IMG_5447a
Faithful Christians packed the sanctuary at Mei Ann Methodist Church.

by James TC Wong

SEP 17, MIRI – More than 900 Christians from all denominations attended the Malaysia Day Prayer Service at Mei Ann Methodist Church last night.

Themed ‘Working Together As One Body’, the annual event by the Association of Churches (ACS) was ​hosted by the Methodist Church (SCAC) and ​organized​ by the Miri District Methodist Churches this year.​

Its aim was to pray for God’s blessings for peace and justice upon Malaysia, and unity among Christians in the country.

In embracing the various ethnic Christian groups in Sarawak, the Scriptures were read out and prayers conducted in various languages.

The standing congregation sang the processional hymn ‘Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee’ as the Heads of Churches, Scripture Readers, Pastors and Worship Enablers entered the church sanctuary at 7:30 pm.

Hoisting of the National and State Flags were done by ACS Miri Branch Chairman Rt Rev Bishop Richard Ng, Diocese of Miri, The Roman Catholic Church and Bishop ​ Solomon Cheong​, ​Assistant Bishop ​of the ​Anglican Church​​ Diocese ​​of Kuching respectively after the march-in by the Boys’ and Girls’ Brigade of 1st Miri Company.

Following that, the Negaraku and Sarawak State Anthem Ibu Pertiwiku were sang.

In his message of welcome, Rt Rev Bishop Richard Ng emphasized on three key prayer items – 1) Pray for a beautiful Malaysia, 2) Pray for all Malaysians to accept one another regardless of race, religion or culture, and 3) Pray for honest, transparent and just political leaders.

The opening prayer was done by Rev Solomon Bulan in the Kelabit language.

An Iban Prayer for His Kingdom that ‘Christians to be the Light and Salt in Malaysia’ was by Rev Rosalind Ijan (Sarawak Iban Annual Conference), followed by the whole congregation praying in their own mother tongue, ‘Our Family Prayer’, The Lord’s Prayer.

Pastor Tujok Laing of BEM Pujut 3 read Psalm 133 in the Kayan language.

In the ‘Prayer for Malaysia’, Pastor Edwin Semilee Tajau of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church led the congregation in Bahasa Malaysia.

Pastor Balang Rining (BEM Miri District Superintendent) read John 13:31-35 in the Lun Bawang language.

‘Prayer for Church Unity’ in English was led by Pastor Lim Thien Leong of Piasau Baptist Church.

Pastor Terry Valten Simon led the ‘Prayer for Peace and Justice’ in the Bidayuh language.

William Balan (Roman Catholic Church) led a responsive prayer in the Kenyah language with the congregation responding in English, ‘Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayers.’

Rev Richard Chang (St Columba Anglican Church) led in the Thanksgiving Prayer for the Offering in Chinese.

The Reading of the Epistle: 1 Cor 12:12-26 was by Lawrence Megat (Roman Catholic Church) in Bahasa Malaysia.

Miri Methodist District Superintendent Rev Simon Ting Chu Yih delivered the sermon ‘Working Together as One Body’ in Mandarin. It was translated to Bahasa Malaysia by Rev Ling Biu, the Pastor-in-charge of Gereja Methodist Tudan.

Closing at 9:30 pm, Christopher Bundan (Sarawak Iban Annual Conference) conducted the ‘Prayer for Healing and Reconciliation’ in Iban.

IMG_5531a
Assistant Bishop of The Anglican Church Kuching Diocese Solomon Cheong (front right, dark jacket) giving the Benediction.

Before giving the Benediction, Assistant Bishop Solomon Cheong invited Bishop Rt Rev Richard Ng to appreciate those involved in making the event a success. “I’m very glad that tonight’s program is well-organized and I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to all,” he said.

This year’s event was ​hosted by the Methodist Church SCAC and the Organizing Committee was ​chaired by Rev. Lenita Tiong, the pastor-in-charge of Grace Methodist Church.

Other highlights of the evening included music worship with sape (a traditional lute used by the Sarawak indigenous people), and sterling performances by the Mei Ann Methodist Church Hananiah Youth Choir and the Miri District Methodist Choir.

Grace Methodist Church led the congregation in the opening praise and worship.