District of Marinduque conducts anniversary-related activities

By JEROME ADONIS P. COMAOAY

Date Posted: April 25, 2024

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Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) members in the Ecclesiastical District of Marinduque commemorated its 74th anniversary through a series of activities that included a special gathering, musical program, sports activity, and community outreach. “Led by Brother Bernardino Sabado, our district supervising minister, the brethren, spearheaded by their resident ministers and ministerial workers, as well as Church officers, worked hand-in-hand to make all of the anniversary-related activities a success, for the glory and honor of God,” said Brother Jeremy Aquino, the Christian Family Organizations (CFO) overseer of the district.

Special gathering
On April 14, 2024, brethren from various local congregations convened at selected houses of worship. In total, 20 houses of worship served as venues for the special gathering. Connected via videoconferencing to the house of worship of the Local Congregation of Boac, the host site, they were able to attend the momentous occasion officiated by Brother Sabado.

During the said occasion, attendees praised the Almighty God for His unceasing help to the said district which enabled it to reap success despite the trials and hindrances, especially during its pioneering years.

The district supervising minister expounded from the Bible that members of the Church, especially the officers, should neither tire nor cease in fulfilling their Church duties. He reminded them that God Himself promises His servants that He will guide and strengthen them as they fully believe in, trust in, and rely on what He can do for them.

A highlight of the gathering was the awarding of certificates of recognition signed by Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ, to brethren and Church officers who have been active in their duties for decades now.

“Before, there were still no concrete roads, and there were only limited means of transportation. So, ministers, and brethren had to walk long distances for us to reach the house of worship,” shared Sabino Pelobello Jr., award recipient, and deacon for 53 years, from the Local Congregation of San Antonio, describing the condition of the said district during its early years. “Despite this condition, we were never hindered in fulfilling our duty.”

Fausta Rodela, another recipient, a choir member for 67 uninterrupted years from San Antonio Congregation expressed that she is “joyful for God helps [her] to continue performing [her] duty, and witness the growth of the Church Of Christ” in their district.

Songs of Faith, Love, and Hope (SOFLAH)
A day after the special gathering, on April 15, brethren convened at the Torrijos Stadium in the municipality of Torrijos, Marinduque to witness the Songs of Faith, Love, and Hope district finals.

Finalists from the district’s six areas showcased their musical talents in the following categories: solo singing, Binhi/ Pagsamba Ng Kabataan (PNK) choir, and Buklod/KADIWA choir.

Emerging as champions were Deomedes Valete, from the Local Congregation of Sta. Cruz (solo singing); Mogpog area choir (Binhi/PNK choir) and; Boac area choir (Buklod/KADIWA choir). The INC original music that they presented were Salamat po Ama, Awit ng Anak sa Magulang, and Centennial Medley, respectively.

Unity Games
On April 16, 2024, brethren returned to the same stadium to witness the district’s Unity Games.

After the torch lighting ceremony, and parade of players, were the athletes’ taking of oath of sportsmanship and a cheerleading competition.

Then, players, donned in sports attire with colors representing their respective areas, competed in basketball, volleyball, softball, badminton, chess, darts, games of the generals, speed cubing, table tennis, and track events.

The awarding ceremony for the winners for each category was held the same day.

INC Giving: Clean up drive
On April 17, 2024, brethren held a clean-up drive as their part of the Church-wide INC Giving project. They tidied up the grounds and facilities of Torrijos Central School and of the sports venue.

Brethren’s fervor
Proving her unity with the Church in all works, including socio-civic activities, Jenelyn Regencia, choir member in the Local Congregation of Torrijos, stated, “Even if I have many other things to do for the day, I made sure that I never miss in taking part in activities launched by the Church Administration.”

“We witnessed how joyful the brethren in our district were in participating in the activities, and we are thankful because the efforts for these activities to be done were not put to waste,” expressed Amiel Shahril Salvador, district Buklod president.

Brother Sabado acknowledged that the activities “inspired the brethren to remain devoted in upholding their divine election.” He added that everything was made possible out of God’s help through the Church Administration. “It is the conviction of brethren in our district to continue in fulfilling their duties, and in keeping their spiritual fervor so that they remain certain of giving glory to God,” he stated.

Marinduque is “a heart-shaped island which lies between the Bondoc Peninsula at the south-eastern part of Luzon and the island of Mindoro” (marinduque.gov.ph) and is considered as the geographical center of the country, thus the nickname “the heart of the Philippines.”

The ecclesiastical district in Marinduque was established on April 1950, with Brother Pablo de Leon as its first supervising minister. Currently, the district is comprised of 24 local congregations, 3 extensions, and 7 group worship services (GWS). — With reports from Khristina Chasandra Seño and Ralp Vincent Reño