August opened with an overflowing expression of love and support from church members and friends from across the globe as Novaliches Christian Fellowship celebrates its 30th Anniversary.
“I LOVE MY CHURCH” is the 2022 anniversary theme, straightforward and solid as the congregation’s commitment to the church as a whole as well as in praying and caring for each other. The theme also follows Christ’s example in Ephesians 2:25 - "Christ loved the church, and gave His life for it."
As an overarching theme during the anniversary month, Senior Pastor Rev. Mark Dantes exhorted on following the example of the first Church in loving and fellowship with one another, as well as the importance of keeping the unity among the brethren.
“I Love My Church” also serves as the title to the anniversary song, an original composed for the first time with the combined contribution of the talented members of the NCF Music Ministry. The lyrics are a reflection of the struggles to lead the worship in recent years due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a deep longing to return to the sanctuary that we may sing the Lord’s praises with the brethren, according to ministry head Sis. Gigi Dantes.
With improvements in the quarantine situation allowing for more members to gather and with the numbers of physical attendees growing closer and closer to pre-pandemic levels, the Lord answered their prayers for a joyful celebration throughout the month of August.
Matching the increase in physical attendance was the continually growing presence of NCF in social media, led by the young and indefatigable production team of Sis. Dang Baldonado, allowing members who are still unable to make it physically as well as members abroad to join the congregation in coordinated worship and in listening to the Word of God. With social distancing and government protocols still in place coupled by the regular simulcast of the worship services and activities in NCF’s Facebook page, all systems are a go for the NCF’s 30th anniversary celebration.
Messages from NCF friends and members, both current as well as abroad, were also collected and played every Sunday in a series entitled “What Do You Love The Most About NCF?” greeting Pastor Mark and the congregation and reminiscing about their time with the NCF brethren.
NCF Deacons Bros. Nole Alejandro and Justy Guzman offered a Prayer of Dedication followed by a Prayer for the Leadership. After the first Sunday worship service, the congregation was finally able to hold a physical Love Feast for most of the members, a tradition not celebrated in such a scale since the pandemic began.
Fun games and competitions were held by NCF Clayhouse after the Love Feast, and also by the Finance Ministry throughout August. These activities tested not only how much the congregation knows about NCF’s history, but also its members, as well as how to coordinate with fellow contestants to accomplish some challenges.
The anniversary also saw the return of the face to face Care Group classes every 9 AM, divided into the Adults and Youth groups, designed to allow Christians young and old for a closer and deeper study of the Bible in addition to the regular preaching during the Message proper.
Physical gathering for Care Group sessions have not resumed since the pandemic but were held online until recently. Members who are unable to attend physically will still be able to access the online Care Group lessons online.
On the last Sunday of August, NCF’s very own Bro. Justy Guzman had the opportunity to launch a brand new album featuring ten worship instrumentals and songs in a combination of electronic and acoustic guitar music. He then performed with Bro. Bob Fortaleza their last year’s single “Tayo Pa Rin” dedicated to the couples of NCF Solemates. The duo were henceforth dubbed by the congregation as “Bob & Bob” as they performed before the service’s end. After the service, NCF also hosted a free medical checkup in the afternoon, sponsored by the Generika Drugstore North Olympus branch.
NCF was founded in August 1992 starting with a small number of attendees meeting together at the pastor’s home in Novaliches, Quezon City. The church has since then grown with a larger membership and several daughter churches and affiliates, as well as in cooperation with other local churches and congregations, ever steadfast in carrying out The Great Commission of bringing more people to Jesus Christ.
More activities will be featured in the following months as NCF continues to celebrate three decades of God’s goodness towards the church. Hallelujah!