Introduction & History of the UUCP
Len Pellettieri’s 15 minute Video about the founding of the
UU Church of the Philippines
The UUCP is a national church of 29 local congregations, all on the island of Negros except for one in Metro Manila and an on-going UU Discussion Group in Quezon City. Most of the churches are located in the rural areas of the Island, except for the UU Fellowship of Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental and the UU Congregation in Bicutan, Metro Manila. The majority of the members are small-scale farmers and fisher folks, while others are engaged in their own professions, including teachers, ministers and business people. But most of the UUs in the Philippines are poor, and the lay ministers/leaders are not formally educated.
This progressive Church was founded in 1955 by Reverend Toribio Quimada, a former Catholic drawn to the simple ideas of a God of universal love and a person’s right to read the Bible and think for himself. At that time it was mainly a “tent” church, with no organized social service programs, activities, organizations or conferences except for Sunday worship and annual conventions. Beginning in 1989, the UUA has financially supported the UUCP’s programs and activities through an annual grant. We’re now at a point where the development of a relationship based on equality, mutuality and collegiality, as well as the long-term interests of the UUCP depends upon its becoming entirely self-supporting.
Since 2002, the UUCP has created a number of resource mobilization programs such as mango and sugar cane plantations, and an energy-tree farm. The sugar cane plantation has been a main source of the UUCP’s income for five years, and the mango farm will be productive by 2010
For the 55 years of the UUCP’s existence, Unitarian Universalism has been expanding. There are Filipinos who search for a less repressive religion and UUism has been their option. The need to nurture and share the faith, create sustainable youth and young adult programs and build more congregations is at hand. Thus, the Church’s response to the calls for growth and sustainability in the Philippines is BUILD UU Philippines.