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April 04, 2011

The Volunteer Diaries: Making the Sunday Experience Rock

Yesterday, churchgoers who arrived early at the Victory Greenhills worship services at 2:30pm, 4:30pm, and 6:30pm got an interesting welcome treat: a small paper cup with little rocks and a strip of paper that read, “Let he who is without sin eat the first stone.” Their reactions were varied and priceless: some stopped in their tracks to stare at the tiny pieces of rock; others picked up the little strip of paper, only to display a look of consternation at what should have been a Biblical passage that didn’t quite make sense; yet others recognized the rocks for what they were, and did what we hoped they would do: they popped the rocks into their mouths, those sinless people.

The little pebbles were pieces of chocolate designed to look like rocks, a pleasant little nod o’ the head to the final message of the “Turning Point” series, “Words and Stones,” which centered around Jesus’ gentle directive to the men and women who sought to stone an adulterous woman in John 8: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

 Everything our Victory Greenhills churchgoers saw yesterday was successful in great part to the volunteers who helped make our final “Turning Point” installment one to remember. First off, the rock chocolate giveaway was a brainchild of Creative Support head Noemi Boyles. Noemi’s creativity and passion for service, which have helped transform what once was a ministry group of five people, into a bustling center of creative juices numbering more than 20, came to the fore with this humorous tongue-in-cheek object lesson.

What followed next was our own little sweatshop of happy – I hope! – elves putting together the little candy packages. Technical Support head Mark Cahiles and Wednesday stage manager Dennis Poliquit, who showed up at our Swire offices for various reasons, transformed into meticulous little paper cutters painstakingly cutting each strip of paper for our cups. Upon the arrival of the raw materials at the Music Museum, a team of ushers and creative support volunteers, led by usher Gidget Lim, who took the lead role into her own hands, assembled each choco rock and paper cup surprise by (clean! We promise) hand. The end result was hundreds of little paper cups with chocolate rocks, handed out to early churchgoers. (It pays to come early.) Thank you ushers!

 The “rock”-related celebration didn’t quite end there. Victory Greenhills’ first-week worship team welcomed back its praise and worship leader, classical rocker Charles Bautista, who was on study leave; in his two-month absence, co-leaders Joy Bautista, Joy Cabrera, and Joshua David did a spectacular job. Charles’ return was certainly noticeable, though, with a rousing rearrangement of “We Have Overcome” and “Nothing is Impossible.” All four worship team members received equitable distribution of solos that catered to their strengths, from Joy Cabrera’s pure soprano to Josh’s energetic baritone, in a display of teamwork that pleased our congregation, no doubt, and easily led them into the presence of God with their take on Victory Ortigas’ Jam Capistrano’s “You Are God,” delivering a heartfelt take on an already anointed worship song.

 Pure joy for me, too, came in the form of the offering rendition of Darlene Zschech’s “Kiss of Heaven,” which highlighted the sweet vocals of young soloist Renee Pionso and the cajon-playing skills of Pao Gomez. Put together with the guitar skills of David, Bautista, Aaron Magalong, and Louie Sereno, and pinch-hitting drummer Fritz Orillaneda – who normally plays with Team Thammie but stepped in for the uberbusy Bryce dela Cruz – well, the heavens certainly came down for a fantastic worship session.

 Finally, the second-floor balcony rocked with Tech Ministry head Mark Cahiles bouncing up and down like some crazed maniac. (I was the other maniac dancing with him.) Manning the Keynote were ever-reliable Randolph Medrano and Nicole Moya, and stage managing the services was comebacking Benji Montaos, who returned to us after a few months off in typical Benji fashion – all three services! (Thanks too to Tech newbies Justin & Karla; Justin ended up becoming SM1 for the first service. We appreciate you, bro!) We also appreciate Jun Gomez, who led tithes for the 4:30pm service.

 We appreciate Pastor Jojo Henson, who delivered an amazing Spirit-filled, Spirit-driven message on the adulterous woman’s encounter with Jesus in John 8. He and his beautiful family blessed the church immensely. And to think this blog entry doesn’t even include the unsung heroes of Kids Ministry, who launched a new 6:30pm service over at Promenade!

 Much goes into a Victory Greenhills service, but, like I said, when we have quality volunteers who work with us and buy into our church’s joy, excitement, and creativity, well, it’s bound to “rock.” Please stay tuned for the next Volunteer Diaries entry. Here’s a hint: you’ll “see the light.” Cheers!

Ganns Deen is Victory Greenhills Worship Administrator. He is also doubling up as the head of our Music Ministry. You can visit Ganns Deen’s website where he talks about his passion: music.

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