by Nancy R. Catan, BCBP Manila
Have you experienced the uplifting joy of worshiping and praising the Lord in unity with 4000 people? Have you felt your anxieties fade away as they are overcome by the smiles, happy greetings, and joyous friendship of the people around you?
We have just experienced the 32nd National Anniversary Celebration of the BCBP, Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals, held last April 13-14 at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, where we felt one in spirit with the other 4000+ delegates. Friday evening saw everyone worshiping and praising God, singing and praying with the 90-member music ministry, and praying for one another’s concerns.
During breakfast Saturday morning we listened to three businessmen share their inspiring life experiences in answering the Lord’s call to bring their respective marketplaces to Christ and to bring Jesus into the marketplace. That afternoon we participated in a concelebrated mass led by His Excellency Bishop Jesse Mercado, who encouraged us to carry the anniversary’s theme “Go … I am with you” as we returned to our respective homes and workplaces, to share Jesus with everyone we meet.
The evening’s dinner and program was truly a joyous occasion with lots of songs, laughter, sharing of experiences as we went from table to table, fellowshipping with brothers and sisters from all over the Philippines. And dancing … let’s not forget the dancing! And the raffles! And the food!
Why do we celebrate anniversaries with such joy? For me, it is a time to renew friendships, to tangibly feel the Spirit moving among us, to put my life back into properly focusing on the Lord. I remember that “community” comes from the Greek word koinonia that means unity of heart and mind in the Lordship of Jesus Christ. When like-minded people band together for a common purpose, there results a sharing of values such as the BCBP’s Core Values: Love for God, Love for Country, Love for Others, and Commitment to the Lord’s Work. We are able to draw on the strengths of each member and we learn to benefit from one another’s unique gifts and talents, even as we nourish and are nourished by the care and concern of brothers and sisters in Christ.
This nourishment, this caring, encouragement and support among brothers and sisters in community, the inspiration we get from one another – this is the essence of community! When I share my story in BCBP breakfasts, I always proclaim that it was only when I joined the BCBP in 1985, became integrated into community, that I really felt at home in the Philippines. Thank you, Lord, for community!