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Discipleship Resources Philippines Launching on February 19, 2011

Greetings of peace and love from our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! The Discipleship Resources-Philippines (DR-P) proudly announces its formal launching on the 19th of February, 2011 (Saturday), 3:30 p.m. at the Philippine Christian University Auditorium, Taft Ave., Manila. The event will include the

Creating a Life with God: The Call to Ancient Prayer Practices

Creating a Life with God: The Call to Ancient Prayer Practices by Daniel Wolpert PhP 250.00 Noise. Rush. Deadlines. Anxiety. All of these seem to be part of our busy, contemporary lives. In the midst of all the busyness and the noise we endure, it

Five Practices author visits Philippines, speaks to church workers

Discipleship Resources- Philippines interviews Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations author Robert Schnase about his book and his coming to the Philippines. Check out how excited he is in his first visit to the country to answer our questions on his books and ministries.  Serving as

Third Sunday of Advent – Dec 11, 2011

advent wreath

To download a copy of this liturgical resource in PDF, please visit this link - http://www.scribd.com/doc/74320259/Third-Sunday-of-Advent-December-11-2011. ENTRANCE AND GATHERING People in Silent Meditation Lighting of the Candle and Opening of the Bible on the Altar   Greetings                            UMH 202 Angels announce with shouts of mirth him

3 Ways to Keep Ministries Alive – November 2011

1119785_advent

1. DESIGNING WORSHIP AND LITURGY. All our church services, whether traditional or contemporary, require us to make a guide or liturgy. It is therefore fitting that all the basic elements of worship are there. Based on the United Methodist Book of Worship, the DRP recently

Five Practices author visits Philippines, speaks to church workers

Discipleship Resources- Philippines interviews Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations author Robert Schnase about his book and his coming to the Philippines. Check out how excited he is in his first visit to the country to answer our questions on his books and ministries. 

Serving as bishop of the Missouri Area of the United Methodist Church, Robert Schnase (photo below) is a leader of around 900 congregations with 175,000 members across the state, “offering ministry through local churches, colleges, campus ministries, social services and mission projects throughout the world.”

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New distribution centers open in Mindanao

Discipleship Resources-Philippines (DR-P) strengthened its ministry in Mindanao through new partnerships after a visit to its three distribution centers — the Davao Episcopal Area office in Davao City, Spottswood Methodist Center in Kidapawan City, and Iligan First UMC in Iligan City

More local churches will now be reached with the opening of new distribution centers: the Marbel First United Methodist Church (UMC), Koronadal City through Pastor Tito Linang (+639079612399), and Mindanao Central District (MCD), MinPAC through District Superintendent Rev. Josue Daroy, Sr.(+639282437572)  Marbel First UMC distributes Siled ti Kararag, Ilokano-translated Upper Room devotionals, and other DR-P books, while MCD will distribute Siled ti Kararag devotionals.

“There is really a need for discipleship materials in our churches here (Mindanao Philippines Annual Conference or MinPAC) and this is a welcome move. We’ve been waiting for United Methodist materials for our congregations and partnering with DR-P is an answer to that need,” Pastor Linang said in the Visayan language.

DR-P books (Job Descriptions and Leadership Training in the UMC, Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, Creating a Life with God, 10 FAQs of New Christian, Jollyboats) are also available at all Philippine Christian Bookstores (PCBS) nationwide.

Siled ti Kararag is available at P30.00. Subscription for one year is only ₱170.00. Get a 10% discount when you buy 10 copies or more. You can also order your copies at the DRP office, United Methodist Headquarters 900 United Nations Avenue, Ermita, Manila; telephone number (02) 524-5211 and contact Vida or Joy Eva; or email drphilippines@gmail.com.

Pioneering CE-VE integrated textbook, K to 12 ready

AMIDST the commercialization of textbook publishing and the K to 12 implementation this 2012,  Discipleship Resources-Philippines (DR-P) looks forward to  school year 2013-14 to introduce holistic and integrated Christian Education-Values Education textbooks for High School (Grades 7 to 10).

Initially entitled Connecting Life and Faith, the textbooks are set to be DepEd K to 12 compliant instructional materials that will offer a decentralized and holistic approach in presenting key themes on Self, Family, Country, and Faith in God. The four key themes mentioned will be discussed on every grade level on a competency-based progressing tool that will veer away from the flat and centered discussion of themes per year level (that is, First Year to Self, and so on). This manner of presentation, as envisioned by DR-P, will resolve to more rounded and dynamic individuals.

