MCGI Thanks God Continuously: Another Thanksgiving of God’s People After 3-day Celebration

“While we are alive, let us thank God for the opportunity [we have] that we can thank Him.”

This was the powerful highlight of one of the many biblical topics served by Bro. Eli Soriano, Overall Servant to the Members Church of God International (MCGI), during the second quarterly Thanksgiving of God’s People held last July 29, 30 and 31 this year.

Starting off the Thanksgiving ceremony is a lively opening song and dance number performed by the Church's Music Ministry, Teatro Kristiano and Orchestra.
Starting off the Thanksgiving ceremony is a lively opening song and dance number performed by the Church’s Music Ministry, Teatro Kristiano and Orchestra.

Following the biblical directive written on 2 Corinthians 4:15, the congregation followed up the three-day spiritual event with another Thanksgiving of God’s people on August 6, 2016.

“In thanksgiving, we realize that we thank God because we are here alive, with strength and clear minds, and with the opportunity He gave us to thank Him,” said Bro. Soriano on the second day of the three-day event.

Bro. Eli emphasized the fact that the opportunity to be able to offer thanksgiving in itself is already a reason to be grateful to God. “Thanks be to God that I am able to attend this Thanksgiving event!,” exclaimed the international evangelist.

The three-day Thanksgiving of God’s People is a celebration of gratitude for the abundance of biblical learnings and for God’s guidance manifested in each fruitful charity event and successful propagation effort for the past three months.

A Glimpse of A Fruitful Quarter

With the unwavering support of brethren through God’s help and mercy, this quarter saw the founding of new relay stations in key points across the globe. The successful launching of Ang Dating Daan’s Worldwide Bible Exposition on Facebook Live and Youtube last June, reaching thousands in different parts of the world, also marked a milestone in the Church’s goal to further propagate God’s word.

This past quarter also saw the continuing public service efforts conducted by the Church. Mass blood drives and medical missions held in partnership with UNTV and various LGUs were steadily held across the country. Prior to the start of the school year, MCGI youth members conducted sports activities and participated in the DepEd’s “Brigada Eskwela” project.

“I am very thankful for I had the chance to be [a] part of the public service efforts done by the Church,” remarked Sis. Kathleen Manalo from the Locale of Rosario, Pasig. “Not everyone is given the opportunity to do good, and I thank the Lord that I have that opportunity, and the opportunity to thank Him now during the Thanksgiving of His People.”

Thanksgiving of God’s People for 3 Days

The three-day TGP drew in thousands of thankful congregants from various parts of the world.

The Music Ministry and Teatro Kristiano members from the locale of Singapore lead the brethren in offering hymns of praises to God during the first day of the International Thanksgiving of God's People.
The Music Ministry and Teatro Kristiano members from the locale of Singapore lead the brethren in offering hymns of praises to God during the first day of the International Thanksgiving of God’s People.

In the Philippines alone, more than 1,360 satellite centers served as remote points for the occasion, while brethren from other parts of the world, including members who are natives of Central and South America, participated in the celebration via satellite and internet connectivity.

“Thanksgiving is the opportunity I have to acknowledge God’s mercy, that He led me in the late part of my life to the Church of God. Thanks be to God for a deeper understanding of life, as it should be,” exclaimed Bro. Heiner Riechers from Canada in one of the many thanksgiving testimonies of brethren posted on the Church’s official social media platforms.

The heartfelt gratitude was a shared sentiment by all. From different corners of the globe, TGP greetings made rounds on social media. And all the Church’s official thanksgiving hashtags for the event, namely #BlessedNationMCGI, #NationOfGodMCGI, and #RejoiceNationOfGod consistently reached top spots in the Philippines’ trend lists.

3 Days Not Enough

Melbourne, Australia -- Bro. Daniel Razon, Assistant Overall Servant to MCGI, deliver the biblical topic for the Australian-hosted 1-Day Thanksgiving Celebration last Aug. 06, 2016.
Melbourne, Australia — Bro. Daniel Razon, Assistant Overall Servant to MCGI, deliver the biblical topic for the Australian-hosted 1-Day Thanksgiving Celebration last Aug. 06, 2016.

Just one week after the celebration of the three-day Thanksgiving of God’s People, this was followed by another thanksgiving celebration. Incidentally Bro. Daniel was in Melbourne, Australia to visit the brethren and check on their welfare.

