August 2019

 

Day By Day

Fourteen years ago, the beautiful Brent Manila campus we call home had no WiFi network. It just didn’t exist at the time – which may come as a shock to many, if not all of us. Could you imagine – or for those of us who’ve been around for a little while, remember – what life was like? Laptops were a rare sight on campus, the most popular cellphone was the Motorola Razr, Facebook was barely on the horizon, and Twitter hadn’t been founded. Communication depended on email, a phone call, and an old-fashioned in-person conversation – all of which we still do today, but now sit as mere options in a laundry list of ways we can speak with each other.

Funnily enough, despite all the technological change we’ve experienced in the last fifteen years, ‘communicating’ remains a challenge for many of us. Sometimes we can’t find the words to express our feelings, or misjudge the way in which those feelings should be expressed. Other times, we give off the wrong impression or make assumptions about what we read, hear, and see. And then there are those times when we are so overcome with emotion that communication transcends any single word, gesture, or form. Regardless of where we communicate or how technologically advanced our capabilities are, it can be difficult precisely because no tool matters as much as the content of our words, the way in which we express our intentions, and the people with whom we share them.

But for every ounce of difficulty we might find in communicating with each other, there is an equal opportunity to do better by each other. This school year is a fresh start – a chance for us all to be challenged, to step outside of our comfort zones, and to learn. This is not merely the time to discover the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ of communication, but take our words and deeds one step further and uncover what it means to do them well. Across our classes, clubs, and sports, outside school, or anywhere in between, the 2019-2020 School Year is about coming together and learning to communicate positively.

The best part? We can all do it, regardless of where we come from or what we do. Where our friends and colleagues succeed, let’s congratulate them; when they stumble, let’s build each other up. Along the way, let’s make it a habit to listen to each other’s needs and take them seriously. On social media, on paper, and in person, we can all learn to speak and act as Jesus did: exactly the same way as we would want others to do to us.

Let’s start together. The next time we speak, gesture, respond to email, or reply to a comment on social media, take a moment to think before hitting ‘send’. Think about “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise…” ~ Philippians 4:8. More importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions about what is good, what is beautiful, and what is right. Because when we communicate positively, we can bring out the best in each other. And when we do that, there is no limit to what we can learn and achieve as one Brent community.

Have a wonderful and fruitful school year 2019-2020!

Take care and God bless.

Fr. Benjamin A. Jance III
School Chaplain/Community Relations Officer

 

Life Lesson

 

Prayers

 

Saint of the Month


Blessed Mother, Virgin Mary
(Feast day: August 15)

August 15 is the feast of Mary. Generally, we call her Mary, the mother of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin, Mary the God bearer. In Episcopal circles, all these titles are used along with others: Mary of Nazareth; Mary, the Mother of God; the Virgin Mary and Mary, Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ are but a few examples. Mary’s many titles both reflect her significance to Christians and our various perceptions about the impact her life and ministry have on our faith. As a means of celebrating this feast, let us meditate on the facts, fiction and faith surrounding Mary.

The Gospel text for today is Mary’s verbal praise and prophecy. Aside from Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, this is the only surviving text in Luke’s Gospel where a woman declares God’s mercy and announces God’s justice in Jesus Christ. What high praise Mary offers, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my savior;” (BCP version Luke 1:46). The God who stirred life in Mary’s womb is “…holy …showing (sic) mercy on those who fear God (sic) in every generation.” (BCP version Luke 1:49-50). The mercy, Mary proclaims, is also God’s justice. God “…has cast down the might from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly.” (BCP version Luke 1:52). The Mary of Scripture is a courageous prophet in both word and in deed. Mary counts her blessings, “…Almighty has done great things for me…” (BCP version Luke 1:49). Courageous and blessed is Mary.

An excerpt from the sermon of Cecily P. Broderick, August 15, 1997 (https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/sermon/feast-st-mary-virgin-selected-sermon)

 

Monthly Calendar

 

Brent Cares / Service Learning

Brent School has, over the years kept a strong Service Learning arm as an important part of its holistic approach to the Brent Educational System. Students, teachers, staff and administrators participate actively in the after school activity by giving of their time and resources in reaching out to those in need. The whole school goes into full support mode when the need arises, especially during the typhoon season. The generous time and preparations that everyone gives to those in need are concrete expressions of the values that Brent stands for.

