All over the Philippines and even in some parts of United States, United Methodist young people held annually the Christmas Institute or C.I. in their respective districts or annual conferences. This C.I. of 2015 more than 150 young people attended from the churches of the Southern Tagalog Provisional Annual Conference (STPPACE) both in Laguna and Quezon Districts. It was held in an elementary school in the town of Majayjay, Laguna last December 26, 2015.
It is one of the most awaited activity of the youth even among the STPPACE were they can spend their Christmas vacation with their friends from other churches, meet new ones and sometimes their future love partners d of course learn more about God and strengthen their faith. This C.I.’s theme is based upon the proposed program by the National UMYF organization entitled “B.T.R.L.” or Beating the Red Light. It implies that they will ‘beat’ or overcome obstacles and hindrances to faith even sin and other that weakens their faith and service to the Lord by God’s grace. Pastors and deaconesses attended the event and serve as their lecturers, Bible study facilitators, mentors and advisers.
Some former UMYF friends now called MYAF, because they we’re already member of the Young Adult organization because they we’re already graduated from being “youth”, visited them and showed support.
For the first time in history of UMYF C.I. for the Southern Tagalog is to be visited by Bishop Rudy Juan with his wife and some workers and also by a youth volunteer in mission. The bishop has visited all Christmas Institute gatherings under the Manila Episcopal Area greeted and challenges the youth and also prayed for the church workers.
Every Christmas Institute of Southern Tagalog it has been the tradition of appreciating the pastors and deaconesses where they gave gifts and fruits through the “Workers Night”. It is in a way to encourage and bless the supportive church workers.
Photos courtesy of Gemma Pera and Myca Chavarria