Thursday, September 25, 2008
This is the front cover of the Liturgy for the worship celebration.
The picture used was a photo taken at the Philippine Bible Society Iloko Translation quonset house in 19__, Bokawkan Road, Baguio City.
I still had a good crop of curly hair back then!!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
I was only in my early elementary grade when a new name of a pastor was newly registered in my young mind. It turned out that he will be taking over the position of then Rev. Rizalino Subido.
The name Ptr. Juan A. Marigza to me was just another person in church that would stand in the pulpit for several minutes and that will be my hint that our day in church is about to end.
But this, “Just another pastor” slowly entered our lives, in a sense that all occasions of the family, he was an invited guest. Weddings, baptism, graduations, thanksgiving services to the interment of relatives who have gone ahead to be with the Lord.
Indeed you can command people out of fear but respect is something that cannot be forced. Respect in short is earned. This pastor then I would say have earned the respect of all the sectors of the church. From the children to the adults but most specially us the young people of the church then.
Our youth days then was a turning point for me to know him personally. Our constant interaction with him when we were then officers of the Christian Youth Fellowship gave me the opportunity to look deeper in his person.
He became not only my pastor, a friend but a second father. He was very supportive and his very being began to leave imprints in our lives. The seed that was sown in our hearts germinated and was properly nurtured to produce church workers. Our batch in the CYF I believe have the highest number of young people to have joined the vineyard of the Lord which I firmly believe one way or another is the result of a man that was instrumental in molding the young men and women of these church then.
Even when our beloved bishop already left
Until now he is the most sought pastor to grace all sorts of occasions and still are making appointments with him.
Today as we celebrate the golden anniversary of ministry of Bishop Juan we pray tribute to a man of God. That even to this day serves as inspiration for all of us to continue on running the race.
WE’RE BLESSED WE MET YOU
Jesus Christ gave you to us, it’s not by accident.
Under His guidance and blessing, we
Affirm how you became a part of our lives.
Never will we regret the first day we met you and became our pastor and like a father to us.
All our lives we will never forget, we will tell the story to our children and grandchildren the way you were to us.
Mentored us. You taught us by preaching and example.
Appreciated us. The little things we did were big to you.
Responded without hesitation. You were always there.
Inspired us with your leadership and were instrumental in my becoming a minister of the Gospel.
Generously gave to us when we were in need.
Zealously talked to us about God’s love.
Actively led us to where we are now.
These two words may not be sufficient to describe what we really like to say but, what you’ve been to us, we’ll be to others because you showed it to us.
We are happy to celebrate with you and your family the 50 years of pastoral ministry. You inspired us! God bless & more power!
Rev. Francis, Judith, Christine Joy & Calvin Paul Javier
TRIBUTE TO BISHOP JUAN ABELLERA MARIGZA
BISHOP EMERITUS – UNITED
What a joy to know and, later, worked with a fellow who is compassionate and father to the younger church workers like me. He is Rev. Juan A. Marigza. I have known him in the early years of my ministry. I cannot say enough appreciation for the thorough manner he serves the Church in his capacity as ecclesiastical leader, Bishop of the Church. I have the opportunity to work with him directly when he was re-appointed as North Luzon Jurisdictional Area Bishop after the resignation of the former bishop. I was appointed also a NLJ Program Coordinator at the same time.
I am pleased to say that working with Bishop Marigza is empowering and enabling for the manners he reminds un of our responsibilities. Many people say, “believing is seeing,” but to me “seeing is believing.” The way he demonstrated his faith into practice is indeed a kind of Church worker I want to emulate.
It has been a privilege for me to represent him at several conference events, ecumenical activities and in giving keynote and anniversary messages. I bow my head to him for that trust and confidence.
A very sincere thanks to Bishop Marigza! May your journey in you ministry become a never ending inspiration to other young and budding workers of the United Church of Christ in the
Bishop Mar IB. Inong
Northern Luzon Jurisdiction Area
Purok 15, Irisan Barangay
Bishop Juan A. Marigza
I am furnishing you a copy of what I am going to say on April 11. I might add some more during my actual testimony. This copy I am furnishing you is for your brochure if you plan to have one for prosperity.
