Finally Living the Dream
Thoughts on the recently concluded ground breaking ceremony for the future church building
It was a fine Saturday morning. The sun was shining so bright as if it was rejoicing with us for this much awaited chapter in the journey of the Cathedral of the King.
On the 12th of November, numerous believers – from bishops, priests, and deacons, some even from the other parts of the country and abroad, to the ministers, and workers – led by our shepherd, Patriarch Craig Bates, and our very own Bishop Ariel Santos were gathered as one family to partake of the ceremonial ground breaking held at the Marimar Village, Parañaque City. The special occasion began with special guests from the UST Symphony Orchestra playing a classical rendition of the song “Upon This Rock”. While the beautiful music played by the trumpets and trombones filled the whole place, the words from the song echoed in my mind: And the gates of hell cannot prevail for He said, I will build My church upon this rock. I thought to myself, it’s finally happening. The very ground that I am stepping on is our land. At that very moment, I was overwhelmed with joy and thanksgiving. The promise within the song was finally being realized right in front of my eyes!
The ceremonial blessing of the church’s ground, led by the Patriarch and the Bishop, immediately followed. Moreover, the Patriarch, himself, touched our hearts with his words of thanksgiving and encouragement to the whole congregation. He declared that this day, the Cathedral of the King is made known by the King. He further quoted, “We are standing on holy ground; and the angels are all around.” He was so grateful for everyone who has stood by the church from the beginning up to now, despite the countless obstacles through the years that dared to prevent us from pressing on towards the goal. But, more importantly, he challenged us; for the journey has just begun. He reminded us that “The time of giving hasn’t ended yet. And the time of planting seeds hasn’t ended either.” The next few years will surely be much more crucial but he was certain that time will come when he will be knocking on the doors of our very own church; and that this church will be a proclamation of God’s faithfulness not only to us but, more than anyone else, to the next generation. And so he said, “Finally, our children are having a home.”
The ground breaking rites continued with the leaders blessing the whole perimeter of the land. Afterwards, the highlight of the ceremony took place as the leaders dug a piece of soil from the ground symbolizing the new beginning for the Cathedral of the King as it continues to pursue the goal of having its own place of worship. And with that being fulfilled, the Holy Society of King David ministers led the people in a joyful time of praising the Lord. They offered their thanksgiving through singing and dancing. One of the songs that were sung was “The Battle Belongs to the Lord”, which is actually a recount of the history of the church. It is a constant reminder of the trials and the triumphs that strengthened the church through the years.
Towards the end of the ceremony, genuine smiles and undeniable excitement were witnessed from the people as the whole congregation was given a chance to have their pictures taken with the Patriarch. They were delighted to see familiar faces, and to be reunited with some of their brothers and sisters who they have missed in a while. With the final blessing being vested upon the people, the ministers sang the famous song, “Non Nobis Domine”, as a proclamation that the glory does not belong to us, but to Him and Him alone. Souvenirs, in the form of beautifully decorated bottles containing a handful of soil from the land, were given per family. The event concluded with the community of believers catching up with one another while enjoying a sumptuous feast prepared by the Ladies’ Ministry. Indeed, it was a time of thanksgiving.
As I look back at what transpired that day, all I could do is smile. Through the narrow, thorny roads that we’ve crossed, not even once did He ever leave us nor forsake us. All throughout, He was fighting the battle with us. And so, we have overcome. And we can see Him continually working in our lives…in this church.
Thirty seven years have passed – thirty seven long years of searching for a place where we belong; but now, we have a land that we can call our own. Now, I can say, we are finally living the dream.
MARY GRACE SUBIJANO