The Lutheran Church in the Philippines (LCP) — a partner church with the LCMS — is reunited, after being separated into two distinct factions for more than two decades.
Reunification came Oct. 26 in a vote of delegates from both groups to the church body’s joint convention Oct. 23-26 in Antipolo City, Rizal, the Philippines. Preceding the convention was an Oct. 22 spiritual retreat for pastors.
“When brothers dwell together in unity” (based on Psalm 133:1) was the theme of the convention attended by 121 clergy and lay delegates representing the nearly 25,000 baptized members of the LCP.
“We are all rejoicing in The Lutheran Church in the Philippines,” said the Rev. James Cerdeñola of Baguio City, who was re-elected by convention delegates as president of the united LCP. He has been the church body’s president since 2004.
A Nov. 6 news release from the International Lutheran Council quotes Cerdeñola, with his noting “that the enemy — the devil — for 24 years split the church and because of that, we have not been a very good witness to the community. We have done a lot of things that are shameful and have exhausted the resources of the church. But after all the dialogs and talking between the two groups in the LCP, we decided to come together in a unification convention. … Indeed, praise God, we had a very joyful and successful convention. The two [groups] are now one.”
The news release also says that Cerdeñola “noted that reunification came about with support from members of the LCP and with help from partner churches around the globe.”
The LCP began as a result of the mission efforts of the LCMS, which started work in the country in 1946. It became a full partner church of the LCMS in 1971 and is a member of the International Lutheran Council. Today, the LCP has 190 congregations and preaching stations and 300 pastors, evangelists and teachers. The church operates Lutheran Theological Seminary in Baguio City, a preschool, six primary schools and a secondary school. The church body’s offices are in Manila.
Posted Nov. 16, 2012