The Last Day of Unleavened Bread (observed last April 9, 2007) was doubly special for the Manila congregation because of having the “Recognition Day” for the young people during the morning services and because of having Mr. David Baker, our Senior Pastor, as the guest speaker during the afternoon services.
Morning services started at 10 am with Mr. Adolfo Remo giving the offertory message and with Miss Gracielle Joyce Remo (the daughter of Mr. Remo) giving a violin solo for the offertory music; this is a first for the Manila congregation to have a violin solo for the offertory music.
During the announcement portion of the morning service, Mr. Rey Evasco, our church pastor in Manila, recognized 12 young people who either graduated and/or who received awards in their respective schools. These young people came from different levels, from pre-school level to college level. The beaming smiles and gleaming eyes of their ecstatic parents are matched only by the energetic applause of the brethren, as the names and awards of those young people were announced.
This is but one way that these young people in God’s Church are letting their lights shine, that others may glorify God for their remarkable academic and extra-curricular performance in their respective schools [please see the list on page 6].
The special music for the morning service was a vocal duet rendered by Miss Audrey Ruth Angcos and Miss Gizelle Ellamil.
Mr. Rey Evasco gave the morning main message about the “leaven of the Pharisees” and how the brethren can avoid such “leaven” in their lives.
As a tradition in the Manila congregation—in between the spiritual meals received during the morning and afternoon services of Holy Days—a potluck lunch was prepared during the Last Day of Unleavened Bread. Given the natural passion of Filipinos for food, the potluck lunch seemed more like a banquet fit for royalty—and adding the lively fellowshipping among the brethren, the lunch was a feast indeed!
The afternoon service started at 2 p.m. with Mr. Benedicto Lorenzo giving the sermonette. The special music was rendered by the UCG-Manila Mini-Rondalla playing musical pieces specially arranged by Mr. Wilson Cinco, the conductor of the UCG-Manila Mini-Rondalla.
Mr. David Baker gave the afternoon main message about the journeys of Abraham, Lot, and the Israelites as written in God’s Word, and how the brethren can learn from their journeys as the brethren continue in their respective journeys after responding to God’s calling.
After the services, snacks were served as the brethren continued to fellowship with one another, exchanging stories and encouraging one another.
The Church Activity Center–Manila nearly reached its maximum seating capacity of 120, with an attendance of 97 in the morning and 99 in the afternoon.
As the Spring Festivals symbolize the early harvest, there is one “problem” the Manila congregation would be more than happy to face. That is, either finding a bigger hall or having morning and afternoon services each Sabbath just to accommodate its growing membership—recognizing fully well that it is God who gives the increase!