Good Shepherd’s Parish Ministry of Ecumenical and Inter Religious Affairs (PMEIA) recently invited 10 Christian Churches around the Setapak vicinity for an evening of prayer and fellowship. His Grace, Archbishop Julian Leow and Rev Fr Christopher Wilvaraj together with the PMEIA members greeted and welcomed the Pastors and members of the other Christian Churches to the Good Shepherd Church (GSC), Setapak.
The evening started off with praise and worship lead by GSC Youths followed by welcoming speech by GSC PMEIA President, Ms Rita Wong. Ms Rita urged all present to associate their efforts and work collectively to withstand the subtle persecutions that come their way. She also shared her hopes of conducting inter religious dialogues next year, an expansion to the Christian solidarity foundation that is being created now. This continued with a Pastor from each church leading the faithful in prayer and sharing their hopes and desires for Christian harmony.
Most Pastors touched on the higher calling as Christians, which is to lead people to Christ. This can be achieved by enduring to keep the Christian unity. When differences are cast aside, the power of the Holy Spirit can move mountains and bind people together especially to reach out to the underprivileged and needy within the vicinity.
A noteworthy testimony to the embedded Christian values is Pastor Mohan from Shiloh Assembly of God. He shared his experience of being raised in Setapak and attending Tadika Air Panas run by GSC. Because of the foundation laid in him by the Church through early education, he is now a Pastor albeit coming from a Sikh background. He believes firmly in the power of fasting and praying.
As a wrap up, Archbishop Julian Leow challenged the leaders to journey together closely and begin to dispel the sad divisions that separates them. “Let us pray that these divisions will lessen and finally disappear in keeping with Christ’s prayer for us, ‘that they may all be one’ (Jn 17:21)”, he said.
He also urged the leaders to cultivate new ways of experiencing the common faith in and for the communities amongst them. Better camaraderie and the need to know one another as Brothers and Sisters and as friends will eventually unitise and harmonise this union. Standing united as Christians in Malaysia is paramount in order to combat the common challenges faced.
“Apart from growing in solidarity, joining hands and exercising our common values are radical changes that is possible in the now and here. A ‘gotong-royong’ at the local parks or schools is a good way of coming together and staying united while practicing our social responsibility”, he said. Archbishop also reminded everyone to build bridges and not walls, not to remain in their ghettos and not to live in a vacuum. Because as a multi ethnic society, dialoguing is tantamount and has a trickle-down effect to all especially children and youths.
The evening continued with food and performances as the leaders mingled together in this newfound platform. Fr Christopher concluded by thanking all present while advocating them to bear witness to the Gospel in word and deed and promote dialogue, peace and mutual understanding amongst Christians and eventually amongst those of other religions.
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