Saturday, April 14, 2012

Day in Baguio

We spent the entire day touring around Baguio, visiting parishes and seeing a bit of the tourist sites as well.

We began the day at the Brent school, started by Bishop Brant who had the idea to evangelize the people of the north, where the Spanish clergy did not go. This was a highly successful endeavor! Fr. Ben Fawayan had just celebrated at a wedding in the chapel and was heading out to St. Joseph the Carpenter to do a baptism. We were headed to St. Joseph's after our time at the Brent school. In days past the school, which is a boarding school, took care of a good number of American ExPats. Today a large number of students come over from Korea.

We next went to the Church of St. Joseph, which is a small building in an area with very narrow, winding streets. It was wonderful to address those gathered for the baptism.

After this we went to Mine View Park, which was chock full of Tourists from other Provinces. The views were amazing!

We then headed to the Mansion which is where the President of the Philippines stays when he is in the area. The gates in front are said to be a replica of the Buckingham Palace gates.

Next we headed off to lunch in the old Commissary at Camp John Hay, which is a former US military base.

Walking around the grounds of Camp John Hay we were struck by how many pine trees and bottle brush trees we saw. A new hotel was developed there called the Manor.

Among the most amazing rides of the day was the ride going to the top of the mountain where St. Paul's church is. From there we could see virtually all of Baguio, including the Anglican cathedral. The Church is quaint and the woman who greeted us warm. You can see from the picture a bit about the height of the church and see down to the surrounding area.

Next was a trip to the church of the Holy Innocents. The priest there takes care of that parish -- ASA at two services on Sunday is more than 500, as well as caring for 3 other outlying congregations, which includes one house church.

Our last formal stop for the day was at the Easter Weaving project, an incredible ministry of the diocese. Weavers produce incredible cloth which is sold and an apportionment of the proceeds goes to the diocese.

After a brief rest at the hotel we had dinner with members of the diocesan staff. We learned about programs and efforts that are going on there, and learned, among many things, the following:
1. Men and woman have equity in salaries.

2. A 10%tithe of the clergy's gross income is deducted from their paycheck and given either to the parish they serve in, or in the case of those clergy who serve several congregations, split among the congregations.

3. They have a 10 year plan to turn all congregations into parishes. This sparked a great deal of conversation!

4. They are focusing actively on evangelism.

5. They have their own version of a lay leadership training program which meets every Saturday (yes, you read that right) for two years.

6. Addressing the social needs and concerns of the area covered by the diocese is of great importance.

7. More than one dialect is spoken in this diocese, so they are working on translating the BCP and putting together their own hymnal.

At dinner, I met a Korean clergy person that is working a Shalom program in the diocese as well as caring for Koreans there.

This was a wonderful introduction to the City and the Diocese. I've come away with a deep respect for their commitment to the gospel and their faith.

Signing off for now. Preaching at the Cathedral in Baguio tomorrow!

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1 comment:

  1. Wow - a lot packed into a day! What an adventure!