I assure you that we will try our best to catch up with the program even if we have to travel the whole night of Tuesday. I can not afford to miss this important events in your life as a brother in the faith and as a fellow-worker for the past fifty or more years.
Your ever faithful brother in the Lord,
MATIAS ANGIWAN SR.
A TRIBUTE TO BISHOP MARIGZA ON THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF HIS ORDINATION TO THE MINISTRY,
Let me start my testimonial to Bishop Juan Abellera Marigza on the 50th anniversary of his Ordination to the church ministry by reading Isaiah 6: 1-8, In this chapter we find the record of the call of Isaiah to the prophetic ministry of his time. Verse 8 stated the call: Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: Whom shall I send and who will go for us? And Isaiah said, Here I am, send me…
I first knew then Pastor Juan Abellera Marigza when we were students in the
ACQUAINTANCE TO A BROTHER IN THE FAITH AND FELLOW-WORKER
In our theological studies at the Union Theological Seminary at
Brother Juan Marigza’s genuine brotherly love and concern for others was demonstrated when in September 1956, I received a telegram that my father died, and without my knowledge, he went around the Seminary campus soliciting money for my transportation. When I was leaving the dormitory he handed me an envelope with Ph 180.00 which was an amount at that time. Indeed brother Juan Marigza demonstrated the words of Jesus to carry one another’s burden. Again when I was hospitalized at the
FROM GRADUATION TO ORDINATION
After four years of theological studies from the
While at the Union Theological Seminary, Pastor Marigza invited me more than once to Agoo where they were assigned. They have two little daughters at that time. One morning I climbed a tall coconut tree to get some nuts but I did not know that there were many of the ants with painful bites. After pulling three nuts, my eyes were “napulingan” with dusts. I had to rush sliding down to the ground but the ants already inflicted several injections on my neck and back. In the afternoon Mrs. Lourdes Marigza was startled to see me carrying Marje on my back the Ifugao way. These are some of the memorable experiences I had with the Rev. and Mrs. Marigza.
After he received his ordination, Rev. and Mrs. Marigza continued their unselfish and dedicated Team ministry for the glory of God and the nurturing of His people. His charisma in pastoral care is beyond question. His gift of touch and prayer is a healing to the sick, a comfort to the broken hearted and bereaved, giving hope to the hopeless, and strengthening of faith to the wavering. His powerful preaching of the Word of God is food to the spiritually hungry, it is uplifting to the weak, it is challenging to the people of God to carry out its vision and mission as mandated in the Great Commission for the salvation of humanity. Sometimes his preaching is a thorn to the proud and uncommitted to the Lord, and finally his open life is a living testimony to the love of God which he demonstrated in his long years of dedicated ministry through the United Church of Christ in the
In 1966 the Philippine Bible Society initiated the translation of the Bible into the Iloco language that could be understood even by the ordinary people. In 1967 to 1978 Rev. Marigza was called to this task of Bible translation. Rev. Marigza was called to the Bible translation while at the same time the Pastor of the
FROM THE LOCAL TO THE OFFICE OF THE BISHOP
When I resigned as Associate Pastor to Rev. Rizalino Subido in this
When the Nursery-Kindergarten school of the church was required to register and apply for permit to operate, Rev. Juan Marigza fought against it on the ground of the Constitutional provision of the separation of the Church and the State. However, he gave way together with the Church Council because of the requirement of the Department of Education that graduates from kindergarten schools can not be admitted to grade one unless a permit to operate was granted. Meanwhile, our children were apparently watching the examples from their parents so Reuel, and his brother Jan Fleming, and my son Matias Angiwan Jr. together with their wives bonded together to revitalize the Christian Youth Fellowship not only in the local church, but especially in the Highland Conference. Through their initiatives and resourcefulness, an annual Summer Institute on Biblical Studies (SIBS) was organized and inaugurated at the United Church of Christ of La Trinidad, Benguet. I understand the SIBS is still alive.
