ANCOP is CFC’s Mission to the Poor

Monday, September 04, 2017

LAST June 17, 2015,the ANCOP Global Summit, the first of the congresses for the 34th anniversary celebration of Couples for Christ, opened with a Eucharistic celebration, with Msgr. Allen Aganon presiding, and members of the clergy from both the provinces and foreign countries concelebrating.

Four hundred leaders from the Philippine and International Missions came to the MOA SMX to participate in the summit.

Part I of the Summit set the tone for the day’s activities. CFC Executive Director George Campos, in his introduction, walked back through the time when the Lord planted the desire in Couples for Christ to bring the Gospel to the poor. Campos enumerated events which took CFC from ANGKOP (a word in Filipino which means “apt” or “appropriate”, referring to the work as appropriate to CFC’s mission) to ANCOP (A Network of the Church of the Poor) to ANCOP (Answering the Cry of the Poor). He emphasized that the lessons learned from the past must remind the community that evangelization and work with the poor must not compete but rather, complement one another.

“It is important that we find important the connection between the past and the present. Today, we need to see a clearer view of what it means when we say that we “bring God’s transforming love to the poor”,” says Campos. He emphasized, “If not, how can we fully give life to our twin mission of building the Church of the Home and building the Church of the Poor?”

Exhorting the body with the words of Pope Francis to the bishops during the recent Synod, Campos reiterated that CFC’s posture must be to listen, gaze upon His face, and to act.

Campos challenged CFC to not only respond to the call of the times, but more so to respond to the call of the Lord. 

Joe Tale, CFC Chairman, gave the next talk titled Mission with the Poor: an Encounter with Jesus. Tale explained, “When we reach out to those in need, we are doing so as an overflow of our love for God, an overflow of God’s blessings that we would like the rest of the world to experience.” He added, “This is not just a “work” but a mission.”

Tale further expounded that if one takes away the poor from the Gospel, then he takes away the Gospel. The poor, he said, is at the center of the story of Jesus. (Mark 14:6-9 – You will always have the poor with you.)

“Our mission with the poor must always begin with an encounter with Jesus,” Tale stated, adding how the Lord articulated His own mission, as mentioned in the book of Isaiah.

He then challenged the plenary: How can we respond concretely and embrace this mission with the poor? He offered this answer: “We start with simplifying our lives. To live simply, so that others may simply live,” Tale emphasized. “Let us give our best to them, not the scraps or excesses.”

For the third session, ANCOP Chairman Joe Yamamoto enjoined all to go All Aboard ANCOP! He encouraged the CFC leaders to first and foremost understand and respond to the social teachings of the Church. “The Church does not require of us to be masters, but to appreciate and reflect on these teachings,” he added.

He exhorted the delegates to exhibit these attributes in order to achieve victory in the mission of ANCOP:

  • Unity
  • Subsidiarity, as being covered by the CFC statutes, mission and vision
  • Empowerment, which is not synonymous to autonomy, but rather taking the mission as part of a global work
  • Interdependence
  • Accountability, or making sure that the administrative, operations and financial aspects of ANCOP are complied, citing Romans 14 which states that all are accountable not only to community, but more so with God.
  • Excellence, or CFC working to be pure and blameless in the eyes of Christ.

“We will be measured by how much we love Christ; we cannot love Christ without loving the poor,” Yamamoto stressed. After a brief explanation by Kate Deiparine on the ANCOP Management System, Bong Garrucho, ANCOP Canada Training and Development Director, explained the strategic planning process, which was designed to lead to a shift of perspective from ANCOP being a fund mechanism to becoming a genuine response of Christian love.

During lunch, the plenary broke into their respective groups in order to flesh out the five phases of the planning framework. After four hours, the plenary convened and the summary of the output for each phase was presented.

After a brief open forum, the body agreed that at the end of six months, the draft of the output must be finalized and presented to the body.

ANCOP President Jimmy Ilagan, in his final words, reiterated that work in ANCOP is a work in progress. Ilagan quoted Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium, “God’s word teaches that our brothers and sisters are the prolongation of the incarnation for each of us: “As you did it to one of these, the least of my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40). The way we treat others has a transcendent dimension: “The measure you give will be the measure you get” (Matthew 7:2). ~EG 179

He likewise mentioned, “From the heart of the Gospel we see the profound connection between evangelization and human advancement, which must necessarily find expression and develop in every work of evangelization. Accepting the first proclamation, which invites us to receive God’s love and to love him in return with the very love which is his gift, brings forth in our lives and actions a primary and fundamental response: to desire, seek and protect the good of others.” ~EG 178

These two citations reinforced his final statement that the success of ANCOP cannot be attributed to ANCOP alone. It is truly a mission of CFC. (Alma Alvarez)

 

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