Saipan Community Church, the first and oldest protestant church in the CNMI, will be reviving its Filipino Vesper Service starting this Sunday, Feb. 6, from 6pm to 7:30pm.
Senior pastor Stephen Dame said the evening service in Tagalog will initially be held every first Sunday of the month during Communion Sunday.
“The Filipino ministry here at Saipan Community Church, has a long and rich history and I believe was the first outreach to Filipinos on the island. People within this ministry and church intervened and assisted those who were being taking advantage of here on the island,” he said.
Dame, who arrived on Saipan in December 2020, said Saipan Community Church’s Vesper Service stopped when former associate pastor Roger Abe left the island and following the devastation brought by Super Typhoon Soudelor in 2015.
“The Filipino Vesper Service is still seen as a needed ministry. Our attempt to bring it back is to once again bring help and hope to our community by offering a ministry in their language. It is also the desire that the church and this ministry would still be a voice for those in the community who may be marginalized in some way,” he added.
Coincidentally, Feb. 14 marks the ministry’s 34th anniversary. “It’s truly heartwarming as a pastor to be celebrating 34 years since the Filipino Vesper Service began by beginning it once again. With our economic situation on the island due to COVID-19, people have had to work when they could get it. This evening service will allow the Filipino community another opportunity to worship and be with one another that perhaps they were missing,” said Dame.
SCC elder Alvin Rebong, an ordained pastor himself, will be speaking at the first Filipino Vesper Service.
“Alvin is well known in our community for his bodybuilding and work as a personal trainer. But he also has a love not just for his own people, but for all. He leads many Bible studies throughout the week and really enjoys sharing the truths of the Bible with others,” said Dame.
Rebong believes many of his kababayans (countrymen) on Saipan are longing for Tagalog worship service with Tagalog singing and Tagalog sermon.
“Also some of our friends cannot attend worship in the morning because of conflict in their work schedules, thus I am very excited that the Filipino Vesper Service of Saipan Community Church will resume soon. …I strongly believe that we will be able to cater to the needs of our dear kababayans,” he said.
Saipan Community Church is located along Beach Road in Susupe in front of the Mobil Oil Marianas gas station. It also has a Sunday morning service beginning at 10am. (PR)