by their missions thrust, the team also monitors those churches that were planted through SOS drive to identify what possible support these newly planted churches maybe needing. The LORD honor their commitment as they have been blessed with the financial pledges needed to fund their missions endeavor. They never miss their target.

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Highlights on World Missions Enterprise Missionaries on Field Country Missionaries

Total

Cambodia Sam & DJ Raguingan

Indonesia Jay & Jenny Angeles

Northern Asia Julie Fuentes

Nora Catipon

Novelyn Sumaya

Evangeline Balanguiwed

Myrna Ramos

Alemar Amdengan

Linda Pinchingan Gina Pedregosa Elvie Daradar 7

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Middle East Fidel & Melody Monzon

2

1

Total

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Missionaries-In-Residence

1. Abraham Visca (Papua New Guinea/PGCAG World Missions Dept. cross-cultural training coordinator) 2. Fred & Iryn Capapas (Cambodia/Immanuel Bible College, Cebu City)

Missions Highlights in Cambodia From Nora Catipon, Missionary to Cambodia Cambodia School of Missions (CSM) • • • • •

34 graduates since its establishment in 1999 27 house churches and cell groups were established by our graduates since 2012. 45 total students are impacting Phnom Penh City and the 13 provinces (SY 2013-2014) 7 graduates of Pastoral Ministry Program (SY 2013-2014) 9 graduated from the Church Planting and Ministry Program (SY 2013-2014)

Nora Catipon preaches in one of the CSM’s Chapel Services.

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Nora Catipon and Church Planting Program students


Lighthouse Shining Stars • 140 children with Buddhism background learn how to read and write and being taught with Christian values. • Nora Catipon directs the pre-school with the help two Cambodian nationals who supervise the daily operations of the school.

Nora Catipon preaches in one of the CSM’s Chapel Services.

Nora Catipon and Church Planting Program students

Lighthouse Christian Assembly • A growing Church pastored by Nora Catipon; Services conducted in English language • Discipleship Training Center: a discipleship strategy of providing free accommodation in the city for Christian students from the provinces so that they will also disciple their family and friends to be followers of Jesus Christ • 16 university students are currently residing at the Center

Nora Catipon preaches in one of the CSM’s Chapel Services.

Nora Catipon and Church Planting Program students

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Missions Highlights in Indonesia From Jay and Jennie Angeles, Missionary to Indonesia Linnaaw Student Center • Established over a year ago, it birthed two (2) Life Groups in the center attended by some university students. • 30 new students are learning the Book of Proverbs in their English tutorials and club meetings.

Juwana Church Planting • Planting church in a Muslim community through various means of service – e.g compassion, language tutorial, medical mission • Praise God for one additional soul this year for a very young church.

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On PGCAG’s New Constitution and By-laws An Interview with Rev. Nelson Verona, Chairman of the PGCAG Amendments Committee What is the rationale of this PGCAG Constitution and By-laws (CBL) Amendment? We are celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Assemblies of God in the Philippines this year. Within a span of seven and a half decades, we have grown in a rate like no other church movement in the country has ever achieved. As a Fellowship, however, we have to deal with realities brought about by the fast changing times. PGCAG has grown to such noteworthy proportion; the ministry landscape has significantly changed; and yet our systems and structure have lagged behind in development. They are no longer adequate to effectively address the contemporary needs of the movement. In fact if we analyze the setbacks we have experienced in the recent times, we can attribute most of them to the organizational context I have already mentioned. A good friend of mine succinctly observed that the Assemblies of God has already grown to become like a megamall, yet its systems and structure remains like that of a sari-sari store. And so, the need to revise the document that mainly delineates our systems and structure – which is the PGCAG Amended By-Laws -has become inevitable. Does it have any connection with the current IntraCorporate dispute? No, the latest revision of the PGCAG By-Laws has nothing to do with the ongoing intra-corporate dispute. During the 2006 General Council Convention, there was already a strong clamor for the creation of a study committee that will look into the possibility of revising the PGCAG By-Laws. Then, in 2009, the PGCAG Executive Presbytery under the leadership of Rev. Rey Calusay as Gen Supt., and Rev. David Sobrepena as Asst. Gen Supt. appointed a seven-man study committee whose main mandate was to study and propose possible amendments to the By-Laws. In 2010, a Special Convention was held at Cathedral of Praise (COP) and the Propositions were submitted to the constituents for consensus building. Present during that special convention were the then incumbent PGCAG executives: Rev. Rey Calusay, Gen

