The Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines in Ulay
In the island of Negros in the middle of the Philippine archipelago, in the rural town of Ulay, is a small Unitarian Universalist chapel – UUSM’s Partner Church. The Ulay chapel is a one story, one room building with two covered patios for RE and sharing meals. Its congregation consists of about two dozen families, with more than 30 youth and children. The minister is Rev. Rogelio Lopez. Religious Education is taught by Jorelyn Sumiga (ages 3-5) and Thelma Lopez (ages 7-12). Over the past four years, UUSM has been working hard to strengthen our relationship with our partners across the Pacific. Our support has made a tangible difference in their lives.
Four years ago most children did not complete elementary school. Now, through the Education Partner program, UUSM individual, family, and group members provide a modest annual sum that makes it possible for 27 children to complete elementary school and high school. Three outstanding students receive Scholarships through the UU Partner Church Council's Paths to Partnership program.
Malnutrition is a major concern. Through our annual donation to the Share A Meal program, $20 per week provides a healthy meal to the entire congregation following the Sunday service.
Families live in bamboo houses, mostly without water and electricity. During the Community Capacity Building retreat in 2011, witnessed by 9 visiting UUSM members, the community decided that Water was their first priority. UUSM donations provided most of the materials, and the community is providing the labor to bring water via pipeline from a distant source closer to their homes.
Ulay member Ray Minasalvas and Rev. Lopez haul pipes for the water project
Ulay Community Capacity Building Retreat, March 2011
Ulay congregation and UUSM visitors - Our first visit in January 2009
Ulay chapel and congregation, March 2011
UUSM member Reeba Lynn with Ulay students, March 2011
More Photos of the March 2011 trip:
Road to Ulay
Community Capacity Building
Visiting Our Partners in Ulay
Some links for more info:
Be an Education Partner!
2013 Philippine Trip Description
BUILD UU Philippines - UU World article
BUILD UU Philippines video
BUILD UU Philippines website
Our Global Faith video and Partner Church FAQ
The UU Partner Church Council website has many great resources
Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines website
Map of Negros, Philippines. Cabiguhan is about 25 miles southeast of the provincial capital, Bacolod City.
Book Review : Maglipay Universalist: A History of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Philippines by Fredric John Muir - The review is the second of four books reviewed.