The Iglesia Ni Cristo in 2019: Faith in action (The Year in Review)


THE YEAR 2019 saw the onslaught of various calamities like deadly earthquakes, storms, floods, bush fires among others, that brought devastation to many countries. Man-made troubles such as crimes, pollution, and disease epidemics terribly affected the society and the environment. Against this heart-breaking backdrop and reality, members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) persevered in their services to God and reaped victories in varied Church activities.

Many factors contributed to this year’s success for the entirety of the Church. Among them were the unity of the brethren, the intensified efforts exerted and exemplified by the Church officers, and the constant love and guidance of the Church Administration. But, above us all, the faithful firmly believe, it has always been the Almighty God Who continuously blesses and helps His nation, wherever its members are in the world and whatever situation they are in.

Thus, looking forward to a new year, it is worth remembering the events that shaped the outgoing year into a memorable one for the Church Of Christ. One of them was the 10th anniversary of the leadership of the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo. The following are some of the Church events and activities that brethren all over the world eagerly participated in and faithfully put into action.

Executive Minister’s pastoral visits around the globe
With utmost concern to the welfare of the brethren, Brother Eduardo Manalo travels around the world to personally know their spiritual condition and provide the nourishment of their souls by preaching God’s words.

Some of them were countries in Asia where the Church has its local congregations such as Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. In January, he conducted a series of pastoral visitations in Bangkok, Macau, and Hong Kong to bring inspiration to the Church members, as well as to their guests. Afterwards, an Aid For Humanity program was conducted catering to the needs of Overseas Filipino Workers.

Commemorating the 89th anniversary of Nueva Ecija Ecclesiastical District, the Executive Minister led the brethren in their worship service to God in Cabanatuan City Local Congregation’s house of worship on February 9.
The Executive Minister led the holy supper at the Local Congregation of Pandacan, Ecclesiastical District of Manila on Ferbruary 23.
The first ordination of ministers and bishops in 2019 was held at the Local Congregation of Guadalupe, Ecclesiastical District of Metro Manila South on March 30 led by the Executive Minister.
On February 16, Brother Eduardo Manalo conducted a pastoral visitation at the Local Congregation of Capitol, Ecclesiastical District of Quezon City. It coincided with the 80th anniversary of Pasugo: God’s Message magazine, 50th of Christian Era Broadcasting Service International, Incorporated (CEBSI), and 30th of Society of Communicators and Networkers International (SCAN).
The Executive Minister ordained 20 additional ministers during his pastoral visit to Mataas na Kahoy Local Congregation, Batangas North Ecclesiastical District on April 26.
Brother Eduardo Manalo led the special worship service for ministers, ministerial workers together with their respective wives, at the Local Congregation of Ciudad de Victoria in Bocaue, Bulacan on May 17. This was streamed live to all ecclesiastical districts throughout the world.
On the 105th anniversary thanksgiving of the Iglesia Ni Cristo and its the 25th year in Rome, the Executive Minister led the brethren from the Local Congregation of Rome, Italy, Ecclesiastical District of Southern Europe on July 27. He ordained 25 new ministers.
Here, 2,125 new graduates from the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) School For Ministers took oath as regular ministerial workers at the Central Temple, one of the remote sites that witnessed the preaching of the Executive Minister in Rome, Italy, on July 27.
On September 21, the Executive Minister ordained 34 new ministers in the Church during his pastoral visit to the Local Congregation of North Diversion, Ecclesiastical District of Metro Manila North.
More ministers were added to the Church as the Executive Minister conducted an ordination in Baguio City, Benguet on December 20.

Promoting Christian family ties
The Christian Family Organizations (CFO) of the Church Of Christ conducted more activities approved by the Church Administration this year. Activities such as family fun day, fun cycling, physical exercise, cooking challenges, and INC Unity Games took the families outdoors for bonding and fun. Events such as Buklod Night, International KADIWA Conference, and CFO Formal brought the organization members closer together.