Supt.; Rev. David Soprepena, Asst. Gen. Supt.; Rev. Joseph Suico, Gen. Sec.; Rev. Jerry Balbuena, Gen Treas. In short, long before the intra-corporate dispute ensued, the process of constitutional revision has already been ongoing. As Chairman of the Amendments Committee, tell us how you and your team was appointed and qualified? The members of the Amendments Committee were chosen by the PGCAG Leadership from the list of ministers who were recommended by the different Districts. Originally, there were 24 appointees, but a few were not able to serve in the committee because of their personal circumstances, but able replacements were subsequently appointed. As chairman of the group, I could say that the men and women who worked on the CBL amendments are intellectually reflective and brilliant ministers whose profound spiritual discernment produced some trailblazing concepts which now form part of the new CBL. What are the processes that the Amendments Committee went through before arriving at the final draft of the Proposed New CBL? I can describe the process of revising the PGCAG Amended By-Laws in three words: LONG, TEDIOUS, and THOROUGH. Long, because the whole process from the first committee meeting to the final ratification of the new CBL took more than two years. Tedious, because members in many instances have to work till the wee hours to make the deadlines. Thorough, because the whole project involved numerous phases. First was the research phase. We studied the By-Laws, looked for its strengths as well as its weaknesses and took note of them. We also studied the by-laws of other similar organizations and noted our observations as well. The second phase involved looking for the weak points in the By-laws that either needed to be strengthened or changed. Subsequently, proposed revisions were written. By the way, I need to mention at this point that the committee was divided into three teams: the Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao teams. Each team was assigned different articles to work on. They met together to work on those articles and then wrote their proposed amendments to those Articles. Thereafter, the committee as a whole met (several plenary meetings were held) to deliberate on each team’s proposals and voted on them to get group consensus. The third phase is the production of the first draft. It involved putting together all the proposed amendments, making sure that the document is both comprehensive and coherent.

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The fourth phase was the public consultation phase. All Districts scheduled consultation meetings where we explained the proposed amendments. In those meetings, the constituents’ reactions, suggestions, including their expressions of concerns were noted. The fifth phase was the revision of the first draft of the proposed amendments. The public consultations yielded many good ideas that were subsequently incorporated into the document. After the second revision, the committee held a plenary meeting and went over the document line by line. Once further revisions were done, the Amendments Committee, by a unanimous vote approved the final form of the new CBL. The last work that was done on the document was the legal, style, and copy editing. Atty. Mike Operario examined the document and made sure that all its provisions are compliant to all existing laws of the land. The sixth and final phase is the approval by the PGCAG Board of Trustees and ratification by the general membership. How was the ratification done? What was the result of the ratification? We did clustered ratification meetings for some districts like STDC, BRDC and CLDC, and others. Some chose to hold their ratification meetings by District. All those meetings by the way were called and presided by the members of the General Council Executive Presbytery for the purpose of ratifying the then proposed CBL. After all the votes from the 21 Districts were tallied by the General Presbytery, 81% of all those who cast their ballots voted for the ratification of the new CBL. What is now the status of the New PGCAG By-laws? As far as the PGCAG is concerned we already have a New Constitution and Bylaws. It was ratified by the majority of our constituents. To make way for its full implementation, however, we still need to submit the document to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for approval or clearance. Since we already got a favorable decision and a corresponding writ of execution from the Valenzuela RTC in regards to the PGCAG intracorporate dispute, we hope to submit the New CBL after our 75th Anniversary Celebration. We expect that the next year or two will serve as a transition period when we can educate our constituents regarding the proper implementation of the new CBL. This will also make possible the smooth transition from the old systems and structure to the new ones.

