Monday, 6 February 2012

Inspired by the Children of Manila

OK, now that was different for a Canadian minister!  
On Sunday, February 5th I had the opportunity to join with about 20 other ICUU types in attending a service with the Unitarian Universalists of Western Bicutan…their name is larger than the open air garage into which they cram a community of about 30 children, 30 adults and us. 

This Bicutan community is located in a poor neighbourhood of Metro Manila and was begun as an outreach project of a congregation in Quezon City.

It was simply one of the most joyous and vibrant services I have ever attended – a sentiment echoed by all of the ‘visitors’.  The quality of warmth and welcome was unlike any I have ever experienced – there was no holding back, no reserve, no shyness.  We were inspired most of all by the participation of the children.    We must have had our hands shook a hundred times each, and the children carefully prepared valentine heart messages for us complete with translations of common words from Tagalog.  

Our wonderfully competent service leader for the day was a 12 year old girl named Irish, and the music came courtesy of Bob Guerrero and his guitar.

“Coffee Hour” came in the form of packets of cookies passed hand to hand.

To the gracious people of Bicutan, we say Salamat! Thank you!

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