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Beginning the Year Right

We certainly hit the ground running in this New Year of 2016. We held our first First Fruits offering during our first assemblies in the various areas this year. Then on January 9, we had our annual CFC Leaders Conference at the Mall of Asia Arena where, in the presence of some 15,000 leaders, we expounded on our theme for the year “Rejoice. Pray. Give Thanks " and set our directions for 2016: "Strengthen the Core, Expand the Reach".


This was followed on January 10 by a Recollection of our Elders Assembly in the morning and separate Men's and Women's Forum in the afternoon. We engaged our International leaders in a whole-day Global Leaders Empowerment Conference on January 13. The next weekend, January 15-17, the Mission Core of Metro Manila, together with some provincial leaders and brethren from the international missions, went up to the cool mountain city of Baguio for our traditional Weekend Recollection.


We also had the blessing and privilege of hosting, together with our Partners in Mission (Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon, Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals. and Familia), an afternoon with the renowned Bishop Robert Barron of Los Angeles who shared his reflections on the New Evangelization and The Family in the Year of Mercy.


Finally, the month was capped with our service and attendance in the 51st International Eucharistic Congress in Cebu City, the cradle of Christianity in the Philippines, from January 24-31.


It was indeed a fully loaded month of January, a full tank of spiritual insights, reflections and inspiration, that should energize us throughout the rest of the year. Praise be to God who made it all possible.


In the midst of all of these, brothers and sisters, we realize that our country will hold a national event of high importance for all of us - the national and local elections on May 9, 2016. We again have the opportunity to select the leaders who will govern this country in the years ahead. This is not just a political exercise. We should consider our right to vote as a sacred obligation that we need to exercise with prayer and discernment. How the country will be governed in the next six years (three years in the case of local officials), will depend largely on how we all exercise our right of suffrage.


Our bishops have collectively expressed that our politics, as presently practiced, remains the biggest bane and obstacle in the development of our society. The highest leaders of our church, Pope Francis and the various Popes especially in recent history, have consistently encouraged the lay faithful to actively participate in the field of politics and governance, bringing Christ and the Good News even in this secular and worldly undertaking.


Thus, in response, as announced in various fora, particularly during our Leaders Conference at the MOA Arena, CFC has joined the Pilipino Movement for Transformational Leadership (PMTL). PMTL is a movement of faith-based organizationsCatholics, Protestants and Evangelicals—that has established a process which its members and the rest of our countrymen can use to select the future leaders of the country.


This process is based on a guide that embodies Christian values that we believe hold the key to make our country move forward as a nation, progressive, peaceful, and one where everyone lives in dignity. That guide is called Gabay Kristo.


We ask the entire community to participate in this process, and do its part in this initial effort to select the best leaders for this country. We are not forming a political party, nor will CFC endorse a particular candidate. However, we ask that every CFC member, in the exercise of one's right to vote and as a citizen of this country, participate in this undertaking Below is the Gabay Kristo and the guidelines on how to implement this exercise. Please go over these guidelines and, in prayerful discernment, answer each checklist or guide question with reference to the national and local candidates who are now seeking our vote.


In the meantime, let us pray for our country, for the candidates, for the COMELEC and others involved, that we shall have a clean, peaceful and credible elections in May 2016. (Joe Tale)

Added on Sunday, February 21, 2016



 

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