UNITED WE STAND FIRM
“If there is any encouragement in Christ, any solace in love, any participation in the Spirit, any compassion and mercy, complete my joy by being of their same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing.”
On February 4-5, 2017, leaders from all over Florida attended the CFC Florida Leaders Empowerment Retreat, “United in Heart” in Titusville, Florida. A significant event such as this was indeed a great privilege.
We arrived early Saturday morning with expectant heart ready to receive God’s embrace and the many surprises that He had in store for us. We were welcomes and surrounded by God’s faithful ones with their gentle and warm spirits. It was an enormous blessing to us.
CFC Florida Area head, Ronnie Calungcaguin, opened the event with us his usual humble spirit and true to life stories, and set the tone for the weekend. Followed by praise and worship, we were immensely humbled to be among strong men and women of faith.
Our newly anointed CFC USA National Director, Toffee Jeturian, delivered the first talk about Building Christian Community. He led us to accept our call for a divine purpose and reminded us that we need to truly live responsibly as Christians. In his talk, he introduced the 5 Steps for building a Christian Community:
Devotion to Scripture
Devotion to Communal Life
Devotion to the Breaking of the Bread
Devotion to Prayer
Our beloved Joe & Monina Duran (Caribbean Mission Coordinator) delivered the second talk about Humility & Obedience. Men and women were separated during this session. It was an uproar of the emotion as Sis. Monina delivered this topic with wit & humor. We took the wisdom she shared to heart. She shared with us how to effectively support our husband in their leadership role in the ministry. As for the men, Bro. Joe reinforced the need for both humility and obedience in order to have a united community. They had an open forum to discuss any issues and concerns regarding leadership.
The third talk, entitled “United in Heart,” focused on the weekend’s theme and was powerfully delivered by Father Julius Glenn Lopez of St. Joseph Parish in Lakeland. He tuned our hearts to focus on our faithfulness to the Lord as servant leaders. He shared that uniting in God and in heart is impossible without the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit that will strengthen us and teach us how to love.
The highlight of the day was the outpouring of the Spirit during Holy Hour followed by the Holy Mass, which was all officiated by Father Glenn. In his homily, he exclaimed that we are being challenged to be the light of the world and salt of the earth like Jesus.
A CFC event is not complete without fellowship. A Pre-Valentines Party was held after dinner filled with entertainment and activities. The room was beautifully decorated with Valentines decorations ad a photo booth, where couples were able to take a picture and take home a printed photo as a souvenir of the weekend.
Sunday started with another powerful praise and worship followed by the final talk, which was a Ministry Encouragement by Bro. Toffee. His talk was filled with reminders on how to shepherd the flock that has been entrusted to us. He concluded the talk with a prayer of empowerment and the installation of new servant leaders.
“Be on your guard, stand firm in the faith, be courageous, be strong. Your every act should be done with love.” 1 Corinthians 16: 13-14
We closed the weekend with testimonies from leaders who were in attendance. Sis. Joy Barlaan (Tampa) proclaimed in her sharing that 2017 will be a year of abundance. Bro. Ronnie sent us off with a message of thanks and a powerful praisefest.
As we move forward to fulfill God’s call to serve Him and His people, we can go back to this weekend and be reminded of the wisdom learned, especially when we encounter bumps along the way in our service. By His grace, we strongly felt His love through the genuine care of our CFC leaders and their valuable and timely teachings. We were inspired by our elders to live their lives in full submission to His leadings, who shepherd their flocks with humility and obedience, and who do all things out of love. Our utmost thanks and admiration goes to everyone involved, especially to our Full-time Pastoral Worker, Patrick Coronel, and the Youth and SFC volunteers who were instrumental in bringing this event to fruition.
With humble hearts, we come to You Lord in prayer.
We pray that you create among us
servant leaders made in Your image.
Help us to remain strong and faithful
with our eyes focused on You alone,
steadfast to finish the race
and together claim the reward of heaven.
Talk 1: Building Christian Community
Talk 3: United in Heart
Talk 4: Ministry Encouragement
Check out the Gallery for more Pictures
February 4-5, 2017
Couples for Christ
CFC Leaders' Empowerment
Held in Titusville, FL