The education department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Central Visayan Region (CVC) in the Philippines convened a two-day meeting at Cebu Adventist Academy in Talisay City, Cebu, September 16-17. 2022. The purpose of the event was to re-examine, refocus, empower and encourage church education secretaries and school board members on the role of Adventist education in the holistic development of students, have organizers said.
Over 300 registered delegates from different parochial schools across the Central Visayas responded and attended the first-ever church education secretariat and CVC-wide school board convention themed “The Adventist education for eternity”.
Speakers from the division office and various Adventist educational institutions were on hand to share their expertise. Bienvenido G. Mergal, director of education for the Southern Asia-Pacific Division (SSD); Bryan Sumendap, Associate Director of SSD; and Lemuel G. Banday, director of education for the Central Philippine Union Conference (CPUC) were among the education officers and risk management officers who attended the event.
In an interview, CVC Director of Education, Isaías S. Guisando, reiterated the importance of electing a church education secretary in local churches, as this has been a program of the Conference General of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, as stipulated in the church manual. “It is the only local church office that will promote Christian education,” he said. “[We want to help them] be aware of the sacred responsibility to support, nurture, and oversee the status of children in our churches…especially in preparing young people for eternity.
During the service, Mergal reminded everyone to teach the children to love the Lord, who is the source of all wisdom. He also expressed his praises to God for the success of the first-ever meeting with church education secretaries and school board members. “I know that you have been attentive to the various presentations, and I would like to encourage you to continue to study all these principles. We understand that we live in the end times and have a lot of challenges in our school, but let us always remember that the Lord will never leave us,” Mergal said.
Robert Pabillaran, school board president of Adventist Elementary School in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, said he appreciated the initiative of the CVC education department. “I am truly impressed. Having seminars like this is very important as it will hone and tap into the potential of our church’s educational secretaries, school board members and teachers, as well as school board members. our local church, to review the importance of Adventist education,” he said.
On another note, Banday reported that there are 1,966 churches and businesses throughout the CPUC territory, but there are only 78 denominational schools. “If Mrs. White were alive today, what would be her advice regarding the establishment of schools, for there are many requirements which even our present religious schools could hardly meet?” Banday asked. “We have thought of making the local church education secretary work by providing activities and training even where there are no schools… The active church education secretary can compensate for what [is lacking] … Let us do everything we can to make our school a blessing for young people,” he said.
The two-day convention ended with a commitment ceremony, which led all attendees to accept the challenge to teach Adventist children in the Lord until He comes.