The Church's socio-civic works in the second year of pandemic
Compiled by MARK ANDRO T. MILAN
Date Posted: December 30, 2021
Obedience to God’s command is what inspires the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) to lend a helping hand not only to Church members but to nonmembers, as well. In fact, as it had done in the past, this year the Church continued to reach out to peoples and communities through Lingap sa Mamamayan (Aid to Humanity) drives, the INC Giving project, and blood donation activities as it kept up the construction of houses of worship—all with God’s help and all for His glory. Here are some highlights:
Aid to Humanity
On January 8, through the Ecclesiastical District of Western Europe, the Iglesia Ni Cristo donated about 700 care packages to the Philippine Embassy in Paris, France.
Through an Aid to Humanity on February 23, the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church Of Christ) handed out 6,000 relief packages for the parishioners of the Holy Theotokos Mission Church in Tanza, Cavite, Philippines.
Led by district supervising minister, Brother Matthew Capistrano, brethren from the Ecclesiastical District of Washington DC showed appreciation to frontliner educators through an INC Giving activity on February 24.
Church members from the Ecclesiastical District of Manitoba conducted consecutive Aid to Humanity events on March 23, 24, and 26.
On March 27, Church members from the local congregations of Rotorua, Taupo and Tauranga, Ecclesiastical District of New Zealand united in holding consecutive Aid to Humanity events at 244 Welcome Bay Road, Tauranga, and in Linton Park Community Centre, 16 Kamahi Place, Pukehangi, Rotorua.
On April 17, Church members from the Local Congregation of San Agustin, Ecclesiastical District of Zambales North traveled the almost 11-km stretch of rough roads to extend aid in an Aeta tribe in Sitio Lupang Pangako.
The Ecclesiastical District of Metro Manila East conducted Aid to Humanity on April 28, for the citizens whose livelihood were adversely affected by the lockdown in the NCR plus bubble, which comprised the National Capital Region of the Philippines, or Metro Manila, and the neighboring provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal.
In Rizal Ecclesiastical District, the district supervising minister, Brother Virgilio del Rosario Sr., led the turnover of more than 4,000 relief packages to the local government of Antipolo City on May 4.
On May 21, the Church, through the Ecclesiastical District of Zamboanga del Sur, donated 2,000 relief packages to the provincial government of Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines for the assistance of Zamboangueños affected by tropical storm Crising.
On May 28, the Felix Y. Manalo (FYM) Foundation, Inc. sponsored the Church’s aid to media frontliners in Metro Manila, Philippines. Brother Glicerio P. Santos IV, Church’s General Auditor, led the giving of relief packages.
The Iglesia Ni Cristo, through the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation Inc., extended humanitarian assistance to two Muslim communities in NCR on May 29. In separate turnover programs, representatives of the Church’s charitable arm handed over 10,000 relief packages in donation to Muslim leaders in Maharlika Village, Taguig City and more than 4,000 relief packages in Salam Compound, Barangay Culiat, Quezon City, Philippines.
On July 2, the Ecclesiastical District of Nueva Vizcaya conducted a Lingap Sa Mamamayan amid the pandemic to Ifugao residents in three of the Northern Luzon province’s towns.
On July 9, days after Taal Volcano’s phreatomagmatic event and subsequent eruption, Brother Eduardo Manalo approved the urgent sending of aid through the Ecclesiastical District of Batangas North to the affected residents of several towns in Batangas province who went on preemptive evacuation.
On August 17, thousands of residents of the Church’s three resettlement communities—Maligaya I, Maligaya II, and Bagong Buhay—benefited from an Aid to Humanity event, which was supervised by the district leadership of the Ecclesiastical District of Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, held in Palayan City, Nueva Ecija, Philippines.
The Ecclesiastical District of Ottawa, Canada donated some basic necessities in aid to the First Nations communities. The turn over of the relief packages was done in Kingston, Ontario, Canada on August 27.
Facilitated by the FYM Foundation, Inc. on September 5, the Church’s district in Greater Toronto, Canada conducted an Aid to Humanity for the Flemingdon Foodbank. It was held at the house of worship compound of the Local Congregation of Yorkdale.
On September 14, brethren in various local congregations in the Ecclesiastical District of Quezon South received relief packages sent by the Church Administration. Among them were those not only affected by the pandemic but also by the recent typhoon (local name: Jolina) that lashed the province.
