MCGI Sets International Thanksgiving on Dec. 22 to 24

Apalit, Pampanga – Congregants from the Philippines and abroad of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) begin pouring as early as Monday (Dec. 17) at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga to attend the International Thanksgiving that will start on December 22.

The three-day quarterly event ends on December 24 and marks the last International Thanksgiving of the year 2012.

“I am really happy and excited that the Thanksgiving is only just a week from now,” said Western Visayas-resident Elma Guzman, a member of the Church for 14 years, adding that indeed, “time flies by so fast.”

She has already travelled from Visayas to spend the remaining week before the thanksgiving in her relatives’ home in Laguna, before travelling to attend the thanksgiving live in Apalit, Pampanga.

Members of the Church of God and visitors line up to get inside the Ang Dating Daan Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga to attend a three-day Thanksgiving to God.

Like Sis Elma, members are already crossing lands and seas to attend the quarterly thanksgiving at the MCGI headquarter. The thanksgiving is also now referred to as Pasalamat ng Katawan in the vernacular or ‘Thanksgiving of the Body.’

A satellite broadcast feed of the event will be provided to provincial and foreign-based coordinating centers to allow members to attend the gathering. Senior members, physically-disabled and poor members with budgetary constraints are accommodated in locales during such big gathering of the Church.

Just a week before the thanksgiving, Bro. Eli Soriano had prepared a topic timely to the upcoming celebration on December 15 to equip the brethren on how their offering of thanksgiving will be acceptable to God.

Via live video streaming, Bro. Eli Soriano shares with the MCGI brethren biblical wisdom through a topic each gathering.

The Presiding Minister to the MCGI discussed about the mystery of iniquity and that of satan’s deep devices, which can then pose distractions among members. Bro. Eli added that these hindrances are satan’s way to prevent the brethren from offering the sacrifices of thanksgiving.

The solution, according to Bro. Eli is through forgiveness. “Ang pagpapatawad ay pagkalamang kay satanas (through forgiving, you can outsmart satan ),” said Bro. Eli in the vernacular. He called on the brethren to remain vigilant and aware of the deep devices of evil.

Among other reasons to be thankful for this year, the MCGI considers paramount its recent celebration of the 32nd year of broadcasting its radio-television program, the Ang Dating Daan (The Old Path), which now can be heard to as far as South America.

In addition to the group’s bigger than ever public service outreaches, mass blood donation drives, the congregation is thankful for the numerous numbers of souls being added to the congregation every month.

The schedule for this International Thanksgiving returns to the regular 6 a.m. (Philippine time) schedule. Then after closing of the third day of Thanksgiving on December 24 (Monday) a special family concert follows at 8 P.M.

To express their gratitude, Members of the Church of God offer songs of praise on stage as part of their Thanksgiving.

With the title, “Ngayon, Bukas at Kailanman,” (Now, Tomorrow, and Forever) the concert’s aim is to raise funds for the construction of a new convention center in the Metro Manila area where majority of members in the Philippines are residents.

This new center is also being prepared for the 1,000-year reign of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is based in the Bible.

As expected, the anticipation among brethren for the three-day thanksgiving celebration, not to mention the announcement of the family concert, is already fever high.

(Written by: Faye Ferrera)

From La Verdad TV to ASOP Concert: MCGI’s Third Quarter Thanksgiving

For the third time this year, Members Church of God International (MCGI) will celebrate their International Thanksgiving come September 28, 29 and 30.

In this quarterly gathering, the whole congregation will give thanks to God for three days. The event also serves as an opportunity to hear more spiritual topics prepared by Church leaders, Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon.

This Church event draws congregants from different parts of the world to coordinating centers, while members from many Philippine regions flock to MCGI’s headquarters in Apalit, Pampanga: the Ang Dating Daan Convention Center.

Members of the Church of God in Manila and nearby provinces flocked to the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga for the three-day event.

On regular Thanksgivings every Saturday, individuals and groups give thanks on stage and state their reasons why, like getting job offers, recovering from an affliction, receiving forgiveness, celebrating spiritual birthdays and more. In contrast, during a quarterly International Thanksgiving it is the whole Church that offers thanksgiving for all the thousands of new members added to the fold and many more.

