Thursday, July 19
Presbyterian Women's Gathering
Our home church in the Philippines has no walls. It is easy to miss for at a glance it looks like a large shed on the edge of a grassy knoll. You'll recognize it as a church once you see the cross on the steel roof. When you come closer, you see people thrilling to the sounds of old hymns and contemporary songs. Anyone can come and join. The doors and windows are open. That is the way it is in our church.
Over 50 children and youth from the neighborhood have answered the call to join us on Sundays. They almost outnumber our regular members. They crowd our small classroom that also serves as a basketball court. With them comes a praise band inspired by the energy they bring and liturgical dance that is now a regular part of our Sunday morning service.
Children and youth have been evangelists from the very beginning of Protestantism here. In the early days, evangelists traveled from village to village, working as day laborers. In the evenings, they would sit under trees, sing, and share Bible stories with the children. In time, the children would sing their songs and tell the new stories to their parents. On hearing the words of life, the parents would listen to the evangelists themselves. This pattern is still present. We can see the Holy Spirit working in our church, refreshing the tired lives of the poor. When the children find God, we all experience the power of spiritual renewal and new life.
- Rev. Dr. Paul Matheny, PC(USA) mission co-worker
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) People in Mission
United Church of Christ in the Philippines: Rebecca Lawson, ecumenical relations and advocacy, Rev. Dr. Paul Matheny, theological professor, Rev. Dr. Mary Nebelsick, theological professor, Carlton Palm, spiritual formation and field education, Silliman University Divinity School
PC(USA) Agencies' Staff
Lisa Love, FDN
Let us pray
Dear Lord, we praise your name for sending us your Holy Spirit to inspire and guide the church among the people of our village and throughout the Philippines. We thank you for sending children and young people to enrich the church, empower our worship, enliven us, and bring us hope. Amen.