The community of Couples for Christ Foundation for Family and Life (CFC-FFL) held its annual Echo Conference Mar. 9 at Sing Yin Secondary School in Choi Hung, Kowloon.
A total of 489 community members and guests joined the occasion, making this year’s event the highest in recorded attendance in CFC-FFL Hong Kong’s history.
The ‘Echo’ Conference aims to resonate the CFC-FFL’s message to the Hong Kong community as heard by delegates who attended a conference held in Baguio City, Philippines last January:
(1) Anonuevo, Mer and Belen
(2) Barcelona, Zandro and Charm
(3) Barraca, Felix and Bhing
(4) Bautista, Ian and Therese
(5) Bilo, Danny and Set
(6) Daluz, Adhee and MJ
(7) De Guzman, Jeff and Lissa
(8) Isip, Bobot and Ellen
(9) Manuel, Sonny and Betchy
(10) Santos, Maeng and Emil
This year’s theme ‘Empowered to Witness,’ taken from 2 Timothy 1:7-8 (“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.“) calls community members to get out of their comfort zones and be witnesses, martyrs, saints and warriors in evangelizing God’s Word.
The event, organized by the “Empowered to Witness” service team, began with the Holy Rosary led by the Kids for Family and Life (KFL) ministry and the celebration of the Holy Eucharist presided by Father Francis Gustilo, SDB.
Photo credit: Ronald Gabriel
The crowd was on its feet as brother Jeff de Guzman led the morning worship, formally opening this year’s Conference.
Starting off the morning Conference talks was Fr. Francis Gustilo, SDB who elaborated about the “Role of the Empowered Laity.” This was followed by brother Chito Liban’s topic “We are all SAINTS in the making,” noting that everyone is a candidate to become a saint.
After a hearty lunch and refreshments served by the Youth for Family and Life (YFL) ministry, brother Ismael Santos opened the afternoon session with a short praise and worship.
Talks then resumed with brother Sonny Manuel delivering Talk 3: “We are Martyrs – as Jesus way of Love is the way of the cross.” The concluding talk by brother Pancho Lopez-Tan, CFC-FFL’s East Asia China Mission coordinator, shared how followers of Christ are involved in spiritual warfare in the talk “We are Warriors.”
The event wasn’t all talks and sharings as the it also included a dance performance from the young members of the YFL, and musical performance by a quartet of brothers Ismael Santos, Adhee Daluz and Felix Barraca with sister Ellen Isip rendering a song medley played to the tune of Bohemian Rhapsody, Tell Me More, and Easy with brother Voltaire Pocio on keyboards.
Photo credit: Ronald Gabriel
A short film clip on everyday holiness, with cast that featured CFC-FFL community members from Lamma and shot in their island of residence; and video production about the community’s themes in the past years were also shown to the audience.
The day’s emcees, the husband-wife tandem of brother Zandro and sister Charm Barcelona also encouraged the crowd to join in a community dance at the start of the event. A community activity was also held involving a bundle of collected straws symbolizing faith, kept safely amid playful distractions of event service team representing real-life trials and difficulties that test a believer’s faith.
Brother Danny Bilo concluded the 2014 Echo Conference by leading the closing worship, ending the day-long event on a high note.
On top of the community’s various ministries namely Kids for Family and Life (KFL), Youth for Family and Life (YFL), Singles for Family and Life (SFL), Servants for Family and Life (SvFL), Handmaids for Family and Life (HFL) and Couples for Christ (CFC-FFL) members from Macau and Shenzhen, attendees also came from different religious communities in Hong Kong with the coordination of Sr Carmeli Timbol and Sr Gabby Pabilico of the Church of the Annunciation.
Love Flock, Light of Jesus Community, Holy Family and St Joseph the Worker, all from Choi Hong; Bayanihan Catholic Community and St Stephen Catholic Community from Kwun Tung, and from Church of the Annunciation “CAFCG,” who comprised the biggest non-CFC-FFL delegation in the event.