IKA-111 NA ANIBERSARYO NG IEMELIF

IEMELIF

(ni MHAR BASCO)

SA NAKALIPAS na 11 dekada at isang taon ay nagpapatuloy sa pagkatatag ang Iglesia Ebangelica Metodista En Las Islas Filipinas (IEMELIF) o Evangelical Methodist Church in the Philippines.

Sa biyaya ng Dios na buhay ay matagumpay ang ika-111 anibersaryo ng IEMELIF na ginanap sa Plenary Hall ng Phil. International Convention Center (PICC) noong Marso 1, 2020. Hindi mahulugan ng karayom ang dumalong kapatiran na mula pa sa 210 kongregasyon at mission points sa buong kapuluan.  Kabilang din sa lumahok ay nagmula pa sa America, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, Qatar at sa United Arab Emirates. Umaabot sa 48, 800 kaanib kabilang na ang mga pastor at deaconesa ang nakibahagi sa nasabing okasyon kaya naman ang iba ay nasa labas na lang ng lobby ng PICC dahil sa kakapusan ng upuan sa plenary hall.

Tema ng  anibersaryo sa 2020 ay “Misyon ng Dios: Ang Sama-Sama Nating Paglalakbay” (Missio Dei: Our Journey Together). Nagsimulang itatag ang IEMELIF noong Pebrero 28, 1909 na pinangunahan ni Bishop Nicolas Zamora. Sa loob ng 11 dekada at isang taon ay sumibol ang tinatawag na Konsistoryo na may 15 mi­yembro na binubuo ng 11 Presbitero, 1 Diakonesa, I kalalakihan, 1 kababaihan at 1 kabataan. Sa bilis ng panahon ay naging matatag ang IEMELIF sa Kamaynilaan at karatig lalawigan. Kahit binawian ng buhay si Bishop Zamora noong Sept. 14, 1914 ay nagpatuloy sa paglago ang kongregasyon sa pamamagitan ng Evangelization at Christian Education Program.

Naitatag din ang kauna-unahang simbahan sa Tondo, Manila hanggang sa tawaging Cathedral. Noong 1919 ay naitatag ang IEMELIF Bible College kung saan nagsasanay ang mga ministro, deaconesses at iba pang lay workers. Lalong naging aktibo ang mga kaanib dahil sa gawaing panlabas, dumadalo sa local at pandaigdig na pagpupulong at iba’t ibang Christian fellowships. Kabilang sa mga naging Obispo ng IEMELIF ay sina Bishop Alejandro H. Reyes, Bishop Victoriano Mariano, Bishop Francisco Gregorio, Bishop Matias B. Valdez, Bishop Marcelino C. Gutierrez, Bishop Lazaro G. Trinidad. Noong 1972 ay nahalal na Super-indente Heneral si Bishop Geronimo P. Maducdoc habang si Bishop George F. Castro ay ika-10 SH noong 1980.

Si Bishop Nathanael P. Lazaro naman ay noong 2000 at ang kasalukuyan ay si Bishop Noel M. Abiog. Kada taon ay nagdaraos ng General Conference ang IEMELIF kaya noong Pebrero 26-28, 2020 ay muling nahalal si Bishop Abiog bilang Superindente Heneral. Dahil sa biyaya at patnubay ng Banal na Espiritu ng Dios ay lumawak at nagpatuloy sa paglago at pagkatatag ang IEMELIF.

Kahit mabilis ang pagpapalit ng taon ay hindi makaliligtaan ang pagdaraos ng anibersaryo.

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