Here are some achievements MCGI is thankful for this quarter:

  • Launch of La Verdad TV in July, airing 24-hour broadcasts of El Camino Antigo and other MCGI programs in Spanish. In December 2009, MCGI launched TV Verdade for Portuguese-speaking nations. Church leaders aim to start another 24-hour broadcast soon, this time with its programs entirely in English.
  • The anniversary of Ang Dating Daan supporters of the boycott against GMA News 7 and QTV 11 in August for their irresponsible reporting of a case filed against Bro. Eli by an excommunicated member.
  • On August 11, the MCGI Chorale gave thanks on the ADD Convention Center stage for the 4th Year anniversary of their non-stop singing of praises to God. The undertaking started on August 10, 2008.
  • The A Song of Praise (ASOP) Music Festival, a brainchild of Kuya Daniel Razon, reaches the culmination of its Year 1 on September 24. Happening at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum at 7 p.m., the ASOP Grand Finals will feature 12 monthly winners from September last year. One of which will win a Grand Prize of half a million pesos as Song of the Year 2012.

From the launch of non-Filipino language broadcasts yielding more non-Filipino brethren to the fold, to a year’s-worth wait for heavenly songs of praise, MCGI understands that these are great blessings to be indebted for, and intends to thank God in these three days in September and the rest of the days to come.
(Written by: Apple Arco)

 

MCGI Congregations Worldwide hit the roads for 3-days Thanksgiving

Thousands of congregants of the Members Church of God International are expected to gather for the International Thanksgiving to God that will begin on July 6, 2012 in the Church’s major coordinating centers worldwide.

At its Luzon region headquarter alone, participants from the Philippines and abroad are seen flocking the 50,000-seater ADD Convention Center located in Apalit, Pampanga for the three day event. Visitors and guests by fellow congregants are expected to come also for the quarterly pilgrim.

Members of the Church of God Intl line up to enter the ADD Convention Center for a 3-day Thanksgiving
The ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, as the headquarter of the Members Church of God International in Luzon region, will be one of the main venues of the International Thanksgiving from July 6 to 8, 2012.

New members added to the fold, new locales established all over the world, and the start of broadcast contracts in Latin American TV networks to air the religious programs hosted by Bro. Eli Soriano in both Spanish and Portuguese languages are some of the chief reasons for this thanksgiving.

The three day gathering is packed with activities that include the offering of songs and dances of praise and the listening to different sets of topics or paksa prepared by Bro. Eli, the Presiding Minister to the Church of God International. The topics are spread throughout the three-day festive thanksgiving by the whole congregation.

To cater to and help the foreign national members understand the essential aspects of the Thanksgiving ceremonies, language interpreters will be working full time during the course of the event, especially during Bro. Eli and Bro. Daniel Razon‘s preachings. Presently, these five international translations include English, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese.

(Written by: Cecile Vizcaya)

April Week 1 Marks Three Big Events

Come April Week 1, the Members Church of God International (MCGI) will celebrate three big consecutive events: the Lord’s Supper, the first quarter International Thanksgiving, and Bro. Eli’s 48th spiritual birthday.

Nisan 13 in the Hebrew calendar falls on the first week of April, when the organization will mark the annual commemoration of the Lord’s Supper upon the setting of the sun, which is the start of a biblical day. MCGI will remember the affliction and death of the Lord Jesus Christ by offering prayers and songs, as well as studying a biblical topic.

Bro. Daniel Razon delivering the first part of a biblical topic in one of MCGI's weekly Thanksgivings.
Bro. Daniel Razon delivering the first part of a biblical topic in one of MCGI’s weekly Thanksgivings.

As most countires observe the long holiday, MCGI will celebrate its first quarterly International Thanksgiving for three whole days. Members gather at MCGI locations internationally to study biblical topics and offer songs of thanks to God every quarter of each year. The largest gathering in the Philippines is at the ADD Convention Center in Apalit, Pampanga, a province north of Manila, where the Central Division is based.

The last leg of the three-day event is expected to be more festive as MCGI celebrates the 48th spiritual birthday of its Presiding Minister, Bro. Eli Soriano. The Ang Dating Daan or The Old Path host was baptized in the Church of God on April 7, 1964.

(Written by: Jay Arellano)

Bro. Eli Soriano Chides Critics of 3-day Thanksgiving

“To say that thanksgiving can be done in just an hour is folly,” declared Bro. Eli Soriano in answer to a rebel turned critic. The preacher was referring to Willy Santiago, an excommunicated member who had established his own church.

As Members Church of God International celebrates their three-day International Thanksgiving for the 4th quarter of 2010, Presiding Minister to MCGI Bro. Eli Soriano laid strong arguments and rich biblical information behind the frequent offering of the sacrifice of thanksgiving.