Brent’s Expected School-wide Learning Results touch on the need for self-development, sincerely reaching out to our community certainly develops the minds and hearts of those in our school. Being responsible in all that we do at school and at work reinforces the service-learning element.

Helping another might be viewed as giving of your time and/or of sharing your talents and resources. It is, and more. It is in fact, a two-way street. The child and person who goes out of his/her way in return gets something that contributes to her/his own wellbeing. “You never know when one act, or one word of encouragement, can change a life forever.” ~( Zig Ziglar)

There is an inherent and spontaneous reward that comes from helping one another. Jesus speaks of such reality when He said: “for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me…. Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of theses who are members of my family, you did it to me.” ~ (Matthew 25:35-36, 40)

Indeed, the joy that one receives in giving far surpasses anything that anyone can ever wish for.

  1. Clubs
Name of ClubStudents AdvisorsBrief Description
Best BuddiesGr. 6 -12P. Leighton /
P. Valley
Aims to create one-to-one friendships between students and develop student leaders.
Blood Typing CommitteeGr. 9 -12R. BrittonBrent students will develop and then maintain a resource data bank for the Brent community’s use as needed. This resource will comprise of contact information, blood types and donation plans of Brent families, faculty and staff. Once composed, the resources can then be used by our committee to locate blood donors for anyone in the Brent community that encounters a medical need.
Building Bridges with Biñan
• Mamplasan Elementary School
• Pagkakaisa Elementary School
Gr. 3 -12


L. Baldwin /
Fr. Jance


Z. Belaguas /
Fr. Jance
Brent students to reach out to children in our local community. We will be assisting elementary students from two local elementary schools with their English skills, forming friendships and support our neighbors.
Gawad Kalinga
• Philip’s GK Village, Laguna
Gr. 9 -12G. DubroofA tutoring program for children in a local community on Saturdays.
Geek SquadGr. 9 -12R. CastañedaSolve computer problems * Refurbish computers and donate to a local classroom * Help organize Tech Week *Produce videos * Develop computer programs * Play computer games * Share your knowledge and skills in I .T. and learn from others as well.
Global Issues Network (GIN)Gr. 9 -12R. Britton /
K. Regan
GIN approaches the 20 largest problems in the world and tries to address them at a local level. Global Issues Network (GIN) is a group focused on solving Earth’s most pressing economical issues. We aim to encourage young people to take initiative to spread awareness for modern global problems such as poverty or improving education in developing countries. Working within a network of “global citizens” creates a platform to develop, share and implement sustainable methods for solving these global issues. Anyone willing to contribute brilliant ideas are welcome.
Junior Global Issues Network (GIN)Gr. 3T. NaudeStudents will explore the global issues that we face such as shortage of water, climate change, pollution, extinction, disease and much more. Students will learn ways in which they can help the environment, create awareness and to decrease the carbon footprints implanted on earth as time goes by.
Good SamaritanGr. 9 - 12K. Pozon /
D. Mapua
Aims to provide meaningful concern of and realistic commitment with the less privileged and inculcate deeper understanding and appreciation of ones many talents.
Green Earth AmbassadorGr. 9 - 12M. Baldwin /
D. Michaelsen
An environmental advocacy club focused on bringing sustainable solutions to environmental problems in the Philippines. Our projects have focused on recycling, food waste, refilling markers, and environmental field trips. We are looking for students who are dedicated to making the world a better place and are interested in learning about working with local stakeholders to solve local environmental problems.
Model United NationsGr. 6 -12B. Jewell /
T. Selga
A student-driven educational simulation in which students learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the United Nations based on current and relevant international issues. MUN involves and teaches research, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership. Brent MUN hosts an annual conference to teach these skills to local schools as a training exercise and then attends a larger MUN conference with these schools in Manila in the fall at the World Health Organization
Project CompassionGr. 6 - 8R. Richards /
G. Tang /
S. Roxas
Designed to bring up culture awareness, to create solidarity and compassion for the people in needs. This club helps our students to engage in meaningful service -learning activity with the Holy Family Mission Children with kindness, empathy, and generosity.
Project CompassionGr. 9 -12R. RafiñanA service-oriented club that develops a sense of camaraderie, leadership, and character in its members. It aims to help everyone create a better world by spreading awareness and increasing engagement in kind actions. We organize a variety of activities and projects to benefit our school and community.

