Two weeks after the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) 106th anniversary, members from the Local Congregation of Davao City, Ecclesiastical District of Davao West had yet another reason to rejoice. Their newly renovated house of worship was dedicated on August 8, 2020, with no less than the Executive Minister presiding over the special occasion.
Brother Eduardo V. Manalo officiated the worship service from the Sanctuary of Templo Central in Quezon City, witnessed in real-time through videoconferencing technology by the brethren gathered in the beautifully refurbished house of worship and in 661 other remote sites. Health and safety protocols were strictly observed in all venues.
Joyful over the blessing bestowed on their congregation, Annie Apolonio, chorister in Davao City Congregation, enthused, “I am truly thankful to our Almighty God for giving us a huge and magnificent house of worship.” The 1,616-seater house of worship stands along General Malvar St., Poblacion, Davao City. The renovation began in December 2017.
Armando Sulapas, officer in the finance department, said he was in awe as he set foot for the first time in the house of worship since mid-August 2019 when their congregation moved to a temporary chapel. “I was blown away by the intricate designs and breathtaking lighting set-up. You really can’t help but be amazed,” he exclaimed.
A deaconess, Edith Arellano, articulated why the house of worship is important to the lives of Iglesia Ni Cristo members: “This is where we worship [God]; and when we have problems, this is where we can always pray.” Davao City has moved forward to Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) under which religious gatherings are limited to 50% of the house of worship’s capacity.
“In the worship service, I was reminded how blessed we are as members of the Church Of Christ. I will never stop in my worship of God and will not look at trials—such as the Covid-19 pandemic—in a negative light. Instead, I will call on God always, especially in the house of worship, like the one our congregation has been blessed with,” Jasmine Bersabe, a choir member said.
The newly-renovated house of worship of the Local Congregation of Davao City is just one among several houses of worship dedicated to God while the country fights off the Covid-19 pandemic. The efforts of Brother Eduardo Manalo in leading the Church build more houses of worship even during such challenging times are reminiscent of the efforts of Brother Felix Y. Manalo, God’s Messenger in these last days, who led the pioneer brethren in constructing houses of worship at the height of the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. — With reports from Executive News and INC News Section