Howard and Anna May are retired UCC missionaries.

We became members of this faith-community sometime in 1993 after 35 years of service as lay missionaries in the Philippines. We came to CUCC for: Great music – organ, piano, string, choirs, soloists, bells! For timely, thoughtful, Biblical preaching. For friendly and caring people of faith….and more caring and friendly by the week! But this is not all.

In the Philippines, most worship services were conducted in small, one-room structures built from local materials – rough-hewn posts, supporting split-board siding, and either woven grass or corrugated iron roofing. Floors were dirt and the pews of planed boards and backless. Sermons were very Biblical, usually very long and delivered by sincere but non-formally trained laymen. There was no organ, no choir, although often a guitar. Music was in the local language.

Later in a Muslim area, we worshipped in the only Protestant church in the province. A small foot-pumped organ provided hymn accompaniment. Sermons were usually given by a formally-trained pastor. In 1980, the church building was burned by rebels. Later services for the tiny Christian congregation were conducted in a partially-built new structure. It did have a cement floor, platform with lectern and pews with backs.

So, while we were attracted to CUCC by great music and timely, thoughtful, Biblical preaching, we have found something else as well – a socially conscious and very active congregation. We wanted to be part of such a dynamic and caring community of faith. We are! And intend to continue to be! We are truly blessed.

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