Members Church of God International (MCGI) celebrated its International Thanksgiving to God for the second quarter with songs of gratitude, revisiting of Church history, and the teaching by Church Leaders of new biblical topics.
More than 150 points around the globe joined the three-day festivity connected by internet and satellite media that began on July 5 until 7 this year. For three days, the program started at 6 a.m. (Manila time).
A main feature of this quarter’s thanksgiving was the testimonies shared by the elders, Church Ministers and the MCGI Leaders about the history of the Church in the Philippines, an Eastern country, until it reached the Western countries.
The narratives of the oral history echoed the beginnings of the group, leadership of the late Bro. Nicolas Perez, persecutions and hardships, launching of religious programs on media, stewardship of Bro. Eli Soriano, and the propagation of the Gospel in the West.
Bro. Eli explained before the congregation the importance of knowing how and when the story of their faith began. The Presiding Minister to MCGI believes revisiting the early beginnings of the Church can inspire the members to appreciate more what they have learned and strengthen their trust in the teachings of the MCGI Leaders.
Bro. Eli’s discussion of new biblical topics to the congregation was the most anticipated in the three-day gathering. One intriguing topic resolved the question why the Lord Jesus Christ had to teach His disciples how to pray. Bro. Eli added that there is a deeper reason for Jesus Christ to be introducing the prayer to His followers, hence the topic.
When it was time for the consultation segment, Church members, even visitors, were given a chance to ask Bro. Eli for solutions to their problems of faith and queries in understanding difficult verses in the Bible.
Charitable acts are also part of thanksgiving services. Aside from the free food and medical services rendered to the indigents, Bro. Eli granted gifts to the widows in the Church this quarter. Some of these widows are currently residents of the charity house inside the ADD Convention Center in Pampanga, Philippines.
A quarterly observance, an International Thanksgiving has members across the globe present thanksgiving song numbers per region and then the whole congregation. This Church service is patterned after the same practice of the Israelites and the early Christians; and reminiscent of the commandment in Colossians 3:15 to be always thankful.
The next international thanksgiving is set on September 27 to 29.
(Written by Cecile Vizcaya)
(Photo by Cynthia Brul)