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Structuring..., continued.

and may not be aligned to the missions thrust. Board to clearly establish the church’s priority is missions and discipleship movement-making. The Board has to be clear that the mission of the church takes the lead in all its undertaking. When all decisions are hinged on this conviction, it will be easier to establish priorities and allot resources. Organize to mobilize everyone to be a missionary. Encourage everyone to preach the gospel whether individually or together as church. Equip everyone to have the confidence to share the gospel and have the burden to reach for souls. Expose everyone to church planting, outreaches and missions. Create a culture of obedience which flows naturally into a culture of missionsmindedness. Obedience is what enables us to follow Jesus. On the other hand, disobedience stifles any desire to honor God. Pray hard that God would cultivate the hearts of everyone so that each one can joyfully follow Jesus. Although building culture takes time, and the Holy Spirit is the real one that changes the hearts, obedient believers will enforce God’s will without reservation. Once the obedience is set, it would be easier for people to respond to fulfilling the Great Commission. Establish simple and transferrable discipleship/equipping system. Structuring for missions entails creating discipleship pathways that could serve as an equipping track. This equipping track can be standard training program and sequence used to prepare and deploy people to become “missionaries”. Connect with missionaries at all times. Other than praying for the missionaries, the church needs to strongly commit to support them. Regular updating with missionaries does not only allow the church to be informed with development on the missionary’s side but it will also deepen the burden the church has for the missionary and the people he serves. This will also open up opportunities to extend any form of help which may bless the missions work.

ENGAGED Magazine | Building Healthy Local Church Structure


75th Anniversary of the Assemblies of God in the Philippines A Celebration of the Triumph of Truth and God‘s Faithfulness

the following District Superintendents: Rev. Gerardo O. Cruz, Sr., Southern Tagalog District Council (STDC) Rev. Walter T. Caput, South Central Cordillera District Council (SCCDC) Rev. Esther D. Cebuala, Northeartern Mindanao District Council (NEMDC) Rev. Edgar Y. Germo, Western Visayas District Council (WVDC) Rev. Benito P. Lacaden, Jr., Northern Ilocandia District Council (NIDC) Rev. Teodoro L. Largo, Central Visayas and Lower Leyte District Council (CVLLDC)

Atty. Jose Michael Operario

T

he Philippines General Council of the Assemblies of God (PGCAG) celebrates 75 years of God’s faithfulness to the movement. We rejoice for the major advance of the Kingdom of God through church planting and missions, and we envision together a triumphant future. The celebration coincides with the recent victory of PGCAG against David Sobrepeña and some of his supporters who attempted to seize control of the General Council through a corporate takeover in 2012. With the gallant stand of the righteous Pastors of the PGCAG, the takeover was thwarted and cases were filed in the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela Branch 75 to determine, once and for all, who the legitimate officers of the PGCAG are. On July 16, 2014, the Court rendered a DECISION nullifying all actions taken by David Sobrepeña and the Board of Trustees who sided with him. The Court likewise nullified the convention and the results of the election by David Sobrepeña’s group in 2012. In the same DECISION the Court affirmed the legitimacy of the leadership of Rev. Reynaldo Calusay as President and General Superintendent of the PGCAG and recognized those elected in the Iloilo Convention on April 24-27, 2012 as the legitimate officers of the latter. These officers are the following: General Executives & Officers of the Board of Trustees Rev. Reynaldo A. Calusay, General Superintendent/ President Rev. Joseph Rommel L. Suico, Assistant General Superintendent Rev. Alex B. Fuentes, General/Corporate Secretary Rev. Rene G. Cagadas, General/Corporate Treasurer Other elected members of the Board of Trustees are