Michelle Cuaresma
BS Tourism Management
Class 2019
STI College Sta. Rosa

 

Holy Family Episcopal Church

Holy Family Episcopal Church is a parish of the Diocese of Central Philippines, one of the 7 dioceses that make up the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, an autonomous province in the world-wide Anglican Communion. Our congregation came into being when in 2009 Brent International School, in accordance with the wishes of its founder, Bishop Charles Henry Brent that the school participate in the Church’s mission, opened Brent Memorial Chapel services to members of the surrounding local communities seeking a regular place of worship, whatever their denomination. The response was quite enthusiastic, and we were admitted as an Organized Mission at the Diocesan Convention in March 2010 and upgraded to Aided Parish in March 2012. Today we form a lively and enthusiastic congregation with an average Sunday attendance of around 60, a thriving Sunday School and a very active women’s group – and our acolytes are second to none! Services are mostly in English though readings are frequently in Tagalog.

Our present rector, Father Joe Mock, Academic Director at Brent School and the Dean for the Southern Tagalog Deanery of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Philippines covering the local churches in BIñan, Tagaytay, Batangas, Cavinti and Mindoro, is moving on as the interim rector at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Forbes Park, Makati. Meanwhile. Dcn. Mary Balitog who assisted Fr. Mock in the works of the parish is seeking ordination to the priesthood will eventually take over as the rector. All regularly scheduled services at the chapel will be maintained as follows and are open to both the Brent and the Holy Family communities. All services are according the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines.

Daily services are: Monday to Friday
• Morning Prayer at 7:15 a.m.
• Noonday Prayer at 11:30 a.m. and
• Evening Prayer at 3:30 p.m.

Mass: Sundays
• Holy Eucharist – 10:00 a.m. (Brent Memorial Chapel)
• Holy Eucharist – 4:00 p.m. (Langkiwa Outstation ever 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month)

What’s new?
Fr. Charles “Joe” Mock, A Tribute

June 16, 2019, the “last” time Fr. Mock said the mass at the Holy Family Church as a rector. He was a rector for the last 10 years since 2009. Holy Family was admitted as an Organized Mission in 2010 and then as an Aided Parish in 2012 at the Diocesan Convention. He was not only the rector, but also a ‘father’ to the Holy Family congregation.

He is a quiet man, ‘shy’ and just smiles a lot. You think he doesn’t understand what you’re saying when you talk in our beloved Tagalog but he does. After all, he lived in the Philippines for more than 30 years yet he may know the language but he is not confident enough to say it. According to him, why would he need to speak Tagalog, when he can communicate even with a little kid in English albeit a broken English (American). Incidentally, Fr. Mock is a linguist. He can speak, read and write several languages to name some, Spanish, Greek, Hebrew, Urdu, and Korean.

He first came to Brent as a teacher, then eventually sought to be ordained as a Deacon, then a Priest He served as rector for Holy Family while being the Academic Affairs Director and Assistant Chaplain for Brent School. He is with the Sunday school with everyone with the acolytes moving on to be an interim rector at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Forbes Park, Makati. So he is not yet going to America for good! It feels better to know that he is just around. We may not see him as often as usual but we know that he is just around.

The young people ‘Sunergos’ or SKEP of the Holy Family made a poem (tula) for him in Tagalog, they sang to him in Tagalog and these kids are confident that he understood the message of thankfulness for all the help and support he’s given. The women also danced and sang to him and he was very appreciative of the gesture.

We will definitely miss him but we may not have to adjust to the incoming rector, who will be ordained to the Priesthood soon. Deacon Mary had been the deacon for the past 7 years and will become the next rector. She’s not a new person to adjust to but she will just take over the responsibility of the Parish more fully.

EDUKALYE PROGRAM LAUNCHED

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.

– Calvin Coolidge (Quoted by Ms. Mary Jean Japie)

Sunday, June 23, 2019, a group of Sunergos of the Holy Family Episcopal Church with Ms. Mary Jean Japie, incoming second year seminarian (Masters in Divinity) at the St. Andrew’s Seminary and holds a degree in Secondary Education with Ms. Judy Guilas who also graduated with a degree of BS in Elementary Education spearheaded the Edukalye Program of the Holy Family Episcopal Church.