Connecting Life and Faith is set to be released at the end of 2012 in time for school year 2013-14. See flyers and announcements soon for further details.

DR-P was established in March 2010 and is committed to providing life-changing and life-giving practical Christian resources. Some of the already published resources are Creating a Life with God: The Call to Ancient Prayer Practices written by Daniel Wolpert, 5 Practices of Fruitful Congregations by Robert Schnase, Jollyboats: Journeying through College by Earlie Pasion, Christian Faith-Sharing back-to-back with 10 FAQs of New Christians, Siled ti Kararag, an Ilocano dialect translated daily devotional from the English language Upperroom Devotionals.

Discipleship Resources books are available nationwide at selected PCBS branches, BCEC office located at UMC Headquarters, U.N. Avenue, Manila and other UMC-linked distribution centers. Visit DR-P online at www.discipleshipresourcesphilippines.com or via mobile number +63917-841-6986 or e-mail drphilippines@gmail.com.

A call to a deeper self-reflection this Lent

Judas: The Betrayer
By Pastor Roland Annaguey

Text: Matt. 26:14-16

“JUDAS/HUDAS”, the name, and the character I grew up and regarded with a lot of contempt. The name has become synonymous with cheating, deceit, or the changing of one’s loyalty from one person to another, or in other words, a traitor. In marriage, a person who treacherously takes advantage of his/her partner’s trust can easily be called Judas. Our present notion of the word “Judas” is more of a “devil” personified. Fortunately, I have come to know the real “characters” that play the role of a betrayer or whom we love to call “Judas”.

As it turned out, the biblical character we love to despise hasn’t done anything that warrants our contempt. Oops! Hold on before you pass judgement and let us examine how the gospels described the exploit of Judas towards Jesus.

The four evangelists described the deed of Judas as an act of betrayal. The Hebrew word ‘ramah’ describes a deliberate misleading of someone through the use of disguise, (see Gen. 29:25) while the New Testament uses the word ‘paralogizomai’ to mean the same. The more specific and negative idea of a betrayer or traitor who hurts those who have trusted him or her is expressed by the word ‘prodotes’. (see for example Acts 7:52; 2 Tim 3:4) 1 But none of these were used by the four gospels to describe the episode where Judas betrayed the Master. The gospel authors instead chose to use the vague but more neutral word ‘paradidōmi’, which means “to hand over” or “to pass on” someone or something to someone else. (see for example Matt. 5:25)

But does this mean that Judas is off the hook from the consequence of what he did? Based on the latest development of Biblical archaeology and research, the act of Judas can be rationalized as heroic. Many early Christians have believed that Judas also made the ultimate sacrifice of himself in order for the Messiah to be able to fulfil his mission here on earth. What if Judas has balked away from handing Him over to the authorities? (Remember, that Jesus had wished that his passion and death would not come.) For this, I would not want to argue from the NT perspective but I wish to argue from the Old Testament’s perspective that what Judas did was unacceptable.

Leviticus 19:16b of the NRSV states, “and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbour”, while the New Jerusalem Bible renders it as “nor will you put your neighbour’s life in jeopardy”. According to Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, this law can easily be violated, whereupon this has become the basis of the Talmud to rule that “if one person pursues another to kill him, “the pursued person must be saved even at the cost of the pursuer’s life.”2 Rabbi Telushkin went on to quote the sixteenth-century Shulkhan Arukh, the standard code of Jewish law, [ that] rules: “He [or she] who hears heathens or informers plotting to harm a person is obliged to inform the intended victim. If he is able to appease the perpetrator and deter him from the act, but does not do so, he has violated the law ‘Do not stand by while your neighbor’s blood is shed’”3

From this perspective, I can argue that Judas not only endangered the life of his Master, but he caused it by handing him over to the Jewish authorities who in turn handed over the Master to the Romans to be crucified!

