Filipino Methodist Hymnal vol. 1

Thursday, January 31, 2008

I am proud to present you the Filipino Methodist Hymnal, Vol. 1 collection. This is the first album ever produced by the Media Center of the National Innovative Ministries Partnership Program (NIMPP) of the United Methodist Church in the Philippines.

This is a way for us to affirm our rich heritage of hymn-writing in our own languages! Philippians 2:11 proclaim that "every tongue confess" about Jesus Christ as Lord. "Every tongue" means that the different languages in the Philippines also proclaim the goodness of God through the hymns that we sing.

Most of the hymns we sing have been handed out to us from the first generation of Christians. Charles Wesley also contributed thousands of hymns to our collection. Methodists and other Christians all over the world sing the hymns written by Charles Wesley, brother of John Wesley. Hymns have been translated from English to Filipino, Ilocano, Bisaya, Ybanag, and to other Filipino languages. This is important so that Filipinos from different regions would easily understand the message of these hymns.

We should not stop, however, at translation. We have a number of excellent hymn-writers and composers in the United Methodist Church in the Philippines. As such, we should encourage hymn-writers to write more, gather these hymns and promote their use in our local churches.

The Filipino Methodist Hymnal Project has started and as Joy Nilo said, "we are on the right track after all". We still have a long way to go but I am amazed at the way that God has led to people who are willing to commit and help with this project. I ask you to please pray for the Media Center and for the Filipino Methodist Hymnal Project. With God's help, we can make this happen.

The Filipino Methodist Hymnal, Vol. 1 features 11 songs from Filipino Composers and writers. Here's the list of tracks:

1. Salita ng Diyos ay Pag-asa (Words & Music by Joy Nilo)
2. Ang Batong Itinakwil (Words by Vicente Aguila; Music by Jonathan Gallo)
3. Ating Purihin (Words by Danilo Sanchez, Music by Eliseo Pajaro)
4. Ang Tanan Nga Nia Nako (Words and Music by Roberto Passion)
5. Ang Salita Mo'y Ilaw (Words by Vedasto Diolanda; Music by Joy Nilo)
6. Pammati Iti Amin a Panawen (Words by Pedro Torio III; Music by Rey Paguio)
7. Ilagak Kay Yahweh (Words & Music by Rolly Juan)
8. Agyaman Kami Apo Kenca (Words by Rev. Jose Raguindin; Music by Rey Paguio)
9. Ang Buhay Kong Nakaraan (Words by Vicente Aguila; Music by Ed Parungao)
10. Himig ng Pasasalamat (Words & Music by Rolly Juan)
11. Ang Salita ng Diyos Ay May Yaman (Words by Cirilio Rigos; Music by Eliseo Pajaro)

Produced by: NIMPP Media Center
Executive Producer: Rev. Homer Wesley O. Refuerzo
Music Director & Editor: Joy T. Nilo
Recording Engineer: Bike Vinas
Performed by: Chorus Philippines

Read more!

Homer Wesley Bio

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Read more!

Philippine UMC Media Center

Monday, January 28, 2008

After so much painstaking efforts, I am proud to announce that the Media Center of the United Methodist Church in the Philippines is now up and running!

It was inaugurated on March 25, 2008 at 3:00 in the afternoon. If you have not been to the UMC Headquarters recently, the Media Center is located at the topmost floor of the headquarters. The room is a little nondescript yet because it does not have a marker yet, but once you turn left on the alleyway, it is the first door to your left.

Although there have been initial difficulties in putting up the studio, I praise God that these difficulties have been smoothed over. Truly, God works in amazing ways.

As part of the inauguration of the Studio, a sampler album has been released containing several Filipino hymns arranged and directed by Joy Nilo and sung by Chorus Philippines. Hopefully in my subsequent posts, I will can upload these songs to these blog so you can listen to them.

There are a number of ministry areas that the UMC in the Philippines has not ventured into in the past 100 years of its existence in the Philippines. One of this is its media ministry. Other ministries, particularly the evangelicals and the parachurches have made full use of the New Media to extend their presence online and celebrate the risen Christ.

We still do not have a full-fledged radio program. The high cost of TV broadcasting deter us from embarking on such a project. I do know of some districts and pastors who do have their radio programs but these are on a low scale only. Because perhaps of the lack of resources and technical know-how we are prevented from doing these kinds of projects. Yet, thankfully, through the National Innovative Ministries Partnership Program (NIMPP), some of these areas of ministries are being addressed.