Speaking before the brethren gathered at the Function Centre of Melbourne Olympic Park, Bro. Daniel reiterated about the benefits of following God’s commandments in the Bible. He read Romans 8:28, which reads, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

“God can always shape things for your betterment, for your own good,” said Bro. Daniel.

After the first part of the topic, regular consultation with Bro. Eli took place. During the consultation period, congregants and visitors personally sought for Bro. Eli’s advice on their various problems.

The succeeding part of the topic was delivered by Bro. Eli and more biblical truths unfolded before the congregation. “Love and life is not a gamble. You can live a life of certainty, serenity and peace — without too much problems [and] that is through God’s words,” Bro. Eli said.

With the reassurance of God’s loving kindness and protection to those who serve Him, the celebration ended with an undeniable air of hope.

Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel do their best to see that the brethren are edified in faith and their service to God Almighty. Brethren observed that their compassion to brethren wherever they are are similar to how the Apostle Paul and Timothy cared for the brethren in faraway places during their time.

Delegates’ Worthy Trip to Melbourne

Church members and guests traveled from different parts of the world such as UAE, East Timor, New Zealand, Taiwan, Singapore, Papua New Guinea and even the USA, to partake in this event.

“We wanted to see Kuya Daniel in person and meet the brethren here in Australia, too. Even if it’s a 14-hour flight from UAE, it’s all worth it. I’m thankful to God for the smooth travels; we experienced no hassles,” said Sis. Fatima Eugenio from UAE.
[In photo: Sis. Fatima Eugenio and Sis. Jaika Eugenio]

Based on my experience, seeing our preachers in person fortifies my faith — which is why I try to visit the countries where Kuya Daniel goes. Meeting brothers and sisters from different places makes me very happy because it expands my circle [of friends] and I feel glad to be with them,” stated Sis. Mary Ann San Diego from Singapore.

Sis. Ma Li Chen, a Taiwanese national, shares her message to our preachers: “I pray to God that He’ll add more years to your life, Kuya Daniel and Bro. Eli. I really do hope that you’ll be able to reach more souls so people will get to know the truth we’ve learned through you.”

MCGI’s next quarterly Thanksgiving of God’s People celebration will be held on September 30 to October 2, 2016.

Written by Sis. Yanna Faye Ferrera and Sis. Stacey Tee-Bagang

Congregants of MCGI told during 3rd Quarter International Thanksgiving: “Be A Blessing to Others”

“Christians are meant by God to be blessings to others.”

This was part of the message delivered by Bro. Daniel Razon during the Members Church of God International’s (MCGI) third quarterly International Thanksgiving at the ADD Convention Center and thousands of monitoring centers held on October 2-4, this year.

And a quarter of MCGI’s works attest to this remark by the Assistant to the Overall Servant of MCGI, which culminated to a three-day offering of thanksgiving by the whole congregation across the globe.

MCGI Thanksgiving

Three Months of Giving, Being Blessings to All

This past quarter, congregants all over the world united once more in charitable works in celebration of UNTV Life’s 11th anniversary. Church members took part in one or more of the mass clean-up drives, tree-planting activities, feeding programs, blood donation drives, and more that were conducted from the smallest of barrios to the biggest of cities.

UNTV Life, in partnership with MCGI, mounted mass clean-up drive efforts that covered the whole Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela (CAMANAVA) district of northern Metro Manila.

Meanwhile, MCGI volunteers abroad participated in different public service efforts in their respective communities. Feeding programs and elderly care activities were among those done in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Quito, Ecuador and Colombia. In the United States, members volunteered in charity works in New York, among others.

A three-day public service activity was also conducted by UNTV Haiti and MCGI in cooperation with the Philippines’ 19th Contingent in Port Au Prince, Haiti.

Heightened Propagation Efforts Locally, Internationally

In addition to being blessings to the community via public service, MCGI congregants strove to bring spiritual enlightenment to more souls through heightened propagation efforts this past quarter.

For the past three months for example, attendance to MCGI’s monthly Worldwide Bible Expositions increased more than 250%. From a regular number of approximately 20,000, the event saw 30,000 more participants, totaling 50,000 attendees in a Worldwide Bible Exposition event during the quarter.

This is in support and cooperation to Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon’s call for each brethren to invite a guest, hence, the “Project 1:1.”

