Friday, 10 July 2009 10:01 Last Updated on Friday, 10 July 2009 10:33
Dressed in white or green gowns, brides bloom with eager anticipation as their groom-husbands held them before the altar, proving that through all these years love between them have stood the test of time. An impressive sight, but more striking in its pattern of fidelity.
Many of them had never been married in church, 18 couples marched down the aisle of Sibalom Adventist church last June 27 afternoon to say the "Yes, I do" again. These couples took this as an opportunity to do it in the right place with the blessing of an officiating minister. This comes as one of the Sabbath afternoon program highlights of the district's association fellowship.
Before this special program for the couples, WVC workers joined in the vespers held at the same church. Mrs. Chita Jucaban, WVC's Home and Family and Children's Ministries director, gave a talk about family, stressing an emphasis for parents to give special time to their growing children.
During the Sabbath School, the AYAP (Adventist Youth Aiming for Progress) club hosted a very rare program by doing it through kind of like a radio broadcast program. Young people of the host church of the federation participated, through the direction of Keen Villaflor and Teonilo Operio. The program came after weeks of preparation.
Before the divine worship, Pastor Calev Maquirang, WVC's communications director, gave a promotion on the communications department of the church. And, according to him, it, generally, contains two roles in ministry: first, to ensure that church members are informed and, second, to make certain that the church is properly represented in public. He also emphasized the same ministry should be undertaken by the local church's communication department.
Pastor Ferdinand Esico, WVC president, gave the sermon during the divine worship. After presenting the mid-year WVC report, he continued to challenge the brethren about preaching and witnessing, emphasizing the difference between the two, and reminding each one that this year comes to the Adventist church globally as the year of evangelism. "We need to do more for Jesus this year", he said.
The early part of the Sabbath afternoon became special as it started with little ones being brought by their parents for dedication. Mrs. Jucaban gave the sermonette and Pastor Maquirang, with the ordained church elders, said the dedicatory prayer. An hour or so later, the program for children also followed, where each little child, aging 3-5 years would come up the stage to sing. Seeing that their patience pays off, they commited all the more to train their children to get involved in church activities. As one parent said, "Tahum tulokon ang mga bata nga gaparticipate sa program--trainingon ko pa to bata ko bala" (It's nice to see children participating in the program--i'll train my child more).
Before that program-packed Sabbath afternoon concluded, came the program for parents. Termed as "I do...Again", the program aims at giving the couples in attendance the opportunity to reaffirm their marital vows and commitment to each other. Officiating this unique ceremony, Pastor Esico said, "You are not just like any other couple out there--you are Seventh-day Adventist couples. You have to live as examples."