EL Shaddai Fellowship:A Public Sphere
EsmeraldaF. Sanchez, PhD
This paper discusses the El Shaddai Fellowship as a public sphere. It uses phenomenological ethnography utilizing participant- observant, storytelling, in-depth interview, and triangulation.Highlights of the findings are as follows: fellowship which started with only 12 people increases rapidly which reaches now in the national level up to 2 million members. The regular fellowship which is held every Saturday afternoon from 4p.m.-9pm attracted more Filipinos to engage in this gathering for it changes their outlook and attitude in life. Consequently, their changing lives made them live in harmony with God, with themselves, fellowmen and hopefully with the whole environment. The fellowship starts with the praise and worship songs , sharing of the members' living testimony in living the gospel, praying the holy rosary, celebration of the highest form of worship, the Holy Mass, praise and worship for Healing Message normally delivers by the founder of the movement, finally, the Healing Message. Attendees come to this fellowship primarily for the healing message, the source of their knowledge of God where they develop the virtues of faith, hope, and love. Faith and hope in all the challenges that they face in their everyday life but above all the love for God and others are most important in this public sphere. El Shaddai’s fellowship public sphere uses radio, television, and internet. These means of communication reach people world-wide. Listeners over the radio give feedback to the radio announcers, request for prayers, consult their doubts and concerns in life. Those who use the internet, email their concerns and those watching television listens and follow the activities going on in the ground. In conclusion, El Sahddai Fellowship is an important public sphere for many Filipinos.
Keywords: El Shaddai, Fellowship, public sphere