The Ang Dating Daan Chorale at the ADD Convention Center on October 4, 2015 practicing for the 35th anniversary celebration of The Old Path. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)
The Ang Dating Daan Chorale at the ADD Convention Center on October 4, 2015 practicing for the 35th anniversary celebration of The Old Path. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)

Aside from these regular monthly expositions, Bible Expositions in Spanish and Portuguese continue weekly catering South and Central American nations. MCGI also launched this past quarter regular Bible Expositions in Africa and the United Kingdom broadcast over The Old Path’s Youtube channel.

Propagation efforts in South America advanced as MCGI acquired new broadcast relay stations in the effort to reach more souls. The Church also established more coordinating centers in Mexico and other countries in Central and South America. Also known as monitoring centers, these coordinating centers are where brethren hold congregational and Church gatherings and activities.

The congregation also thanked God for the Church’s flagship radio, television and Internet program Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path) which reached its 35th year. The show, the longest running of its kind, has been one of the primary instruments and platforms used by MCGI through Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel, in propagating biblical truth and widsom.

For this past quarter, more than 5,000 souls were added to the MCGI fold.

The International Thanksgiving celebration of MCGI is also called Thanksgiving of the Body, wherein Church members from all over the world simultaneously thank God for a quarter-full of His loving-kindness and deliverance.

(Written by Yanna Ferrera)

MCGI to Celebrate 3-Day International Thanksgiving to God for the 3rd Quarter on Sept. 26-28

Thousands are expected to attend the International Thanksgiving to God of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) for the third quarter. For three days, beginning this coming Friday until Sunday (September 26-28), the congregation will celebrate three months of blessings and productive works.

The ADD Convention Center, the MCGI headquarters located in Apalit, Pampanga will be the main event venue, drawing thousands of members from the National Capital Region and nearby provinces in Northern and Southern Luzon.

However, MCGI Coordinating Centers nationwide and abroad will be opened to accommodate members and visitors from other parts of the Philippines and abroad. Satellite and Internet facilities allow the seamless and uninterrupted live participation of multiple venues of a worldwide scale for three straight days.

A Quarter of Massive Charity Works

Charity works are part of the Church’s efforts to help the needy. The organization maintains partnerships with government and non-government organizations whose mission is help provide social welfare and development.

In addition, UNTV, the Public Service Channel of the Philippines, is MCGI’s key partner in this endeavor.

MCGI brethren were in full support in a Mass Blood Drive held in numerous remote points across the country last September 14, 2014. In partnership with the Philippine Blood Donors Society, a total of 1,500 donors took part in this public service activity. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)
MCGI brethren were in full support in a Mass Blood Drive held in numerous remote points across the country last September 14, 2014. In partnership with the Philippine Blood Donors Society, a total of 1,500 donors took part in this public service activity. (Photo courtesy of Photoville International)

Bro. Eli and Bro Daniel Razon spearhead and support various reachout missions and public services in the Philippines through MCGI for the past quarter. Bro. Soriano is Presiding Minister while Bro. Razon is Vice-Presiding Minister, respectively.

More recently, MCGI partnered with the Philippine Blood Center for its quarterly blood drive nationwide. Last September 14, the event was able to collect blood bags from around 1,500 donors in chosen parts of the Philippines alone.

The United Arab Emirates, Singapore, and the USA, to name a few, also participated in the Church’s concerted blood drive effort.

The Church’s medical missions, which aim to reach out to those living in provinces and areas far away from medical institutions, have managed to bring free health services to Filipinos as far as Leyte, Visayas in the past three months.

In UNTV’s “People’s Day” medical reachout project, MCGI is an active participant, helping provide medicines and volunteer medical health practitioners. This year, a total of 1,786 became recipients of the public service event.

To help the typhoon-affected people of Tacloban following the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda there, MCGI provided a deep-well water supply to residents across the Visayas area. This ongoing project is being completed together with UNTV.

Broadcast Efforts Grow Even Bigger

For the last quarter, the Church of God has successfully held a series of Bible Expositiona. This live question-and-answer session with Bro. Eli is held in major coordinating centers. While there are also set-ups in local towns to accommodate people who want to ask the preacher live, MCGI has deploys its Mobile Coordinating Centers in some provinces.

