Amidst Covid-19 Threat: MCGI Goes Online for 1st Quarter Thanksgiving

Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon have been using streaming media for years in an effort to preach the Gospel overseas. The system is now being used more extensively to accommodate important Church events, such as the Quarterly Thanksgiving pictured above.

Members Church of God International (MCGI) celebrated its first quarter International Thanksgiving last April 3 to 5. Brethren around the globe convened through satellite and internet technology, and, at the confines of their homes, offered songs of praise, messages of thanksgiving, and prayers of hope for God’s continuous love and care for the Church. Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon opened each Thanksgiving day with words of love, inspiration, and newfound wisdom from the Bible.

God’s Love: From Eternity to Eternity

According to Bro. Eli, everything that God made was made out of love. “Great is God’s love and compassion for us,” he expressed.

The preacher explained that because of God’s faithfulness and great compassion, He awaits those who have sinned to turn back to Him and ask for forgiveness. This he supported with a verse from 1 Timothy 2:3-4 which tells that God wants all men to be saved.

Bro. Eli also pointed out that God’s love transcends from eternity to eternity. In an act of pure benevolence, He gave His only begotten Son to carry our burdens and cover our shortcomings.

For this, MCGI was encouraged to give thanks to God in every opportunity given. “We should exist to give our Creator His pleasure,” Bro. Eli said. “Let us allow God’s will, and follow what He wants us to do,” he added.

Hope in God’s Words

As the world continues to deal with the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel carry on the task of reaching out to offer words of encouragement through biblical wisdom.

Bro. Eli emphasized that “hope is in God who can turn these [unpleasant] events to our favor.” These, he noted, had been foreseen by the prophets in the Bible. But despite these happenings, God’s words offer solace and assurance that all things work together for the good of those who love God, as written in Romans 8:28.

“When God makes a promise, He keeps it. Although we are insignificant and worthless, our greatest treasure in life is if we need something, there is a God who listens to us,” Bro. Eli said.

God Prepared A Way

The spread of Covid-19 across the globe had not only affected the regular affairs or the ‘norm’ of the majority of the world’s population. It also made a substantial change in mobility across continents, forcing people to stay at home to avoid further transmission of the disease. This meant the closure of establishments, like factories, firms, schools, and even churches.

MCGI was not exempt. But prior to the containment measures imposed in many countries, Bro. Eli had already directed a massive clean-up and disinfection of all locales used for gatherings and other services. Members were taken their temperature before being admitted inside the locales and major coordinating centers. Those who were feverish and sick were sent home and were supplied with medical needs.

Before the quarantine began, members were asked to wear face masks while inside the locales. Rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizers were also provided, and seats were arranged one meter apart each so that members will be prevented from having close contact with each other.

The challenge came when, as the cases of Covid-19 infections sharply rose and the lockdown began, Bro. Eli had to order the temporary closure of all locales to keep the congregation safe from the possibility of getting sick. “It will grieve me if a brother or a sister will acquire the disease,” he said as he wiped tears while he spoke to the congregation via an exclusive broadcast.

But with God’s help, MCGI continues to congregate and engage in Bible lessons while observing home quarantine. How was it done?

Online Social Distancing: The New Norm

After many countries imposed lockdown, MCGI turned to online gatherings to attend and participate in religious services. The move gives a more pronounced definition to social distancing, a way to curb the Covid-19 contagion.

To give some background, MCGI had been doing Gospel propagation globally through its 24/7 streaming services since 1999. Bro. Daniel Razon, Bro. Eli’s assistant to the congregation, laid out the system using all accessible technologies and platforms that were available at that time.

With his vast knowledge and experience in mass communication coupled with a strong leaning for the latest in technology, Bro. Daniel was able to tap measures that widened the scope of MCGI’s broadcast reach. Since then, strings of Bible Expositions and Bible Studies were streamed via television and the internet throughout the continents, and more audiences from different countries were seeing Bro. Eli’s preaching for the first time.

After breaking into the global broadcast scene, Bro. Eli received numerous invitations to speak before crowds interested to learn more about the Bible, particularly in South America. But accommodating an outpour of people became a slight problem. There were simply not enough closed-door facilities that can house people flocking in. In most venues where Bible Expositions were held, people were literally jamming doorways, all seats were taken, and halls were filled to the brim.

