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The Genesis Catholic Community recently celebrated its 13th Year Anniversary. The whole Community, including families and children, drove up to Lembah Hijau in Puncak on the weekend of November 8-9, 2008.

It was a very special time of rejoicing and thanking the Lord for the gift of Community and for the many blessings He has bountifully bestowed upon the Community and all its members.

And what better to begin the 1st day than with a time of Worshipping the Lord for His goodness, faithfulness and love. The lively Worship was led by one of the Community elders, Bro. Fred Manibog, supported by the Music Ministry headed by the musically talented husband and wife team of Bro. Percy & Sis. Olive Cabauatan.

The theme of the celebration was Strengthening Our Way of Life. So the talks and discussions focused on some basics of our life in Community -- Prayer and Scripture, Lord’s Day Celebration and the Elements of Good Membership.

Session 1 ON GENESIS by our Senior Coordinator Bro. Pete Lapid, touched on the history, structure, care and support system and our Way of Life. The talk was complemented by a beautiful video clip on GENESIS prepared by one of our Coordinators, Bro. Alfred Torres.

GENESIS evolved from a Bible Study Group in August 1988 initially as a Prayer Group. It started living the Community way of life in November 1995. Later, GENESIS affiliated itself with The Sword of the Spirit (SOS) based in Michigan, USA represented by Bro. Ken Noecker.

Session 2 was by our guest, Bro. Colin Calmiano, Leader of the People of Praise Community in Bangalore, India, who gave an excellent and amusing talk on Prayer and Scripture. Bro. Colin said that in PRAYER, it is very important that we LISTEN to GOD – to be still, calm, silent and motionless before GOD. He quoted St. Francis de Sales who said that “Each Christian need ½ an hour of prayer each day, except when we are busy, then we need an hour.” He also reminded us of the importance of SCRIPTURE – that we need to love, to obey, to reflect, to study and to preach the Word of GOD.

On Saturday evening, the Community dressed up to celebrate The Lord’s Day – a ceremony for setting aside the day of the Lord (that is, Sunday) to keep it holy for the Lord. It was such a beautiful sight to see the families seated together, with the fathers leading the ceremony. During the ceremony, we again spent a time of Worship. Some members also gave inspiring testimonies as to how they have grown in GENESIS. This celebration serves to encourage all families to celebrate The Lord’s Day regularly in their own homes.

Not to be outdone, the children of the Community performed 2 songs to the delight of everyone, especially the very proud parents. They also presented their drawings on what GENESIS meant to them. Thanks to Sis. Pinky Torres for doing a great job on our children that day!

Sunday began again with a time of Worship, led by Bro. Percy Cabauatan. This was followed by a presentation on The Elements of Good Membership by another Coordinator, Bro. Andy Magbitang. These are the things we commit ourselves to do together to live as a Community of Disciples effectively in the modern world and we therefore accept them as criteria for good membership in GENESIS.

Some of these elements are: accepts Catholic doctrine, keeps the Commandments, actively participates in the Church, has a regular time of prayer and Scripture reading, has regular family prayer, attends Community gatherings and meetings, participates in Lord’s Day celebration, supports the Community and outreaches financially, respects and follows the pattern of government in Community, follows good order in husband-wife relationship, hands on the faith to their children and relates to other members as a brother or sister.

The anniversary beautifully culminated with the Covenant Mass, which was celebrated by our Spiritual Director, Fr. Ignatius Madya L. Utama, SJ. Before the Mass began, the Youth Ministry sang for us the Genesis Anniversary Mass Song led by Bro. Elvin Carigma. The song was fitting to our celebration as the Chorus says: “Today will be the day we’ll make a vow to You, Lord our King. No, we won’t change our mind. We want to live for You forever…”

During the Offertory, families led by the father, came forward, lighted their candle from the altar and passed on the ‘light’ to their family members and then gave their love offerings and their commitments letters to the Lord. After which, the whole Community made their vows to the Lord by reciting together The Covenant – a new commitment for new members and a renewal of commitment for the existing members.

Thank you to all the brothers and sisters who joined our celebration and those who helped in making it successful to the glory of GOD. Special thanks to the Singles Care Group for their zeal, hard work and dedicated service to our anniversary celebration.

Lastly, let us not forget GOD’s Word for GENESIS for the Year 2008-2009: You are the light of the world. Let your light shine before others. Delight in the law of the Lord and meditate on it. I am with you always. (Matthew 5:14&16, Psalm 1:2-3, Matthew 28:20) Let us hear His Word, obey His Word and live His Word.

All praise and glory and honor and thanksgiving to GOD our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who formed GENESIS, who sustains GENESIS and who will bring to completion the good works He began in GENESIS. AMEN!!