In an effort to reach more people, the ADD Mobile Coordinating Center traveled to far flung places such as barangays, provincial jails and even universities to give chances to everyone to listen to the words of God. (Photo courtesy of PVI)
In an effort to reach more people, the ADD Mobile Coordinating Center traveled to far flung places such as barangays, provincial jails and even universities to give chances to everyone to listen to the words of God. (Photo courtesy of PVI)

Aside from travelling to distant areas, MCGI also holds Bible Expositions in numerous provincial jails, giving those in prisons a chance to study God’s words.

With MCGI’s non-stop propagation efforts, thousands of individuals have been baptized in the Church during the past three months alone. In last September 19’s Mass Baptism, there were more than a thousand newly-baptized members, apart from other months’ Mass Baptism results.

Glory to God Alone for Achievements, Milestones

On September 22, Bro. Eli was the incontestable winner of a live debate in Brazil after beating Rubens Sodré, a Brazilian pastor. The September-21 debate started at 1 PM, Brazil time, which was 12 MN in the Philippines of September 22, 2014.

While the language used was Portuguese, the Filipino was able to disprove the arguments presented by Sodré, namely: 1) No earthly sanctuary; 2) No more divine worship; and, 3) No more priestly figure.

The live debate, which was aired over the O Caminho Antigo Youtube channel, lasted for more than four hours.

Aside from humanitarian and religious efforts conducted by MCGI brethren, the Church achieved several milestones and garnered achievements.

On August 16, MCGI’s Infant Care Center reached its second year in service, while UNTV’s News and Rescue Team, whose bulk of volunteers are Church members, celebrated their fourth year.

The MCGI Infant Care Center is the brainchild of Bro. Eli and Kuya Daniel that serves as a haven for abandoned and neglected infants. Meanwhile, the UNTV News and Rescue Team serves as a news-gathering group and rescue unit that aims to help first before reporting.

The organization also received the Top Donor award from the Philippine Red Cross recently for actively participating with and continuously supporting the PRC in their blood drive efforts. Awarded in the cities of Nueva Ecija, MCGI, more commonly known as the “Ang Dating Daan” group, was cited to be “a group that always wants to be of help.”

(Written by Yanna Faye Ferrera)

Thousands of Attendees of MCGI’s 4th Quarter ITG 2013: Jubilant and Grateful

An aerial shot of the big dome at the back of the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, Philippines.

Apalit, Philippines – Visibly joyful and thankful, thousands upon thousands members of the Church of God International (MCGI) congregated to join the International Thanksgiving to God (ITG) for the fourth quarter on December 21-23, this year.

ITG is the most anticipated Church event every quarter and the culmination of all the big reasons that MCGI is thankful for among others, like the 17,850 newly baptized members from January to December 21, 2013.

This figure, accounting baptisms held across the country and in other parts of the globe, was revealed by Presiding Minister to MCGI Bro. Eliseo F. Soriano on the ITG’s first day.

The ITG theme, “Joyous Thanksgiving to God,” (Masayang Pagpapasalamat sa Dios), was announced by Bro. Eli Soriano himself during the Thanksgiving service to God before the much-awaited three-day event.

For a full three days, Bro. Eli and Vice-Presiding Minister Bro. Daniel Razon delivered before the congregation a total of three different biblical topics.

On the first day, MCGI Leaders discussed the mishaps brought about by the mistranslation of the Holy Scriptures and the rightful way of using the Bible.

The ways as to how Christians should eat and live by faith and the reasons was discussed on the second day. Why Christians should believe that there is knowledge and wisdom in every word of God meanwhile, was on the third day.

ITG is an opportune time for Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel to serve a more comprehensive and detailed discussion of biblical topics. The longer congregational time hence allows for deeper understanding and revelation of new layers of biblical truths.

A Joyous Theme for the Three-Day Thanksgiving

It is the delight of God and Jesus Christ for the Church to offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving with gladness and cheerfulness, according to Bro. Soriano. The international evangelist added that it is God’s will for His people to serve Him happily, citing Psalms 100:2; 37:4, and Philippians 4:4.

Throughout the three-day International Thanksgiving, other activities included sharing of testimonies of faith, singing and dancing to songs of praises by different regions, performances invited guests, feeding the indigents, and listening to spiritual topics.