After the Sunday service, Ms. Japie and Ms. Guilas organized the Sunergos (Youth Group) of the Holy Family as volunteer teachers to start the Edukalye in the Pasong Kabayo community then at the Apat na Gatang community in Biñan.. They brought some children’s books from the Chapel to read to the interested children from the target communities. Each teacher volunteer read to two to three elementary age kids for 30 to 45 minutes. They were able to bring snacks of champorado (a sweet chocolate rice porridge in Philippine cuisine derived from the Spanish champurrado) cooked from scratch by Ms. Japie to be shared with the children.

A multipurpose “kariton” cart was constructed for this purpose funded by the bracelet sales by the acolytes club of Brent School. With the success of the first attempt, the plan is to pursue this program even when Ms. Japie will go back to the seminary. The young people with the help of the ECW (Episcopal Church Women) will continue reading to the target communities. On some Saturdays, the young volunteers who are students themselves during the weekdays will also undergo in-house training with the help of generous individuals from Brent School and other churches to equip these young people and some mothers to become efficient and effective Edukalye teacher volunteers. These young people composing the Sunergos were also recipients of the generosity of the Brent community and Brent Club projects and now they are willing to give back to other children after them. Ms. Japie herself was the beneficiary of the four-year college scholarship by the Brent Project Compassion club while Ms. Guilas was a recipient of the Trajano Family Scholarship Project.

This program was planned way before the onset of the summer vacation but was eventually implemented when Ms. Japie came for a summer education field or salubong for her course. They tried with the children in Pasong Kabayo then in Apat na Gatang and found out that this is feasible. She went further to survey the possibility of continuing this program with the kids along the riles (train railways) and children from the Mamplasan community. Adjustment of schedules and venues will be determined as this program progresses.

The aim of this program is to read to the deprived children of the marginalized communities and make them aware of the value of books and other learning activities. Depending on the availability of materials and resources, arts and crafts activities may also be performed. Otherwise, for the less marginalized children, is to break their focus and attention from too much electronic devises or television. On the part of the young teacher volunteer, it serves as an inspiration to future career. The ECW will also organize interested parents to start a bible study while the young people are teaching and reading to their children. In response to the vision and mission of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, it is a Edukalye at Pasong Kabayo Edukalye in Riles Going to Riles window for evangelism.

For this venture to be sustained, generous donors or pledgers from the church congregation and from the Brent community are encouraged. A drop box is provided at the church (Brent Memorial Chapel) entrance for generous givers to put their donations. Donation in kind is also accepted such as food items for the volunteers and the beneficiaries of the Edukalye, teaching materials and the like.

Parish Organizations

1. Youth Ministry (Samahan ng mga Kabataang Episcopal) – SUNERGOS
Our Youth Group call themselves “Sunergos” meaning working together is one of the most vibrant elements in our parish life. They form a local chapter of the National SKEP of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, and are represented at the National and Diocesan meetings of that Organization. Members of our youth group also participate in the life of our parish as

Sunday School Teachers (see below for Sunday School)
Our Sunday School and our VCS (Vacation Church School), supervised by Padi Mary Balitog, run and taught exclusively by the older youth.

Acolytes
Composed of young people, boys and girls, between the ages of 8 and 19, the Holy Family acolytes assist at all parish Eucharist and are otherwise active in the life of the Church. They are trained and supervised by Rev. Jonathan Britt

2. ECW (Episcopal Church Women)
Early on, the women, the pillars of our church community, organized themselves to form a chapter of the ECW and have since then been the heart of the community. Beyond the traditional ‘women’s’ tasks, which they perform with gusto, (washing and ironing church linens and vestments, polishing utensils, etc.)) they are instrumental in organizing most parish social events and run highly successful fund-raising activities. They meet every first Sunday of the month under the leadership of their elected officers.

Parish Programs

1. Sunday School
This program aims to provide spiritual nourishment to our youngest members through singing, interactive reading and watching appropriate videos. Average attendance is between 20 and 30 youngsters every Sunday. Some Sunday school ‘alumni’ are now trained Sunday school teacher themselves, while others serve as acolytes and readers.

2. Education Assistance Program

This program aims to support any student from a low-income family who is an active member of the parish and desires to pursue a College Degree. The sources of fund come from offerings made during school wide Eucharist and Sunday school fund-raising efforts made by concerned members of the Brent community who continually support the programs of the parish.

• Educational Loan Program
Support is given in the form of interest-free loans to be repaid once the student has graduated and gainfully employed. At the end of the school year 2018-2019, one recipient finished a technical course and an incoming fourth year for a degree of BS in Elementary Education.

