Merry shouts, loud praises, and lively dances dominated the final leg of the 4th quarter International Thanksgiving this December of the current year. The festive merrymaking concluded the three-day spiritual celebration by congregants of the Members Church of God International which started on December 24.
Members in the 46 countries poured out their joy as songs of praise to God came in an almost endless fashion, with each region’s year-end video documentary played one after the other.
As the ceremonies came to a close and egress in the ADD Convention Center in Pampanga was slow because of the bulk of people moving, the night became filled with the glorious songs of members who rendered them in high spirits.
Prior to the close, Bro. Soriano led the Congregation in offering two songs of praise and thanksgiving. The songs reflect a deep longing for God’s affection and mercy and at the same time show profound and unspeakable feelings of gratitude towards the Creator.
As the enthusiasm of the congregants perked high, they extended the merry-making or literally “jamming session” up to the wee hours of night, Philippine local time.
Abroad, the same scenario was seen, and time and seasonal differences seemed of miniscule importance. The sun was already up in the Western Hemisphere but the MCGI congregants continued their “electric song retreat.”
The “jamming session” as it has been called by the congregants had been a trademark of MCGI thanksgiving closings. Unlike other jamming sessions practiced worldwide, MCGI “jam” is all good, clean fun. No incident of raucous crowd bursts or tensions have been reported yet in all the years the Church has been celebrating their International Thanksgivings.
Members overseas were in the same festive mood during the finale. Smiling faces and greetings flooded the live stream, especially when the technicians flashed webcam frames on the huge LED monitor mounted on the Convention Center’s grand stage. In turn, the Philippine congregation exchanged ‘hand waves’ and hellos to all brethren who were monitoring.
The dates of the first quarter International Thanksgiving for 2011 are still to be announced by Bro. Eli Soriano. The celebration is anticipated to be either on March or April next year.
(Written by: Cecile Vizcaya)