12 Nov 2014 by Teresa Lai-
Fourteen denominational churches came together for a Christian Unity Service on Nov 6. Held at the Kota Permai Golf & Country Club, the service was organized by the Shah Alam Christian Fellowship (SACF) and was attended by close to 500 people.
1 in Christ was the theme chosen and the multilingual service comprised praise and worship, speeches, prayers, slide show and presentations by various churches.
Earlier in his welcoming speech, Rev Sean Prasad from Good Tidings Assembly, and chairperson of SACF, welcomed everyone from the various churches in Shah Alam.
Also attending were guests of honor Rev Dr Hermen Shastri, General Secretary of Council of Churches of Malaysia, Tan Kong Beng, executive secretary of Christian Federation of Malaysia and Rev Fr Raymond Pereira, founder and the first chairperson of SACF.
As an appreciation to their commitment and support given to SACF, Rev Sean presented certificates of appreciation to Rev Fr Raymond Pereira, parish priest of Church of St Theresa in Nilai, Pastor David Tham of New Life Restoration Centre and Rev Dr Hermen Shastri.
In his speech, Dr. Hermen made reference to the Scripture text of 1 John 1: 5 – 7 to describe the basis of Christian unity: walk in the light.
“Living in the light means living according to the spiritual guidance given to us by the Word of God as contained in the Bible,” explained Dr. Hermen.
Dr Hermen then taught the participants a beautiful hymn Many are the light beams to further illustrate the basis of Christian unity.
Dr Hermen took the opportunity to inform the participants of a new Ecumenical Center built by the Council of Churches which is located opposite the University Hospital. It provides a place for people to pray especially those going for treatment in the hospital. The beautiful stain glass windows of the chapel was created by a German artist, Raphael Seitz. He called the chapel The Light of Christ because of the beautiful rays of colors coming through when the sunlight hits the windows.
“The different rays of colors are the many different churches while the one light refers to Jesus Christ. If we do not reflect Jesus in our lives, we cause division to the body of Jesus Christ”, Dr Hermen elaborated.
Dr Hermen assured that he would always assist and support SACF in its effort to promote unity among the churches in Shah Alam. He hoped the journey that SACF had begun in Shah Alam would be an example for other towns and cities in the country to emulate.
He hoped that SACF will go about doing good, between the churches and beyond in the larger community and be a visible testimony of Christian living in Shah Alam. Dr. Hermen urged all to speak the truth in love and be bringers of peace, hope and love to the community.
Death was the unifying force which led to the formation of SACF in Nov 6, 2002. Nine denominational churches worked in unison and determination to apply for a burial ground in Shah Alam. After eight years of paper work and countless meetings with the authorities, the Shah Alam Christian cemetery finally came to life on July 29, 2010. To date, there are 77 burials in the cemetery which is managed and maintained by the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA).
Besides looking after the welfare of the dead, SACF too organized activities to foster goodwill and unity among churches in Shah Alam. Christian unity service, joint Easter and Christmas celebrations, games and meals together are some of the activities which have brought the different churches and their pastors closer to one another.
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