Families played golf in Southeast California District on April 21 at Eastlake Country Club, San Diego, California
CWS members showcased cooking skills at Calle Dante Alighiere 18 in Horta, Barcelona, Spain on April 28.
On May 5 to 13, KADIWA members from the five ecclesiastical districts in California (Los Angeles County, Northeast California, Northwest California, Orange County, and Southeast California), traveled to the Philippines to attend the International KADIWA Conference.
On June 2, the Grand Finals of the Songs of Faith, Love, and Hope (PNK Edition) was held in the Tabernacle, inside the Central Complex.
On May 20, Antique brethren gathered at Binirayan Sports Complex in San Jose De Buenavista, Antique for the INC Unity Games.
KADIWA and Binhi members from Hsinchu Area conducted Fun Run on June 16 at a circuit of Lakeshore Park, Hsinchu City.
The ‘Ang Sugo’ stage play (in Italian) debuted in Rome, Italy held at the compound of their Local Congregation’s house of worship on July 27.
CWS winners in the United Kingdom INC Unity Games on August 26 at the Guildford Spectrum Leisure Complex in Parkway, Guildford, UK.
Macau brethren delighted in fun-cycling on September 14 at Zona de Lazer da Marginal da Taipa.
Players greeted each other before a match in the Southern Africa INC Unity Games on September 24 at the Manyatseng Sports Stadium, Ladybrand, South Africa.
Bohol youth members after a physical fitness activity on September 28 at Carlos P. Garcia Sports Complex Grandstand, Tagbilaran City, Bohol.
Buklod members in Davao bonded in a bowling activity on October 19 at SM Lanang Bowling Center, Agdao, Davao City, Philippines
Binhi members mingled in the Binhi Friendship Day on October 19 at the Bulacan Capitol Gymnasium, Malolos, Bulacan, Philippines
On December 8, the grand finals of the Songs of Faith, Love, and Hope (Christian Family Edition) was held at the Tabernacle, INC Central Office Complex

Intensive propagation of God’s words
Members of the Iglesia Ni Cristo participated in various evangelical missions held in districts, municipalities, and even down to the villages (barangays), to share the true faith to their fellowmen.

The Church’s houses of worship, public coliseums, gymnasiums, covered courts and other massive venues were used for these missionary gatherings.

In this year, the official magazine of the Church, Pasugo: God’s Message, has officially launched its website——an additional tool in propagating God’s words.

As a result, tens of thousands of people joined the Church and received the holy baptism held by all ecclesiastical districts around the world.

On April 14, brethren from Manila District together with their guests, filled the Philippine Arena at Ciudad de Victoria, Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines in an evangelical mission.
Brethren from King William’s Town, Ecclesiastical District of Southern Africa held an evangelical mission at Kwazulu-Natal region on April 28.
Brethren from Puerto Princesa, Palawan North conducted evangelical mission at Mendoza Park, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, Philippines on June 12.
Invited guests gathered at Gamay covered court, Northern Samar on June 21 in an evangelical mission.
The Ecclesiastical District of Los Angeles County united in the intensive propagation of God’s words as an evangelical mission was held at the house of worship of Oxnard, California Local Congregation on July 14.
Baptismal candidates from Rome, Roma Nord, Roma Sud, and Roma Est Congregations received their holy baptism on July 16 at the Local Congregation of Rome, Italy.
Australia West Ecclesiastical District conducted an evangelical mission at the Midland Town Hall on July 21.
The Ecclesiastical District of Davao del Sur conducted an evangelical mission on July 30 at Davao del Sur coliseum, Digos City.
Spearheaded by the Christian Employees Association (CEA) members from Manila Ecclesiastical District, employees of various government agencies in Manila such as Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Ports Authority, and Bureau of Customs listened to God’s words at the Philippine Coast Guard Gymnasium, Manila on August 28.
Thousands of people were added into the Church as they were baptized at the Philippine Arena (see photo below) on September 7. Hence, the Church broke a Guinness World Record for ‘The Most People Baptized.’
Brethren from Spruce Meadows and Heritage Park Congregations, Calgary Ecclesiastical District held an evangelical mission on September 15.
Brethren from the Ecclesiastical District of New Zealand, together with their guests, gathered at Linden Social Centre, Tawa, Wellington, New Zealand on September 28 to attend a musical evangelical mission.
Brethren from Hong Kong Ecclesiastical District, together with their guests, gathered at Kowloon Bay International Trade and Exhibition Centre for an evangelical mission on October 27.

Houses of worship dedicated to God
To provide the needs of the ever-growing number of God’s servants in these last days, new houses of worship were dedicated to God. Some of which are:

Tukuran Congregation house of worship in Zamboanga del Sur dedicated to God on April 19
The house of worship of North Shields Congregation in United Kingdom dedicated on June 30
Rotterdam Congregation house of worship in the Netherlands dedicated to God on July 7
The house of worship of Val-d’Oise Local Congregation in France dedicated on July 14
Kapanickian Extension in Cagayan, Philippines, one of hundreds of barangay chapels for nearer places of worship, inaugurated on October 11
Port Moresby house of worship in Papua New Guinea dedicated to God on October 19
The Bubucal Local Congregation house of worship dedicated to God on December 13.

