THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST IN THE PHILIPPINES
The seeds of CUCC were first planted during a time of great change in an island nation, the Philippines. Shortly after the end of World War II, the newly liberated Filipinos found themselves once again occupied, but now by missionaries wanting to convert the country to their own denomination. In response, the people began calling for an ecumenical movement for the churches to restore their oneness in Christ. The two world wars and a religious sectarianism made clear that the church needed to uphold its responsibility as an agent of God's healing and to acknowledge a mutual need for Christ's redemption.
Answering this call to action, 165 delegates coming from the Evangelical Church of the Philippines, the Philippine Methodist Church, and the United Evangelical Church gathered in May 1948 at the Ellinwood Malate Church in Manila. There, they signed a declaration of union proclaiming that the three denominations shall be one, known as the United Church of Christ in the Philippines.
But a combination of personal visions, dreams, and historical circumstances brought many Filipinos to the United States, which has become their adopted country. But for most, the initial immersion into a different social and cultural environment was an arduous process. Through this difficult transition, they clung to their faith instilled in them by churches from their mother country for inspiration and guidance – thus providing the support needed at a time of instability and the future backbone of something greater to come.
HOW IT ALL STARTED IN TEXAS
Inevitably, they sought out local congregations in the greater Dallas area, where they found “spiritual homes” in other reformed churches that provided the community to undergird their fate pilgrimage. Still, they felt an acute need to belong to a faith community that fully encompassed their faith heritage their Filipino cultural values in a dynamic manner.
After several months of gathering for fellowship in the homes of scattered Christian families who shared the same vision, their prayers were answered. With the encouragement and support of the South Central Conference of the United Church of Christ and the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries, a new faith community was born in November 1994. This devoted group named the new assembly, “Cosmopolitan United Church of Christ” after their home church in the Philippines, and they committed themselves to the task of uniting people in personal faith and social responsibility. They finally found special place for worship and spiritual growth in an old bank building which was purchased with the help of their parent church United Church of Christ.
CUCC was finally recognized and received into the South-Central Conference at the location of the installation of our first permanent pastor the late Reverend Dr. Lendino Yuzon on August 20, 1995 and is charged chartered by the Secretary of State of Texas. Since then, the church has grown in space and membership in order to accommodate more programs for God’s work. Today, the community of open families in search of refuge has created a thriving church that welcomes any who seek refuge as well.
OUR MISSION TODAY
The church counsel and the pastor are in charge of church management, but the hard work of the young adults and active members of our youth group provide the vitality of the church. Leadership is open to all members, and membership is free and open to anyone called by God. Every age group is represented at CUCC, each being instrumental to the accessible spiritual community that we aim to provide.
August 2020 marks the 25th Anniversary of Cosmopolitan United Church of Christ, a church which strives to fulfill the mission of God: to nurture, practice holistic evangelism, and to serve through his word and love.