Posted by Christine Tarroza on 9/24/2009 6:00:42 PM
The long-awaited SFC 15th North American Conference finally arrived with much excitement, especially joining with our American and Canadian brothers and sisters. Many people were unsure of going to this year`s conference due to economic issues but by God`s grace, there were over 600 in attendance. People flew in from all over USA and Canada to Bethesda, Maryland and anticipated the messages God had for them and our community. They were grateful for that weekend because for many SFC delegates, this year`s conference was "The best conference ever!"
It was definitely an unforgettable conference. We walked down memory lane and recalled the blood, sweat and tears of those who paved the road from the last 15 years. Brother Raymund Sucgang, SFC USA National Coordinator, spoke about the joys and sufferings as being part of this community. The conversions that we witnessed and the heartbreaks we felt. It was through those experiences that God prepared us for the next 15 years, urging us to move forward with passion.
In order to move with passion, Brother Efren "Butch" Baria, SFC Canada National Coordinator, asked us to look deep within our hearts and be honest with ourselves. In spite of hard times with family and community life, work and service, we must remember who we are doing this for. We were encouraged to strain forward to what lies ahead. We must persevere if we want to obtain that prize, who is Christ. Decide now and work on it. Through discipline, faith and obedience, we will win the race and wear that imperishable crown of Jesus.
A highlight of the conference was the "Holy Hour" led by Fr Dan. As Jesus walked down the aisle, heads were bowed and knees were bent. Hands were raised in worship and prayers were voiced out loud. Tears streamed down as we surrendered our lives to Him. God was present and the Holy Spirit swept through the room. His gifts, his graces were pouring out. Healing begun and we were ready for more of God`s marching orders for us.
We were blessed to have 2 prominent guest speakers: Tim Staples, a converted Catholic apologist, and Christopher West, an author and speaker for "Theology of the Body." Mr. Staples encouraged us to boldly live out our Catholic faith. There are people unaware of its richness and we must do our part to let our faith shine in the world. And, Mr. West made such an impact on us with statements like God`s plans for us are stamped in our bodies. Once we understood our role as men and women, will we be able to live out the plans God has in store for us. If we continue to love unconditionally, then God will move fully in our lives.
"Every single man and woman all over the world experiencing Christ." Brother Aldy Katigbak, SFC International Coordinator introduced to us the mission of SFC. This work can not be done alone, we need one another to accomplish this mission. As we move together as one ministry, community, we are called to reflect the love of God and give every man and woman the opportunity to experience Christ.
We are excited for what is in store for SFC North America in the next 15 years. We know that only the best will happen because God transforms us from glory to glory. That is His nature to make things better. As we trust in God`s plans for us and our community, SFC North America moves forward with courage. Yes, it was definitely the best conference yet!