DCF in Discovery Meetings

After almost a decade, the Discovery Meetings (DM) continues to challenge intellectual convictions and religious worldviews of students and faculty while defending the reasonableness of the Christian faith in the University of the Philippines Diliman.

This year’s DM is attended mostly by student dormers after the Dormitories’ Christian Fellowship (UP DCF) moved its first few meetings in the gathering. The decision came after recognizing the need to focus more on evangelism this semester.

Leaders of DCF mobilized the fellowship to invite fellow dormers and build relationships with them in preparation for the individual dorm gatherings in mid-August.

“The decision to join DM did not come from the Exec but depended on the individual dorm fellowships. It was ideally for the smaller fellowships to gather new contacts who can later be invited in the dorm meetings,” said Diana Andino, DCF’s incumbent chairperson.

Though DM is mainly an apologetic ministry of the Diliman Campus Bible Church (DCBC), the issues covered serve as openings for the Gospel message. Seven thought-provoking topics were lined up, including the reliability of the Bible, the person, works, life, death and resurrection of Jesus, science and faith, the problem of evil and the exclusivity of the Christian claim.

Currently on its fourth week, the DM is now more than half-way through and several new people have attended the meetings. Most notable are the freshmen from the Kalayaan, Centennial, Kamia and Yakal dormitories.

“It’s life-changing for the new attendees,” Patrick Bardon from the Centennial dorm commented on the meetings. 

Gersheena Florendo, another freshman from Kalayaan, said of the discussion on the reliability of the Bible, “[DM] promotes looking at the Bible firstly as the Word of God but also proves that it is a document with scientific and historical bases.”

“The topics are interesting. It’s also interactive and I’m happy that everyone has the chance to express their views and even raise questions,” added Jeanette Purcia, also a freshman from Kalayaan.

Conceived in 2002, DM is the localized version of what was originally the Alpha Course from the United Kingdom. Ramon Rocha III, an elder of DCBC, was among the organizers of the first ever DM. He said the meetings, as we know them today, developed through the years to suit the needs of the university.

“It started with Pastor Minho So introducing the Alpha Course to DCBC. We launched it; used it for two years…then started to contextualize it. But Alpha UK said we couldn’t use the name Alpha if we changed the content. So after much praying and thinking, we named it Discovery Meetings,” he said.     

DM’s current coordinator, Armin Alforque, another elder of DCBC, was among the first ever attendees of the meetings nine years ago. He had complete attendance then and said the topics helped him in his personal quest for God.

“DM changed my life completely. It caused me to read the bible which in turn introduced me to Christ who then put me right with the Father,” said Alforque.

The Discovery Meetings run every Tuesday, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Church of the Risen Lord (CRL). This is in partnership with the State Varsity Christian Fellowship, UP Christian Youth Movement, CRL and DCBC. 
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