In his ministry in the City of
Then in God’s own time, Rev. Juan Abellera Marigza was called and elected into the Bishopric of the North Luzon Jurisdiction of the United Church of Christ in the
During his stewardship of the North Luzon Jurisdiction successful programs were implemented in mission and evangelism and church growth, stewardship and church finance, and Christian education and nurture. Then in 1994 at the end of his term Bishop Marigza by action of the General Assembly on motion by Atty. & Pastor Matias Angiwan Jr. became officially Bishop Emeritus which is equivalent to Bishop for life. But when the North Luzon Jurisdiction was vacated with the resignation of Bishop Sarte, Bishop Emeritus Marigza was recalled to active service again as Jurisdictional Bishop until a new Bishop was elected.
Brothers and sisters, this is my testimony and my tribute to a holy man of God whose unblemished character and pleasing personality is reflected in his 50 years as an ordained Minister. His life as a Minister of God is an open book. His ministry to God and the Church is untarnished. The Lord Jesus Christ said that many are called but few are chosen, and Bishop Marigza is one of the few so much so that two Marigzas have answered the call to the prophetic ministry as their Bishop-father did more than fifty years ago. Revs. Reuel Marigza and Jan Fleming Marigza following the footsteps of their father are both active in the ministry of the Church.
May God bless Bishop Marigza and give him more years and good health to continue his mandated ministry to God, the Church and people even as he is on the threshold of his sunset years. To God be the glory. AMEN.
REV. MATIAS ANGIWAN SR.
BISHOP JUAN A. MARIGZA: PASTOR AND PROPHET
By: Joel L. Bodegon
Text: 2 Timothy 4:1-8
Naimbag a bigat yo amin, kakabsat ken Kristo! Good morning to all of you, sisters and brothers in Christ!
Today is an extraordinary day! For this morning, we join a very special person in celebrating a milestone in his life: his 50th year of ordination! May I request our celebrator, a man so dear to us and to whom we owe so much as church, Bishop Juan A. Marigza, to rise. Let us give him a round of hearty applause! Congratulations, Bishop Marigza, pastor and prophet!
Let us pray. Almighty and loving God, we thank you for this truly special occasion at which we give thanks and recognize the life and ministry of your faithful servant, Bishop Marigza. You have called him, and without any second thoughts, he had responded and accepted your call. He has run the race – and continues to – always keeping the faith all of his challenging, colorful and fulfilling 50 years as a minister. Bless him, we pray. Amen!
Let me thank Kuya Reuel for inviting me to be the speaker at this thanksgiving service. I am deeply honored, to say the least. In facet, my wife Sophie, who is our missionary with the United Evnagelical Mission (UEM) and now is with me on a short vacation from
Kuya Reuel suggested that I use 2 Timothy 4:1-8 as a scriptural text. Verse 5 especially defines Bishop Marigza—his life and his life work.
But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
May I invite you to reflect on these four injunctions from our text, not only to see how Bishop Marigza has lived them but, equally important, what they could mean to us now. Indeed, what does it mean for us to keep our heads in all situations, to endure hardship, to do the work of an evangelist, and to discharge all duties of our ministry?
To keep your head in all situations simply means “ABC---always be cool!” Rather than be jarred by people or circumstances, be cool for the world is in God’s hands. In any work of the ministry, keeping one’s head makes one alert to distractions, resistant to pressure, and strong when facing heavy responsibilities. Bishop Marigza kept his head about him especially from the time he became a Protestant at the tender age of 12 years in 1942 and answered the call to the ministry the following year. At a time of war, when many others were simply looking for themselves, Bishop Marigza, then just a teenager, decided that he was going to live his life for others.
He enrolled in the La Union Christian College and after earning an associate degree in theology, became the first Filipino pastor at UCCP-Lamut in Ifugao. In the post-war heydays, he graduated from the Union Theological Seminary with a bachelor’s degree in Theology in 1957, and soon after was ordained on this day, 50 years ago. Yes, Bishop Marigza focused on equipping himself for the work of a pastor.
