Back to Projects

2-Day Asia Pacific Clergy Nation-Building Seminar

In a world where religious diversity is both a challenge and an opportunity, the Pacific Christian Leadership Conference (PCLC) continues to play a pivotal role in fostering understanding, dialogue, and collaboration among Christian leaders of different denominations in the Asia Pacific region.

On February 6-7, 2024, PCLC held a 2-Day Asia Pacific Clergy Nation-Building Seminar on the theme “Together: Solving Youth and Family Problems” in celebration of the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week. This virtual seminar drew participation from 24 nations from across the Asia Pacific region including Japan and Korea and attended by 1,637 online participants, including 11 new clergies and 21 regular clergy members, government officials, and civic leaders from various Christian churches and denominations. Out of this total, 414 joined via Zoom, while 1,023 and 200 attended through Facebook and YouTube, respectively.

Day 1: February 6, 2024

The seminar commenced in the afternoon of February 6 with a spirit of unity and collaboration. The event unfolded with a warm welcome from the Master of Ceremonies, Archbishop Elias T. Soria, National Coordinator of PCLC – Philippines, setting the tone for an enriching exploration of addressing contemporary challenges affecting youth and families. The atmosphere resounded with the harmonious tunes of the Lanao del Norte Interfaith Council Music Ministry as they opened the seminar with the uplifting hymn, “I Worship You, Almighty God, “which created a serene backdrop for the gathering of clergy members from diverse faiths.

Bishop Dr. Suraphol Boonpratham, Chairman of the Thai Evangelical Alliance Association, led the assembly in a heartfelt opening prayer, invoking divine guidance for the discussions ahead. President Masaichi Hori, Chairman of PCLC – Asia Pacific, extended a warm welcome, expressing gratitude for the diverse representation of clergy from across the region. He stressed in his message the need for Christian leaders to take initiative for nation building and to be at the forefront in creating and maintaining peace in the world.

Dr. Robert S. Kittel, Co-Chairman of PCLC Asia Pacific, took the stage for the first lecture, exploring the theme “Who is the Heavenly Parent?” through a compelling video presentation. He gave a succinct explanation on the masculine and feminine nature and character of God proving that he is our ultimate parent. Both man and woman are in God’s image. Thus, according to Mother Moon’s words that “the key is the salvation of marriage, the oneness of husband and wife made in the image of God.”
The session progressed to a case study on Marriage Rededication, led by Rev. Leo Angelo Halog, National President of FFWPU-Philippines. His presentation delved on the successful blessed family movement that the FFWPU has been building across the Asia Pacific through the conduct of the interfaith peace blessing festivals in many nations specifically in the Philippines. He gave an account on how this project has created a positive impact in many communities and even forge partnerships with many civic and government organizations to promote peace and the creation of an ideal society and nation.

Bishop Ambassador Dr. Nelson Pervaz, a preacher representing Interdenominational & Community Churches in Australia, concluded the session with a closing prayer, highlighting the significance of interfaith cooperation in addressing contemporary societal challenges. He also gave a short representative reflection on the topics that were discussed. The day concluded with announcements, a group photo capturing the diverse tapestry of participants, and a sense of anticipation for the following day.

Day 2: February 7, 2024

Archbishop Elias T. Soria, once again, graced the stage as the MC, ushering in the second day of the seminar with the Solomon Islands Youth Singers leading the opening praise with “Faithful God.” The atmosphere echoed with harmonious melodies, creating a serene ambiance for the insightful presentations ahead. Bro. Renato Caballero, Chairman of the Interfaith Council of Lanao Del Norte, Philippines, offered a heartfelt opening prayer, invoking blessings for the day’s proceedings.

Dr. Robert S. Kittel resumed his role as Co-Chairman and continued his lecture, delving deeper into the theme by providing a detailed elucidation on the root cause of evil and the human suffering. He presented a lecture on the Fall of Man in light of the Unification Principle explaining how man became estranged from God due to the misuse of love of our first human ancestors which in turn created the foundation for dysfunctional families and a chaotic world. He clarified that knowing this problem could give us hope and provide a textbook for man to turn around and re-create this world according to God’s original plan.

Rev. Ronnie Sodusta, Regional President of IAYSP – Asia Pacific, presented a compelling case study on Youth Education & Community Service. He showed how IAYSP together with its other allied organizations have been working to solve the youth problem all over the Asia Pacific Region and beyond by providing a sound educational foundation based on character education, positive activism, and purity among the youth as well as a platform to raise future youth leaders who could serve and lead communities and nations. Before concluding his session, Rev. Sodusta led everyone in reciting the Pure Love Pledge encouraging all participants to commit in keeping and promoting purity before marriage and fidelity within marriage.

In the closing session, President Masaichi Hori delivered closing remarks, expressing gratitude to the participants, and introducing the founder, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon who is the visionary behind PCLC. Dr. Moon shared a profound message, emphasizing the importance of collaboration among religious leaders in addressing societal issues.
Rev. Geoffrey Fyers, National Coordinator of PCLC New Zealand, offered a closing prayer, seeking divine guidance for the continued efforts of the conference participants. The event concluded with announcements, the resonating voices of the Solomon Islands Youth Singers singing the recessional song, “Sunny Side,” and a final group photo capturing the spirit of unity and shared purpose that defined the two-day seminar.
The event left a lasting impact on the participants, echoing the wisdom of the biblical metaphor: new wine requires new wineskins. It was indeed an enlightening and transformative seminar which provided a guideline for Christian leaders, family heads and other individuals in solving today’s youth and family problems.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *