The Pohl Legacy

Philippine Partnership Initiative
 
The Michigan Conference has had a partnership with the Visayas Jurisdictions of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) since 1989. At the Conference Annual Meeting in 2016, delegates gave thanks for the many ways that members of local churches and Olivet College participated in this wonderful relationship. There were faculty exchanges with Silliman University, choir tours, youth trips, work excursions, a Christmas Camp, hosting a women’s delegation, and many leadership summits. Dozens of Michigan Conference church members – young and old - shared in keeping this partnership alive and well. Two noteworthy proponents of engagement were Rev. Joe Malayang and Rev. Roger Pohl. Rev. Pohl and his spouse, Joanne Pohl, spent many months in the Philippines on numerous teaching exchanges and work trips.
 
At the 2016 Annual Meeting, it was also recognized that the partnership has been evolving. After contact and communication with the two new Jurisdictional bishops, a recommendation was made to continue conversation and explore new possibilities for partnership. This “living into” a new reality was tempered by concerns about the extra-judicial killings in the Philippines.
 
In the fall of 2017, Roger Pohl, facing a terminal illness, began conversations with Joanne about leaving a legacy to both celebrate their long engagement with Filipino partners, and to support ongoing initiatives. From those conversations come the Roger and Joanne Legacy initiative to help fund a classroom and technology upgrades at Southern Christian College in Midsayap, Cotabato, Philippines. Education is of vital importance in the Philippines and Southern Christian College has a commitment to also serving Muslim students and indigenous peoples. In addition to the $10,000 that the Pohl Legacy will donate, institutions, local churches and individuals will be invited to contribute to this effort in the hope that at least $22,000 can be raised, which will build and equip one classroom at the rapidly expanding campus.
 
During the months of May and June, notice of this initiative will be shared through Michigan Conference communiques, and Joanne Pohl and Joe Malayang will reach out personally to individuals who have participated in the partnership.
 
For a copy of Joanne Pohl’s letter of appeal, click here.
 
For more information about Southern Christian College, click here.
Their Facebook page click here.
 
To make a donation to the Pohl Legacy through the Michigan Conference, click here.
The Michigan Conference has been blessed by a partnership with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, and we are honored to have this opportunity to promote educational opportunities for thousands of young people at Southern Christian College. Special thanks to Joanne Pohl for including so many of us in this noble endeavor in memory of Roger. May it all be to God’s glory.
Campbell Lovett

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