These days when the ministry is least attractive to the best and brightest of our young people, Bishop Marigza’s response to the call challenges us parents and the youth alike. In the words of Paul, we are meant to be women and men of God, who reject the idols of profit and fame and instead pursue justice, faith, love, gentleness. Bishop Marigza has shown us how to be focused, to put God at the center of our lives and service.
To do the work of an evangelist. True to his call to the ministry, Bishop Marigza dedicated himself to evangelism. He did this as pastor of several local churches, including your church which he pastured continuously for 13 years from 1973 to 1986. Early on in the mid-60s, the Philippine Bible Society chose Rev. Johnny to be part of a group tasked to translate the Bible into Ilocano, and they successfully produced the Ilocano Bible, Naimbag a Damag Biblia.
Significantly, this group of translators was ecumenical. It was composed of two UCCP members (Rev. Johnny and educator Patricia Tayaban), two Catholics (a priest, Rev. Fr. Godofredo Albano, and Ilocano writer and novelist Peter La Julian), two Methodists (Dr. Noel Osborn and Rev. Anacleto Guerrero), and an Assemblies of God pastor (Rev. Gervacio Tovera). Since then, Bishop Marigza has been deeply involved as a leader in ecumenical groups such as the North Luzon Ecumenical Council, the Regional Ecumenical Council of the Cordillera, and the Ecumenical Bishop’s Forum. Cutting through the politics of the North, he helped pave the way for the covenant of unity between the UCCP and the Philippine Independent Church.
More than anything else, Bishop Marigza lived out the charge of Paul: “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” His being your senior pastor with the longest continuous tenure is testimony enough of his commitment to Paul’s charge. We can only imagine the number of young people he has drawn to the ministry, the many people he brought into full membership in your church. Now think, if each of you, all priests by virtue of your Baptism, would just duplicate what he did, it would not be difficult to see how your church could grow further.
To endure hardships. Paul warns that everyone who wants to live a godly life in union with Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Bishop Marigza understood this only too well and accepted it – including its economics – without question.
Like most UCCP pastors, Rev. Marigza dedicated his life to the ministry without regard for monetary compensation. But he did more than that. He accepted the call to the episcopacy despite the fact that it meant reduction on salary by almost half and the removal of housing privileges. He also did not take advantage of his office as he even chose not to stay at the Bishop’s house although he led in the construction of the North Luzon Jurisdiction offices.
Like many of those who lived through the martial law years, Bishop Marigza was not spared the distress and agony resulting from repression. In 1984, his eldest daughter Mary Lou disappeared along with six others. The military initially denied having taken them into custody. For two harrowing weeks, Bishop Marigza and Mama Lou went from one military camp to another to locate their daughter. During that time, so many who were taken in by the military simply disappeared or were “salvaged”. The military eventually produced the seven, all with clear traces of torture on their bodies, but were not immediately released. They languished in jail for another 13 months.
The painful experience did not silence Bishop Marigza. Instead, he became a vocal critic of the martial law regime. With personal experiences such as this, it is no wonder that the UCCP leadership continues to protest militarization and development aggression. More than mere verbal protests, Bishop Marigza took concrete action. Among other things, he spearheaded the establishment of the
Here we see that despite his strong stance against martial laws, Bishop Marigza earned the respect of its enforcers. Such respect even translated to collaborative efforts. For instance, he joined the military in uprooting and burning marijuana plants in the hinterlands of Benguet. At the same time, he spoke strongly against destructive development projects as open-pit mining and the construction of the San Roque Dam.
Indeed, more than just through sermons, the Gospel is to be preached in our lives and in the way we relate with each other and with the world. Through his life, we see Bishop Marigza being rooted in community so that his message is properly set in context and understood. As persons called to preach the Good News, all of us also need to strive for rapport, comprehension, relevance and cooperation. In a world of unceasing trials we must put aside cynicism and indifferences, and instead hold on to the hope that is in us, the coming of God’s reign of which we became citizens when we made our confession of faith in Christ Jesus.
To discharge all the duties of your ministry. Ministry is a full-time job; sometimes even a package of full-time and odd jobs. You know that even at the time he was appointed to be part of the group that translated the Bible to Ilocano, Rev. Marigza was weekend pastor of various local churches in the Highland Conference. Yet it is not only the amount of work that sets him apart. It is the quality of his service.