• Scholarship Program (for University Students)
This program, initiated by Brent School’s Project Compassion Club, supported a full time college student who graduated in April, 2017, passed the Licensure examination for teachers and has taught at a Pre- School in Biñan. Another recipient graduated last April 2018.

The program hasn’t been active recently as it is dependent on the project of a Brent School club or
sustained by private individuals supporting a student but managed by the parish.

3. Edukalye Program

This is a new program recently launched this June 2019. Initially it was planned to be a Kariton Klassroom patterned from the CNN Hero in 2009, Efren Peñaflorida, who brought education to poor
children in Cavity City. A Kariton was constructed for this purpose. As this program is still in the infant stage, lots of needs were identified after the first successful trial in two target communities in Biñan. Funding is a primacy concern since the Kariton can not be rolled along the main thoroughfare of the city, the teachers volunteers need transportation, except the nearby communities as Apat na Gatang or Mamplasan. As for resources there are lots of children’s books donated by a generous member of the congregation so reading stories is the jump-start activity but other activities such as arts and crafts are in the plan. If at all available, feeding could accompany the reading as was tried with champorado and lugaw. We believe that a full stomach enhances the learning and attention span of the learners be more manageable

Parish Preaching Stations

Langkiwa
In 2015, the Pitong Gatang settlement from which most of our original members came was relocated in Langkiwa, a good 50 minute by public transport, i.e tricycle from Brent Chapel. Some children still show up for Sunday school on Sunday mornings along with some adults. For those who can’t find the time, Deacon Mary Balitog visits regularly with the Celebration of Word and Communion one Sunday a month. A house in the area is being rented to serve as a house of worship and at the same a fellowship site or other Church functions. Brent school sent old tables chairs , and shelves to furnish the building.

Timbao
Timbao, where some of our members reside, is located at some distance from Brent School. For those who find it hard to get to us on Sundays, Deacon Mary Balitog visits once a month to conduct a Celebration of Word and Communion.

Mindoro (Tubili)
A contingent of Holy Family members lead by Deacon Mary and Mrs. Grace Britt had been going to Tubili in Mindoro with the permission of the Dean of the Southern Tagalog Deanery and the Priest-In-Charge of an existing church in the area to start a mission with the Mangyan Tribe of Mindoro. This mission was initiated in 2016.

Cavinti (Our Lady of Walsingham Preaching Station)
In 2012 the former Deacon Jonathan Britt and his wife Grace opened a preaching station on their property in Cavinti, Laguna. Before long a small but regular congregation was formed which meets on a regular Sunday Service. Deacon Jonathan conducts a Celebration of Word and Communion second and fourth Sunday of the month and Fr. Joe Mock celebrates the Eucharist on first and third.

Deacon Jonathan is also seeking ordination to the priesthood. Soon, the services at the Our Lady of Walsingham will be maintained by a resident priest and will eventually upgrade to an Organized Mission.

WITNESSING: PARISH AT WORK IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
The Holy Spirit is using the Holy Family Episcopal Church through the then Deacon Mary by sending children in need of help her way. Out of the blue, somebody calls Padi Mary about a kid in need, and there she is to help. Isn’t that amazing work of the Holy Spirit?

Name of Child Age Condition
1. Gabriel de la Cruz 8 Cerebral Palsy with Epilepsy
2. Bobby Babon 4 “Down Syndrome”
3. Andrea Tabilog 7 healthy (sponsored)
4. Rachelle Casingoy 8 Blind
5. Aniluv Padohinog 13 healthy (sponsored)
6. Evan Blanco 10 healthy (sponsored)

Interns(s):
A seminary intern was assigned to the parish for a summer educational field called salubong. Ms. Mary Jean Japie is an incoming Second Year Seminary Student at the Saint Andrew’s Seminary of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines for a degree in Masters in Divinity. She is not new to the Parish as she practically grew here. She was one of the first Sunday school children when the Holy Family Parish came to be, then an active acolyte alternating a Sunday school teacher. She is a youth leader, a one time SKEP President, then with the inspiration by Padi Mary, decided to enter the Seminary. Prior to this, she earned a Bachelor of Secondary Education, passed the Licensure Exams for Teachers and taught for a year in a Montessori school in Biñan. She was a beneficiary of the four year college scholarship by the Project Compassion Club of Brent International school. She with Ms. Judy Guilas spearheaded the Edukalye Program.