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By: *Kathleen Irah B. Magaliao

Ilocos South District – In line with the call to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation the world, 739 Methodist youth, young adults, men, and women of the district gathered on August 27 and 31, 2020 in various churches for the “Synchronized Leadership Training on Evangelism and Discipleship”.

The current pandemic did not hinder the implementation of activities to equip the laypeople of the United Methodist Church in Ilocos South District in the line of discipleship and evangelism. The district is composed of eight clusters and around 45 local churches. Hence, the decision to hold the trainings per cluster was done to adhere to the health protocols ordered by the government. 

The first batch consisted of 246 United Methodist Men and Women delegates. The trainings were done in five venues – Capariaan UMC catered Clusters 1 and 3, Babayoan UMC catered Cluster 2, Santo Tomas UMC catered Clusters 5 and 6, Nagtablaan UMC catered Cluster 4, and Salcedo Central UMC catered Cluster 7 and 8.

The second batch, which consisted of 493 United Methodist Youth and Young Adult delegates, was held in five venues – Helen McGill UMC catered Clusters 1 and 3(65), Babayoan UMC catered Cluster 2 (167), Palacapac Central catered Clusters 5 and 6 (62), Buliclic UMC catered Cluster 4 (116), and Salcedo Central UMC catered Clusters 7 and 8 (83). 

In this one-day event, three uniform lectures were done by different pastors. The lectures covered the topics – (1) Foundations of Discipleship and Evangelism, (2) Creating a Culture of Evangelism in the Church, and (3) Strategies of Evangelism and Expansion of the Church. 

This event roots from the history of the church that is built with the significant contribution of the laity. It aims to revive the character of the Methodist lay through empowering and reminding them of their privilege and obligation as members of the United Methodist Church – that is, “by history and calling”, to become “active advocates of the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Book of Discipline, par. 127).

Kathleen Irah B. Magaliao serves as one of the Northwest Philippines Annual Conference Communicators.