Coming from the tradition of the United Brethren, Bishop Marigza stressed a Congregationalist polity which is Gospel – and not hierarchy-or personality-centered. Dr. Oscar Suarez, President of the Philippine Christian University, describes Bishop Marigza as “a man who had served faithfully without grandstanding. He humbly and quietly served.”
As a local church minister, he stressed active involvement of lay leaders and allowed creativity among the church staff. He assumed the episcopacy in 1986 – a time of great turbulence and church decline in the North Luzon Jurisdiction arising from months without a bishop. He arrested the decline and thereby turned the jurisdiction around. During that time and until now, he has employed his skills in conflict resolution and consensus building. Rev. Marma Urbano, who had served in the North Luzon Jurisdiction office, remembers how concerned Bishop Marigza was for the welfare of the church workers. Also, people sought and continued to seek him out for counseling.
Unlike many of us who cultivate our looks to impress others, Bishop Marigza simply has “the look of compassion etched on his face,” says Nic Primavera, son of a former staff member at the National Treasurer’s Office. For Nic, Bishop Marigza is a passionate believer who witnesses to God’s loving but occasionally tough transformative ways, “(transforming) creation into restored fellowship.”
For his part, Kuya Reuel recalls that “What he did was simply allow us young people to explore possibilities for spiritual growth in church, giving us leeway to develop our own programs… But with this freedom, he expected us to be responsible.” Bishop Marigza called family councils to discuss any problem anyone in the family encountered. Major decisions regarding a pastoral call or the episcopacy were on the family council agenda.
As your pastor and later as bishop, Bishop Marigza practiced what he preached. An advocate of responsible parenthood and population control, he kept himself to within the statutory limit of four kids (as set by our tax laws), well spaced from one another by at least two years. He worked with the Family Planning Organization of the
In the same way that Jesus and later Paul nurtured second liners as an essential part of their ministry, Bishop Marigza empowered younger church leaders, including myself during my first term as UCCP Chairman. He encouraged young people to become pastors, Christian educators and church workers. No less than two of his children, Kuya Reuel and Jan Fleming are now ordained ministers. Among the other young people he challenged in the ministry, Rev. Florence Mariano became the first woman conference minister of the Highland Conference.
Bishop Marigza has always been ready to serve and to go the distance. He was elected Bishop twice and when the incumbent Bishop for
Gagayyem ken kakabsat ken Kristo, Bishop Marigza is very much alive. Thank God for this! Our coming together today is not merely to deliver a laudatio to a man who, like Paul, has done well and long in the service of God and community. Let us also use this opportunity to see for ourselves how we lesser mortals are called to be priests by virtue of our Baptism and, by the same token, also evangelists.
Bishop Marigza has passed on the torch – and has passed the torch more than once—he continues to run the good race alongside us. The challenges that he faced over the last 50 years as an ordained pastor continue to haunt not only him, but also us.
We should go to him for advice on how to be true prophets these days when illegal arrests and summary executions are once again on the rise and a climate of fear is taking over, when our own pastors are being forcibly taken under cover of darkness, or some of them shot and killed in front of their families. We must go back to the UCCP’s declaration to provide sanctuary to civilians, especially those who survive terror raids and the militarization of communities. More than that, we must go back to Jesus’ own declaration of mission to make the blind see, the lame walk, and the oppressed set free.
This is a time to reflect on our church order. In these so-called post-denominational or even post-Christendom days, ordination itself is shrouded with many issues. There are discussions about the ordination of gays. Until now women in the Roman Catholic Church and a number of Protestant churches continue to fight for ordination. Not surprisingly, when you Google up the word, your get invitations to receive free instant ordination online.
Coming from the word “order”, ordination is a way of ordering the church by setting apart persons for specific service and how concentration as a bishop denotes servant leadership. Underlying all the debate is the essence of what it means to be a pastor. The role of the pastor is to lead the flock to green pastures and to the source of life-giving waters, and in these days, even to stand up against what causes drought and the drying of rivers and streams – indeed, to reject everything that leads to death.
