As the Members Church of God International’s (MCGI) celebration of its International Thanksgiving (ITG) for the fourth quarter draws near, congregants from all over the world express their anticipation using social media. The year-end spiritual celebration is set on December 21-23, 2013.
MCGI’s International Thanksgiving celebration is a festive, quarterly event commemorating the bounty of blessings they have received for the past three months. The celebration is vernacularly known as Pasalamat ng Katawan or PNK.
#HappyPNK and #HappyITG Greetings Pour in Social Web
Church members expressed their thrill and excitement about the upcoming celebration followed by the official hashtags: #HappyPNK and #Happy ITG through social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Instagram.
“It’s getting near! #HappyPNK #HappyITG,” Twitter user Fred Dagpin posted on December 10, eleven days before the revelry.
Divina Arguelles, a member from Laguna, also expressed her words of excitement through Facebook. “Advance #HappyPNK. Thanks be to God for another quarter of a year He had given us. #soexcited #HappyITG,” wrote Arguelles.
The Pasalamat ng Katawan or PNK (Thanksgiving of the Body) countdown photo includes the number of days remaining before the International Thanksgiving together with a photo of the brethren from key MCGI chapters around the world. The chapters cover all parts of the globe, from Philippines to Oman, from Russia to Switzerland, and from Australia to Ecuador. (Photo from MCGI’s Facebook Page)
Spearheading the initiative is MCGI’s official Facebook and Twitter accounts, which has started a countdown for the International Thanksgiving. The series of posts of the International Thanksgiving countdown features photos of the brethren coming from different MCGI chapters worldwide, which can be easily shared on their own timelines. Since the series’ release, it has garnered positive feedback and support from the online community, especially from those who are abroad.
One of the earlier comments posted is Cynch Solatorio-Brul’s of Ireland: “Advance Happy Thanksgiving of the Body from your brethren here in Ireland. Excitement overload!
Through the PNK Countdown launched by MCGI’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, Church members are able to virtually extend their heartfelt greetings to their foreign brothers and sisters in other parts of the globe. Tatiana Freitas, a Portuguese sister from Rio de Janiero, Brazil, shared her warm regards to the brethren of United Arab Emirates who were featured in one of the countdown photos.
“Que a paz de nosso Senhor Jesus Cristo esteja com todos os noasos irmãos aí em Emirados Árabes Unidos!” (May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with our brothers in United Arab Emirates!), she greeted.
Prior to the three-day Thanksgiving celebration, Church leaders Bro. Eli Soriano and Bro. Daniel Razon make it a point to spiritually prepare Church members. Biblical topics aiming to strengthen the brethren’s faith and make them realize the value of expressing gratitude to God are taught during regular Thanksgiving services held every Saturday.
Church members in the Philippines have already started pouring in at the Ang Dating Daan or ADD Convention Center in Pampanga as early as this week, days before the PNK or ITG festivities.
Some of the brethren both from far and nearby countries abroad booked flights back to the Philippines to spend the three-day merriment at the Convention Center, where the bulk of the members go.
Major MCGI chapters throughout the archipelago are also being opened to accommodate Church members in more remote locations. Meanwhile, key coordinating and conventions centers in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Middle East, and Africa are expected to house members and guests around the globe.
For the past three months, the MCGI brethren are deeply grateful to God for countless reasons, which include the thousands of newly baptized brethren, the 33rd anniversary of the MCGI-produced religious program Ang Dating Daan, and the successful premiere of Bro. Razon’s film ‘Isang Araw’ (One Day) in celebration of his 30th year in service to God.
(Words by Sis. Emmy Borromeo)