Presiding Minister to MCGI Bro. Eli Soriano lays strong arguments and rich Biblical information behind the frequent offering of the sacrifice of thanksgiving.
Presiding Minister to MCGI Bro. Eli Soriano lays strong arguments and rich Biblical information behind the frequent offering of the sacrifice of thanksgiving.

The congregation of MCGI is celebrating the thanksgiving service from December 24 to 26 this year, a three-day stretch of activities that includes prayers, praising and mostly a spiritual feast of biblical topics.

A rebel turned critic of the International Evangelist said there is no established basis whatsoever to hold a three-day thanksgiving, and that the same can be done in one hour.

However, Bro. Soriano read verses which specifically point to the length of said thanksgiving celebrations. According to Bro. Soriano, thanksgiving is and must be done with tenable time to accommodate appropriate activities and not done in a single hour.

He recounts the events in the Book of Acts in Chapter 2 verse 46 when the faithful would gather in the temple to break bread daily. Even in the time of King Solomon when he led Israel to offer burnt offerings of choice cattle meat, fat, and flour before God, the ceremony lasted for two weeks (14 days), recorded in I Kings 8:62-65.

MCGI's thanksgiving is the fulfillment of one of the most important prophecies in the Bible, the one written in chapter 30 of the book of Jeremiah. It is something that will be carried through eternity, and chapters 7:11-12 and 5:6-13 of Revelations prove it.
MCGI’s thanksgiving is the fulfillment of one of the most important prophecies in the Bible, the one written in chapter 30 of the book of Jeremiah. It is something that will be carried through eternity, and chapters 7:11-12 and 5:6-13 of Revelations prove it.

Further, during the time when Israelites were enslaved in Egypt, Moses asked the ruling pharaoh to allow his people sojourn for three days so they could offer sacrifices to God. Bro. Eli explained that if their journey took three days, it is just logical for the Israelites to accomplish their sacrifices at a longer time. He asked, “Why? Isn’t it a fact that Israel lingered in the wilderness for 40 years?”

Other critics view MCGI’s thanksgiving as weird. Detractors even publish discouraging statements about the celebration online.

But “it is is a beautiful thing for us to have a feeling of gratitude,” Bro. Eli continued. MCGI’s thanksgiving is the fulfillment of one of the most important prophecies in the Bible, the one written in chapter 30 of the book of Jeremiah. It is something that will be carried through eternity, and chapters 7:11-12 and 5:6-13 of Revelations prove it.

To his detractors, Bro. Eli Soriano has this to say –
To his detractors, Bro. Eli Soriano has this to say – “If we are going to look at the profile of other religious organizations, nothing compares to ours, in the offering of thanksgiving. This is the only group with abundant service of thanksgiving.

The International Evangelist also shared that the Bible is teeming with the command to give thanks to God. When searched using a Bible software, thanksgiving is found in 15 pages, and its Filipino counterpart, “pasalamat/salamat” is written 142 times, outnumbering the commandment “to love” or “ibigin” in Filipino, which is found only 92 times in 10 pages, and is used in varied contexts.

To his detractors, Bro. Eli Soriano has this to say – “If we look at the profile of other religious organizations, nothing compares to ours, in the offering of thanksgiving. This is the only group with abundant service of thanksgiving. I trust there is no other Church where the prophecy of Jeremiah spells true, and where the commandment in the Bible to thank God for everything is fulfilled, but in ours.”

(Written by: Cecile Vizcaya)

Hosts of Nations Display Force on Day 1 at MCGI’s 3-day Thanksgiving

Forty-six countries and 130 Church chapters worldwide have assembled for the Fourth Quarter International Thanksgiving of Members Church of God, International which begins this 24th and culminates on the 26th of December this year.

Nations from the Middle East, Far East Asia, South East Asia, Europe, North America, Africa, and large countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Oceania, and other island nations have gathered for one of the biggest and most-attended religious services in the world today.

An overwhelming number of praise songs, dances, and comprehensive discussions of mysteries in the Bible will dot the second and concluding days of the thanksgiving week.
An overwhelming number of praise songs, dances, and comprehensive discussions of mysteries in the Bible will dot the second and concluding days of the thanksgiving week.

Through live streaming, the MCGI members from the foreign pool of countries participated in the thanksgiving ceremonies with those in the Philippines, the host country, where the bulk of members are. Attendees included the more than 5,000 new souls who were recently added to the fold in the final quarter of 2010.

In his welcome address made on the first day of thanksgiving, Bro. Eli Soriano reported that in South America, there are now 15 local chapters established, home to pure Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking brethren. The Presiding Minister to the MCGI said these are former members of charismatic Protestant groups for quite a long time. They are the first fruits of the ministry in Latin America when Bro. Eli was forced to leave the country in 2005 due to persistent persecution against him and the organization.

