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One for the album – the congregants of the inaugural 3rd English Worship Service of Grace Methodist Church (GMC) at Mciti Square, Miri!

by James TC Wong, Grace Methodist Church, Miri

MIRI – 88 adults, 12 children and 2 babies attended the inaugural Sunday Worship Service at Mciti Square on March 6. Among the 102 congregants were 15 newcomers.

During last Thursday’s Prayer Meeting (March 3), the new premises was cleansed and blessed by the District Superintendent Rev Simon Ting Chu Yih together with the Pastor-in-charge Rev Lenita Tiong, witnessed by Lay Leader Michael Lee, Associate Lay Leaders Tan Kok Chui and Yung Teck Chung, and other church members.

In his message during the opening Sunday Worship Service, Liturgist Aaron Hii welcomed everyone to the new place of worship. “We are blessed to have this opportunity to meet the spiritual needs of the community in the airport and surrounding areas,” he added.

LCEC Vice-Chairman Paul Wong, who is also a Local Preacher candidate currently doing his practicum, delivered a sermon entitled “Awakening” using the text from John 4:27-38.

Mdm Tiong, a newcomer residing in the Luak Bay area, attended the service with her two children who are in their late teens. “My children are looking for a church to worship and this is our first visit to get the feel,” she commented with a smile.

Refreshments were served after the service ended at 10:00 am.

page Top Left clockwise – Liturgist Aaron Hii, Praise and Worship, Local Preacher candidate Paul Wong, congregants getting ready for a group photo.

The launching of the 3rd Worship Service of Miri Grace Methodist Church is in line with the 20 resolutions passed and subsequently adopted by the SCAC English Ministry Committee.

At the 2014 Annual Conference, a task force was formed under the leadership of Dr Simon Wong from Trinity Methodist Church, Kuching. This Task Force was given five key areas to study and to come up with suggestions and proposals. They were:-

• Pastoral and Lay Leadership
• Structure & efficiency of the English Ministry Com & future direction
• Small Group Ministry
• Care & Compassionate Ministry
• Youth and Young Adults

Under the area of future direction, the Committee with the support of the SCAC President Rev Dato’ Dr Su Chii Ann, envisioned an English-speaking District under SCAC.

In alignment with this vision, the planting of new churches and new congregations have to be attained. The paradigm shift from traditional church-planting methods has enabled existing churches to start new worship services and new congregations in rented premises or in existing Chinese-speaking churches.

By God’s Grace, three such congregations have started. Wesley Methodist Church took the lead and in June 2015, commenced a new English Worship Service at 11:00 am at a rented shoplot at Permai, Sibu. In January this year, Trinity Methodist Church also started an English worship service at 5:00 pm at the Chin Daw Methodist Church, Jalan Song, Kuching.

The time for the Sunday Worship Service at Mciti Square is from 8:30 am. Concurrently, Sunday School classes are available to children ages 7 – 12 years. All are welcome!