Friday, July 25, 2014

Vision And Character

Bro. Vic Gutierrez
After a one week delay caused by the onsluaght of Typhoon Glenda, the 2-hour formation talk on Vision and Character, was held last July 25, here at our parish Church. The speaker for this talk was Bro. Vic Gutierrez, the co-founder of Couples for Christ and Ligaya Ng Panginoon Catholic communities. This is the first in a series of talks on spiritual formation designed for parish workers. At the start, he outlined three reasons why formation talks are important. These are: (1) concern for ourselves. As parish workers/leaders, are we sure of our entry into to heaven? (2) learning the right attitude of serving the Lord. Being a volunteer church worker carries with it a big responsibility. (3) learning the right attitude as a christian servant. Those who serve must regard themselves as true servants ("alipin").

What is Vision in the context of a parish worker? We know of visioning exercises done by companies, institutions and organizations, both in the corporate and religious worlds. But Bro. Vic posed this question to the audience, made up mainly of parish "servants". As servants of God, how do we see ourselves, from a personal point of view, in our service. He spoke of coming up with an image of how we would like our (personal) service in church to be, of framing an inner goal and motivation that reflects our purity of intention. It speaks of why I serve in church and how it compares to the vision of the organization or ministry that we are a member of? Are there more differences than similarities?

Fr. JB and Ate Agnes Gutierrez (Bro Vic's wife) 
He then talked at length on Character which shapes the service we give to the church. What is Character? Is it how people see us? According to Bro. Vic, character is one's inner disposition to act in a morally good or bad way as as different situations present themselves. It is what you are and what you do when no one is looking. As christian servants one must be conscious at all times of one's character especially so that church workers are the target of Satan because they have influence over others.

As true servants of God, having a personal vision of our service coupled with a solid character is not a guarantee that will find fulfillment in our service. We need to also discern if our service is indeed what God ordains for us. According to Bro. Vic, his advice is for one to PRAY, PRAY and PRAY for guidance that God shall continue to enlighten us on the right service.    

 And in all of these, he said that church service, be it in organizations and ministries, requires OBEDIENCE - obedience to the will of God and obedience to our leaders. This is the only way for us to serve, in complete obedience, just as our Lord Jesus Christ showed us by obeying the Father even unto death. He did share some anecdotes and personal experiences in his almost 40 years of service to the Lord.

The next formation talk is scheduled for the 22nd of August, 2014 with the topic of OBEDIENCE.

Bro. Vic being awarded a Plaque of Appreciation by the PPC

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