Bro. Daniel Razon, Vice Presiding to the MCGI, delivered a part of one of the six topics prepared by Bro. Eli Soriano for this International Thanksgiving.
Bro. Daniel Razon, Vice Presiding to the MCGI, delivered a part of one of the six topics prepared by Bro. Eli Soriano for this International Thanksgiving.

Bro. Soriano has high hopes that sooner, more baptisms will follow and additional locales will be established, particularly in Uruguay to as far as India where he has many avid viewers to his religious programs. His 24/7 broadcasts, live streaming forums, and Bible Expositions continue to penetrate the mainstream scene in the religious arena and reap souls eventually.

Invitations to come to India and other countries where his broadcasts reach persistently flow through his Twitter page and e-mail.

Beginning with the first day, thanksgiving greetings have been heard and exchanged in all locale chapters or coordinating centers which were filled to the brim with members, guests, and observers alike.

Ten topics had been prepared according to Bro. Eli, but for the 3-day event, only six topics will be delivered to accommodate other thanksgiving numbers.
Ten topics had been prepared according to Bro. Eli, but for the 3-day event, only six topics will be delivered to accommodate other thanksgiving numbers.

An overwhelming number of praise songs, dances, and comprehensive discussions of mysteries in the Bible will dot the second and concluding days of the thanksgiving week.

Ten topics had been prepared according to Bro. Eli, but for the 3-day event, only six topics will be delivered to accommodate other thanksgiving numbers.

(Written by: Cecile Vizcaya)

Protests, Boxing, Quake Coincide MCGI’s Thanksgiving

During International Thanksgivings, the whole Church offers thanks to God for three days from sunrise to sundown. (Photo courtesy of PVI)
During International Thanksgivings, the whole Church offers thanks to God for three days from sunrise to sundown. (Photo courtesy of PVI)

Boxing fans around the world paid large sums to watch Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey exchange bloody punches. Supporters of deposed Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra marched to Bangkok shouting their vehement protests. Brethren of Members Church of God International, however, traveled far and wide to celebrate the grand International Thanksgiving for the first quarter of 2010.

Pacquiao brought Filipinos another reason to celebrate, bringing home another title for the country. Shinawatra’s supporters are nearing their goal to pull down the government. Yet of all the reasons for people to amass, MCGI’s International Thanksgiving shuns violence and puts good news in its headlines.

More than 875 foreign and local coordinating centers hosted the grandest event among all other MCGI celebrations. Of this number, 75% are based abroad, proving the successful global evangelization efforts of the Church, led by Presiding Minister Bro. Eliseo Soriano and Vice Presiding Minister Bro. Daniel Razon.

Bro. Eli Soriano is happy and thankful to God at seeing the continuous growth of the Congregation despite political and religious discrimination and persecution. Katulong ng Pangangasiwa (KNPs) overseas report that as far as Gospel work is concerned, the Foreign Ministry has already reached six continents and several island nations.

Bible studies and expositions remained in-demand over the last four years. Television and Internet viewership have dramatically increased in India, the Americas, and Europe. Ministers are sent round-the-clock to officiate baptism, wherein immersions yield an average 200 individuals weekly.

This first quarter thanksgiving this 2010 also kicked-off the new year in the Hebrew calendar’s reckoning, which is year 5770. The Church celebrates the Hebrew new year as it is the “one observed by the Israelites at the time of the Exodus, and the early Christians, because it is biblical”, Bro. Soriano asserts in one of his discussions.

Meanwhile, barely three minutes before the MCGI congregation knelt to pray on its second day of thanksgiving, Indonesia felt a 7.0 magnitude earthquake, Sunday, March 14. Although it did not trigger a tsunami, reports say that the earthquake is just one of the series of tremors that have disturbed the country in weeks.

It can be remembered that on December 26, 2004, Indonesia was hit by an earthquake-induced tsunami which claimed an estimated 225,000 lives, left 500,000 homeless, destroyed properties, houses, and impailed businesses set at the coasts of the archipelago. The strong quake also left considerable damage to India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. That same day, MCGI held its final quarter thanksgiving through songs and dances to honor and praise of the God of Israel.

Until today, the Congregation considers it as God’s salvation that the Philippines was spared from the what-might-have-been effects of the tsunami that struck the region, since the giant waves that came crashing to the Indonesian shores was caused by a 9.0 magnitude quake, based on the Richter scale, and stronger by 2 levels than the one that shook Haiti. The tremor was strong enough to send destructive columns of water to the dotted Philippine archipelago, but it did not.

