Sunday, March 17, 2013

The call to REVIVAL continues

The series of reflections on the EDSA Revolution Anniversary last month pointed out to the importance of  deliberate and sustained organizing effort to consolidate, coordinate, and synchronize other initiatives for change. A culmination of respective struggles of various  groups and sectors, the EDSA phenomenon  portrays  the spirit of inclusion.

Such inclusive spirit should   guide us in our struggles for change.  Most often, movement for change and development in any field of endeavor is often hampered by bigotry and exclusivism. Essential issues are sidetracked or left behind to give way to the struggle for supremacy misled by an illusion that one has the sole reservoir of truth and best approach in any given situation.

The resurgence of contagious concern  and dynamic, at times  heated, facebook group discussion on  how our organizations are led is another opportunity to call for coordinated network of change advocates. The need for change in the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches (CPBC) has long been felt. Many have been calling for it, some even taking initiatives towards this end.

Yes, there has been attempts in the past mostly initiated by younger ones. I could still recall there was movement of progressive pastors in 1980’s, some seminarians in Panay in 2000. In Negros, a movement of young pastors showed their consolidated strength by daring to challenge the veteran leadership in Negros and foretasted success when they captured the leadership in Kasapulanan in 2006. They called themselves Young Overseers Union (YOU) with immortalized slogan “Go for Change.”  In varying degrees, they  have sustained their movement and made their presence felt, most often,  causing discomforts to those who want to perpetuate the status quo.

After the CPBC election in 2006, kasapulanan presidents also organized themselves to protest the fraudulent election practices. Even the whole assembly has made resolutions to review, redefine, reorganize the CPBC structure, relationship, programs and services as contained in the 2005, 2006 Assembly Resolutions. However, while there are few who patiently continued, many were either coopted of gave up due to the hassles encountered, being vulnerable to institutionalized repression, retaliation and black propaganda from the notorious Dirty Tricks Department used by various groups.

Personally and through the Convention Baptist Ministers Association (CBMA), I attempted to contribute to the movement for change  by working within the structure. The agenda for change entitled IMPROVED MINISTERS: DEVELOPED CPBC (I'M D CPBC) was even presented during the CPBC Board of Trustees (BOT) Meeting in 2006 but it was laid on the table. Revised, presented and subsequently endorsed by the CBMA BOT, it was presented again during the February 2009 meeting for CPBC BOT action. Part of the document was also used during the Round table discussion during the 69th CBMA Assembly. But two CPBC administrations have gone, the documents are still kept in the archive.

In 2010, a group of pastors made a call for  a  deliberate and sustained organizing effort to consolidate the CBMA  gains  and coordinate/synchronize other initiatives for change. It was a call for  revival of the original purpose and focus of the CPBC. Believing that the system has been perpetrated for decades, the movement was known as REVIVAL 1020 to emphasize a decade of protracted struggle. It is an attempt to Reclaim the Visionary Intentions and Value system (REVIVAL) from 2010-2020.

REVIVAL 1020 Network is basically an advocacy network to consistently push for the REVIVAL agenda thru the following: CPBC

Consciousness raising thru information-dissemination of Revival Network’s existence, thrusts and direction, as well as the significant historical role of pastors, lay and youth in the life of CPBC and related institutions and the current realities and trends in CPBC.

Prayer and participation in various groups and CPBC related activities including electoral exercises to support principled leaders for the CPBC Board and Corporation of related institutions who subscribe the principles of the REVIVAL Network

Building of network to coordinate various initiatives for change and development and provide support system for the Network members and others who are persecuted for truth and advocacy work.

Call for transparency and participatory governance in CPBC and related institutions/organizations.

Will there be more responses this time?

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