“I am really glad … I cannot fathom the joy I feel in my heart each time I sing songs of praises to God,” shared Jastin Villanueva of Quezon City, Metro Manila, one of the attendees of this quarter’s ITG.

“The topics are also very wonderful. It is the first time I heard them (and) the mysteries within the topics were amazing,” she further remarked.

From Apalit to the World, MCGI Gives Thanks

In the Philippines, members see to it that they personally come to the ADD Convention Center in Pampanga, where majority of brethren from all over the Philippines, and even from other countries flock to in order to experience the festive celebration.

Isabel Dugaduga travelled all the way from Davao City, a metropolitan area in Southern Mindanao, to Apalit to celebrate the International Thanksgiving. “It is different when you are here in Apalit!,” she remarked.

“The atmosphere of thanksgiving is more felt here… It is joyful to see brethren from various places giving thanks altogether,” shared the group of brothers and sisters from San Pablo, Laguna.

The use of satellite and Internet facilities – which in effect break geographic barriers – had allowed members from the rest of the Philippines and the globe to join the proceedings.

Non-native Tagalog and English speakers were able to listen to the topics through interpreters. The live translations included Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.

MCGI’s 3-Day International Thanksgiving to God Highlights Thousands of Newly Baptized, Growth of Ministry Works Abroad

 MCGI's String Orchestra leads the brethren in praise through playing of their instruments early in the mornings of the International Thanksgiving.

The ADD Orchestra leads the brethren in praise through playing of their instruments in the early hours of the morning of the International Thanksgiving.

Apalit, Pampanga – Simultaneously rejoicing with the congregants in the ADD Convention Center are the continuously growing believers all over the world who celebrated for three days their International Thanksgiving to God.

In the Members Church of God International’s (MCGI) celebration, there are 1,197 remote points in various countries that joined the bulk of the congregants in Apalit, Pampanga on September 27-29 of this year.

Bro. Eliseo Soriano, Presiding Minister to MCGI, reported before the congregants through live streaming broadcast the growing number of newly baptized brethren, majority from the Philippines and from abroad.

Bro. Eli said during the first day that in less than a year or nine months period, more than 13,000 souls received baptism. MCGI holds weekly baptisms in the Philippines and abroad.

A smile of many for the brethren as MCGI Presiding Minister Bro. Eliseo Soriano imparts Biblical wisdom during the three-day International Thanksgiving in September 2013.
Bro. Eli Soriano, Presiding Minister to MCGI, smiles at the brethren as he imparts Biblical wisdom for the three-day celebration event in September 2013.

Also remarkable during the past quarter of the year was the launch of satellite system to carry broadcasts of The Old Path in different parts of Latin America. Through new broadcast means – leading to the continuous spread of the gospel – followed the establishment of more than 150 coordinating centers in both South and Central America.

To help oversee Church works in these countries, Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel Razon, the Vice-Presiding Minister to MCGI, deployed few batches of Church workers from the Philippines to the respective coordinating centers.

As with all International Thanksgiving celebrations, this quarter teemed with new biblical wisdom through the topics delivered by Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel. Topics range from the true meaning of the Lord’s Prayer to the differences between the Mosaic laws of faith with Jesus’ law of faith, among others.

Various activities held, which are part of the three-day celebration, are aimed at serving the congregants the world over. One include the consultation sessions, which Bro. Eli held during break time, to answer brethren’s questions and address their concerns.

Bro. Daniel Razon, MCGI Vice Presiding Minister is joined by his children and family onstage in offering   thanksgiving to the Lord in September 2013.
Vice Presiding Minister to MCGI, Bro. Daniel Razon is joined by his children and family onstage to offer the sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord.

Different Church ministries and groups sang and danced along songs of praises to God all throughout the three-day feast as well.

The Members, Church of God International celebrates their International Thanksgiving to God or Pasalamat ng Katawan (PNK) ceremonies every quarter.

(Words by Yanna Faye Ferrera)

(Photos by Rovic Balunsay)

Bro. Eli Presents Gifts to Church Widows on Second Quarter Thanksgiving

In one of MCGI's Thanksgiving services, widows sit in front of the ADD Convention Center stage.
Widows sit right in front of the ADD Convention Center stage in Apalit, Pampanga, Philippines during a Thanksgiving service of MCGI.