Given the bulk of invitations Bro. Eli receives on a daily basis, most falling on the same dates and times but in different places, and venues getting overcrowded during Bible Expositions, a solution was set to ease the problem: video teleconferencing.

As soon as the online platforms were established, Bro. Eli and his technical team began an almost non-stop work of live streaming Bible Studies, Bible Expositions, and Mass Indoctrinations. Within a few months after video teleconferencing was used, the number of online participants increased. Thousands were attending without choking a single venue. They were either viewing in MCGI locales or watching in their homes.

This system was replicated in other countries where transport and location were a bit of a problem. Soon, there were more audiences coming in from Africa, Europe, Asia, and the Pacific, all connected in real-time via satellite and wired networks. From then on, more platforms had to be introduced, particularly for non-English speakers who would like to hear the preaching in their native language.

Bro. Daniel’s efforts of establishing online streaming modalities for preaching the Gospel found an extended use today, now that Covid-19 has brought along a host of problems, aside from claiming the lives of thousands and restricting the movement of people.

MCGI’s religious gatherings are done online. Members do not have to leave their houses to congregate. Through teleconferencing modes, members can access exclusive and secure connections to be able to participate in all the gatherings that used to be attended on a personal basis.

Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, who themselves are following strict quarantine protocols in their respective places, are able to reach homes and interact with more members. This system also invited more audiences outside MCGI to interact with Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel during Bible Studies, Bible Expositions, and nightly broadcasts on KDR TV.

All these measures, as Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel would often say, became possible because of God’s help and mercy.

A Million Reasons To Be Thankful: MCGI Celebrates First Quarter International Thanksgiving

The Members Church of God International (MCGI) will celebrate its first quarter Special Thanksgiving of God’s People on April 3 to 5 live via streaming and video conferencing platforms.

The Members Church of God International (MCGI) celebrates its first quarter International Thanksgiving on April 3 to 5 this year. Brethren from all parts of the world will take part in this special event through the aid of satellite and internet technology.

It is during this special occasion that brethren in the Church offer songs of praises, and thanksgiving to the Almighty God and prayers expressive of gratefulness for His graciousness and loving kindness.

Thankful for a Million Reasons

To comply with lockdown and quarantine procedures, MCGI held the weekly Thanksgiving of God’s People via streaming and video conferencing.

Members of the Church of God International from all over the world have more than a million reasons for being thankful to God.

Katleya Melejah Palmejar, from Torino, Italy, is very thankful to God for keeping the brethren safe from the health crisis that the whole world is suffering from.

Forcia Mendoza, from Milan, said she is giving thanks to God for keeping her whole family, as well as our Church Leaders, Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, safe.

Ann Carreon, from Paris, France, said she is grateful to God for the immeasurable love and protection that He has given the whole congregation amid the Covid-19 pandemic. She is also thankful to God because she will be celebrating her first sabbath anniversary in the Church of God International.

“I am most thankful to God because, despite my shortcomings, He has never forsaken me, He has kept me safe especially now when the world is troubled by this fatal coronavirus,” said Sean De Ocampo from Dublin, Ireland.

Gionna Privado, from London, England, said she is thankful to God for the wonderful topics being taught to the congregation during the weekly thanksgiving celebrations. “Those topics serve as reminders to all to be steadfast in our faith, to be prayerful, to be hopeful, to let love reign in our hearts always, and to always ask for God’s help and mercy,” she added.

Julia de la Rosa, from Geneva, Switzerland, said she will always be grateful to God for becoming a member of the Church of God. She is also thankful because, with God’s help and guidance, Brother Eli and Brother Daniel are able to teach the congregation regularly of God’s holy words. “And because of what they teach us, despite the many dangers in our time, peace and hope continue to dwell in our hearts,” Julia said.

Lorraine King, from San francisco, California, is giving thanks to God for the life He has given her, for His continuing guidance, and for her children who give her solace during difficult times.

“I am thankful to God for protecting us from Covid-19,” said Klarenz Shaughnessy of New York. “Although we are situated in different locations, we are one in spirit in giving thanks to the Almighty God for keeping us safe.”

Jeana Zacarias, from Saskatoon, and Elgin Pollarco, from Toronto, both in Canada, said they are thankful to God for keeping the congregation safe and for keeping hope alive in our hearts despite the tribulations brought about by calamities and plagues.

