House of Worship Rededicated in San Francisco
BROTHER MICHAEL GUERRERO: This week on INC News World. In San Francisco, California, a house of worship is rededicated to God in a special worship service. And in Hinton, Canada, another house of worship is also dedicated in the same live streaming worship service. Your INC News World starts now.
BROTHER MICHAEL GUERRERO: Welcome to INC News World. I’m Brother Michael Guerrero, coming to you from the INC Media Studios in the San Francisco Bay Area. And we hope everyone is continuing to stay safe wherever you are today.
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HOST CONTINUES: With the domino effects of the pandemic, research is showing a lot of churches will be forced to close within the year.
But we head to the San Francisco Bay Area, where we see the very opposite happening as the faithful gather for a special and significant occasion. Michelle Peredo has the details.
MICHELLE PEREDO: What started out as a short visit to the San Francisco Bay Area from the Philippines ended up being a permanent residence for the Jimenez family. After finding out that their young son was diagnosed with stage four leukemia.
NESTOR JIMENEZ (INC MEMBER – SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA): He was six years old at that time. We decided to stay because of his chemotherapy for ten years. The doctors there sent us here in San Francisco to transfer him to the big hospital. He stayed there for almost five years. I needed to go back and forth to the chapel for devotional prayer.
MICHELLE PEREDO: Already making consistent trips to the chapel, as a member of the Church Of Christ in order to conduct his personal prayers to God for his son. He also asked for help in making another important decision, guidance, because of the local congregations’ need in tending and caring for the San Francisco house of worship.
NESTOR JIMENEZ (INC MEMBER – SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA): Because at that time they’re looking for a caretaker because their caretaker was sick. Then I asked God to help me to decide.
MICHELLE PEREDO: After many prayers and with the approval of the Church Administration, his request to serve as the chapel caretaker for the locale was approved. Despite what he and his family were facing, Nestor dedicated himself in service as a chapel caretaker and entrusting the care of his son completely to God.
NESTOR JIMENEZ (INC MEMBER – SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA): A lot of trials, you know, how to manage the time and how to take care of my family and my priorities to the worship service.
MICHELLE PEREDO: After five long years of hospital stays, God answered his prayers and his son was discharged.
NESTOR JIMENEZ (INC MEMBER – SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA): After three months. He’s getting better and better. He is already 21 years old. God’s amazing power. That’s a miracle I want, in my experience, that I cannot forget.
MICHELLE PEREDO: It has been a long journey for Nestor and his family. And as the chapel’s caretaker, he has also witnessed the journey of members in the local congregation. And while houses of worship over time, age and are in need of renovations, the Church Administration recognizes these needs. So Nestor, along with the local congregation, joined together in praying that their house of worship would receive the repairs they needed. God answered the prayers of the members here just over a year ago, when the Church Administration approved plans for renovations to this historic chapel.
NESTOR JIMENEZ (INC MEMBER – SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA): They help all the brethren, especially all the officers. They have time. They do sanding, cleaning, mop the floor, the walls, everybody cleaning.
BROTHER NORMAN DELA CRUZ (MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL – NORTHWEST, CALIFORNIA): We all pitched in the renovation. There were those brethren who did the sanding of the pews. They did some cleaning. They really labored hard night and day just to be able to finish the renovation.
MICHELLE PEREDO: Originally purchased in 1971 and later renovated that same year, the pioneering worship building of San Francisco was dedicated to God.
And today, the local congregation of San Francisco gathered among other members around the district of Northwest California. Once again to rededicate the splendid chapel. Led by the Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo. Members from around the world also connected via video conferencing, to witness this sacred occasion.
BROTHER NORMAN DELA CRUZ (MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL – NORTHWEST, CALIFORNIA): The brethren felt the power of the Holy Spirit during the dedication of our house of worship. They feel so blessed for having a beautiful house of worship here in the Local Congregation of San Francisco.
BROTHER EDUARDO JAVIER (DISTRICT SUPERVISING MINISTER – NORTHWEST, CALIFORNIA): We are so thankful in our district that the chapel of San Francisco is being included in the three of those who are being dedicated to our Almighty Father. San Francisco is the mother of all the local congregations here in the Bay Area. So this dedication of the house of worship means a lot to us.
NESTOR JIMENEZ (INC MEMBER – SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA): God is there. God is with our Executive Minister. He is powerful. It’s a big blessing. I cannot measure it. It’s a very huge blessing for us to be a part of San Francisco Local Rededication. And just as Nestor and the members of the Church Of Christ here have been carrying on for decades firm in their conviction to continue their service to God, they look towards the future with the same faith.
