A Rare Sight to Behold: Churches Uniting Across Denominations—Shah Alam Christian Unity Service by SACF

8 Nov 2014 by Adeline Lum CM-

 

On 6th of November, more than 500 people from 16 churches and ministries gathered at Kota Permai Golf and Country Club. 

Held annually for the eighth time by Shah Alam Christian Fellowship (SACF) since year 2003, Shah Alam Christian Unity Service is organized to build unity amongst churches in Shah Alam.

From more than 200 Christians representing eight churches in Shah Alam, SACF has now grown to include 18 churches in that locality. Besides unity services, SACF has also organized inter-faith dialogues with leaders of other faiths and inter-churches sports activities.

The event began with Rev Edward Devadason from Tamil Methodist Church giving an opening prayer, followed by Praise and Worship by Alpha Colors, a dance performance by Grace Charismatic, and a welcome address by Rev Sean Prasad, Chairman of SACF and senior pastor of Good Tidings Assembly.

 

Rev Sean Prasad
Rev Sean Prasad giving a welcome address

 

Service-awards were given to SACF to pioneer and founding chairman of SACF Rev Father Raymond Pereira (from Church of Divine Mercy), second chairman of SACF Pr David Tham (from New Life Restoration Centre Shah Alam), and General Secretary of the Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) Rev Dr Hermen Shastri.

Rev Dr Hermen Shastri, guest speaker of the event, shared about the importance of unity before his attendees of various denominations, which include the Evangelicals, the Charismatics, the Baptists, the Protestants, the Roman Catholics, the Brethren’s, and the Anglicans; it is certainly a rare sight to behold!

“In the light of all the things happening here, not forgetting about the things happening in many parts of the world, it’s very important that Christians are united because we have to respond to many of these challenges we face.

 

The audience of Shah Alam Christian Unity Service
The audience of Shah Alam Christian Unity Service

 

“And when we are responding, we want to make sure that we are all in agreement. The first challenge is whether we can be together as the church… The call for unity comes from the Bible,” said Rev Dr Hermen, quoting 1 John 1:5-7.

 

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:5-7)

 

Like how one light source is refracted through a prism into a rainbow spectrum of colors, all of us—albeit our differences in denominations, worship styles, and languages—worship and belong to the same God YHWH.

 

The hip hop dance performance by Chinese NLRC Shah Alam
The hip hop dance performance by Chinese NLRC Shah Alam

 

Rev Dr Hernen led the attendees to sing a hymn, ‘The Church as Community’, which spoke about the different ways we are called to be united in Christ.

 

Many are the lightbeams from the one light. Our light is Jesus.
We are one in Christ.

Many are the branches of the one tree. Our one tree is Jesus.
We are one in Christ.

Many are the gifts given, love is all one. Love is the gift of Jesus.
We are one in Christ.

Many ways to serve God, the Spirit is one; servant spirit of Jesus.
We are one in Christ.

Many are the members, the body is one, members all of Jesus.
We are one in Christ.

— Cyprian of Carthage, 252 A.D.

 

Rev Dr Zechariah Vasudevan from Grace Charismatic Fellowship gave a speech in Tamil
Rev Dr Zechariah Vasudevan from Grace Charismatic Fellowship gave a speech in Tamil

 

“It is important to remember that we are living in the light of Christ. We have to witness the light of Christ. But sometimes, we find that churches don’t seem to remember that they are all sharing one light,” said Rev Dr Hermen, quoting John 17:20-21.

 

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. (John 17:20-21)

 

“So, if you want the world to believe that God has sent his son Jesus Christ, then we must also express that unity in the works we do and in the mission we strive for in this world,” he added.

 

Rev Sean Prasad and Rev Dr Hermen Shastri
Rev Sean Prasad and Rev Dr Hermen Shastri

 

Like how all colors in the color spectrum combine to form one white light, we show Jesus Christ to the rest of the world when we unite in Him!

Rev Dr Hermen commended the churches of SACF for their unity due to their amicability, openness, and genuine enjoyment of each other’s company over their regular meetings.

After the sharing, Pr Joshua Lee of the New Life Restoration Centre (NLRC) in Shah Alam led a unity prayer, followed by a Chinese sharing by Sister Lim Ai Lan from the Chinese Methodist Church Shah Alam and a Tamil sharing by Rev Dr Zechariah Vasudevan from Grace Charismatic Fellowship.

 

The worship-dance performance by Bahasa Melayu Church Divine Mercy
The worship-dance performance by Bahasa Melayu Church Divine Mercy

 

The evening ended with a worship-dance performance by Bahasa Melayu Church Divine Mercy and a hip hop dance performance by the Chinese NLRC Shah Alam. The attendees adjourned for a social tea banquet after Rev Lim Yeu Chuen of Kota Kemuning AOG gave a benediction of blessings to the united body of Christ.

 

I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:22-23)

 

The churches that attended the event included Anglican Revelation Church of Shah Alam, Cross Culture Church, Church of Divine Mercy, Tamil Methodist Church, Chinese Methodist Church, New Life Restoration Centre Shah Alam, Good Tidings Assembly, Shah Alam Gospel Centre, Grace Shah Alam, Shah Alam Grace Fellowship, Charisma AOG, Shah Alam AOG, Kota Kemuning AOG, Baptist Church, SIB Church, Alpha Colors and Grace Charismatic.

 

From left to right: Teresa Lai, Rev Sean Prasad, Rev Father Raymond Pereira, Rev Dr Hermen Shastri, Pr David Tham
From left to right: Teresa Lai, Rev Sean Prasad, Rev Father Raymond Pereira, Rev Dr Hermen Shastri, Pr David Tham

 

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