Mar Oliver Lazaga, from Metro Manila, Philippines, expresses his thankfulness to God for the six years that he has been in the Church, for His protection, and for helping him keep His commandments.

Sarah Jane Narido, from Masbate City, Bicol region and John Ray Pangilinan, from Mandani Bay, Cebu, are both thankful to God for keeping them and their respective families safe from the current deadly disease. They are also thankful that they are able to carry out their duties.

[More reasons for thanksgiving can be read in the official social media accounts of the Members Church of God International. Those can be accessed via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.]

Hope in Hopelessness

Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon host nightly discussions on social media delivering words of hope during these trying times.

MCGI is giving thanks to God for the continuous opportunity that He is giving the congregation to do good works, whatever the circumstances are.

On January 12, 2020, a few weeks after the Church celebrated its fourth quarter Special Thanksgiving, several municipalities in southern Luzon were put under a state of calamity due to the eruption of Taal Volcano. This incident devastated homes, properties, and livelihood of many people. To alleviate the sufferings of the residents, Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel spearheaded relief distribution and medical missions to badly affected communities. Some of the Church’s Coordinating Centers in the area also served as evacuation centers for those, whose houses were either situated in the danger zone, or were completely covered with volcanic ashes.

Shortly after, a new strain of coronavirus, currently known as Covid-19, which originated in China, started spreading across the globe, including the Philippines. To prevent the spread of the virus, many governments enforced certain measures like lockdowns and community quarantines, leaving the citizens without a choice but to stay home.

Aware of the impact of the crisis, Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon have taken the necessary measures to see to it that the brethren in the congregation are prepared and properly oriented of the consequences that the pandemic will bring.

The Overall Servants have also mobilized relief efforts to help indigent members and non-members of MCGI.

The Church has also given the frontline personnel and health service providers Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) so that they won’t get infected as they perform their duties.

Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel have also reached out to people through their nightly discussion on social media. Each time, they discuss topics that offer not only useful information but also inspiration and hope as they cite biblical verses which could uplift the spirits of their audience. Also they never fail to encourage people to be compassionate especially in these trying times.

After the three-day International Thanksgiving, MCGI will observe the Lord’s Supper, a yearly solemn event that takes place 13 days after Nisan 1 in the Hebrew calendar. This year, the equivalent of Nisan 13, 5780 in the present calendar is April 7. The celebration of the Lord’s Supper is in consonance with the day the Lord Jesus Christ observed the feast of the Passover, as recorded Matthew 26:1-57.

Aside from the congregation’s observance of the Lord’s Supper on April 7, on the same date, Bro. Eli is also celebrating his 56th year of service to God.

Amidst these trying times, it is only God’s love and mercy that we can count on. As what Bro. Eli told the congregation during a weekly thanksgiving, “In times of hopelessness, we have hope because we have God.” God is our only hope.

MCGI Concludes 2019 with Thanksgiving to God

The opening presentations of MCGI’s Teatro Kristiano and Music Ministry Choir are always a sight to behold with their colorful uniforms and bright energy.

The Members Church of God International (MCGI) will offer its fourth quarter Special Thanksgiving of God’s People on December 28 to 30, 2019, marking the close of 2019 for the congregation with God’s help.

As of this writing, brethren from around the globe are preparing to make their way to major coordinating centers to celebrate the occasion.

Here is a short look back to MCGI’s milestones, works, and reasons of thanksgiving for this year.

Feast Dedicated to God

With God’s help, the year 2019 saw many significant firsts for MCGI.

On February 16, during the weekly Thanksgiving of God’s People, MCGI Overall Servant Bro. Eli Soriano announced a feast dedicated solely to God. The festivity aimed to spread God’s love and kindness to all people, most especially the disabled and the impoverished.

“Ours is a biblical feast,” Bro. Eli explained. “We will do this because we want to obey the whole doctrine of Christ.”

The first Feast Dedicated to God was celebrated on February 24. Members welcomed guests in coordinating centers that were decorated with colorful flags and other festive motifs. Free sumptuous meals were served to both members and guests while live entertainment, games and a few bags of canned goods, clothes and toys to take home were provided.

This was followed by another feast held on November 24, coinciding with the celebration of Ang Dating Daan’s 39th anniversary in broadcasting the Gospel.