Rev. Jino A. Lumbo, Northwestern Visayas District Council (NWVDC) Rev. Laurence Nanglegan (resigned) Rev. Herson A. Niog, Lanao District Council (LDC) Rev. Eduardo H. Roperos, Jr., North Central Mindanao District Council (NCMDC) Rev. Patricio P. Sanchez, Southern Mindanao District Council (SMDC) Furthermore, the Court also issued a Writ of Execution on January 6, 2015 for the DECISION it rendered last July 16, 2014 in favor of the group headed by Rev. Reynaldo Calusay. The issuance of the Writ removes all legal impediments on the implementation of the DECISION of the Court. Still defiant, the group led by David Sobrepeña insisted on holding their own 75th anniversary on April 20 to 23, 2015 at the Word of Hope Church. For the guidance of those that may be misled by their advertisements, the official celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Assemblies of God in the Philippines is the one hosted by the Philippines General Council of the Assemblies of God which will take place at the MOA Complex in Pasay City on April 28 - May 1, 2015, which is also the one that will be attended by the licensed and ordained ministers, missionaries, affiliates and worldwide fellowship of the Assemblies of God. Despite the hurt and pain created by the conflict, the leadership are hopeful that the erring pastors will eventually see the fallacy of their ways and that they will go back to serving God and renewing their commitment to the PGCAG. Thus, the 75th Anniversary celebration of the Philippine General Council of the Assemblies of God is more than just an event. In the backdrop of the most serious threat of division that drove a wedge among

Building Healthy Local Church Structure | ENGAGED Magazine

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pastors, friends, and family members, the recent Court victory gave the PGCAG the reason to celebrate the triumph of truth over deception, of justice over oppression, and to rejoice in the protection and favor granted by God in this most trying moment of the movement. This faith-shaking challenge may have humbled us, but the truth is, nothing should stop us from moving forward to realize God’s higher purpose, UNRESTRAINED!

SEC Recognizes Court-Declared PGCAG Leaders The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) recognizes PGCAG leadership as declared by the Regional Trial Court Branch 75 through a DECISION on July 16, 2014 and Writ of Execution on January 6, 2015. Referring to a response to the series of Correspondence made by the Office of the General Secretary, the Commission admits that it has mistakenly appropriated the “Defendant Faction B” to the group led by Rev. Sobrepeña in its letter dated October 27, 2014. The Commission also recognizes that the Defendant Faction B is referred to the group led by Reverends Reynaldo Calusay (General Superintendent) and Joseph Rommel Suico (Assistant General Superintendent), the rightful leaders of the Philippines General Council of the Assemblies of God, Inc. (PGCAG). Furthermore, the Commission will mark and annotate the dispositive portions of the DECISION and the WRIT OF EXECUTION to the General Information

Sheet (GIS) submitted by the group of Rev. David A. Sobrepeña. The Commission’s letter dated March 5, 2015 is addressed to Rev. Alex Fuentes, General Secretary.

PSA (formerly NSO) Recognizes Rev. Calusay as PGCAG Head In a Memorandum Circular 2015-04, the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), formerly National Statistics Office (NSO) recognizes Rev. Reynaldo Calusay as the Head/General Superintendent of the Philippines General Council of the Assemblies of God, Inc. (PGCAG). The Authority’s MEMO is addressed to ALL INTERIM REGIONAL DIRECTORS (IRDs), PROVINCIAL CARETAKERS (PCs), OFFICERSIN-CHARGE (OICs),CITY MUNICIPAL CIVIL REGISTRARS directing them to recognize endorsement for CRASM Application from Rev. Calusay and to stop receiving and processing endorsement from Rev. Sobrepeña effective March 15, 2015.

Part of a two-page letter from SEC

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ENGAGED Magazine | Building Healthy Local Church Structure

Issue 5 | April 2015 - Building Healthy Local Church Structure  

Engaged is the national magazine publication of the Philippines General Council of the Assemblies of God.

Issue 5 | April 2015 - Building Healthy Local Church Structure  

Engaged is the national magazine publication of the Philippines General Council of the Assemblies of God.

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