PHL Embassy team in New Zealand joins the Iglesia ni Cristo greater Wellington congregation get together: Unity in Diversity
As the Philippine Embassy continues to be part of collaborative efforts in fostering stronger spirit of community among Filipinos in New Zealand, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez, the Embassy officers and staff and families joined the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) Greater Wellington Congregation Get Together Unity in Diversity on 11 October 2014. This meaningful and culturally enriching event underpins the congregation’s programme of “Kabayan Ko (My Countrymen), Kapatid Ko (My Brethren). The Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) is a valued partner in reaching out to the Filipino community, especially among the youth, promoting the values and culture that are held dear by Filipinos and engaging with the local communities to strengthen the bonds of friendship and understanding.
After the opening prayer led by Head Deacon Ryan Orbe and the Institutional Presentation on The Iglesia Ni Cristo at a Glimpse by Resident Minister Delmar Rebanio, speeches from Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez and Hon. Fran Wilde, Chair, Greater Wellington Regional Council followed. Both speakers congratulated the Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) for their continuing commitment and dedication of engaging with the people to promote a stronger sense of community. The gathering will be another wonderful opportunity to showcase Filipino talents and creativity through songs, dances and music with a special serving of Filipino dishes.
Assistant District Minister Emmanuel Era, Ecclesiastical District of Australia East officially opened the event, thanked Ambassador Benavidez and Chair Wilde and highlighted the continuing role and contributions of the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) in several countries around the world. Colourful and enjoyable cultural presentations featuring a variety of beautiful songs and dances performed by the children, young adults, couples and members of the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) and food tasting of home cooked and delicious Filipino dishes representing the provinces and regions of the Philippines made the Philippines shine. It was a memorable and meaningful afternoon of fellowship and sharing of Filipino hospitality and graciousness.
With the increasing number of Filipinos now estimated at 40,350, the third largest Asian ethnic group after the Chinese and Indians, comprising 1% of New Zealand’s total population, the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ) get together highlighted the vital contributions of Filipinos to the multicultural enrichment, ethnic diversity and people-to-people ties of New Zealand.