Eighty-two widows of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) received gifts from Bro. Eliseo Soriano during the recently concluded “Pasalamat ng Katawan” (Thanksgiving of the Body), a quarterly international service, held from July 5 to 7, 2013.

Staff from the Charity Home for the Elderly were instructed to reserve seats for the recipients of the preacher’s thanksgiving gifts in the front rows of the ADD Convention Center stage. The Presiding Minister to MCGI explained what the Bible regards as widows, citing I Timothy 5:9-10.

The congregants cheered after Bro. Eli called on the widows to receive grants. The international evangelist further explained how elders should be treated, especially whom the Bible considers as widows. Most of these widows under the care of MCGI’s Charity Home for the Elderly were abandoned by their families and relatives.

Charity Home’s Sis Liberty Basbas stressed that Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon make it a point to regularly extend care to the elderly. Sis Basbas added that it is not only during international thanksgiving that Bro. Eli grants gifts to widows. Bro. Daniel, who is in the Philippines, visits the Charity Home personally to converse with and even sing to the elderly.

Sis Basbas shared that aside from meals, clothes and footwear, vitamins, medical check-ups, and weekly allowances, the elderlies also have recreational activities, conversations and proper care. She further noted that Bro. Eli constantly reminds staff members to show kindness and compassion to the elderly, and to treat them like their own parents.

Established in 2005, the Charity Home for the Elderly situated at the Ang Dating Daan Compound in Apalit, Pampanga is home to male and female elderlies. It currently houses 47 elderlies, whose ages range from 54-95 years of age.

Other homes for the elderly were also put up in different key locations in the Philippines, supported by MCGI.

(Written by Apple D. Arco)

(Photo by Rovic Balunsay)

Songs, History, New Topics Highlight Second Quarter 3-Day Thanksgiving to God

Joining congregants across the world, members of the Church of God International from Dublin, Ireland give thanks to God from July 5-7, 2013.
Members from the Locale of Dublin, Ireland join congregants across the world during the International Thanksgiving to God of MCGI from July 5-7, 2013.

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)

Anticipation Heightens as MCGI’s 3-Day Thanksgiving to God Nears

From July 5-7, 2013, the Members Church of God International will once again give thanks to God for His love and kindness in the past quarter. Photo credit: Rovic Balunsay
Joyful and thankful: Brethren from Apalit, Pampanga sing songs of praise to the Almighty during the International Thanksgiving to God held on March 28-30, 2013.

It is this time of the year when anticipation gets really high among members, waiting for the quarter’s most important event – the International Thanksgiving to God. For weeks, congregants of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) are already gearing up in commemorating the second quarter festivity come July 5 to 7 this year.

Festive and celebratory in nature, International Thanksgiving to God is a quarterly Church service where tens of thousands offer their sacrifices of thanksgiving to God through meaningful songs and dances of praise for three straight days.

Bulk of participants in the Metro Manila and nearby provinces in Luzon Region are expected to travel to Apalit, Pampanga, a province north of the National Capital Region, where the ADD Convention Center is located. Other coordinating centers in the Philippines and abroad, meanwhile, will also be opened to accommodate brethren during this three-day event.

Attending members and visitors look forward to the main dish of the ceremonies – the biblical lessons to be served by the MCGI leaders Bro. Eliseo Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon. Usually, one or more topics are discussed by the preachers around interesting biblical topics each day, throughout the three-day spiritual feast.

Bro. Eli and Bro Daniel are also expected to open up a live consultation with members to address spiritual problems, matters of life, spirituality and many more. Aside from this, they also award livelihood grants to Church members who need it most.

Those members who cannot afford for their own food for the three-day long even are served with generous servings of free meals.

Getting Ready for Thanksgiving

In few weeks leading to the commemoration of the festive three-day, Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel make it a point to serve biblical topics related to the preparation that Christians should make so that their offerings will be worthy to God.

Members – from provinces and abroad – flock into the Convention Center a week earlier the holding of the event in order to stay at the ADD Coordinating Center. Even those from nearby locations prefer to travel a week earlier so that they can already set up at the tent area.

“We are amazed at each topic discussed by Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel; they offer a bounty of wisdoms that we have not heard in other religions. For sure, we will all be marveled by the wonderful topics that will come around [on the upcoming International Thanksgiving],” Sis. Tamy Oliveira, a South American native remarked.