The Philippines, like Indonesia, lies directly above the Pacific Ring of Fire which is the most active seismic and volcanic region in the world. Several tectonic plates and trenches are found in the Ring, and the most active volcanoes and destructive earthquakes occur in the countries situated in it. It is quite surprising that though the Philippines is also frequented by earthquakes in recent weeks, the tremors were considerably faint.

As of this writing, no MCGI congregant based in Thailand has been reported to have suffered the effects of the political crisis there. Although supporters of Shinawatra insist on coming to cry their protest against the government, the thanksgiving celebration there ended peacefully and uninterrupted, just like in other monitoring centers elsewhere.

(Written by: Cecile Vizcaya)

(Photo by: Rovic Balunsay)

The Most Wonderful Times of the Year for MCGI

The MCGI Chorale along with members of the Teatro Kristiano at the ADD Convention Center stage in Pampanga, Philippines during an International Thanksgiving to God. (Photo courtesy of PVI)
The MCGI Chorale along with members of the Teatro Kristiano at the ADD Convention Center stage in Pampanga, Philippines during an International Thanksgiving to God. (Photo courtesy of PVI)

Pampanga, Philippines – For the Members Church of God International, the most wonderful times of the year is marked by expressing eternal gratitude to the Holy Creator.

This is why for this group of joyous Christians, the year is brimming with wonderful times and not just one.

Internationally known for the only congregation that incessantly acknowledges God’s goodness through weekly and grand quarterly thanksgiving ceremonies, MCGI ends the year the Christian way. On December 25, 26, and 27, the Church will be offering its fourth quarterly International Thanksgiving to God. On a global scale, the brethren will embark on long journeys to convene and express their gratitude to God.

While others will be busy opening store-bought gifts, MCGI shall open and revel in the best gift one could ever get — the understanding of God’s wondrous words and His never-ending blessings.

Remarkable Bible Exposition Numbers
The Church’s widely popular Grand Bible Expositions have reached epic proportions — and year 2009 has witnessed it firsthand. For every week since January, two to three Bible Expositions have been undergoing in the Philippines and abroad. An impressive average of 130 Bible Expositions have been held in 2009 alone.

MCGI Presiding Minister Bro. Eliseo Soriano together with Vice Presiding Minister Bro. Daniel Razon spearheaded this regular Church activity where visitors of all religions and races are welcome to ask any question regarding the Holy Bible — all while getting a copy of the Holy Book and a meal for free. Once popular only in the Philippine archipelago, this Bible-based question-and-answer event have infiltrated the worldwide scene during the early 2000s. Currently, the Church’s Bible Expositions being hosted by Bible Scholar Bro. Eli Soriano are being watched and participated in by people all over the world via the Internet.

Relief Operations and Charitable Works
One of the Church’s primary teachings is to help those who need it most. And when Typhoon Ketsana struck the Philippines on September 2009, MCGI was quick to help out the victims of this calamity. With it being the worst tropical depression ever to hit the country in years, the Church exerted all its efforts as relief operations to the disaster-struck were put into action. The Church-supported Kamanggagawa Foundation Transient Home served as a second home for the homeless during those trying times, and housed a total of 600 typhoon victims on the month of September alone.

Aside from relief operations, the Church has been steadily providing charitable help via its free medical and legal assistance, bus rides, MRT rides for senior citizens, college scholarships, and blood donations.

Prestigious Web Awards and Nominations
Though relatively young in the World Wide Web, Bro. Eli Soriano’s Bible-based blog Esoriano.wordpress.com has already taken the People’s Choice Award and the Most Popular Web Site Award in the distinguished Philippine Web Awards this year. This award-winning blog has undoubtedly made waves in the Philippine web community.

But trust Bro. Eli’s sensible blog to find a great spot in an international awards-giving body.

November marked Bro. Eli’s blog site as one of the top finalists in Mashable’s prestigious third annual Open Web Awards. This international and multilingual online voting contest honors top websites in various categories whose past winners include famous sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google. Nominated in the Most Educational to Follow category, Bro. Eli’s is the only Filipino blog in the whole prominent awards body — giving Filipinos all over the world one more reason to be proud.

As the year winds down and a new year comes rushing in, the Members Church of God International will welcome it exactly the same way they ended it – with eternal gratitude to God while anticipating more wonderful times to come as calendar dates change.

(Written by: Pol Arellano)


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