Days of Ministerial Conferences in Manila

Monday, December 23, 2019
Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines
Monday, Dec. 23, 2019
Monday morning we began our classes for the 40 plus attending.  It is a cozy and warm group and one that is particularly receptive.  First, I spoke about the High Calling of the Ministry.  Then Darris McNeely spoke about the Mission and Vision of the Church and our speaking to it in our work. After lunch David Dobson gave a very necessary presentation about the ceremonies in the church and understand the need to have consistent practice in everything from the Passover service, marriage ceremonies, baptisms, and other practices.  We even talked about consistency in how we anoint the sick. I ended the afternoon with a laborious presentation about the Calendar.  There is no easy way to do it.  In some ways it’s not about the calendar, but about self-styled “authorities” trying to show up what we practice as far as what exact days we observe for the Holy Days. We showed that we use the calculation method of determining the Holy Days from those unto whom the oracles of God were committed. I was afraid.   I believe we made our point and it’s clear in people’s minds what the issue is between calculation and observation by subjective parties.
Then we had dinner and Darris and I offered four ABC classes after each day’s seminar sessions. 
Monday night was the first by Darris about the book of Daniel.  I’ll do the book of James Tuesday night.
Tuesday - Thursday
Here is what I wrote for the eNews of the Church:
Since writing to you last, the events of the past week here in the Philippines have been a blur of activity.  We arrived in Manila last Wednesday and were met by senior pastor David Dobson and his wife Denise. 
On Thursday, we visited the Church office in the Makati District of Metro Manila.  We very much appreciate their oversight of the Church’s media outreach as well as the administrative support for the congregations and ministry throughout the Philippine Islands.
On Friday we took a daylong excursion to Corregidor Island, a strategic entrance to Manila Bay.  It is a symbol of Filipino and American valor in World War II. The Japanese invaded the Philippines and finally the last bastion Corregidor fell on May 6, 1942. From Corregidor, the Bataan Peninsula, just a few miles away is visible  The Death March of Filipino and American prisoners of war here is a most familiar story of the Pacific Theater of World War II. It was a sobering memorial to the savage conflict in World War II.
On the Sabbath we held a Kingdom of God seminar in Quezon City where Darris McNeely and I both spoke.  Of the total of 140 people who were present, 38 of them were new attendees.  A question and answer session that was part of the seminar yielded some very good questions by those present.
On Sunday, we visited the American Cemetery in Manila.  It is the largest American military cemetery outside the United States. Then Sunday evening we assembled for the start of the  Philippine Ministerial Conference.  It was patterned after the Pastor’s Development Program that we have been holding at the Home Office that past five years.
This PDP in the Philippines was a landmark event for training and continuing ministry.  In the evening Darris and I presented an ABC Sampler on the Book of Daniel and the Book of James. We have had plenty of time to socialize and really get to know each other well. 
Some of the classes were
The High Calling of the Ministry
Mission and Vision
Church Ceremonies
The Hebrew Calendar
Nature of God
Wives serving with their husbands team ministry
Evangelism – first contact visits
Local church organization
Expository preaching and a preaching plan
Biblical resources
Overview of the Pastor’s Policy Manual
And more! 
Four men gave expository sermonettes that the attendees evaluated. We also recorded two podcasts from here.
We had an eye-opening presentation from Ireneo and Glory Ann Suaner from Sabah in Malaysia who spoke about the uniqueness of the church there.  Also, Gum Seng Aung from Myanmar told us about their congregation in what used to be Burma.
During the conference, the women met separately to discuss their role along with their husband's in the ministry.   Discussion ranged from helping their husband in the care of the church to helping and advising them about their speaking and teaching. Conversation extended to how this could be done better in a team-like way that the husband could appreciate and respect. How can a wife also be respected in her equal role as is written in I Peter 3:7, "the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life?" The day after the women met separately all met together for a very profitable, spirited and honest discussion in which most everyone commented. 
We continue our journey to Singapore on Friday and look with great anticipation to visit our brethren there. 
I want to thank our Filipino ministry and brethren for making us so welcome. I also want to express appreciation to David and Denise Dobson and Earl Roemer for their part of this educational event.  Special thanks goes to Darris and Debbie McNeely for the many many hours or teaching. And, as always, thanks to my lovely wife Bev for her support.
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