INC Dedicates House of Worship in Riverside, California
Michelle Peredo: This week on INC News World:
Host continued: A House of worship is rededicated to God in Riverside, California. See how timely assistance was given to individuals and families in Southern Ontario. Your INC News World starts now.
Michelle Peredo: Welcome to INC News World. I’m Michelle Peredo coming to you from the INC Media Studios in San Francisco, California. About fifty miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles is the city of Riverside– the birthplace of the California citrus industry. And in the Mile Square Northwest Historic District, we see a momentous event taking place. Richie Ferrera with more.
Richie Ferrera: Remedios and her husband Bernardo Mendoza, members of the Church Of Christ and pioneers in the local congregation of Riverside reflect on its humble beginnings in 1974.
Remedios Mendoza (INC Member, Riverside, California): First worship service was in our house, probably around three months.
Richie Ferrera: Starting off as a group worship service, or GWS, worship services were first held in households, including at the Mendoza residence. But since then, they have become a full fledged local congregation. And they reached a milestone after purchasing a house of worship from the ‘Faith Tabernacle Church’ located in the Mile Square Northwest Historic District. After renovations, this house of worship was dedicated to God in 1977.
Remedios Mendoza (INC Member, Riverside, California): It was so happy when we found this chapel. We’re always together. We’ve grown and are like close family.
Richie Ferrera: For youth members in this local congregation, like Ana, they have witnessed how pioneering members here have served as examples of strong leaders inside the Church.
Ana Quintos (INC Member, Riverside, California): I was born and raised here. And my parents were actually married in this chapel. What I’ve seen from the pioneers, I know that a lot of them are retired or some have even passed away. But, you know, their legacy carries on in their families and their families have definitely taken the lead in taking care of our local.
Richie Ferrera: After decades, and growing in number, the Church Administration granted their request to have their chapel renovated once again.
Brother Ron De Mesa (Resident Ministerial Worker, Riverside, Orange County, California): We felt the excitement and the eagerness of the brethren, especially when they received the news that our house of worship was going to be renovated. We had brethren helping carrying all of the materials, such as the pews in our house of worship. We had all of the brethren coming here almost every day helping with whatever we needed to prepare for the dedication.
Jaime Talabong (INC Member, Riverside, California): It definitely strengthened my faith just to be a part of renovating the chapel that we use and that we come here for worship services or just to pray.
Richie Ferrera: Today, the local congregation of Riverside in the ecclesiastical district of Orange County, California, was able to reach another milestone. With many gathered from around the district, this house of worship was re-dedicated once again through a special worship service. Led by Supervising Minister Brother Jonathan Jamias, this sacred gathering was held to give thanks to the Almighty God for this great blessing.
Remedios Mendoza (INC Member, Riverside, California): We waited for so long. We can be more thankful to God.
Richie Ferrera: Others like Christine were moved to be a part of this special worship service.
Christine Balbuena (INC Member): It’s just such a great blessing to be here and to see all the brethren. To be a part of the growth that’s happened in our district. One thing we’ve always wanted to do was to renovate the chapel. But because it’s a historic building in the city, it was always such a challenge to be able to do so. And so it’s such a great blessing to see that it’s finally come to fruition with the help and the guidance of the Church Administration.
Richie Ferrera: And Arleen, who also grew up in Riverside.
Arleen Satele (INC Member): In the beginning, there was only three families that started. Once we got established, other brethren started coming here. The whole chapel is full. People just kept on coming. It was nice because it was always like a family atmosphere.
Kirk Garner (INC Member, Riverside, California): I feel more closer to God and with the brethren. Very happy to be with the brethren.
Brother Ron De Mesa (Resident Ministerial Worker, Riverside, Orange County, California): This blessing that we received to have a newly renovated house of worship has all the more inspired the brethren to always come here to the house of worship. This has all the more made the brethren proud to bring their guests, their visitors for our Bible studies and evangelical missions.
Brother Jonathan Jamias (Supervising Minister, Ecclesiastical District of Orange County, California): The brethren are so happy for the blessing they received from our Almighty God. They come to this place whenever they feel so weak, whenever they are encountering so many hardships and problems in this life. This is the place where they can go to pray to our Almighty God and to ask for His help. And this gives the members of the Church Of Christ more inspiration and strength in their service to the Almighty God.
Richie Ferrera: For the upcoming generations in Riverside, they are all the more inspired to take on the responsibilities of caring for this newly renovated house of worship and youth members in this local congregation.
Ana Quintos (INC Member, Riverside, California): The future of this local congregation, the responsibility of the youth is just to carry on the legacy of what the pioneers have already said– being active in our activities, taking care of the local congregation, not only in the present activities, but also in raising our future generations in the local congregation. It’s like our home.
