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Empowering Family Members: Fortifying Family Ties in the Last Days

The Adventist Family Conference on September 15-17, 2017 that was held at the Lipa Adventist Academy in Lipa City was a fulfillment of the dream that started in 2004.

January 22, 2019 |

By Delba B. de Chavez

The dream began when the directors of the Department of Family Ministries [Miriam Andres, NPUM; Norlin Cadapan, CLC; Delba de Chavez, SCLC; Nelia Garrado, SLM] attended the annual Adventist Family Conference at the Andrews University (Michigan, U.S.A.) in 2004, and again in 2016 by the three NPUC directors – Norlin Cadapan, Children’s Ministries; Delba de Chavez, Family Ministries; and Irelyn Gabin, Women’s Ministries. The purpose of the annual conference has always been to celebrate the education of pastors, family ministries leaders, faculty and students, and church members about the importance of ministry to families in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

The Conference objectives are the following:

  1. Provide vital information to church leaders of current issues concerning families.

  2. Recognize the sovereignty of God to make us victors over any crisis in the family.

  3. Motivate the Area/District/Local Church Family Ministries Leaders and other church ministry leaders to assist families, children, youth, and women in the church and in the community, who are facing various challenges that threaten their well-being.

The featured keynote and plenary speakers, breakout session presenters, and “family” group sessions focused on the theme, FAMILIES: Challenges and Hope in the 21st Century were:

Plenary Speakers

Pastor Arnelio A. Gabin: The Family’s Role in Substance Abuse Prevention

Miriam L. Andres: Thriving On the Challenges of Marriage Today

Pastor Bienvenido G. Mergal & Pastor Carlos Mora: Homosexuality and the Scripture

Eleanor C. Castillo: Influence of Students’ PerceivedRole of Parent School and Religion

Breakout Sessions Presenters

Norlin B. Cadapan: Parenting Children in a Digital World Coping With Grief

Delba B. de Chavez: Coping with Grief

Irelyn C. Gabin: Women Coping with C.H.A.N.G.E.

Pastor Ron M. Genebago: Single’s Heavenly Guide to Building a Happy Home

Orathai Chureson-Saw: Raising Children to Embrace God’s Gender and Design (Part 1 & 2)

Pastor Modesto M. Adap, NPUC Stewardship director, in his keynote message entitled The Stewardship of the Family, emphasized that the father, mother, and children are stewards of Family Love, Authority, Trust, and Respect” (Ephesians 5:21-22, 25; 6:1,4).

In her sermon during the Hour of Worship, Dr. Orathai, director of Family Ministries of the Southern Asia-Pacific Division, expounded how families living in the end-time will thrive and have hope when they invite Jesus into their homes.

Many of the delegates from the five Missions and two Conferences in the North Philippines remarked: “This conference and the topics are relevant to our families today. We propose that we hold this every year!” A father from Cavite province was motivated with the principles and concepts he learned from the presentations that he declared: “When I get home, I will sit down with my wife and children and we will set a time to have family worship. We will eat our meals together on the table – not anywhere else! We will have family council and talk about these issues that are destroying families.” Another attendee from Batangas province said, “I’m so happy to be a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church – the church that cares! I appreciate the openness of the speakers in the plenary and breakout sessions – their concern shows that the church is one big family.”

The success of this event was due to the collaborative efforts of the Department of Family Ministries with the Children’s, Health, and Women’s Ministries of the North Philippine Union Conference.

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