By: Bishop Benny Navarro C2G2, Chairman
We always hear the phrase about the separation of church and state; but, working together, like the church helping the state to uplift the spiritual, mental and moral status of the people is greatly possible and can be worked out.
In Marikina alone, there are more than two hundred Christian churches of different denominations and most of them are very active in the communities where they are located. Most of the churches have organized themselves into associations and one of the biggest, influential and most active is Marikina Pastors and Christian Workers Association, Inc. or MARVAL for short.
The association is almost thirty years old, one of the oldest association of pastors and the biggest association of pastors and church workers in the City. This author was one of the past presidents and now one of the members of the board of advisers of the association.
Marval has worked very closely with the local government of Marikina. In some barangays, the lupons are composed mostly of pastors. Pastors are the ones who take charge of prayers during the Monday flag ceremonies of the City Hall. It has its own radio program aired in our local government station broadcasting not only the Word of God but programs that give instructions to the local populace about livelihood, cooking, health-tips, etc. The local government allows pastors to hold Spiritual Retreats during Holy Week and City-wide March for Jesus. During times of calamities and disasters, the churches distributes, clothing, medicines, food and water to the communities where their churches are located, thereby helping the local government in the work of rehabilitation. I have seen so many instances wherein churches and our local government have helped each other to help the local population.
Some of the present officers of Marval are the following: Ptr. Oscar Josef, Ptr. Ver LaPena, Ptr. Edgar Bangit, Ptr. Ferdie Atanacio, Ptr. Rey Faigao, Ptr. Noel Camo, Ptr. Jess Llantada, Dra. Editha Zulueta.
Members of the Board of Advisers are the following: Bishop Benny Navarro, Bishop Mark Jara, Ptr. Richard Doromal, Kap. Oddie Francisco.