Each year on the weekend before Thanksgiving, the Filipino American Ministries (FAM) of the California-Nevada Annual Conference hosts a Conference-wide gathering called Pasasalamat – a Filipino word which means "thanksgiving."
This year's Pasasalamat is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Los Gatos United Methodist Church. The focus will be on young people, with a celebration of the 25-Year Anniversary of Christmas Institute (CI).
Christmas Institute is an after-Christmas spiritual retreat (Dec. 26-30) created for youth and young adults by pastors and deaconesses in the Philippines. It was introduced to the Filipino-American congregations in California-Nevada in 1986, by a group of pastors wanting to inspire younger generations to explore the ministry as a vocation.
In keeping with the goals of Christmas Institute, the 2011 Pasasalamat theme is "Tweet Jesus, a Faithful Friend."
"In order for us to reach more youth and young adult groups, we must learn to speak their language," explains FAM's Edna Andres. "We have discovered that we can reach more people nowadays through Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and other means than the former ways.
"Our guest speaker will be speaking on 'Discerning God's Call,' and [talking about] how to respond to God's call – so we suggest to the young people that they can communicate with God by 'tweeting' Jesus, because Jesus is a faithful friend. He will always be there."
The guest speaker will be the Rev. Daniel J. (DJ) Del Rosario, Director of Young Adult Ministry Discernment and Enlistment, Division of Ordained Ministry, General Board of Higher Education Ministry (GBHEM), in Nashville.
Free Pre-Pasasalamat Event for Young People
This year's Pasasalamat is unique, because for the first time there will be a Pre-Pasasalamat, for youth and young adults, on Friday, Nov. 18 at Valley Faith UMC in Sunnyvale. It is a FREE event, hosted by Pastor DJ and FAM, and is open to all youth groups. The Pre-Pasasalamat will be an informal gathering aimed at getting to know each other better (as they do at Christmas Institute) and to hear from Pastor DJ about his discernment and enlistment ministry with the youth and young adults. Activities begin at 7:00 pm.
Los Gatos UMC is located at 111 Church Street, Los Gatos, CA 95030. Get directions from Google Maps on the church's webpage.
Valley Faith UMC is located at 1251 Sandia Avenue, Sunnyvale, CA 94089. Get directions from Google Maps on the church's webpage.