By Nadeth B. Quinto
As mandated by the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventists to preserve peace and harmony within the Church, the Central Philippine Union Conference (CPUC) conducted a Special Constituency Meeting on Monday, August 23, 2021, to amend the Constitution and Bylaws before the General Constituency Meeting on December 6-7, 2021. More than 120 delegates joined via Zoom conference, and over 30 representatives from CPUC and Central Visayan Conference gathered at the Adventist Academy Cebu International Church in Talisay City, Cebu, Philippines.
Pastor Violeto F. Bocala, the retired SSD president, graced the meeting with a devotional message entitled “The Sweet Smelling Savor.” He emphasized the role of every individual in keeping the unity of the Church.
He ended his message by highlighting the Bible verse found in Psalm 133:1, saying, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.”
Meanwhile, Pastor Agapito J. Catane, Jr., the CPUC president and the chairman of the board, commenced the meeting by conveying words of gratitude and appreciation to everyone for joining. Due to health reasons, he authorized Pastor Eliezer T. Barlizo, Jr., the CPUC executive secretary, to act as the chairman with the help of the CPUC treasurer, Mr. Ginetho Suniega; the CPUC Legal director, Mr. Evin Villaruben; and two other assistants approved by the committee.
The said meeting amended the regular and special sessions, including virtual attendance at Constituency meetings, representations, and the different committees involved, such as the organizing committee, nominating committee, and the executive committee. They also tackled the duties and responsibilities of the officers, departmental directors, associates, and services. Moreover, the Central Philippine Union Conference patterned the amendment of the Constitution and Bylaws with the voted Constitution and Bylaws of the General Conference Executive Committee during its annual assembly.
After the meeting, Pastor Catane expressed, “I would like to commend everyone for the healthy and smooth sailing discussions. Thank you so much. It is our greatest desire that we will all be united in the furtherance of the Lord’s work.”
Furthermore, Pastor Elmer P. Pagunsan, the ministerial secretary of CPUC, concluded the session with a special prayer for everyone. With hearts dedicated to God’s service, everybody responded, “Amen.”
As of this writing, the Conferences and Missions under the Central Philippine Union Conference have scheduled Special Constituency meetings coherent to the recommendations of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church.