Worldwide Lingap sa Mamamayan
Inspired by the leadership of the Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo Manalo, and in unity with his biblical aim of helping those who are in need, all the Church’s ecclesiastical districts in 159 countries and territories the world over celebrated his birthday on October 31 by conducting outreach activities under the project “Worldwide Lingap sa Mamamayan” spearheaded by the Church’s humanitarian arm, Felix Y. Manalo (FYM) Foundation, Inc.
In support of vaccination programs
Ever concerned with the welfare of every Iglesia Ni Cristo household, the Church Administration advised the parents with children aged five and younger to avail of the free vaccination against polio, rubella, and measles administered by the Philippine government the whole month of February.
Held on May 14 and June 4, brethren who are licensed and professional nurses from the Ecclesiastical District of LA County, California led an Aid to Humanity that helped promote, facilitate, and administer free first and second doses of Covid-19 vaccine, in collaboration with the staff of Mission Community Hospital and FirstMed Ambulance Services.
Brother Glicerio P. Santos III, minister of the gospel and the New Era General Hospital (NEGH) assistant medical director, vaccinates a fellow frontliner on August 3, when the NEGH was nationally accredited as a vaccination center.
In support of Covid-19 vaccination drives, the Church, in cooperation with pertinent government agencies, for example, in Hawaii, opened chapel grounds to serve as vaccination sites.
Along with Covid-19 patients needing medical attention are emergency cases where blood supply is essential. To be of help, the Ecclesiastical District of Rizal East conducted a blood drive held at Barangay Pinugay Covered Court on January 12, 2021.
34 local congregations throughout the Ecclesiastical District of Pampanga East participated in the blood donation drive held at the Pandacaqui Training Center in Mexico, Pampanga, Philippines on January 14. Hundreds of brethren who volunteered qualified as donors after the screening.
In coordination with the Philippine Red Cross in San Jose, the Church’s socio-civic work continues unabated as members from the Ecclesiastical District of San Jose, Mindoro Occidental participated in a blood donation activity on January 30.
As part of their commemoration of the 135th birth anniversary of Brother Felix Y. Manalo, Church Of Christ members from the Local Congregation of Regina, Ecclesiastical District of Manitoba donated blood to the Canadian Blood Services (CBS) on May 8.
Church members from the Ecclesiastical District of Quezon East in the Philippines participated in a blood donation activity held at Gumaca National High School on June 22.
Led by Christian Family Organizations (CFO) officers, brethren from different local congregations in the Ecclesiastical District of Aurora in the Philippines joined forces to clean the coastal area in Sitio Kipit, Barangay Dinadiawan, Dipaculao on January 16, 2021.
Following public health restrictions, the brethren conducted a clean-up drive on April 10 and 11. Manitoba Ecclesiastical District supervising minister, Brother Sidney Santos, and the district Christian Family Organizations (CFO) overseer, Brother Jeiel Robregado, led them.
Church Of Christ members from the Local Congregation of Christchurch, Ecclesiastical District of New Zealand conducted a coastal clean-up drive on May 9 at Spencer Park beach, which is 15.5 kilometers away from their house of worship.
With Covid-19 restrictions already lifted in their area and coordination with the Department of Public Works & Transportation of St. Mary’s County, Church members from the Local Congregation of Patuxent River, Ecclesiastical District of Washington DC enjoyed the bright and warm spring morning of May 22 cleaning the Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) Boulevard, Sector No. 2.
The afternoon of June 26 saw Iglesia Ni Cristo members from the Local Congregation of Capital City, Ecclesiastical District of Ottawa conduct a clean-up drive along the bank of Rideau River in Mooney’s Bay Park, Ottawa, Canada, together with Mr. Riley Brockington, a City Councilor, in this environmental protection activity under the Church’s INC Giving Project.
Church members throughout the United Kingdom Ecclesiastical District conducted a clean-up and beautification drive at Victoria Park, Manchester, England on August 1, in collaboration with Friends of Victoria Park (FOVP) organization.
Brethren from the Ecclesiastical District of General Santos City, South Cotabato worked hand in hand to clean up the coast of Ladol, in the town of Alabel, Sarangani, Philippines on August 6.
Establishment of Church’s first orphanage
On October 31, 2021, the Iglesia Ni Cristo inaugurated its very first orphanage, aptly named Yakap Orphanage (“yakap” means “embrace” in Filipino). It is situated behind the Philippine Arena within the Ciudad de Victoria Complex in Bocaue, Bulacan, Philippines. Brother Glicerio P. Santos IV, the Church’s General Auditor, led the opening ceremony.
As members of the Church Of Christ welcome a new year, they do so with a firm conviction in their hearts: they will not cease being active in all the works of the Church, including that of helping their fellowmen. — With reports from INC News Section