On April 14-15, 2012, about 80 leaders of CFC-Singles for Christ from Metro Manila gathered at St. Joseph Retreat House for the Mission Core Group Retreat, an event to welcome the new chapter leaders to the Mission Core Group, to prepare them for the challenges they may face as they fulfill their new responsibilities, and to excite them for a great future God has prepared for all of them.
Saturday was a full day for the participants, from the inspiring morning worship to a mini-talk on Charismatic Worship, given by Tito Bob Serrano, CFC Family Ministries Head of Central A, to the five consecutive talks given by respected members of the CFC and SFC Core Team, to a Lord`s Day Celebration, and finally, an entertainment and fellowship night which showcased the unique talents of the participants. Sunday began with a mass at the nearby St. Anthony Shrine, followed by the last talk, an empowerment ceremony, and an open forum.
The first talk, "God`s Plan for CFC," was delivered by Tito Mon De Leon, a member of the CFC Board of Elders. He discussed about the different stages in the development of CFC, from the time it was conceived in 1980 up to where it is now. He also reminded the participants of their calling, and that the One who called them is the same person who called the first disciples, Jesus.
In the second talk, "Discipleship: God`s Call for CFC", Sis. Kate Deiparine, former fulltime pastoral worker for SFC, and currently a member of the SFC International Core Team, challenged the participants to be true disciples, embracing the mission and living out the Christian faith. As inspiration, she also talked a little about the first disciple, Mary, who stood by Christ even until death.
"Our Call to Loyalty" is the third talk, discussed by SFC Metro Manila Head, Sis. Cech Escano. Here she defined what loyalty is, and stressed its importance in our life as a community. She also gave instances when, sometimes without our knowing, we become disloyal to God, to our brothers and sisters, and to the ministry.
Bro. Rob Escano, SFC Metro Manila Head and member of the SFC International Core Team, addressed the Mission Core (MC) as the "gathering of the anointed" during the fourth talk, "Leaving All for God." He briefly discussed the difference between being "appointed" and being "anointed" and focused more on what it really means to leave everything for the Lord - the cost of following Him.
After rallying the participants to leave all for God, the fifth talk, "Giving All to God," given by Tito Bong Arjonillo, CFC Sector Head of Central C and also a member of the CFC Board of Elders, encouraged the participants to simply let go and let God. The participants were also led to reflect on what they value the most in life, and they were reminded that the greatest treasure they can have is Jesus.
The sixth talk of the retreat, "The CFC Mission Core Mission and Commitment" was more of the basics of the Mission Core. The vision, the function, the commitment, and the elements of that commitment of the MC was discussed lengthily by Tito Joe Tale, former CFC Chairman and currently a consultant for CFC ANCOP. The session was a reminder to the participants that indeed, "with great power comes great responsibility." Tito Joe also reiterated that as leaders of the community, the main responsibility and accountability is to bring the members closer to God.
The overnight retreat ended with a very powerful worship led by SFC Sector Coordinator for Central B, Bro. Manz Padilla.
The new members of the Mission Core will be formally welcomed at the Mission Core Assembly on May 6, 2012, at Ateneo Grade School Gym.
The CFC-Singles for Christ Metro Manila Misision Core Group Retreat was made possible by the service team from SFC Big Central, headed by Mon Gautane and Weng Padilla.