(By Marie Relucio, CFC SFL Fulltime Worker)
This final quarter of 2011, CFC SFL continues to count on our Strong God as we bring the “Radical” conference all over the Philippines, and eventually in the other countries. “Radical” is the theme of this year’s Committed Servants Weekend (CSW), the annual gathering of CFC SFL servant-leaders. From “Destined” in 2009 to “Entrusted” in 2010, this year’s “Radical” conference was anchored on the verse from John 15:15 – “I shall not call you servants anymore … I call you friends.”
The kickoff event happened on October 1 and 2 at Tagaste Retreat House, Tagaytay City. Ninety-five (95) SFL leaders from Metro Manila braved the stormy weather and experienced an intimate encounter with Jesus, our Best Friend.
The first session, “Radical God”, led by Fr. Francis Gustilo SDB, started on a very high note with the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Fr. Francis drew our attention to the radical choice that God made when He called us friends. God wants to be so near to us that He offers us His friendship. The Sacrament of Reconciliation that followed this session gave many the chance to strengthen this friendship with God.
The second talk, “Radical Friend”, was given by our SFL International Coordinator, Jepoy Meneses. The session reminded everyone to focus on deepening our friendship with Jesus, instead of holding on to our slave mentality that we are unworthy of God’s friendship.
The final session, “Radical Love”, led by Dylan Reyes, encouraged the participants to share the blessing of Jesus’ friendship. It is a calling to give more, sacrifice more and love more, just as Jesus taught us with His friendship, when He laid down His life for His friends – for us. Indeed, there is no greater love than this.
There were also different workshops: “Marketing Jesus” helped participants develop out-of-the-box ideas in evangelization. “Friends in High Places” gave the participants the opportunity to discover the blessing of friendship with the saints. Another workshop aimed at providing ideas on how to manage conflicts in our relationships. A PFO Orientation was also held for District Coordinators and Mission Volunteers to highlight the changes in the pastoral formation track for CFC SFL.
When one looks back at the “Radical” weekend, we remember how we were blessed with the opportunity for reflection, for worship, for rest, for listening, for sharing, for bonding among brothers and sisters, and most importantly, for a renewed friendship with God.
The following weekend, October 8 and 9, close to two hundred (200) leaders of SFL South Luzon participated for the first echo conference of “Radical”. More and more SFL leaders are embracing God’s radical call of friendship and consequently, becoming better committed servant leaders. In the coming weeks, watch out as we continue to bring this radical friendship on a CSW Roadtrip to Tarlac, Catanduanes, Tacloban, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Davao and Singapore. See you there!