GNW & Methodist hospital in Philippines consecrate groundbreaking partnership


By Fort Nicolas (MJH Communications Team)

In an unprecedented union that promises to reshape the future of health and spiritual care at the only Methodist mission hospital in the Philippines, Mary Johnston Hospital (MJH) and the Greater Northwest (GNW) Episcopal Area of the United Methodist Church (UMC) consecrated a groundbreaking partnership on May 24 (May 23 in Seattle, WA).

This historic alliance, held online via Zoom, signals the dawn of a transformative journey, uniting the two institutions in their shared mission to heal bodies and souls. Bishop Ruby-Nell Estrella, resident bishop of the Manila Episcopal Area (MEA), delivered the Exhortation of the Word. 

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The consecration service was attended by representatives from both MJH and GNW. Leading the Manila delegation were Dr. Glenn Roy V. Paraso, executive director and chief executive officer of MJH, Bishop Ruby-Nell Estrella, resident bishop of the Manila Episcopal Area (MEA), and lawyer Robinson A. Landicho, vice chairperson of the MJH Board of Trustees. The GNW delegation was led by Bishop Cedrick D. Bridgeforth, the resident bishop of the GNW with his Executive Asst. Rhondalei Gabuat, PNW Executive Director of Connectional Ministries Rev. David Valera, District Superintendent Rev. Derek Nakano, District Superintendent Rev. Daniel Miranda and Director of Connectional Ministries for Oregon-Idaho, Ms. Laurie Day.

The theme of the consecration service, “Healing Together and BEing Well,” beautifully merges two powerful messages: Mary Johnston Hospital’s long-standing tagline, “Healing Together,” and the Greater Northwest Episcopal Area’s annual conference theme, “BEing Well.”

In his greeting, Dr. Paraso asked God “to help us work together in harmony towards common good.” 

During the Declaration of Purpose, Attorney Landicho urged the participants to “bring praise for God’s aid in this undertaking, giving thanks to God for the covenant agreement which unites us in fulfilling the purpose of healing together and being well.”

Likewise, Bishop Bridgeforth asked the Almighty to “grant to this called covenant agreement the grace of Your presence, that You may be known by those who will commit their service here to provide and to receive Your works of healing.”

The consecration service included the symbolic passing of the Shawl or “Alampay.” 

In the liturgy prepared by the MJH chaplain, the Rev. Sarah Garduque, it was noted that the shawl “carries with it our prayers, offering recipients the warmth of God’s protection, the radiant joy of His love, and the serene solace of His protection.” 

Dr. Paraso is set to bring the shawl to Seattle, WA in June 2024 to present it to Bishop Bridgeforth in person. Dr. Paraso explained that the unification underscores the shared commitment of both institutions to holistic health and well-being.

Mary Johnston Hospital leads a Wesleyan-inspired Health System providing state-of-the-art and excellent holistic health care in Tondo, Philippines.

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