United Church of Christ in the Philippines
The United Church of Christ in the Philippines, the largest and most widespread Protestant church in the country, came into being in 1948. It unites in one church the United Evangelical Church in the Philippines (a 1929 union of Presbyterian, Congregational and United Brethren churches with the small United Church of Manila), the Philippine Methodist Church and the Evangelical Church in the Philippines (a 1944 union of various Evangelical churches). The UCCP considers itself as an integral part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of our Lord Jesus Christ, called to be a witness to the gospel of the kingdom of God as proclaimed in the life and ministry of our Lord as revealed in the scriptures, and empowered to participate in the ushering in of God's shalom throughout the whole creation.
The vision of the UCCP is to be a responsible, empowered, self-reliant and caring community of Christian believers committed to the pursuit of a transformed church and society, and an abundant and meaningful life for all. In light of this vision, the UCCP commits itself to the mission of establishing and uniting the community of faith for the proclamation of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, towards the transformation of both church and society. The UCCP sees itself as journeying towards its next jubilee year carrying on a ministry and witness of proclaiming, articulating and activating the gospel of hope and promise to both its church members and the larger community, as expressed in the following mission statement:
"We, the members of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, affirming our common faith heritage and mandate, centred and founded in the living Christ, cognizant of our diverse historical traditions and experiences, but sensitive to the problems and challenges of the contemporary society where we are located, do commit ourselves to the pursuit of the following life purpose: to be a community living out Jesus' example as a servant-prophet to the people; to transform our life and work towards becoming a more effective witness to the church's vision; to be a faithful proclaimer of the gospel of shalom to and with the people; to work in solidarity with all other sectors and groups in society, and with other faith communities who share the UCCP's vision of society; to continue to work for unity and reconciliation among our own people. We intend to live out these life purposes drawing strength from the resources of our faith heritage, from the edifying traditions and lessons of our history as a church, from the stories of faith, hope and struggle of the Filipino people including the martyrs, and from the empowerment that can only come from the Holy Spirit."
Within the first five to ten years of its jubilee, the UCCP will translate its mission in three areas: strengthening the faith community; enriching the life-work of communities where local churches are located; deepening the impact of its collective response to societal issues and concerns.