A Day of Thanksgiving and Unity
The 44th annual PBS Membership Meeting was held on a sunny Saturday, April 18, 2008 at the PBS Ministry Facility on United Nations Avenue, Manila. The event was attended by 232 members, all eagerly awaiting for this yearly opportunity to fellowship with other PBS members. Board of Trustees Member Atty. Edith A. Santos served as host for the Worship Time which National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) Chairman Bishop Nathanael P. Lazaro opened with a prayer. The event was a quiet but joyful celebration of what PBS has achieved for the past year; a thanksgiving for the Lord’s grace upon the Bible Ministry.
Special music was presented by the Optimi Choir, who sang the official theme song of the May They Be One (MTBO) Bible Campaign called “Can You Imagine?” Ms. Lace Ramos meanwhile sang the PBS Corporate theme song entitled, “B’lib Ako Sa Biblia Ko,” accompanied by the Church of God Dasmariñas Dancers, grand prize winner of the Youth Explode Series Dance Contest held in November 2008.
The highlight of the event was the Message delivered by Bishop Broderick S. Pabillo, SDB, DD, Auxiliary Bishop of Manila, who spoke on the numerous divides that separate us—economic, generational, political, educational, electronic and cultural—and how important the Word of God is in uniting our divided world. Bishop Pabillo, who concurrently heads the advising committee of the MTBO Bible Campaign also said that poverty, the biggest problem confronting the country today is not simply the lack of material things. “Deep down, it is the lack of values, the values offered by the Christian faith. We should not belittle the role of the Bible in fighting poverty,” he stressed.
Bishop Arturo M. Bastes, SVD, DD presented a report on the status of the MTBO Campaign and gave an appeal to the members to contribute to this project which seeks to put a Bible in every Filipino home: five million Bibles in five years. The Worship Time was closed with a Prayer of Thanksgiving by Dr. Philip C. Flores.
The second part of the program was the Business Meeting which was presided over by PBS President and Chairman Bishop Arturo M. Bastes together with General Secretary Nora G. Lucero, Corporate Secretary Atty. Robinson Landicho. An election was held to fill six (6) seats in the 18-member Board of Trustees vacated by retiring officers. Nominated and elected as representatives of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) were Bishop Renato Mayugba, DD, Auxiliary Bishop of Lingayen-Dagupan; Dr. Natividad B. Pagadut, Consultor to the Episcopal Commission for the Biblical Apostolate (ECBA), and Former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban. Ms. Emmaloisa M. Salumbides, National Coordinator of Peace Builders Ministry; and Dr. Philip Flores, National Coordinator of Trainers of Pastors International Coalition (TOPIC) – Philippines, are representing the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC), while Atty. Jose Villanueva was elected representative of Independent Churches. The PBS-BOT is an ecumenical group with members of the country’s major faith groups equably represented.
Mrs. Nora G. Lucero gave the Stewardship Report, which discussed the events, programs and other activities that PBS implement in 2008, and how these programs contributed in its mission of making the Bible known in the country. Associate General Secretary for Management Services, Ms. Vilma P. Salvio, presented the Financial Report which revealed PBS’ effective stewardship of the resources that God had entrusted to the Society through the contributions of the members and other donations. Ms. Amy Herrera, General Manager of the University of Santo Tomas Cooperative, closed the meeting in prayer. The general membership adjourned for the day while the Board of Trustees proceeded to the Board Room for their first Executive Committee meeting.
All in all, it was a triumphant day of renewing friendships, and meeting new members of the PBS family. But, most importantly, it was a day of united thanksgiving, where all could acknowledge the greatness of God and his unfailing blessings on the Bible Ministry. It is also a united stance for the purpose of seeing a transformed Philippines through the Word of God.