THE SERVANT GENERAL
THEME FOR 2009
World Mission Sunday
October 19, 2008
dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Here is our theme for next year plus the accompanying
God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song;
and he has become my salvation.”
At the start of the new millennium, as we entered
into the fullness of the gospel with its spiritual
and social dimensions, the enemy shifted to higher
gear in attacking us. What resulted was a veering
away that rapidly developed through the years. The
very wonderful work of building integrated communities
among the poor became the cause of increasing tension.
There also developed increasing infidelity to our
covenant—to no longer living out a lifestyle
of evangelization, to unfaithfulness to our life
together, to many conflicts among elders. The results
were disastrous—poor harvest of souls, many
lying low, loss of vibrancy in community life.
God still used us to serve Him, but the anointing
was diminished. God still allowed us to celebrate
our 25th year in 2006 with great rejoicing, but
the seeds for destruction of our life and work were
already starting to sprout.
In His goodness and mercy, and in His desire to
preserve His authentic work, God gave us a theme
of hope for 2007 but brought us to the book of Lamentations.
It was intended by God to be a journey of hope and
joy, a journey back to His original call and intent
for us. God was warning us, in a very profound but
graphic way, as to what would happen if we persisted
in our infidelities. Lamentations was all about
what happened to His people Israel, and how they
lost it all.
If we only heeded and learned and lived out the
lessons of Lamentations, then God would have forgiven
us, brought us back on track, and used us even more
powerfully for the next quarter century of our mission.
But it was not to be. One elder said he had no need
to lament, as he was without sin. One elder said
yes let us lament but get it over with quickly so
we can move on. One elder would later say that they
were just privately laughing at my insistence on
So the veering away persisted. And this was compounded
by the actions of those who were left in top leadership,
who began to malign and attack those who wanted
to be fully restored to God’s authentic call.
There was a lot of disinformation, and even outright
lies. The internal conflict escalated.
Some of us moved into restoration mode, to restore
CFC from within. But the attacks only intensified.
The crisis deepened. Options were severely constrained.
The enemy was coming close to his goal of completely
destroying CFC. The split became inevitable, as
was even confirmed by the Philippine bishops.
God then raised His remnant, in line with our prayer
in Lamentations 5:21. CFC-FFL became the restored
This year our theme is “Joy in Christ.”
It is time for great rejoicing for God had brought
us back to His original intention for CFC. And now
we would have many reasons to rejoice, as we see
our life and work being restored, and beyond that,
as we again experience how God can use us for His
work according to His plan and in the power of the
But in accordance with His plan, so that the veering
away would not happen again, God knew He needed
to raise a holy remnant. And for us to be holy,
we needed to be purified. And a major part of that
purification would be undergoing continuing attacks
and oppression, unfortunately from our own brethren
on the other side. The attacks intensified. Even
the Church hierarchy was not spared. Bishops were
maligned, if they in any way spoke the truth about
our being in the right.
What God was doing was humbling us and teaching
us proper Christian conduct in the face of adversity.
We were not to retaliate or to malign in turn. We
were to just absorb the blows and rejoice in the
privilege of suffering for the sake of righteousness.
The other side intensified its unchristian ways,
including insisting that we not use the CFC name
(versus the clear teaching of Jesus in Mark 9:38-40).
They even brought us to court, in the Philippines,
the USA and Canada (versus the clear teaching of
Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:1-8). And the whole irony
was that they had taken on the theme of love in
this year, but were not living it (versus the clear
teaching of Jesus on loving even one’s “enemies”).
This year we learned about how suffering and pain
are part and parcel of the authentic Christian call.
We learned the value of the cross. Paul rejoiced
greatly in his sufferings. We were being formed
in the same way.
The theme of joy, at the start of the first full
year of the life and mission of CFC-FFL, was meant
to plant in us the proper virtue, and to plant it
so deeply, in view of the persecution from our own
brethren, that we would now be well equipped to
face years of labor in the vineyard, and never be
fazed again by adversities and crosses.
We would now be able to truly rejoice always.
Now we look forward to a new year. And the theme
the Lord has given us is trusting in Him.
God is continuing to form us, to be a holy remnant,
and ultimately to become the families He intended
us to become, that He could use to renew the face
of the earth. The call to holiness means constant
purification, and a determination to go the way
of the cross of Jesus Christ. There will be great
challenges and trials, there will be human disappointments
and frustrations, but we are to trust in Him totally.
In considering the theme taken from Isaiah 12:2,
we also look at the whole chapter 12 of Isaiah.
It is short, with just 6 verses. This is what we
dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the world is
in darkness, with attacks on the family and against
life at the core of the enemy’s assault. God
raised CFC in 1981 precisely to defend and strengthen
His work. This call has not changed. Now, with CFC-FFL,
we are in the thick of the fight.
God has been merciful to us, and we want to become
His instruments such that His mercy and love might
be experienced by the whole world. We need to be
prepared, by becoming holy men and women. And we
need to do our mission with a passion, giving unselfishly
of ourselves, just as Jesus has given of himself
for our sakes.
No matter what we face, no matter how intense the
attacks of the enemy are against us, be not afraid.
Simply trust in Jesus.
I would also like to inform you that we will be
looking to devotion to the Divine Mercy. As such,
the by-line for our theme for 2009 is “Jesus,
I trust in you.”
God has given us another chance. Let us never again
veer away, and let us always be faithful to our
covenant. And let us put on the armor of God for
the spiritual warfare that is at hand (Ephesians
May the Lord in His mercy and goodness bless us
all. And may Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace, to whom
CFC-FFL has been consecrated, always keep us in
her maternal embrace.
brother and servant,
download file, click on icon
for 2009 [PDF]