I have the privilege of being the leadperson of the Media Center of the NIMPP. The Studio is the first phase of the project. Within this year, we plan to release a Filipino Methodist Hymnal, containing the hymns that we love--the traditional ones, together with Filipino hymns, and contemporary songs. This is a way of praising God through our own tongue while drawing upon our rich Filipino heritage. Didn't it say in Revelations that "every tongue, every nation, every tribe" will praise God? This is our small offering to fulfill that. When this project comes to fruition, I will be posting the announcement on this blog.

Another area of ministry that we have not yet tapped is the Internet. True, there are already several UMC organizations and churches in the Philippines that have established their websites. The UMYAFP have their own website at, the UMYFP have one too at The Migrant Ministry of Manila Episcopal Area, also under the NIMPP, has its website at

If the UMC in the Philippines would have its website, it would be a great way to connect Methodists all over the Philippines and even all over the world. Together with the people at NIMPP, we are praying for this project to become reality in the next few months.

If we can establish the Methodist website, there would also be a place for netizens, which is a term for individuals hooked to the net, who have been using emails, Voice over Internet Protocol, blogs, Youtube, and other features of the Internet to publish their thoughts, communicate with their friends, and research information online.

As they say, we can progress only with one step at a time. At least by this time, we have established the Studio of the Media Center. Other projects will follow, God willing. Please watch the following slideshow featuring some of the equipment at the Studio.

Let's dream together for our Church and work in turning these dreams to reality. Read more!

Sermon: The Parable of the Workers

Sunday, October 7, 2007

The Parable of the Workers is one of the more controversial parables in the Bible. At first glance, it appears that the Master is unjust--everyone who worked in the field regardless of the number of hours worked for received the same compensation. In today's world, and even in the context of Jesus' society, it appears that those who worked for 6 or 8 hours were unfairly treated because they received the same amount as those who only worked for an hour.

Listen to this sermon about my interpretation of this parable and how we can apply it to our society today.

Just click on the Play icon.

Read more!

The Bible and Our Christian Faith

Monday, September 17, 2007

In this sermon, homerwesley talks about the Bible and its role in the development of our faith and of our relationship with our Lord Jesus.

Just click play below to listen to the sermon.

Read more!

Christian Education for Church Growth

Rev. Dr. Homer Wesley O. Refuerzo

“The Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). Such was the dramatic growth of the early church. I believe that this was the result of the different approaches that Jesus’ disciples employed in their ministry of Christian nurture.

In their book, Contemporary Approaches to Christian Education, Jack Seymour and Donald Miller enumerate the varied ways and different settings we educate persons in the Christian faith. Acts 2:42-47 describes how the early church modeled these approaches effectively.

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching (v. 42). This is the religious instruction approach. Sunday school, Bible Study, training seminars and conferences which are done in structured settings, encourage persons to know what and why they believe—biblical teachings and Christian doctrines.

They devoted themselves to prayer (v. 42) and everyday they continued to meet together in the temple courts (v. 46). This is the spiritual development approach—the mentoring for spiritual development. Christian education does not only produce good boys and good girls who are decent and proper. More importantly, the objective is to nurture their spirits and become mature Christians.

They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people (v. 46).This is the community of faith approach—persons learn how to live the Christian life through the lifestyle of the faith community. As is commonly said: “Values are not taught but caught.” The congregation becomes the teacher where the practice of the spiritual disciplines of worship, fellowship, witness and servce are demonstrated.

All the believers had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need (vv.44-45). This is the liberation approach to Christian education. People are freed from selfishness in order to participate in the humanization of all persons through social justice. “To each according to one’s need, from each according to one’s ability.”

We all wish Filipino United Methodist Churches to experience tremendous growth—in faithfulness, fellowship, service, even in numbers. I strongly believe that we can learn much more from the Christian education approaches of the early Church.


Originally published at the Spire, official newsletter of the Central United Methodist Church on 16 September 2007.

Read more!

For a relevant church in the 21st Century

I am a Pastor of the United Methodist Church in the Philippines. A visionary. A pathfinder. A conscientious worker. In this website, you will read about my experiences, my visions and my views and opinions. Read more!