The Feast Dedicated to God (Fiesta ng Dios) celebration offered a sumptuous feast to all who attended, especially the less fortunate who were treated as esteemed guests.
The Feast Dedicated to God (Fiesta ng Dios) celebration offered a sumptuous feast to all who attended, especially the less fortunate who were treated as esteemed guests.

International Consultation

Prior to the first quarter International Thanksgiving last April, Bro. Eli mentioned that there should be a day devoted to brethren’s questions about faith.

The first International Caucus, held on March 30, focused on answering the congregation’s questions about topics that they have previously learned. The event also addressed whatever doubts or questions members had in order to prepare them for the upcoming Special Thanksgiving.

Gospel Propagation

MCGI’s Mass Indoctrination took on a new format in 2019, which included a portion wherein those undergoing indoctrination can ask Bro. Eli things about the Church, the Bible, and the Christian faith as a whole. Thousands received the holy baptism conducted in the baptistery, which resides inside the newly-constructed MCGI Multipurpose Hall.

Worldwide Bible Expositions and Worldwide Bible Studies also became frequent. Most were held in cities around the world using the language that guests are familiar with. These were streamed live on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and the hashtag #ThusTheBibleSpeaks became a trending topic worldwide.

The string of Bible Studies discussed topics like the Bible’s authenticity, its connection with science, and biblical evidence that bust myths and generally-held beliefs in the world.

Thanksgiving to God

The First Quarterly International Thanksgiving celebration was held last April 7-9 in Florianopolis, Brazil. MCGI thanksgiving delegates who came from around the world filled the thanksgiving site with songs and dances of praise. They also had the chance to greet Bro. Eli in person who celebrated his 55th year of service to God.

MCGI was presented with wisdom-filled topics throughout 2019. Every week, Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel shared new biblical wisdom to the delight of the congregation. Wave after wave of revelations from the Bible kept the members excited for each new topic the MCGI Overall Servants delivered every weekend.

Bible Expositions and Mass Indoctrination sessions are still regularly held in South America as MCGI’s propagation efforts in the continent intensify.
Bible Expositions and Mass Indoctrination sessions are still regularly held in South America as MCGI’s propagation efforts in the continent intensify.

A Year of Fruitful Works

With God’s help, the MCGI congregation participated in the round-the-clock public services spearheaded by Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel.

Feeding programs, blood donation drives, medical missions, charity home and elderly care visitations, free public transport rides, environmental awareness campaigns, were just some of the many activities that the congregation conducted throughout 2019.

As the fourth quarter comes to a close, the MCGI congregation offers thanksgiving to God for a year full of guidance and care for His people.

3rd Quarter Special Thanksgiving of God’s People Focused On Service, Life’s Real Purpose

The Music Ministry and the Teatro Kristiano open the three-day Special Thanksgiving of God’s People ceremony with an upbeat song of praise. The huge LED screen in the background complements the presentation with a rain of bright computer-generated light effects.

The Members Church of God International celebrated three days of thanksgiving to God, with delegates from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao congregating at the ADD Convention Center in Pampanga where much of the festivities were held.

From across the globe, brethren in Asia-Oceania, Africa, Middle East, Europe, North America, and Latin America joined in the celebration via live satellite feed in their respective locales.

Songs of praise and messages of thanksgiving were offered to God for the blessings and milestones of the Church in the past quarter. On the first day of the celebration, MCGI Overall Servant Bro. Eli Soriano opened the convention with a message of unity, love, and good works.

Man’s Purpose and Existence: Not an Accident but a Fulfillment of Prophecy

Bro. Eli Soriano starts off the second part of the topic with a bright smile and warm to the congregation.

According to Bro. Eli Soriano, there is a reason why man was created. “There is a purpose to our lives and we should not waste it,” he said.

He added that the things written in the Bible are part of the prophecy. When part of that happens in someone’s life, it is not an accident, but “a fulfillment of the prophecy written in the Bible”. Bro. Eli then cited Malachi 1:11 which refers to the fulfillment of what God had said about a people that will offer Him thanksgiving.

“God wants to tell us that our existence is not by accident. We are a part of the prophecy that tells us how important we are in the sight of the Lord,” Bro. Daniel added.

Looking after Each Other in Love

Thanksgiving delegates of Paynesville, Liberia wave and offer their warm smiles for a photo opportunity during a short break. As the Gospel continues to be broadcast in the African continent, more souls are converted to the faith. Though their country is reeling in poverty, the congregation in Liberia hosts charitable efforts to help their fellow Liberians.

