July 23, 2024

“Therefore we also serve the Lord, for he is our God.” (Joshua 24:18)
Voluntary service ceases to be voluntary when it starts to demand for something.
Alaking was once a chairperson of a certain non-government organization that survived from voluntary services for years. People applied for voluntary service and were welcomed. At one point, some of the volunteers started to grumble and demand something. They ceased to be volunteers.
Services can be public service or private. It can be voluntary or paid. Paid services are services that already reaped its merits. Voluntary services are those that serve as opening for God’s graces to bless one’s family. One of the gauges of successful voluntary service is finding joy in the work.
The Kilong Catholic Mission in Sagada, Mountain Province for years has been molding the young people to live a healthy lifestyle in serving. The youths serve the church as altar servers, music ministers, and lectors. Having served the Lord and the church, they started to widen their horizon serving the world with positivity through creativity.
They inspire their fellow youth and uplift them from boredom and anxiety. They invite their fellow for vespers, for the holy mass, for Eucharistic Adoration, cleaning and decorating the church, preparing the liturgy, and joining home novena. The youth are able to inculcate the virtues of sacrifice to join the priest reach the Basic Ecclesial Communities (BEC) for the holy mass on Sundays. The rain, the heat of the sun, and long hike on difficult trails cannot stop the youth in their community services.
Some visible manifestations of the youth services are the growing interest of other youth to learn, attendance in the Sunday services, and their joy.
The Sagada Catholic Mission is grateful to the parents who entrust their children to the church for them to grow responsibly and to the loving youth advisers who constantly give advice and inspiration to the young.
Conflicts arise from miscommunications. This is where advisers come in and settle the conflicts before the day ends. It is difficult to avoid misunderstandings. A higher level of management is much needed, which means the Holy Spirit must always be invoked for dialogue and gradually, for settlement and healing. Proper conflict management is another element that can sustain the energetic and voluntary services of the youth in the church.
The Aggiornamento Music Ministry at Sta. Rita Parish, Bontoc, Mountain Province is a youth music ministry that truly deserves highest commendations for the services rendered for many years now.
Fondly called Aggior, it was founded in 2004 by students of Saint Vincent School and Mountain Province General Comprehensive High School.
The music group went off for some time, but it was revived in 2013. The regular meeting, learnings, and practices melted the hearts of members to a pure intention to be active servants in the church through music, to praise and glorify God, to give life and solemnity to the Holy Mass. The youth music group started with few until it gained more members. Along the way, some left because they graduated in high school and some went to other places.
The leadership of Kayrene Fakat is one of the reasons the group survived amidst odds. Kayrene enrolled in the group when she was in grade 6 and later elected by the group as president. She has a powerful voice and a leadership worthy of emulation. She is an inspiration to the group and to the parish. While in college, she continues to devote quality time for the group.
Today, the parish is enjoying the services of the Aggior. They serve during the holy mass and in the different activities of the church and other government youth groups.
We see and learn from the leadership and services of Joshua. (Joshua 24: 1-2a, 15-17, 18b)
Joshua gathered all the tribes of Israel at Shechem. He summoned the elders, leaders, judges, and officers. He addressed the people and conscienticize them to a deeper discernment.
The leadership of Joshua was not an imposing leadership. He allowed the power of God to operate until the Israelites realized the goodness and power of God in their life that eventually led them to serve God.
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