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aas I stare at Ms. Goofy, she stares back at me and I wonder what runs in her head. Something in her own doggish way. She knows that in a few hours I’ll be feeding her dinner and have a light stroll around the neighborhood, greet a few friends and  have some light talk with them. She must be thinking why she is on a leash and Katy is not. I’ve tried to explain this many times to her but she insists it’s a racial issue. But all things considered she is content, Ms.Goofy is happy, I am happy. We all take care of each other. There is nothing hidden in our agenda – it is pure love, the three of us 🙂

I’ve spent the last 50 years in the church as a servant and officer and have not regretted the last 40 or so years but unfortunately I do regret giving my all the last 9 years or so,  I remember the times when my wife and I had to forego breakfast so we could prepare breakfast for the officiating minister and their families; alloting our earnings to cover the shortages on tickets sold for a church project or program; staying at the church office with other officers till midnight preparing the records for submission the next day; the countless sacrifices by all the officers going on to this day.

HbP8QdThis was no problem during Ka Erdy’s time because we knew we had a father image to look up to. His sermons even when taught by ordinary ministers coursed through our veins. It was felt in the heart. Tears were only secondary. God came to us naturally.

It’s a different story all together when you discover that we had to make loans just to brag about something, sell off properties, conduct Lingap in other more fortunate countries while our very own brethren lead a deprived life. Expelling the mother and kin, news on killings of individuals where the only “fault” was delivering food to the Executive Minister’s brother and nephew; not to mention the frequent visits all around the globe with the whole family including grandsons and daughters, ministers and their families on a private air bus bought by the Church offerings. And if that wasn’t enough, to demolish the home of Ka Erdy where he spent most of his governing years in the Church. Expensive shoes, bags, belts and high end cars while preaching perseverance at the pulpit doesn’t speak too well too.

It brings a sour taste to our mouth and I’m sure to many of  our colleagues out there still doing their best to perform their functions the only way they can, quietly.  And now in a few days more comes the Church’s anniversary – the mid-year thanksgiving offerings. Have we forgotten that “offerings to God” are not mere monetary? We also offer ourselves to God by the manner we live, our appreciation as His children, by the prayers we make, by love to our fellowmen be they members or not. Why the stress on “money”? Why not put the stress on the human “being” and his relationship with God? That was how it was started and done wasn’t it?

On the day of the Pasalamat think twice if you are pleasing God  or someone else with your offerings. Look into your heart and ask yourself, would He be pleased with what you are offering? Look around you. No, not the INC programs on TV, not their social media sites, not even all those Defender sites. Look at your chapel where you conduct worship service every Thursday and Sunday, Youth and Buklod meetings, and so on. Does the chapel look the same when it was dedicated some years back? Or does it look dilapidated and neglected? Are you happy or do you long for the days of old?  Do you enjoy the new hymns you try to cope with on worship service or miss the hymns of old. Ask yourself why the need for personal donations for repair and renovation when the Tanging Handugan is conducted every Sunday supposedly for that very purpose. You know and understand the poor brethren of the locale who despite their pitiful condition tried their  best to put up the “goody bags” for the church lingap in the faith that it would be pleasing to God. How are they doing?

As I’ve said in a previous article, corruption can never be executed at the local level in the church. We have the treasurer, auditor, head deacon, presiding minister including their authorized assistants to account for all the funds coming into the church. So every centavo collected goes to the Central Treasury Office intact. (Except of course for the P-13 Lingap Fund and that abuloy box in the church lobby during Webex service. These go directly to the office of the Lingap Fund head or Jun Santos. Central office has nothing to do with either of these.)

Now what happens once it reaches Central Office? I don’t know. All I know is that only one person handles the release of church funds. Only he has that authority. All requests by anyone in the church hierarchy for the request of funds for any purpose must meet his sole approval and signature. Not the Church treasurer who happens to be Suratos, nor the Executive Minister. Only one person has been designated to do just that – Jun Santos. And he has been doing it quite well.

Lucky fellow I must say.


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W. Smith