Bro. Eli states that when brethren gather, it is “a meeting of the mind, body, and soul.” Coming together in thanksgiving gives the congregation the opportunity to katanoeo (Greek, meaning to observe fully, consider) and to do good to one another.

He explained the importance of maintaining close relationships among brethren, looking after one another and serving one another. “Every time we do good to our brethren, let us always think that we are doing it to Christ,” he remarked.

To emphasize the point, Hebrews 10:24-25 was read in several languages. “This is the duty of each one of us ⁠— to observe one another to provoke us unto love and good works.”

Here are some reactions of thanksgiving delegates about the topics for the third quarter thanksgiving:

“Let us look after one another with good works and love. In doing so, it is like we are doing it to Christ.” – Flor Almanzar, Calgary, Canada

“By simply greeting the brethren face-to-face and asking them how they are, it is a simple way to help them carry their burdens and put a smile on their face.” – Jkaela Maniago, New York, USA

“In our gatherings, let us ask the brethren how they are doing and take time to talk to them. If they have problems, let us take the opportunity to do good and help them carry their burdens.” – Noel Christian Farro, Hawaii, USA

“Looking after one another means being there for each other and always trying to find ways to help. Whether it’s a cup of coffee or simply lending an ear, it is helping the brethren in all possible ways as it says in the Bible ⁠— provoking one another unto love and to good works ⁠— for us to remain steadfast in faith.” – Jelica de la Rosa, Geneva, Switzerland

“One of the most delightful things to be grateful for is that we have a clear manifestation of abiding in love. We remain in God’s love because we keep and obey His commandments. We are taught to hold fast to them because of the very high regard we give to His words.” ⁠— Mary Karen Gargentiel, Vancouver, Canada

The next special quarterly thanksgiving of MCGI happens on the last week of December.

MCGI’s Special Thanksgiving of God’s People: Third Quarter Milestones and Expectations

Countries of the world were featured through their flags in this colorful opening number performed by the Music Ministry and Teatro Kristiano. The theme of the presentation resonates the mission of the MCGI to preach the Gospel unto the world.

The Members Church of God International (MCGI) is set to celebrate the third quarter Special Thanksgiving of God’s People on October 4 to 6, 2019.

The Special Thanksgiving of God’s People is a highly anticipated event for MCGI. Members travel great lengths and distances to join the special occasion alongside brethren from other places.

In the Philippines, members from different provinces are already preparing to flock to the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, the center of the Church’s special gathering. Those abroad, on the other hand, will be congregating in various MCGI coordinating centers across the globe.

The Ang Dating Daan Convention Center in Pampanga has always been filled with members coming from provinces in the Philippines, even those from abroad who, from time to time, come home to celebrate Thanksgiving in the country.

Thanksgiving Expectations

Jenicka Natividad, a member of the Youth Ministry, is excited to experience her second time attending the Special Thanksgiving of God’s People after her baptism last May 31 this year. She looks forward to listening to the topics that will be discussed by MCGI Overall Servants Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon.

“I will have new wisdom to learn,” she shares.

Before being baptized in MCGI, she expressed how she did not bother to attend her previous congregation’s gatherings. “Before when I had problems, a lot of things were running in my mind. I became depressed,” she related.

But after getting baptized in MCGI, she felt the desire to always attend Church gatherings where she finds comfort and relief in God’s words. “Now that I am a member of the Church of God, I have come to know that the Almighty Father is always there for me. He will not forsake me. Now, whenever I face challenges in life, my faith strengthens,” Jenicka said.

Sheila Cuencaho, a Church member since 2008, expects “new pearls of wisdom to be unraveled.” “The teachings in the Bible [that we learn in our gatherings] show how much God loves us, and these serve as our light and guide,” she quips.

Sheila, an overseas Filipino worker in Hong Kong, further anticipates the time to celebrate the Special Thanksgiving with other Church members there. “Usually, this is the only chance that we all get together for a long period of time because we are busy with work,” she adds.

She capped with the citation from Hebrews 10:24 (KJV), which says: And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.

Having moved to Australia to work, away from his home in the Philippines, Ronnie Calipez felt the love and concern of a family in a foreign land. “Bonding with brethren is a must if you are away from your home and your family,” he stated. “Here abroad, I witnessed the love of our Lord through our brothers and sisters who care for and tend to one another,” he added.

