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Covenant Agreement Renewed

During the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Philippines Diocesan Convention on March 8th our Caring for All Creation Partnership was renewed.  Canon Lance Ousley and Bishop Danilo Bustamante signed the document at the opening Eucharist of the Convention.

See the note below the photos for a summary of the visit to EDSP happening now.















Partnership Trip to EDSP Convention, Feb – March 2017

Dave Hanson’s trip plan (based on conversation with Dave, JB Hoover, Marilyn Imbach, and me on Tuesday, Feb. 14)

  • Dave leaves Friday, Feb. 17
  • Flies from Portland to Seattle to Seoul to Manila
  • On to Cotabato
  • Plans to spend 2 weeks in the field with Phillip and Bong
    • Phillip has replaced Gilbert, the original EDSP person to staff the position we created to implement the monitoring protocols Dave has developed for tree survival, growth
      • Purpose of monitoring is to get a realistic fix on the amount of carbon the various species of trees being planted sequester
    • Dave will develop a working relationship with Phillip, train as needed
      • Get into field to do measurements in older plantings that will help in determining growth rate
      • Tweak protocols as needed
      • Review records and download so can be used here
    • Nancy asked Dave to try to find ways to find out what effects the plantings are having on the ecosystem…number of birds and animals, changes in plant cover – perhaps involve students from Upi Agricultural College
    • JB asked that he also ask about / observe changes in water – were springs, streams more or less productive – did water supply last longer
      • JB pointed out from his experience that walking to the various sites was a good time for informal conversations – to listen to anecdotal reports of changes that those with him had observed – to take a broader “listening” approach than just narrow focus on the monitoring protocols
    • Nancy and JB both hoped that Dave could find out more about the rural clinic in Marges that had been built with the help of a millennium development grant through our diocese – Nancy to send info to Dave about this
    • We talked about helping St. Francis School and the Upi Agricultural College with technology
      • The first idea, to help set up small computer labs was put on hold when we recognized that internet connection was always problematic (for instance the Upi college had no internet available)
      • We wondered if cell phone labs were a possibility since, through Facebook, these device were connected with the outer world
        • Students could perhaps learn about the many education and business apps available
        • Something to think about and research
        • Dave has the skills to do some teaching
  • The group then spent time giving Dave lots of advice about what he ought to try to do at the EDSP diocesan convention since at that point we had no knowledge of whether Canon Lance would be there or not – he can now ignore that and follow Lance’s lead

Canon Lance’s trip plan (based on Nancy’s conversation with him on Wed. am, Feb. 15)

  • Leaves Sunday, Feb. 19 -Flies Seattle to Seoul to Manila
  • Holiday week scuba diving at resort south of Manila
  • Meeting Bishop Dan in Manila; accompanying him to Zamboanga for two days, then flying to Davao
  • Driving from Davao to Cotabato – will arrive 2 days before convention

Other details re Lance’s trip

  • Lance has met with Bishop Greg re the renewal of the covenant. Lance is authorized to sign but if necessary can bring the document back to Seattle for +Greg to sign as well
    • There are some changes that need to be made but we can address those later since the procedure for change is part of the agreement
  • Lance is taking a check for the carbon offset donations – about $7100 which essentially zeroes out the account (keep on contributing!)
  • There is money in the travel fund associated with the Partnership to reimburse Dave Hanson for his travel and incidental expenses
  • I talked with Lance about some of the ideas we had discussed in the phone conference on Tuesday evening – see those notes above.

ADDED since Feb. 15, 2017

Carolyn White of Saint Mark’s called. Her committee (Justice?) calling on Saint Mark’s to offset the transport of the limestone to clad the cathedral. Wants more info on how many trees planted per $25 (cost per ton of carbon) – an estimate from Bong – to use in the PR for this effort. Excited to hear that the partnership was still active.


Tree Planting expands among Preaching Outstations

greg-lasiganThe Rev. Greg Lasigan made visits to 8 Preaching Outstations in the remote villages of Datu Blah Sinsuat around South Upi, Mindanao during October 2016.  All 8 of the congregations will be planting 3,000 tree seedlings each (24,000 trees).  Training for the congregations about developing their own tree nurseries will be conducted in December 2016.

From destruction to mission

Supertyphoon-devastated communities show the way to self-support

The devastation was massive in the aftermath of the strongest typhoon that has ever made landfall in recorded history. Indeed, super-typhoon Yolanda has turned communities into virtual wasteland. That was about three years ago.