Richie Ferrera: Through this event, members in Riverside took this opportunity to look towards the future with hope and to reflect on many decades filled with blessings that God outpoured to His Church. To keep up to date with the most recent celebrations and activities inside the Church Of Christ, log on to incmedia.org/incnewsworld or subscribe to our Youtube channel. Richie Ferrera for the Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network, Riverside, California.
Michelle Peredo: Food insecurity is an ongoing problem in Southern Ontario. And
[ON SCREEN GRAPHIC] about 67% of Ontario households receiving social assistance are food insecure.
Host Continued: But one resident would receive help when he needed it the most. Let’s check it out.
Michelle Peredo: Situated about 28 kilometers outside of London, Ontario is the city of St. Thomas.
Doug Eves (Resident, St. Thomas, Southern Ontario, Canada): I was walking down the street with my daughter and there was two people from your church walking down the street the other direction from me. And they said, “Hey, mister, if you and your daughter need a meal tonight, our church over there is giving away food.” So I said, “Sarah, you go on ahead. And I will see if I can get us a few groceries for the week because we’re that hard off right now.”
Michelle Peredo: For Doug, a resident here, his day-to-day life was changed after an unexpected event. The activity he attended was a Care For Humanity event of the Church Of Christ conducted at the function hall of the place of worship of the local congregation of London, in the ecclesiastical district of Southern Ontario. Care For Humanity– an outreach program spearheaded by Felix Y. Manalo Foundation, the volunteering arm of the Church Of Christ, aims to provide aid to those living in impoverished communities.
Doug Eves (Resident, St. Thomas, Southern Ontario, Canada): We don’t have enough food for the week. And then I came in here and people have just been laying gifts on. [They] fed me.
Michelle Peredo: More than 1,000 care packages containing groceries and hygiene products for daily needs as well as winter clothes were given to those in attendance.
Amy O’Brien (Resident, St. Thomas, Southern Ontario, Canada): I know there’s hats, and mitts, and socks and stuff like that in the bags. And you know, I need a new hat and some mitts. And you know, it just means that I don’t have to go out and purchase it myself.
Michelle Peredo: Through this event, the teachings taught inside the Church Of Christ were also introduced to them.
Brother Raul Adalla (Supervising Minister, Ecclesiastical District of Southern Ontario): The care packages are meant to provide material aid for our fellowmen, but the most important gesture of love and care we share with them today are the pure teachings of God that will lead us to receiving His blessings and [their] promised salvation. This is our response to the call of our Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo, to intensify further the work of propagating the words of God.
Michelle Peredo: The study of the words of God was led by Brother Jay Acuna, the assistant supervising minister of the ecclesiastical district of Southern Ontario. For Amy, also a resident and current doctrinal instructee, it was a great blessing to once again hear God’s teachings written in the Bible.
Amy O’Brien (Doctrinal Instructee, St. Thomas, Southern Ontario, Canada): I really felt like was felt the Holy Spirit today. Really felt nice and warm and tingly and really enjoying the entertainment. It’s also very uplifting. It is incredible, what they do and how they help people and how they inspire people. I think it’s important what they do because they’re not just helping those who came today. They’re helping people outside of the Church as well. You know, they received bags as well. I know a lot of people will benefit from what happened today.
Doug Eves (Resident, St. Thomas, Southern Ontario, Canada): You talked about God, the way I like to hear about God being talked about. I’m looking to find a church to bring my daughter to. That’s how I ended up here today. I’m so glad that I was walking down the street tonight and I found you people because I still want to come and check you out a little bit more.
Brother Erran Nigil Anor (Resident Minister, local congregation of London, District Southern Ontario): Because of this Care For Humanity event, residents here were given the opportunity to learn the truth. And in fact, one of the guests, Doug Eves, came to us and he expressed his desire to register as a doctrinal instructee to learn more about the Church Of Christ. So what we have done is we have already set a schedule to start his Bible studies.
Doug Eves (Resident, St. Thomas, Southern Ontario, Canada): Yeah, I’m coming back. It’s time because we are in the end times. And I think about it every day, about how I’m going to get to a church. And by God’s grace somebody on the street from your church stopped and said, “Hey, come here tonight.” You know, I have no excuses anymore but to come join the church and get ready for salvation.
Michelle Peredo: As of press time, Doug has now become a doctrinal instructee, actively attending worship services. Through these activities, members of the Church Of Christ are able to truly share their love and care for their neighbors and most importantly introduce them to the truth taught by the holy scriptures. If you want to learn more about the Church Of Christ and its various activities visit INCMedia.org/church-news.
Michelle Peredo: In the continuation of this week’s episode of INC News World, the INC extends help to refugees and other members in the community in Montreal and Nepean. From North America to the Mediterranean and the Pacific, the latest events inside the Church Of Christ. Stay tuned.
GET TO KNOW US NAVIGATING LIFEINSIPIRING STORIES