Reflection:

We love to hate Judas because of his traitorous character. We easily mock and judge him without reflecting on the implications of our attitude towards him, while in fact we are like him in so many ways! As followers of Christ we made the vow and are obligated to follow his precepts. How many times have we put in jeopardy the spiritual lives of people by becoming stumbling blocks to their spiritual growth? Haven’t we betrayed Christ when we fail to bear witness to his Gospel? Remember, we are his witnesses. Witness here means living a righteous life, so that by our actions the name of God will be glorified. Contemporary singer-songwriter Ray Boltz wrote,

I have heard how Christians long ago
Were brought before a tyrant’s throne
And they were told that he would spare their lives
If they would renounce the name of Christ
But one by one they chose to die
The Son of God they would not deny
Like a great angelic choir sings
I can almost hear their voices ring

I pledge allegiance to the Lamb
With all my strength
With all I am
I will seek to honor His commands
I pledge allegiance to the Lamb

(We might think that because we have not renounce Him by our words we have not betrayed him, yet our actions speaks rather loudly clear that our words!)

Sometimes we are too harsh on our judgement toward Judas, they way we view his traitorous character, but we are mistaken if we think that we will not be judged the same way we judge Judas. If we think of him as the betrayer, let us also think how we have become modern versions of the “betrayer” or Judas.

3 Ways to Keep Ministries Alive

February 2012

Every month we send you 3 ways to help you in your ministries as church leaders, small groups, and local churches. Here is this month’s installment!

1. REAFFIRMATION OF MARRIAGE VOWS. February is dubbed the Love Month and as many organizations offer different events to celebrate Valentine’s Day, churches also happily jump on the bandwagon. God is love and love is really in the air! One of the best ways to celebrate is to hold a Reaffirmation of Marriage Vows in your local church. Be creative in your celebration by offering a prayer and blessing for couples as a response to the Word. Or why not hold a marriage encounter and couples retreat as an encouragement for husbands and wives to continue to seek God’s blessing in their lives as they honor God and one another in their marriage and family? Use Psalms 127 and sing, “When Love is Found” (UMH 643).

2. 40-DAY LENTEN JOURNEY. February 22 is Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of the Lenten Season or Quaresma. Lent is the preparation toward the victory of Christ over sin and death. Christian believers prepare for Easter through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving and self-denial. Participate in the journey toward the celebration of Resurrection Sunday by using the 40-Day Journey chart.

3. PERSONAL DEVOTION. As we prepare for Easter Sunday, let us not forget our personal quiet time. If you have not yet set aside time for devotion, this is the best time to start. Choose a certain time of the day — when you wake up in the morning, before breakfast or before bed time — to read your Bible and reflect. The Upper Room Daily Devotional Guide (Ilokano edition: Siled ti Kararag) is a great source of inspiration. It includes a Biblical reading, a key verse that you can memorize, a story or meditation, and a prayer. Start by setting aside, at least, five minutes of each day for your devotion, then plan to increase your time as you progress.

3 Ways to Keep Ministries Alive

January 2011

Greetings on this wonderful and blessed new year! Every month we try to send you 3 ways to help you in your ministries with ideas and updates from DR-P. Here are the first three ways for 2012.

ENGAGE YOUNG PEOPLE. Most churches have a great number of young people but not all of them know how to fully engage the energy and dynamism of this age group. On the other hand, most young people do not know how they can fully integrate themselves in the life and ministry of the church. The challenge is to sustain an open communication with young people, even in prayer. Church workers are encouraged to pray for their young people; if you can name them in your prayers, the better. Even with so many gaps—age, technology, culture and style—young people need the guiding hands of  adults to get to spiritual maturity.

PROVIDE A PLACE FOR STUDENTS. One of the challenges of churches especially those located near a college institution or university is providing a place for transient students. It is important that you look into the programs of the youth in your church and find ways to provide a place for students to gather during the week that they are there. College students, more especially, need not only academic assistance, but also spiritual disciplining as they face the challenges of their campus life.

HELP STUDENTS GET THROUGH COLLEGE. College is the time when frustrations are great because students may not be able to handle their problems well. Some are not able to survive and end up shifting from one course to another, transferring from school to school, lose their motivation to study, or drop out of school altogether. On the other hand, many students emerge successful because it is in college when they learn lessons that will take them through life. It is when they find their purpose in life and walk out of school to fulfill it (from the Preface of Jollyboats: Journeying through College.)

Help students, especially those entering college, to choose their career and ways in college through this inspirational book. With Jollyboats: Journeying through College, Earlie Pasion shares the stories of 10 people to let young readers discover how they can begin their journey right.

It is available at P75.00 only. Give it as a gift to graduating students or purchase our Student Package for P1500 and get 10 copies of Jollyboats and 10 copies of 10 FAQs of New Christians/Christian Faith Sharing.