Pastors and deaconesses of Laguna District held their district pre Encounter God Retreat at the recently furnished 3rd floor facility of the Pacita United Methodist Church at San Pedro Laguna last August 14 – 15, 2015 as initiated by Conference Superintendent Rev. Francis Pera. The Quezon District also have finished their district pre encounter God Retreat last August 7 -8, 2015 held at Atimonan UMC in Atimonan, Quezon.
This is in preparation for the pastors to fully implement the United Methodist Church Discipleship of Christ a sistematic program of evangelism and discipleship designed for United Methodist local church structure. It focuses on small group ministries now called as care group which invites church members and even non members into groups for sharing and praying together. This is not a typical Bible study group but the members will share on their reflections on their daily devotions with a format called SLAP (Scirpture, Lesson, Application, Prayer). This group can be a way to share God’s love and salvation to non members.
The pre encounter God retreat prepares individuals for the Encounter God Retreat which both retreat are also venues for spiritual awakening and renewal and to commit their lives to Jesus Christ. The church workers especially the pastors must first experience it as they will conduct it in their respective churches.
This is one of the main agenda of Conference Superintendent Rev. Francis Pera for the Southern Tagalog Provisional Conference which strengthen discipleship and evangelism program of the church in line with the mandate of the Bishop Juan for the churches under the Manila Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church. This program was initiated by former district superintendent Rev. John Manalo who design a discipleship program based on the popular G12 suited in the United Methodist structure which also they claim the G12 system was based in the original class meetings of Methodism founder John Wesley.
Though the program of UMC DOC is not mandatory for the churches especially if the churches have already strong program of discipleship and evangelism but it is encourage to integrate it among the churches.
The Encounter God Retreat for STPPACE is set on August 20 – 22, 2015 at Pacita UMC.