Building UU Filipino Bridges

In mid-September 2006, I leave for the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines (UUCP).  The UUCP is one of the few liberal religious voices in the Philippine Islands (comprised of over 7,200 islands at high tide), with roots in indigenous and agrarian society of the Visayan region.  Headquartered in the city of Dumaguette on the island of Negros, I will be working from there and from Manila, with an emerging congregation mixing ex-pat Americanos and Pinoys.  I am very excited to be their ministerial intern for the year, it will be a homecoming for our family as my partner was born and raised there, and for our two children who are 1/2 Filipino.  I am seeking people and groups to help underwrite the expenses of this internship, and offer two gifts in return: a print copy (or PDF if you wish) of my Senior Thesis entitled 25 to 1: Experiences of People of Color in Unitarian Universalism 1980-2005 (updated June 24, 2006), and a subscription to a monthly reflection journal of my ministerial study in the Philippines.  Would you consider making a donation of $20 or more?  It’s tax deductible…read on.

The UU churches in the Philippines are very impoverished, drawing membership primarily from rural working poor farmers.  As such, I have committed to raising $4000 to help underwrite the expense of my internship, for appropriate supervision and internship committee participation, in addition to a Fund for International Unitarian Universalism granted to the UU Church of the Philippines for $3000 this spring.  This internship is unique, and will allow me the place and mentorship to pursue my call to ministry – specifically the intersection of People of Color and Liberal Religion.  I’ve been deeply touched by my experiences with our Asian Unitarian Universalist communities in the Philippines and India, and I imagine my ministry towards the end of my life being in this part of the world with my family.  Their experiences teach me that our liberal religious faith has deep relevance, a hopeful synergy, a caring and loving presence, in the lives of people who are not traditionally considered UU’s in America and Canada.  My work in North America continues to be focused on building intergenerational multiracial community, and I pray for the strength and courage to continue this when I return from the Philippines in April 2007.  We’ll be back in Portland, Oregon indefinitely after that.

If you’d be willing to make a contribution to my ministerial internship fund, please send a check payable to "UU Church of Annapolis", c/o Rev. Dr. Fred Muir, 333 Dubois Road, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 and indicate UUCP Santos-Lyons in the "memo".  This is a tax-deductible contribution.  Thank you *!* -Joseph

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