For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, the youth ministry of our local church, Grace Communion Baguio (Philippines) gathered in-person.
Because COVID 19 restrictions are beginning to lift in our city, we organized an activity for the young people. Since the lockdown, we have been maximizing the advantages of online gatherings, especially in Zoom, for two years. It has proven to be a blessing as we are able to still meet virtually. One of the things that I have learned to appreciate in this pandemic is the value of community and the importance of gathering together. I was reminded of the verse in Hebrews 10:25.
Discover creative ways to encourage others and to motivate them toward acts of compassion, doing beautiful works as expressions of love. This is not the time to pull away and neglect meeting together, as some have formed the habit of doing. In fact, we should come together even more frequently, eager to encourage and urge each other onward as we anticipate that day dawning. (TBT)
Whether the gathering is online or in-person, it’s important for church members to meet together, continuously and consistently, to encourage one another. The pandemic proved that it’s needed to strengthen the life of the church. The objective of this activity was to re-launch a physical gathering.
For our in-person event, we only desired to have fun, food, and fellowship. We started by making sure that all health and safety protocols were properly observed. One of the considerations was the event location. So, we agreed on the idea of hosting the event at our house in the front yard since it is in an open-air space.
Here are the highlights of the event:
Our youth leaders, Edrem and Eya Gacayan planned the program. We started with an opening prayer that was led by Bianca Lazaro and a song of worship by Jana Parcasio. Then I led a short devotional on the words of encouragement of the Lord for Joshua as he took on the role of a successor of Moses in Joshua 1:6. I encouraged the young people to be like the “Joshua Generation” even in these challenging times.
What followed were many games. Everyone participated excitedly! Even with their masks on, the smiles on faces of the youth were evident as they enjoyed the food and company of each other.
I am thankful to God for my auntie, Auey, and my mom, Mel, who prepared the snacks, lunch, and dessert. Everyone was very satisfied.
A highlight of the event was the fellowship in small groups, sharing and chatting. Here are some of the comments from the young people:
“God is faithful both in our online gatherings and now in our in-person activities…”
In this event, we successfully converged 27 children, youth, and young adults, plus 2 guests. With this re-launching activity, it is our hope to slowly be able to gather regularly in person every Saturday.
To our God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit be all the glory, honor, and praises. Amen!