Meanwhile, Reines Reyes, another OFW who has been in Singapore since 2014, shared that apart from the topics to learn and the bonding time with the brethren to spend, she also looks forward to singing heartwarming songs of praise to God together with brethren from all around the world.

“It is such a humbling experience hearing new revelations from the Bible weekly and it just keeps us yearning for more,” she also said.

Third Quarter Highlights

The third quarter of 2019 saw various significant events accomplished by the Members Church of God International.

MCGI has witnessed and supported many propagation efforts. With God’s help, a dozen Bible Expositions were held from July 12 to September 27. These are apart from the Spanish and Portuguese Bible Studies and Expositions regularly hosted in South America.

Two live mass indoctrination sessions were also held. Religious inquirers around the world were invited to listen to a series of nightly gatherings wherein Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel discussed the doctrines of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Following these indoctrination sessions, two mass baptism events were administered. Over 4,000 souls were baptized and became bonafide members of the Church of God International.

In the last quarter, Assistant Overall Servant Bro. Daniel Razon also took the time to personally visit the brethren abroad. On August 16 to 18, a convention was held in Melbourne, Australia to gather members in Asia-Oceania. Aside from the weekly Thanksgiving event, other activities such as the Couples’ Night and Team Building Games were held.

“It’s nice to see Bro. Daniel in person. We really felt the love and the spirit [of God] in the convention. Thanks be to God,” Sis. Naomi San Jose, a native Australian shares.

Bro. Roel Gerona, an OFW in Australia, also expressed the overwhelming gratitude he felt during the event: “We are thankful to God for the opportunity to be with Bro. Daniel. It feels so good to be with one of the preachers sent by God. He was able to impart to us wisdom through the activities held during the convention. Thanks be to God!”

Part of his duty as Assistant Overall Servant of MCGI, Bro. Daniel Razon visits the brethren in the Church, travelling continents and across countries to visit them and check on their welfare. Conventions, such as the one pictured above, includes activities that aim to address members’ concerns and strengthen their faith.

Conventions were also held in Vigevano, Italy for the brethren in the Europe-Israel-Africa Division on September 14 to 16, and in Calgary, Alberta in Canada for the North America and Canada Convention on September 21 to 22

On one hand, MCGI’s charity efforts also continued during the third quarter of 2019. These include the regular blood donation drives conducted in the Philippines and abroad, specifically in New Zealand on July 11 and 16, and in Canada on July 20 and 27.

Donating blood is a staple activity in MCGI’s roster of charity programs. For its frequent participation in such events locally and abroad, MCGI received many recognitions and accolades from Red Cross chapters all over the world.

MCGI also supported the September 9 Kick-Off Event of the UNTV Cup Season 8 held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay. The basketball league aims to gather public servants from various sectors of the government to play for the benefit of charitable institutions in the Philippines.

Bro. Eli Soriano speaks before players and crowds gathered at the Mall of Asia Arena during the 8th Season opening of the UNTV Cup. For eight years straight, MCGI has been supporting the UNTV Cup without fail. The proceeds of the basketball games go to charity institutions selected by participating agencies.

Bro Eli Offers Thanksgiving For A Thousand New Members in the Church of God, Broadcasting Milestones

For the more than thousands newly-baptized during the first Mass Baptism of 2013, new broadcasting facilities, and more, Bro. Eli lead the brethren in offering the sacrifices of thanksgiving last January 26 this year.

Newly Baptized Members

Around 1,200 new members were added in the fold, mostly coming from so many different religions and nationalities. This was accounted to by Bro Eli as the primary reason of his thanksgiving offering that day. Hence, loud cheers and appreciation greeted the announcement of thanksgiving by the Presiding Minister to the Members Church of God International (MCGI).

A Mass Baptim in the Church of God is held twice a month, following after more or less two weeks of Mass Indoctrination. The latter is a series of Bible Study sessions of Christ’s complete doctrines that anyone who wishes to be a member of MCGI needs to undergo. Mass Indoctrinations are officiated in all Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) coordinating centers worldwide.

Some of the newly baptized Members of the Church of God from the Mass Baptism of January 2013 singing an offering to God at the ADD Convention Center stage.
Some of the newly baptized members from the Mass Baptism of January 2013 singing an offering to God at the ADD Convention Center stage.

