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By Karen Bong
KUCHING, July 21: Hundreds of faithful, including Sarawak cabinet ministers, came together shoulder-to-shoulder inside the Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre (CEWC) earlier tonight at Jalan Stampin here for a special prayer service in conjunction with Sarawak Day, to pray for a better Sarawak.
“Our prayers and desires tonight, as we celebrate Sarawak Day, are that our beloved Sarawak, ‘tanah airku’, to be a better place for everyone to live in where there is peace, harmony and respect; to grow physically and spiritually healthy, where one has equal right to develop one’s talents and potential, and freedom to practise one’s religious belief and persuasion,” said Roman Catholic Archbishop The Most Revd Simon Poh as he opened the prayer service.
“For the past 59 years, Sarawak has been blessed with tremendous growth and development. We rejoice in what You have done for us in our State, and for this we are grateful to You and also to each and every member of our society that has contributed in one way or another in bringing our beloved Sarawak thus far.”
In a united prayer, Poh prayed for blessings and protection to be upon Sarawak, State leaders, religious leaders and every citizen to continue to show love for Sarawak and Malaysia as Sarawakians try their level best to lead and build this country together for a better future.
This special Sarawak Day Ecumenical Prayer Service 2022 is the first combined service organised by the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) after a hiatus of over two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Themed “You Shall Be A Blessing” (Genesis 12:2), the service this year was hosted by the St Thomas’ Cathedral (Anglican) and streamed live on social media.
The ceremony started with a colourful march in put together by members in beautiful traditional costumes from St Nicholas Bandar Baru Samariang and St Paul Siol Kandis Petra Jaya, while the flag bearers were from Tabuan Jaya Anglican Church, St Simon Malihah and St Thomas Cathedral.
It was followed by the hoisting of the Malaysia and Sarawak flags accompanied by the National and State Anthem respectively.
Deputy Premiers Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah and Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, Minister of Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) director Richard Lon and organising committee chairman The Very Revd Kho Thong Meng were among those who joined the service.
The event was also attended by Anglican Bishop of Kuching and Brunei Darussalam Rt Revd Datuk Danald Jute as well as leaders from Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Borneo Evangelical Mission, Methodist Sarawak Iban Annual Conference, The Salvation Army, Methodist Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference, priests, pastors, elders and friends from other faiths. — DayakDaily