Active participation in socio-civic activities
Out of love and compassion, Church members extended a helping hand to those in need. Through the guidance of the Church Administration, they went to various places to reach out to the community through various clean-up drives, tree planting activities, blood donation drives and many more.

The CFO of the Local Congregation of Perth in the Ecclesiastical District of Australia West plants 800 tree seedlings at Melalueca Swamp, Murdoch University on October 13.
Brethren throughout the Ecclesiastical District of Thailand cleaned the coastal areas and shores of Pattaya and Phuket
On September 24, Canadian Blood Services (CBS) recognized the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) as one of their largest group donation partners during their National Honouring Canada’s Lifeline 2019.
Appreciative of the humanitarian assistance of the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) to the residents of the city of Globe, Arizona through the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation, Mayor Al Gameros declared August 20 as the day of FYM Foundation in Globe, Arizona.

Reaching out to the community
The Aid For Humanity (Lingap sa Mamamayan) program, under the auspices of the Felix Y. Manalo (FYM) Foundation, Inc., provided immediate aid for people who suffered from calamities and disasters. The project also extended help to orphanages, home for the aged, and other charitable institutions.

Local organizations from Oakland received $10,000 donation from FYM Foundation, Inc.
Hundreds of care packages were given at Montgomery-Waller Community Park, San Diego on August 20
Residents from Magsaysay, Kinuskusan, and Bansalan, Davao del Sur, Philippines received goodwill bags on November 2 and 3 due to consecutive earthquakes in the province
Part of a worldwide Aid to humanity endeavor on October 30 and 31, goodwill packages were distributed to residents in Macau.
Communities in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Montreal, Quebec; Toronto, Ontario; Edmonton, Alberta; and Vancouver, British Columbia were provided with care packages and donations ranging from $1000-2000 were made to charity institutions.

Church activities for edification push through
To intensify the Iglesia Ni Cristo’s activities for edification, district-wide special gatherings are held for the Church officers for them to better perform their sacred duties. In those worship gatherings where they are taught God’s words, the Church officers affirm their resolve to remain one with the Church Administration in caring for the Church, all for God’s glory.

Church officers gathered at the Philippine Arena on April 9 to attend a special worship led by the Executive Minister. His preaching of God’s words was witnessed around the world through live video streaming.
A district-wide gathering of secretaries from the Ecclesiastical District of Southern Europe was held at the house of worship of the Local Congregation of Rome on March 15.
Church officers from the Ecclesiastical District of Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines convened at the house of worship of the Local Congregation of Bacolod City on May 19 to hear God’s counsel.
On July 21, choir members from the Ecclesiastical District of Macau were reminded the importance of singing praises to the Lord God, in line with celebrating the Church’s 105th anniversary.

Edifices inaugurated for the Church’s growing needs
As a testament of God’s love for the Church and the dynamic leadership of Brother Eduardo Manalo, the Church Of Christ completed more infrastructure projects this year to cater to the multifarious needs of the ever growing flock.

The new Iglesia Ni Cristo Museum (photo below) was inaugurated by the Executive Minister on August 26.
The Executive Minister led the inauguration of the Iglesia Ni Cristo Library (photo below) on May 9, a day before the 133rd birth anniversary of Brother Felix Y. Manalo.
The New Era University-School of Management (SOM), the new home of three of the largest colleges of the University (photo below) was inaugurated by Brother Eduardo Manalo on August 8.

Dignitaries paying courtesy calls on Executive Minister
Some dignitaries from other countries have paid courtesy calls on Brother Eduardo V. Manalo in Quezon City, Philippines. They have expressed their interest to forge stronger ties between their country and the Church. Some of them were:

Panama’s ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Rolando Guevara y Alvarado paid his second courtesy call to the Executive Minister on October 16.
Her Excellency Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Republic of the Philippines Adekunbi Abibat Sonaike-Ayodeji visited for a courtesy call on INC Executive Minister Brother Eduardo V. Manalo on August 9.
Ambassador of Spain to the Philippines, H. E. Jorge Moragas Sanchez during his courtesy call on October 9 at the INC Museum in Quezon City.