The phenomenal growth of the membership in MCGI is hardly surprising. Every Mass Indoctrinations that are being opened, Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel Razon said that they are receiving reports of overwhelming response, especially abroad. Hence, new members in faith are added in more than a thousand every month.

As it is written in the Bible that the heavens rejoice for even a single soul that repents (Luke 15:7), it is but expected for members of the Church of God to be celebratory. In his thanksgiving offering for the baptism of a thousand from the Philippines and other parts of the globe created a grand celebration, Bro.Eli acknowledged God who made this all possible.

New Satellite for English Speaking Countries

Television remains the top reason cited by the newly-baptized for learning of the Truth that Bro. Eli is preaching. Hence, if not for the programs like “Itanong Mo Kay Soriano, Biblia ang Sasagot” (Ask Bro.Eli, the Bible will Answer) and “Ang Dating Daan” or The Old Path in the Philippines and English speaking countries, awareness about the existence of MCGI would not be possible.

With the addition of a new satellite dish that were installed, enabling the broadcast of MCGI programs geared for the English-speaking countries, the Church will be able to reach more people.

Bro Eli Soriano teaching Members of the Church of God a biblical topic via live video streaming during a Thanksgiving service in January 2013
Bro Eli Soriano teach the Members of the Church of God a biblical topic via live video streaming during a Thanksgiving service.

God’s Protection to His People

Bro.Eli also mentions another reason for his thanksgiving – protection. Four members of the International Evangelist’s household staff offered thanksgiving after encountering a road accident also in January that had their vehicle spinning and toppling over .

The household members recounted how scary the situation was at the time. Miraculously, the driver and passengers survived the accident left with only few bruises and scratches. Surprised yet thankful that they did not suffer any major injuries, they realized right then and there that God protected and saved them from harm.

In everything, the congregants of the Church are taught to be thankful. And Bro. Eli’s thanksgiving was a soaring example why in every achievement and progress made, there’s a loving God behind.

(Words by Apple Arco)

(Photography by Rovic Balunsay)

Members of the Church of God’s Many Reasons to Give Thanks

Members of the Church of God offering Thanksgiving on the ADD Convention Center stage.

“I am offering thanksgiving to God for His unspeakable gift and for blessings that my family received.”

“I am thankful to God for giving me my duties inside the Church.”

“Thank God for always safeguarding me and my loved ones, especially our preachers.”

“I’m thanking God because recently, I got retrenched from work.”

“For my twentieth year inside His fold, I am offering my thanksgiving today! Thanks be to God!”

These are just few example reasons that congregants of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) have when offering their thanksgiving to God. In the true congregation of God, members have been taught the virtue of being thankful for whatever blessings and experiences that come in the way of their lives.

MCGI holds a regular Thanksgiving service every Saturday at around 5 p.m. Since the main headquarter is in the Philippines, majority of the members attend the service at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga. Some major convention and coordinating centers are also open to accommodate brethren and guests.

On a quarterly basis, the whole congregation assembles for the three-day Pasalamat ng Katawan or Thanksgiving of the Body.

Starting with the congregational singing, which is led by the MCGI Music Ministry, members join in the singing of Church hymns. Along with this part, groups and celebrants offer their Thanksgiving songs on stage.

From individuals who experienced God’s saving grace to committees, groups and locales celebrating their anniversary, celebrants first proclaim their reasons before the congregation through pre-recorded videos flashed on big screens. This is followed by the presentation of the newly-baptized and their thanksgiving presentation before the opening prayer.

The sermon immediately follows the opening prayer where Bro. Daniel Razon delivers the first half of the topic based on the outline prepared by Bro. Eli Soriano. The Vice-Presiding Minister also gives a few inspirational remarks as well as updates of Church happenings and projects before delivering the topic.

After Bro. Daniel delivers the first half of the topic, there is an alloted hour for members to take a break but also the period for members to personally consult their problems to Bro. Eli and Bro Daniel. After the break and consultation session, Bro. Eli finishes the rest of the topic for the day.

However, whatever the occasion, whatever the reason may be of Church members in their thanksgiving to God, this blog aspires to give a glimpse of the weekly offering of faith and praise to God that MCGI offers weekly.

Anecdotes and tales of how offering of thanks positively affect the lives of the Members Church of God International will be featured as well.

Written by: Apple Arco