Every two years a family fraternal gathering takes place in the Philippines such as we have the biennial conferences in Australia. The first of these was early in the 1980s and was held in Dagupan City for the local brothers and sisters from the Pangasinan Province. This shortly grew to being a Philippine-wide gathering. Over the last few years because of the large numbers and the cost of travel from remote areas the Conferences have been divided into a northern and southern gathering. Although this is not ideal in all ways it has made it manageable and economically viable.

Family Fraternal in Luzon – 20th – 23rd December, 2010 – The northern gathering brought together almost 300 brothers and sisters and children from 9 of the 10 ecclesias on the island of Luzon The theme for the gathering was “Jesus Christ – the Way, the Truth and the Life” taken from the seven I ams in John’s gospel record. On the last afternoon there were four baptisms who together with a recently baptised Sunday school scholar from Bataan were received into fellowship at the memorial meeting.

Family Fraternal Mindanao – 27th – 30th December, 2010

Following the Family Fraternal in Luzon another Family Fraternal was conducted in Mindanao, the main southern island of the Philip-pines. Brethren and Sisters and their families came from the three ecclesias in Mindanao: Kili-kili, Mailag and Cagayan de Oro. Two young brethren came from Argao Ecclesia on the island of Cebu, and a family came from Bacolod Ecclesia located on a neighbouring island.

Three brethren from Luzon were invited to give some of the talks at the Fraternal and they brought with them some members of their family as requested by the Mindanao organising commit-tee. In all about 130 attended including children. During of the course of the Fraternal five candidates (three young men, and two young women – attendees of Kili-kili senior Sunday School class) were interviewed for baptism and subsequently baptised on the Wednesday morning, then received in at the memorial meeting later that morning.