Timezone Difference: No Big Deal

Timezone is no big deal among brethren from other countries. Like in Ghana, where brethren in that West African country feel no hesitation in adjusting their body clocks in order to attend the celebration. Ghana’s timezone is eight hours behind of Philippine time. While the event’s congregational singing is early in the morning in the Philippines, it is late at night in Africa. But brethren from Africa are not complaining but willing to take part in the offering of the sacrifices of thanksgiving, together with the rest of the world.

“I believe that it is through their faith that our brothers and sisters here [Ghana] are able to adjust. It is indeed a big challenge for them because the culture here is very different,” said Bro. Fred Cabanilla, the assigned Tagapangasiwang Pampook in Africa.

“Before they were baptized, they were used to this conventional routine: Mondays and Fridays are devoted to work, Saturdays are farm days, and the only Church Day is Sunday.”

Members are faithful that all their efforts, such as adjusting to the timezone of the Philippines, where bulk of the members are located, in order to make it to the International Thanksgiving will be rewarded.

To share the exceeding joy felt by the Church members, guests are welcome to attend and observe these days of festivity in all coordinating centers in various parts of the world.

(Written by Emmy Borromeo)

(Photo by Rovic Balunsay, PVI)

Thousands Attend MCGI 3-Day International Thanksgiving of Dec. 2012

Thousands of global congregants of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) took part in the three-day International Thanksgiving of the quarter last December 22 to 24, 2012, which again marked another fruitful gathering of grateful hearts.

After the conclusion of the Thanksgiving, which is also called Pasalamat ng Katawan (Thanksgiving of the Body), at around 4 p.m. on the 24th, a special concert for the family was held at around 8 p.m.

The concert billed as Ngayon, Bukas, at Kailanman (Today, Tomorrow, and Forevermore) was aimed at raising funds for the construction of a bigger convention center in the National Capital Region, Philippines.

Members of the Church of God's Music Ministry render gestures of praise in an opening number during an International Thanksgiving in 2012.

With presence in six continents, the Church of God International has major coordinating centers in North and South American countries, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia, among many other regions in the map. While majority of members are Filipinos, new brethren who are nationals of countries abroad are also growing in number. This was the result of the Church’s ongoing global evangelization initiatives, especially through the launch of programs catering to the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking population.

As expected, the three-day quarterly thanksgiving gathering teemed with topics prepared by Bro. Eli Soriano. Topics that were discussed before the members include the biblical wisdom that can be gained from looking beyond merely the tangible things on earth and another one about the benefits gained from understanding the secret of concealed prayer.

Using the Bible as basis, MCGI Leaders Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel Razon also debunked beliefs about predestination to hell and showed how the Lord Jesus used the Scriptures to teach truths.

Bro. Daniel delivering the first part of the topic during one of Church of GodI's International Thanksgiving while verses are flashed on screens.

Bro. Eli also entertained questions from members and guests alike through the Consultation segments. While others take breaks, those who have questions about the topic or about a verse in the Bible may ask the International Evangelist during Consultations.

Representatives from the different regions and ministries were given time to present their Thanksgiving offering as well as brethren from the different coordinating centers worldwide who shared their Thanksgiving greetings through canned videos and live streaming. The whole congregation offered their Thanksgiving songs during the second day while members from South America and Bro. Eli’s household presented theirs on the third day.

The Thanksgiving gathering was punctuated by the special concert prepared by Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel a few hours after the culmination of the International Thanksgiving. In the said program, a showcase of dance numbers, short musicals, and a variety of popular songs from the early 1960’s and mainstream 2012 were the night’s highlights.

 

Bro. Daniel Razon singing with the Music Ministry Core during the Church of God's concert-for-a-cause in December 2012.

Asia’s Queen of Songs, Ms. Pilita Corrales came to perform some timeless Filipino love songs together with Bro. Eli and Bro Daniel. A short film dubbed as “Ngayon, Bukas at Kailanman” (Today, Tomorrow and Forevermore), conceptualized by Bro. Daniel, was shown as clips before every new song was played.

This event serves a more noble cause other than just entertainment and fun, as how all other projects by the two leaders of MCGI are designed.

Each year is a period of toiling and hard work for the Church and its members. Looking back at the fruits of their labor and recounting what have been accomplished and what blessings were received, MCGI gave thanks for the year that was.

(Written by: Apple Arco)


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