Tuesday, February 17, 2009

PBBC Secretary's Report for 2008

Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church
Secretary's Report
January to December 2008

Our God is an awesome God; worthy of praise and adoration. He has blessed and guided PBBC through 2008 with His faithfulness. There have been changes and developments for the church to become stronger under the leadership of Pastor San No Thuan amid his studies and examinations. With God’s blessings he completed the Ph.D. comprehensive examination successfully in October, and is preparing to write his dissertation. We congratulate him for this achievement, and our gratitude to him for his efforts to make the church grow and to obtain the Employer Identification Number (EIN) that enable us to open an official bank account at the Beneficial Bank. There have been changes in office bearers within the Board of Deacons, Christian Education and Youth Committees due to members migrating to other cities. The position of Financial Secretary was also added, and we are grateful to Dim Sukte for accepting the responsibility. For the worship programs to run smoothly, a Program Committee was also formed. It was also a sad year for PBBC as our beloved patron and advisor Uncle Spencer Zan was called to his heavenly home on February 28th.

The pastor and members in Philadelphia ushered in the New Year of 2008 at the home of Saw Myat Oo with members and visitors from Lancaster sharing testimonies and making impromptu speeches, and concluding with the Watch Night service. A rededication service was held on the first Sunday of January with members from Trenton and Philadelphia and its vicinity participating.

We were blessed with guest preachers from Burma as well as from our region: Rev. Hsar Say Moo Gaw and Rev. Samson, Rev. Khin Maung Than, Thra Winnoe Din, Thramu Margaret Shwe from Burma, Thramu Htoo May from Omaha, Rev. Thang Lian Kaap from North Carolina, Rev. John Murrow, Rev. Florence Li, Rev. James, Rev. LerHtoo, and Thra Mu K’Baw from Allentown.

This year saw lay members giving messages and testimonies. Our thanks to Sayamagyi Daw Penelope Thetgyi, Thramu Heh Nay Moo for their inspiring messages and to Daw Mee Mee Chit and Nan Yin Aye for the testimonies they shared about God’s miracle, blessings and forgiveness. We hope for more participation among members to use their God given gifts to encourage and inspire other members young and old.

We were also happy to welcome new additions to three families: James Htay, son of Moo Kho Paw and Kyaw Htay, Michael, son of Nu Bawi and Kep Cung, and Rain, son of Tablu Htoo and Saw Oo. All the three babies were dedicated at the worship service by Pastor San No Thuan.

Special Sundays which are Easter Sunday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Judson Sunday, Bible Sunday, Christian Family Sunday, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day were observed by the church with special programs and fellowship dinners. Mothers and fathers sixty years and older were honored with gifts on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day respectively. Judson Sunday which falls on the Sunday nearest to July 13th, the day Dr. Adoniram Judson arrived in Burma, was held with the recounting of his mission work in Burma so that our young people would know the significance of the day, and give thanks for the “Light” in our lives.. To encourage our young children and youth to learn and memorize scripture verses, a scripture recitation competition in Burmese, Karen and English was held on Bible Sunday in August. In October, an impromptu speech competition was also held to promote participation and creativity in our young people. Each family of the congregation was asked to contribute items to celebrate Christian Family Sunday in November. We also celebrated Thanksgiving Sunday with worship service led by Rev. Florence Li followed by a dinner. Members from Trenton led the worship service on the first Sunday of December opening the Christmas season with carols and skits. On the Sunday of Christmas week we had worship through music program interspersed with sermonettes together with a Christmas pageant by the Sunday school children. Rev. Powles and his family as well as some member of St. John Baptist Church participated in the Christmas worship service and potluck dinner and gift exchange program. During the month of December, PBBC youth went caroling to members’ homes in Philadelphia center city, the suburbs, and Trenton. As an outreach ministry, on Christmas Day, we went to have worship services with the folks at Somerdale and Summers Point in New Jersey, which was warmly appreciated by these brothers and sisters.

From September, the Women’s Committee started their prayer meetings every Sunday at homes of members with a view to connect and have fellowship with one another. These meetings are not limited to only women as men are also welcomed.

PBBC choir was invited to sing at First Baptist Church of Lansdale in November and at Willow Grove Baptist Church on Christmas Eve worship service. These were opportunities for our members to have fellowship with members of other churches.

As 2008 has been an active and fruitful year for PBBC with all members young and old participating in the worship programs and undertaking responsibilities assigned to them with enthusiasm and commitment, let us continue to work together with understanding and unity using the talents and gifts God has blessed us to make our church grow more spiritually so that we may truly be witnesses in word and deed and let His light shine through us, and bring glory to His name. May we be His faithful children as He is our faithful Father. Amen.

In His faithful service,

Emerald Cribb
Philadelphia Burmese Baptist Church

February 8, 2009