ELCA companions in the Philippines
Who are the ELCA companions in the Philippines?
Who is the Lutheran Church in the Philippines and what are its ministries?
The Lutheran Church in the Philippines (LCP)
, a member of the Lutheran World Federation, has 27,000 members in over 150 congregations, most of which are in the highland region of North Luzon. The LCP has roots in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and has been active in the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. They participated in a series of dialogues with the Roman Catholic Church whereby baptism in both churches was mutually recognized.
The LCP emphasizes evangelism, mission, education, and stewardship, engaging all church members as active participants regardless of their respective stations in life. Pastoral counseling plays a vital part in helping people confronted by radical change. Mass media, both broadcast and print, are used effectively. After several years of internal divisions within the LCP, a reconciliation process is taking the church into renewed zeal for ministry.What is the Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music and what are its ministries?
The Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music (AILM)
stands as the foremost training center in Asia for people intending to dedicate their time in the ministry of music and liturgy in the church. AILM pioneered the training of church musicians as contextual leaders. The hallmark of AILM is creativity – in approaches to music for congregation, creating new songs, writing new texts for prayers and the role of arts in a worshipping community. AILM offers several degree programs in church music and liturgy, as well as continuing education workshops and seminars. It is the venue through which worship and the creative arts can be developed by Asians in response to their cultures, expressed through contextual adaptation, authentic composition, and the sharing of ideas and resources.How do the companions in the Philippines and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America accompany one another in ministry?
Through the churchwide ELCA Global Mission unit, the ELCA relates to and is in bilateral relationship with over 80 companion churches and institutions. The ELCA Global Mission unit stewards the relationship with the Lutheran Church in the Philippines and Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music. Conversations have taken place with the church in the Philippines as to how best to serve the Filipino expatriate community in the US and ways to connect the Filipino church to the wider sphere of mission in Asia.
The Asian Institute for Liturgy and Music has been a gathering point for worship leaders from throughout Asia, offering the opportunity for shared learning and resources among ELCA companions in the region. Some musical resources from AILM have made their way into worship experiences in the ELCA.Churchwide funding
through the ELCA Global Mission unit supports key priorities identified by the companions in the Philippines.
The ELCA also funds significant work through the Lutheran World Federation and Lutheran World Relief.
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is a global communion of 140 churches (including the ELCA) and 68 million people that is grounded in a common Lutheran faith. The LWF provides space for Lutherans from around the world to share joys, challenges, and expertise as they seek the healing of the world. ELCA World Hunger funds help support the Department for World Service (DWS), the LWF’s relief and development arm, and the Department for Mission and Development (DMD), which focuses on holistic ministries through which the church participates in God’s mission to all creation.
ELCA World Hunger funds help support LWF Department for Mission and Development work in the Phillippines such as:
The ELCA also works in the Philippines through Lutheran World Relief (LWR). A ministry of the ELCA, LWR is a U.S.-based agency that works with community-based partners in 50 countries. ELCA World Hunger funds help support the work that focuses on:
Philippines: the context in which the companions in the Philippines serves
- Providing farm tools and seeds to farmers to improve their production, thereby increasing their income and food security
- Training farmers in cooperative management and banking services to strengthen community-based organizations and improve access to agricultural banking services
- Educating families affected by civil strife on the roots of the conflict and training local leaders to advocate for justice by articulating their communities’ needs to local government agencies
- Working with indigenous farmers to organize village councils that can advocate for their legal rights to land tenure
- Providing medical care, food, and non-food necessities to families affected by flooding and typhoons while assisting them in efforts to restore agricultural production
- Supporting food-for-work programs that provide food assistance to those who undertake efforts to restore their own communities after a disaster.
The Philippines is a republic. Almost 89.5 million people live in the Philippines. Both Filipino and English are their official languages with eight major dialects in use. The religious groups are: Roman Catholic (81%); Evangelical (3%); Iglesia ni Kristo (2%); Aglipayan (2%); other Christian (5%); Muslim (5%); and other (2%) (2000 census).
Although the Philippines was one of the countries most affected by the 1997 Asian financial crisis, it has since recovered fairly well. Industrial production has picked up after several years of decline. Foreign aid has helped the country's finances, a blessing at a time when the budget deficit has been growing quickly. Uncontrolled deforestation, soil erosion, air and water pollution in Manila, and the pollution of coastal mangrove swamps are the nation's primary environmental concerns.
For up-to-date information on Philippines, type “Philippines” into an online search engine or visit: