United Church of God

2023 Feast of Tabernacles: Baguio City, Philippines

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2023 Feast of Tabernacles

Baguio City, Philippines

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For the 21st time, the Feast was held at the “Ating Tahanan” grounds of the Girl Scouts of the Philippines located on South Drive, Baguio City. We were able to use their multi-purpose hall for the tenth time since it was constructed in 2012. The highest attendance we had during services at this Feast was 131.

The Feast started out with our traditional opening night service on the evening of Sept. 29, when we eagerly viewed the pre-recorded welcome video sermon by our president, Rick Shabi, emphasizing that the peace that will come to this earth at the reign of Jesus Christ has to begin with us with the help of God’s Spirit.

The messages were all very uplifting, inspiring and encouraging, many of which were aligned with the theme, “Race to Your Crown.” The pre-recorded message of our senior pastor, David Dobson, titled, “Living in the Kingdom,” was our main message on the morning of the first day, and it encouraged us that, as God’s people, this is made possible even now when we let Christ reign supreme in our lives and are willing to submit to God’s way of life. We can enjoy His blessings of both physical and spiritual healing, peace and abounding in spiritual fruitfulness.

On the fourth day, we viewed and attentively listened to the festival message from Rick Shabi, titled, “That You May Fear the LORD,” emphasizing that learning the proper fear of God is one of the main reasons for keeping and rejoicing at the Feast.

Various activities were all enjoyed as planned by the young and old alike, and everyone had the opportunity to enjoy wholesome fun, food, fellowship and games. Among the activities were the youth day activities for the pre-teens and teens held on the second day, finishing in the evening with a question-and-answer Bible study conducted by the festival coordinator. The family activities were held on the fourth day, where fun and games were enjoyed by all present.

The seniors’ socials and dinner were held on the fifth day hosted by our teens and young adults. The evening was made very enjoyable with a number of songs performed by the seniors in addition to sharing interesting stories.

The festival show with the theme, “Love is in the Air,” was held on the third day of the Feast, featuring festive songs and dances. Included were a number of popular English songs, native Filipino songs, exotic dances like the “Butterfly Dance,” modern dance numbers and classic Filipino folk dances, which always included the famous local folk dances called the “Sayaw sa Bankô” (bench dance), and the “Tinikling.”

We were encouraged to eagerly run the spiritual race to obtain our imperishable crown and given a much clearer vision of what that Kingdom will be like and the time when we will ultimately be reunited with all our loved ones. The messages we received, the warm fellowship and the spirit of service and outgoing concern the brethren shared made this year’s Feast extra special. Everyone present felt they were blessed by our great God with a deeper level of spiritual understanding of the joy, unity, love and togetherness we all look forward to in the Kingdom. This has been one of the most spiritually joyful, best Feasts ever.