To give a warm reception to the many newly baptized members, candidates for baptism, doctrinal instructees, and guests from its various local congregations, the Ecclesiastical District of Metro Manila East hosted a “Welcome, My Brethren” activity at the Philippine Arena, in Ciudad de Victoria Complex, Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines, on February 12, 2023.
First off activities
As early as 9:00 a.m., the brethren and their guests started gathering at their respective local congregations. After a few reminders and a prayer, they were shuttled to the venue. A total of 33 interactive booths that the Christian Family Organizations (CFO) district officers, among other Church officers from all local congregations, mounted, welcomed the attendees. Some of these were Pop the Balloon, Speed Stacks, Shooting Gallery, Basketball Hoop, and Ring a Bottle.
Afterwards, the attendees started filling up the Philippine Arena. Upon reaching their designated seats, Brother Gerino Lalata, district supervising minister, led them in a prayer. Then, Brother Bienvenido C. Santiago, the Church’s General Evangelist, read the message from the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, which was the highlight of the activity.
Extending his greetings to everyone in attendance, the Executive Minister reminded them to be steadfast in the faith no matter what, that is, never letting go of their divine election until the end to receive God’s promised salvation.
“This day is a special holiday in our district to welcome our newly baptized members and those in the process of joining the Church through a grand “Welcome, My Brethren” activity. The most exciting part of this activity is the message of our beloved Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, to all the brethren in our district,” Brother Lalata said.
“The fact that this activity was held at the Philippine Arena is already worth noting. Thus, capturing memories through photographs and videos is a must,” enthused Brother Troice Cardenas, district multimedia adviser.
Jon Lucas and Arielle Roces, Filipino celebrities, hosted the ensuing program that showcased sing and dance performances of selected artists. Fellow celebrities who were also Church members, Tonipet Gaba and Victor Neri, shared their experiences that led them to join the Church. They then encouraged not only the guests to continue learning about the Church but also the newly baptized converts to remain steadfast in the faith.
Meanwhile, the INC Production Company artists performed INC original music, such as “Salamat, Ka Eduardo,” “Matagumpay na Namamahala sa Iglesia,” and “Ang Nasa Kahalalan Namumuhay sa Kabanalan,” among others.
Brother Richel Jhon Daniolco, the district CFO overseer, said, “We hope the brethren, especially the newly baptized, will remain actively involved in all the activities of the Church. Organizing an event at this huge venue is truly not an easy undertaking, but with God’s help, and the brethren’s cooperation, we managed to bring so many attendees in this huge dome arena that marked yet another historic activity for our district. Praises be unto God.”
Concluding the day’s events, Brother Ronald Capunitan, assistant district supervising minister, led the Church members in a prayer. — With reports from INC News Section