ICC Pasig Chapter

Renewing the Family and Defending Life

STRATEGIC WEEKEND CLS in Tagaytay City

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By Lani Araneta Torres

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A few months back, the ICC Chapter of Pasig decided to conduct a Strategic Christian Life Seminar (CLS). After several meetings and ocular inspections for the venue, our leaders finally set the date, chose the service team and the site of the CLS. They agreed to have it on November 28 and 29 at Betania Retreat House in Tagaytay City. The service team was headed by Jorge and Lani Torres assisted by their household members, namely, Andy and Laura Altea as Assistant Team head, Jojo and Reggie Aquino as Team Servant, and Manny and Cora Pagatpat. The last three couples acted as facilitators, too. Our chapter leaders , Manny & Vangie Estrella, were in charge of the Music Ministry and registration while our unit leaders, Lito & Lyn Abainza were overseers. 


Except for some couples who served as advance party, the rest of the team motored to the venue in the morning of November 28, as the registration opened as early as 7 AM. The program started promptly as planned. We were lucky to have speakers who were much willing to share their time and impart their valuable experience in the community as they discuss the topics with clarity and conviction: Talk 1- God’s Love by Andy Altea, Talk 2- What It Means To Be A Christian by Freddie Nadres, Talk 3- Repentance and Faith by Ansel Beluso, Talk 4 & 5- The Great Commandment by Efren Gabrillo, and Talk 6- Life In the Spirit by Doris Salengua. The mini-talk was rendered by our Chapter Servant, Manny Estrella and was immediately followed by the talk on Receiving the Power of the Holy Spirit by our District Servant, Tony Liza. The night concluded with a powerful worship session led by Bro. Tony.


After a hearty breakfast the next morning, Talk 8- Growing in the Spirit was done by Vangie Estrella while the last talk, Transformation in Christ, was given by Gary Guarnes, the Area Coordinator for Eastern Visayas. There were group discussions after each talk and the participants gladly shared their life experiences. The First Sunday of Advent Mass was held in the chapel and was participated with the CFCFFL brethren and nuns and staff of the retreat house. Before parting ways, a sharing session ensued where all participants affirmed God’s wonderful work on them an awakening for many things they previously took for granted. Later, they were grouped and introduced to their respective household heads.

We are happy to announce that this Christian Life Seminar was a success with a modest harvest of 22 individuals. To God be the Glory!

 

THE VENUE

THE SPEAKERS

Talk 1 - Andy Altea

Talk 1 – Andy Altea

Talk 2 - Freddie Nadres

Talk 2 – Freddie Nadres

Talk 3 - Ansel Beluso

Talk 3 – Ansel Beluso

Sharer for Talk 3 - Joyce Beluso

Sharer for Talk 3 – Joyce Beluso

Talk 4 & 5 - Efren Gabrillo

Talk 4 & 5 – Efren Gabrillo

Talk 6 - Doris Salengua

Talk 6 – Doris Salengua

Mini-talk - Manny Estrella

Mini-talk – Manny Estrella

Talk 7 - Tony Liza

Talk 7 – Tony Liza

Talk 8 - Vangie Estrella

Talk 8 – Vangie Estrella

Talk 9 - Gary Guarnes

Talk 9 – Gary Guarnes

THE PARTICIPANTS/SESSIONS

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DURING GROUP DISCUSSIONS

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THE SHARERS

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AT THE HOLY MASS

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CLASS PICTURES

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THE SERVICE TEAM

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THE DAY CFCFFL AND CFC GLOBAL JOINTLY CONDUCTED AN L.C.S.

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Conducting a Life in Christ Seminar (LCS) at San Guillermo Parish in Buting, Pasig City was just a dream for us, knowing the challenges that lie ahead.

How do you take just one step when you know that there is this sensitive part of the body that you just cannot easily move? When good friends fall apart due to differences in opinion, a pain is left in the heart. Not to mention there was this feeling that the parish is simply not yet ready and so how do we make it ready? We don’t know. That is how it is in our parish.

The initial plan for LCS remained a plan for several months. Those assigned to lead and assist had several personal challenges. We planned again, this time reaching the parish priest. Somehow it did not flourish even if support is all out. Some strange force is working against us.

God made His first move. A young and enthusiastic priest, Fr. Michael Ortega, came to our parish and into our lives. He enjoys church activities and encourages everyone to continue with what is already working. A glimpse of hope woke us up but still how do we pursue LCSC? His being there does not change the fact that CFCFFL and CFC Global are still not the best of friends like we used to be.

God did His next move. The letter from us with Bishop Milo Vergara’s endorsement encouraging LCS in the parish landed on the hands of CFC Global. Father Michael, for some reasons, gave it to them. Being good soldiers that they are, the challenge is to know what it is all about. Again for months, it remained a plan. Do they ask us to join them? Do we teach them? Are they the first participants?

The questions ended when Father Michael formally apologized to CFCFFL for the mistake and took the letter from CFC Global and forwarded it to us. Now, what do we do? We don’t want this to be a reason for CFC Global and CFCFFL to widen further the chasm of their relationship. It took us several meetings and timeline settings including self-convincing that we take this opportunity to bridge that gap. We again drafted a doable plan that seems to be mutually acceptable. There is no stopping us now.

On October 4, we met with the CFC Global group to iron out details of this joint plan with respect to the fact that they first received the letter and they, too, want to do LCS but just do not know how to go about it. It was a fruitful meeting. Work was equally divided and delegated.

On November 7, we had our bonding session to rekindle the friendship. Everybody brought food to share. We had games. It was so enjoyable that they still raved for more. Like the old times, we were one again.

On November 8, our CFCFFL group went as far as Bataan to observe how LCS is conducted. Again God was there with us. We had a breath of fresh air. We met brothers and sisters there – Bro. Jeo Liban, Bro. Regs Queddeng, Bro. Frank Abian of Cainta, and Bro Lito of Morong, Bataan to name a few. Everybody was gracious and thankful. We also participated in some given activities.

We conducted the joint LCS on November 14, 2015. When we reached San Guillermo Parish, some members of the Parish Pastoral Council were already there. Everybody was working on their assignments. The registration table was a busy area. Even Father Michael asked for a name plate and joined the group discussions. We had great speakers: Bro. Allan Santiago and Bro. Chito Angeo from CFC Global, Bro. Dan Magtibay, Bro. Hernan Casas and Bro. Allan Gaddi from CFCFFL.

The true test of this effort is measured by the attendance. Guess what? There were 108 faithful, including the service team, who responded to God’s call. When we were almost done, Father Michael asked that the collection basket be passed around. For a while we thought “for what?” but as obedient disciples we did and the proceeds were handed over to him.

When the last talk was over we asked for Father Michael’s blessings. He surprised us by thanking everyone, with special mention to CFCFFL and CFC Global. He was really happy of the outcome. He handed over the collection basket to the representatives of the two groups, Bro. Danny Nieves and Bro. Marlo Flores, as LCS seed money so that the LCS and related programs will gain ground in the parish. His appreciation did not stop there. He also gave each group an envelope with cash gift as token.

For us, the Life in Christ Seminar was a journey orchestrated by God. He sent a medium to make possible the impossible.

Truly everything happens for a reason in God’s perfect time.

By Chody Doris Salengua

Chody Doris Salengua

This gallery contains 23 photos