Much has been written about how these communities have risen up from the Sabang bao house horrible disaster. In the ECP’s engagement, a housing project has been almost completed and livelihood projects have been established in several barangays.

But the greatest irony lies in the establishment and growth of the congregation in the area. Never in the history of the ECP has there been a situation where a newly opened frontier mission area is able to immediately fully support itself. But this is exactly what is happening with the work of the Episcopal Church in the region.

Sabang bao markerIt maybe recalled that while the Episcopal Church did not have mission work in Leyte and Samar at the time of the super-typhoon, it participated in disaster response due to the unprecedented level of devastation in the region. At that time, the ECP has just adopted the Asset-Based Development [ABCD] approach and the Receivers-to-Givers Policy and it was faced a dilemma whether it would pursue this approach in dealing with people who had almost completely lost everything. But the Church resolved that it could no longer go back to the needs-based development approach that only worsened dependency and mendicancy among communities. To the pleasant shock of its leadership, the communities embraced the approach and stories of how they were able to maximize their assets and local resources and share these with other communities have been greatly astounding.Sabang bao

The same spirit of ABCD and R2G has been fully embraced and applied in congregation-building. The Prime Bishop assigned a full-time priest to minister to the partner communities and it was expected that the National Church would shoulder the cost of the frontier mission area. But from January up to June 2016, the communities partnering in the R2G livelihood program of the Church have already given a total of P205,341 for church support. It is projected that by the end of the year, the giving of these partner communities would be more than enough to pay for the salaries and benefits of The Rev. Alvin Sion who works full-time in the mission area.Sabang bao bishops

The established congregation, named the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection, is now fully self-supporting. It is currently based in Sabang Bao, Ormoc City where the ECP’s housing project was implemented. Every Saturday, a Bible school is held for 25 children and their families take turns providing for their snacks. The recently-concluded Vacation Bible School was able to graduate a total of 70 children. As of June 2016, a total of P30,564 was spent for linens, candles, bread and wine for the congregation and these were all paid for by the congregants and the E-CARE staff working in the area. The church’s bank statement still showed a positive balance of P15,000 for the period.

In the housing project, one unit was reserved as a church center where services and other community activities are currently being held. But the congregation feels this is very small and so it has launched a fund-raising for the construction of a bigger church building that would be suited for the services. They have started by selling scrap materials left-over from the housing project and now have a collection that they hope would lay down the foundation of an edifice they envision to arise in the community.

These communities almost had nothing three years ago. They have grown their livelihood projects and now fully support their own local church and we keep on asking by what miracle had these been done. But there is nothing really difficult to understand in the situation because it is very clear that all these happened simply because people SHARE what they have. And maybe that is, in fact, the miracle.

 (Article by Atty Floyd Lalwet)


Health Clinic Dedication and Tree Planting

This sub-health station in this far-flung sitio of Marges will strive to provide for the health needs of local women and children, that will contribute to achieve the Millenium Development Goal # 5 – improving maternal and child health.

Such a great opportunity for partnership between Barangay Darugao and the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Philippines.

The center is named ‘Kefiyonon,’ a Teduray term we used to refer to the general GOODNESS or WELLNESS this project gives to the community.

Not even the day-long rains prevented both groups from pushing through the occasion. The rugged road, slippery and muddy from the rains ended the ‘wheels’ up to a point that is more or less 3 kilometers away from the site. Slow yet determined paces up and downhill brought us to the site, where the community had been waiting.

The trees planted will be a living legacy to the community for years, that alongside their health they should also take care of their environment.

Thank you,  Felicidad De Guzman for the story and photos

EDSP Guests in Olympia & Lakewood

St. Mary’s, Lakewood hosted our guests for their last weekend.  They arrived on Saturday afternoon to a welcome reception for host families, parish leaders, and our guests.

On Sunday, Bishop Dan celebrated at the 8:45 am service and Dean Johnny preached at both services.  There was an open reception on Sunday afternoon with invitations for regional congregations and our guests made a presentation about their lives and ministry.

On Monday, we met with Chris Davis, Senior Advisor to the Governor on Energy and Carbon Markets at the Capitol in Olympia and toured the Capitol Building, guided by Paul Benz, our host for the Capitol visit.
After lunch in a local Olympia restaurant, we made a stop at the Nisqually Estuary.  Monday evening was a final dinner with our guests and members of our committee.  Tuesday morning was goodbye and a drop off at SeaTac airport for their trip to Los Angeles.

It was a wonderful weekend and an honor and pleasure to host our guests.