Two venues, one musical event. That was one way, among others, the brethren from New Zealand, a country composed of two main islands, celebrated the 107th year of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ).
The event took place on July 25, 2021, two days prior to the actual anniversary date, after the government implemented Alert Level 1, allowing public gatherings and travels between cities.
The brethren residing in the North Island gathered at the Pukekohe War Memorial Town Hall in Auckland, while those from the South Island at Merehau Hall in Christchurch—the two venues were connected through videoconferencing.
The whole activity was spearheaded by the Christian Family Organizations (CFO) officers, with the guidance of the district supervising minister, Brother Dennis Dahunan, together with the assistant district supervising minister, Brother Nolly Esperanza, and the district CFO overseer, Brother Edgar Hernandez.
Showcasing God’s love and deliverance, the brethren highlighted in their musical performances the historical and successful journey of the Church since its humble beginning up to its current global stature.
“From one man to a nation. The Church Of Christ grew and continues to grow in ways that are not just visible in the eyes of its members. The Church isn’t how it is today because it went through [an] easy path, for there wouldn’t really be success without tests and trials. The difficulties and trials it went through only made it stronger, and proved even more how true our Lord God is to His promises,” Brother Dahunan said.
He further said: “The Church Of Christ is the epitome of God’s lovingkindness, for every triumph, and the parade of victories reaped by the Church for the 107 years now was made possible by Him. A strong manifestation that He has been with this Church and the Administration from its humble beginning up to the present administration of Brother Eduardo V. Manalo.”
Besides enjoying the musical renditions of inspiring Christian songs, the brethren were also reminded of the value of their calling in the true Church. With the joy of seeing the brethren unite in-person once again, even doctrinal instructees and candidates for baptism participated. Thomas Keating, a candidate for baptism, said: “I tried my best to remember the words, and the lyrics … I felt very nervous but very happy, too, being part of this activity of the Church. It means a lot to me.”
Through the musical performances, brethren from New Zealand expressed reaffirmation of unwavering faith in God and obedience to all of His commands, one of which is complete unity with the Church Administration.
“The Church keeps going forward. We manage to continue our worship services despite the pandemic. In these dark times of the world, the members of the Church shine. We continue to invite many people. As a result, many baptisms are taking place in different parts of the world,” said Brother Nolly Esperanza. “As we commemorate … once again we reaffirm our loyalty to the Church Administration, faithfulness to our Almighty God, and whatever happens, we will remain true to our calling and election until the day of our salvation.”
Before parting their ways, the brethren warmly greeted all the brethren all over the world through a video greeting. On behalf of the district, Brother Dahunan added, “And with that, we always return all the praises and honor to our Almighty God. To our beloved Executive Minister: Happy 107th anniversary. We love you so much.” — With reports from INC News Section