United Methodist Communications has put out a series of five short (1-2 min.) video interviews with Bishop Ciriaco Q. Francisco of the Manila Episcopal Area. These videos are part of a series related to the Way Forward, which also includes videos by central conference bishops John Yambasu of Sierra Leone and Christian Alsted of the Nordic-Baltic Episcopal Area.
A couple of things are notable about Bishop Francisco's comments. First, like many others, he stresses the importance of focusing on mission instead of debates over sexuality. Second, several of his comments deal with the relationship between the UMC in the Philippines and the UMC in the United States or as a global body. Francisco stresses the importance of a Book of Discipline that could be adapted by Filipinos to suit their context and throughout refers to the debate over sexuality as an American issue that has relevance for the Philippines only because of their connection to the American church. His comments are further evidence that for many in the Philippines (and elsewhere), the Way Forward is less about sexuality and more about how American and non-American United Methodists will relate to one another.
The videos are as follows:
Filipino United Methodists greet GC2019 with anxiety
Philippine Bishop: One Church Plan passage won't affect us
Bishop describes his work on a global Book of Discipline
Philippine Bishop: "Let's listen to God's leading"
Philippine Bishop urges focus on mission, not divisive issues