INC in Fremont, California Commemorates 40-Year Milestone
Michelle Peredo: Welcome back to INC News World.
Among the many local congregations in the ecclesiastical district of Northwest California is the local congregation of Fremont– established in 1983. Come join me as we delve into how they were able to commemorate their fortieth anniversary through a special worship service.
Michelle Peredo: Abe, who manages a construction company in Fremont, and his family were recently preparing for a long-awaited trip to be reunited with his parents.
Abe Talavera (Resident, Fremont, California): Throughout the years of [the COVID-19 Pandemic], we weren’t able to spend time with our family. We had a planned trip to celebrate my father’s 85th birthday, which was last year. They’re getting older. We don’t know how much time is left on their timeline.
Michelle Peredo: But as Abe and his wife approached the day he would be reunited with his parents and his children currently studying across the country, he was faced with a difficult decision.
Abe Talavera (Resident, Fremont, California): Family, God, family, God and of course, what came out of it was God first.
Michelle Peredo: As a Head Deacon in the local congregation of Fremont, along with his wife, Christine, a deaconess, they made their decision to put their duties to God first.
Abe Talavera (Head Deacon, Fremont, California): In the long run, this was the best choice.
Michelle Peredo: Their decision? To perform in a special worship service as the local congregation in Fremont in the ecclesiastical district of Northwest California commemorated a milestone anniversary of forty years while other sites across the district were also connected.
Officiated by Brother Eraño Codera– one of the primary helpers of the Church Administration, the holy spirit was felt by all those in attendance.
Abe Talavera (Head Deacon, Fremont, California): Through the hymn singing, through the prayers, through the lesson, you felt it within the confines of this place.
For our brethren here in this local congregation, I am delivering the greeting from our Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo. Along with this, he is also asking how we are doing, not only here in this local but throughout the entire district.
Michelle Peredo: A blessing that extended to members of the local congregation, as well as to Abe and his wife. And to others, like Dennis, a pioneer of over 30 years. And to others, like Dennis, a pioneer of over 30 years.
Dennis Dizon (Deacon, Fremont, California): It’s an experience that you wish would just go on and on and on. The feeling of being blessed, the feeling of somebody caring was so special. He said that Brother Eduardo asked him to visit us and felt very genuine. He said, “He’s thinking of you. The Executive Minister, Brother Eduardo V. Manalo is thinking of you.” That alone matches the love of the Church Administration– the care.
Rhubie Dizon (Deaconess, Fremont, California): Just from the hymn-singing, we already felt God’s presence and we’re so very thankful to God that He allowed us to have this opportunity. I’m just very thankful for his love for us and for thinking about us. So we’re very happy that he remembers us.
Christine Talavera (Deaconess, Fremont, California): In the worship service, when they pray for your family, you pray for the parents and you pray for your children… To hear it in this space and to feel that power fill this space, …I’m very confident that God will take care of all of us.
Devon Smith (Deacon, Fremont, California): We know this world is getting worse. There seems to be no end to it. But to have the worship service that we had today, to experience that level of power and level of the Holy Spirit… I really can’t put it into words. I’m happy, I’m strengthened
Michelle Peredo: And among others with thankfulness in their hearts was George, a 92 year old member and former head deacon of over 17 years.
George Sistoso (Deacon, Fremont, California): We are thankful because we feel the love of Brother Eduardo V. Manalo. He is thinking of us and our situation in this troublesome world.
Michelle Peredo: For Violet, whose first time attending a worship service in the Church Of Christ was today, her feelings were undeniable.
Violeta Padilla (Resident, Fremont, California): I was really crying. I said, “This is different. It’s not like the Catholic Church. I can really feel it.” You can feel what the preacher is saying.
Michelle Peredo: And it was immediately after this special worship service that she registered as a Bible student, eager to learn more about the true faith.
Violeta Padilla (Doctrinal Instructee, Fremont, California): I’m so excited. I would like to finish all the Bible studies.
Brother Jun Hernandez (Assistant Supervising Minister, Ecclesiastical District of Northwest California): While we are listening to the teachings prepared by the Church Administration, we were enlightened once again, edified in our faith so that whatever happens in this life, we will remain faithful and steadfast in our calling, because we all know that there are so many trials, tribulation that will still come along our way. And so the Church Administration wants us to understand that we need to remain strong.
Brother Wilson Dela Pena (Resident Minister of Fremont, California): Brother Eduardo Manalo, on behalf of the local congregation of Fremont, ecclesiastical district of Northwest California, We promise to you, that we will continue to be united with you in all of the holy endeavors that you lead for the benefit of the Church in her entirety, and most of all, for the glory and honor of our loving Father in Heaven.
Michelle Peredo: For Abe and Christine, whether their family is near or far, they are inspired to carry on in service, knowing that God will always be with them.
Christine Talavera (Deaconess, Fremont, California): We’re not together physically, we’re together spiritually. And I feel confident that God is taking care of us because we all are still here, we still perform. If you take care of the Church, God will take care of you.
Michelle Peredo: For the rest of members in the local congregation of Fremont, they are all the more inspired to continue in their services to the Almighty God with a thankful heart.
Dennis Dizon (Deacon, Fremont, California): Brother Eduardo, thank you so much that we are always in your thoughts. We are so thankful, as a local congregation, that on our anniversary you did not forget us. We thank you so much and we love you so much.
Michelle Peredo:As of press time, members look forward to another great blessing, as plans are approved for this house of worship to undergo renovation to be rededicated to the Almighty God.
Through this special occasion, members in Fremont look towards the future with hope while reflecting on the many decades filled with blessings that God outpoured to His Church.
Michelle Peredo for the Iglesia Ni Cristo News Network, Fremont, California.
Michelle Peredo: Well, that does it for us on INC News World. Tune in every Saturday for new episodes of INC News World on INCMedia.org, our YouTube channel and on streaming platforms. I’m Michelle Peredo and thank you for joining us. Stay safe and we’ll see you next time. God bless.