Social Arm of The UMC in the Philippines
In 1984, Bishop Emerito P. Nacpil of the Manila Episcopal Area invited Dr. and Mrs. Philip del Rosario and Rev. and Mrs. George Holcombe to launch a UMC-backed experimental self-help community project in the episcopal area. It was not until January 1988 that the Del Rosarios and the Holcombes, with their team from Dallas, Texas, came to the Philippines to conduct for the first time a Barangay Consult Process that was held at Barangay Sta. Maria, Dasmarinas, Cavite. Since the experiment proved to be a qualified success, in 1989, the Central Conference Coordinating Council approved a recommendation that the MCRD be authorized as a social arm of The United Methodist Church in the Philippines.
Originally, MCRD was purely for training. Linking and fund sourcing, however, became its natural by-products. These activities have led to the formulation of a discipline where people in the community establish, implement and sustain a development program of their own. MCRD has managed to occasionally tap financial and technical institutions and individuals, as well as UMC donors such as local churches in the U.S., the Board of Global Ministries, friends and some local benefactors.
After more than a decade of service to a number of communities, MCRD has a mixed record of qualified successes and failures. Despite some obvious drawbacks, it has given substance to The UMC’s social concern and action program to assist people in the Barangays both in the rural areas and inner cities to improve their lives by teaching them to help themselves, while inculcating a sense of responsibility and accountability for their projects and the funds provided.
Taken from Methodism in the Philippines: A Century of Faith and Vision, ed. by Bishop Jose Gamboa, Jr., Gamaliel T. de Armas, Jr., Roela Victoria Rivera, and Sharon Paz C. Hechanova. (Manila: Philippines Central Conference of The United Methodist Church, 2003).