Clearly this order is dynamic. And it is so because it is dialogical. If the ordained ministry is to represent the whole church, it should be collegial, meaning shared by clergy and laity. In our united and uniting church, this dynamism lies in the call to balance hierarchy with community. I am certain you have witnessed how our duly elected bishops and officers are continually challenged – both from within and outside the church – as they stand for the Gospel of peace and justice. Our church leaders therefore are not to ignore these challenges but to understand them, analyze their roots, and carefully work out their resolution. This process is not a one-way street. As much as the church leadership reaches out to the community, the community is prompted to respond and engage in active, positive and gainful dialogue.
This might be threatening to many, the laity and clergy alike. But it is only in grappling with the old that we might give birth to something new. Because, like it or not, the idea is not to preserve the leadership or even the church itself! The idea is to keep Christ’s Good News about the coming of a new Reign of God. In this light, the duties of the ministry are not conservative but transformative, not static but dynamic.
Paul left Timothy in
Let us pray. Dear God of Life and Ministry, we thank you for the paths that Bishop Juan Marigza has cleared for us. He is now passing on the torch of faith and leadership, reminding us of what is truly important and encouraging us to serve with courage and joy. May we be deemed faithful! Here we are, Lord, send us! Amen.
We are pleased to inform you that the Rev. Bishop Juan Abellera-Marigza will be celebrating his 50th year of service in the Ordained Ministry. Friends, relatives, and brethren in the Lord shall be joining the UCCP community in a simple celebration that will take place on
The family, in coordination with the church leaders, is currently finalizing the Worship Celebration Program and the Schedule of Activities for the occasion. Among the highlights of the program are testimonials on the bishop’s life, ministry, and services through the years. In this regard, may we be honored to have you share a one-page (maximum, back-to-back) testimonial write-up on the celebrant, perhaps focusing on the impact of his life and services as your pastor and/or co-worker in the Lord’s vineyard, and how God has used him as instrument to build you up in your Christian life as well. Your paper, along with other contributed documentaries, will be compiled in an album to be presented to the bishop in a fitting segment during the Worship Celebration.
Thank you very much for your support and your participation in this undertaking. We would appreciate receiving your write-up on or before
We also take this opportunity to extend our invitation to you and your family to join us in the celebration. Your presence will surely add more color and meaning to the occasion.
Again, thank you very much.
Sincerely in Christ,
PTR. JAN FLEMING O. MARIGZA
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
We were honored by the presence of brethren and sisters from the Roman Catholic Church and Anglican Church, Rev. Fr. Andy Cosalan and Rev. Fr. David Tabo-oy. Beside them is Pastor Ernesto Alcantara, UCCP Baguio and Rev. Matias Angiwan Sr, my classmate in the Union Theological Seminary.
If you are curious of our exploits in the seminary and beyond, Matt is the one to ask!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Our esteemed guests (from left to right) Atty. Joel Bodegon, Chairman of the UCCP General Assembly, guest speaker for the occasion; Bishop Emeritus Gabriel Garol; Bishop Marino Inong, Northern Luzon Jurisdiction bishop. Behind them is part of the Choir. That's Mrs. Purificacion Tayaban Balangue, UCCP Baguio Ilocano Choir director, behind Bishop Inong.
From the front pew, my family (from left to right) my brother, Mariano Abellera; my wife, Lourdes Ofilas Marigza; Easter Lois Acido Marigza, daughter of Reuel; Rev. Reuel Norman Marigza; Ian Chester Binwag Marigza, son of Jan; Mrs. Adoraline Binwag Marigza, wife of Jan Fleming.
This is my first blog to celebrate the 50 wonderful years of ministry in the Lord's vineyard. A celebration to honor this milestone was held in UCCP Baguio City with family and friends. I will be posting here the pictures and testimonials, as well as the worship celebration, so those who were with us and those who were present in the spirit can review it.
I would also be posting some of memorable vignettes, sermons, commendations, photos and hopefully video as well as loving memories of these great 50 years in the Lord's harvest.
Please come and visit often.