BROTHER EDUARDO JAVIER (DISTRICT SUPERVISING MINISTER – NORTHWEST, CALIFORNIA): The rededication of the House of Worship shows that our Executive Minister is really hands on when it comes to the spiritual welfare of the members of the Church. Here in the United States, it was mentioned in one of the reports. They said that construction of houses of worship in the United States have fallen sharply for the past two decades, but not in the case of the Church Of Christ. Even during the time of pandemic, we continued to construct houses of worship, and we dedicate them to our Lord God all for His glory.
BROTHER NORMAN DELA CRUZ (MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL – NORTHWEST, CALIFORNIA): It’s a modern-day miracle, what is happening in the Church today through the pandemic. Our brethren, though, with their faith and resilience even though there is an economic hardship still going on, they were still active in their worship services.
MICHELLE PEREDO: And for Nester, there’s one thing he learned from what he went through, he will never forget.
NESTOR JIMENEZ (INC MEMBER – SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA): Do not stop, even though there’s betrayals facing, just always put our complete trust to God, keep on praying, keep on attending worship service and don’t give up.
MICHELLE PEREDO: Members of the Church Of Christ in Northern California continue to give thanks to the Almighty God, for his abundant blessings, despite the pandemic. To keep up with the growth of the Church Of Christ around the world, even during the ongoing pandemic, log on to incmedia.org/inc-news-world.
MICHAEL GUERRERO: As we go up north, religious houses of worship that have been thriving for decades are now in a crisis.
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HOST CONTINUES: A third of Canada’s Christian architecture, some 9000 churches, will close in the next ten years, according to the National Trust for Canada.
But in Edmonton, Canada, we see one church opposing the very circumstances that leave other religions in crisis. Mia Medina has the details.
JASON DELA CRUZ (INC MEMBER – HINTON, EDMONTON): We can say that it’s an attraction here in our area. And to be honest, there aren’t enough words to express the happiness that we are feeling.
MIA MEDINA: A feeling, Jason, a resident of Hinton, Alberta, felt knowing the condition of other religious organizations outside the Church Of Christ.
JASON DELA CRUZ (INC MEMBER – HINTON, EDMONTON): There are a lot of different religions closing down and can’t continue anymore.
MIA MEDINA: The Church Of Christ has been renovating and establishing houses of worship around the world regardless of an ongoing pandemic. And it’s here in Hinton, Alberta, where we see a newly renovated house of worship come to fruition.
JASON DELA CRUZ (INC MEMBER – HINTON, EDMONTON): We’re very blessed here in our local congregation. Because not only were we blessed with a house of worship, but we were also given the opportunity to renovate and fix it.
MIA MEDINA: In February of 2017, the Church Of Christ bought a property previously owned by the Anglican Church and following its purchase in March of 2017, the Hinton Group Worship Service was established. Since then, the growth of the Church in Hinton flourished, and there came a need to establish a local congregation of Hinton, in 2019, through an inaugural worship service. Years of patience and prayers amongst Church Of Christ members led to the day of the dedication of the house of worship. The dedication was held via live video streaming. The worship service was led by the Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo. This special day left them reminded of the importance of the house of worship.
LALAINE DEOFERIO: For me, it’s very important to have a place of worship. Here where we can render a proper and solemn worship service and we also have our personal devotional prayers anytime, any day. We are able to pray to our Almighty God.
RONALD SANTIAGO (INC MEMBER – HINTON, EDMONTON): Having our own house of worship is a huge blessing for all the members of the Church. We recognize that this blessing came from our Almighty God and we continue to truly glorify Him.
MIA MEDINA: And Church Of Christ members here, hope that this newly dedicated house of worship would serve as an instrument to bring more people to the truth.
RONALD SANTIAGO (INC MEMBER – HINTON, EDMONTON): It’s very timely that more houses of worship are being built because there are a lot of people we need to invite inside the Church. Especially now that our salvation, promised by God to the members of the Church Of Christ, is drawing near.
MIA MEDINA: Church Of Christ members here in Edmonton, Canada continue to give thanks to the Almighty God for the outpour blessings they receive. To learn more about the latest news inside the Church Of Christ, log on to incmedia.org/INC-News-World.
MICHAEL GUERRERO: In the continuation of this week’s episode of INC News World, an Aid To Humanity event aims to make important community connections. And in Sacramento, recent high school and college graduates get the chance to celebrate in Orange County, California. Stay tuned.
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