The 29th Biennial Diocesan Synod began with a Holy Communion Service on Sunday, 8th September 2019 at St. Thomas’s Cathedral at 5.00pm in the EvenSong service.
A procession was held from the Multi Purpose Hall to the Cathedral by the delegates, priests and the Bishop, the Rt. Rev’d Danald Jute at 4.30pm.
Bishop Danald was the Celebrant for The Holy Communion Service with singing of hymns , Scripture readings followed by liturgy readings. The Most Rev’d Dr. Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the Archbishop of Nigeria, preached on the theme of the Synod according to Scripture Philippians 3: 10 – 14 “Pressing on toward the Goal” and “Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit” according to Gospel of St. John 14:15 – 21. To reflect on what God has done to the church in the 170 years since the arrival of Francis Thomas McDougall. Our daily challenge and efforts is to focus on Jesus as our saviour and to strain forward to the goal of eternal salvation, spending time with God with His Word , reading the Bible systematically and spending time with God in prayer.
The Synod Delegates proceeded with a roll-call by the Chancellor and the Registrar of the Diocese, followed by their oath-takings. A total of one hundred and eighty nine delegates registered for the Synod. The Evensong Service ended by 7pm after partake of the Holy Communion and the last hymn was sung.
Welcoming Dinner and Fund Raising for House of Epiphany at Riverside Majestic Hotel
The welcoming dinner, organised by the Diocese of Kuching, held at Sarawak Chamber, Riverside Majestic Hotel for the Synod delegates, parishioners and invited guests began with their arrivals at 7.30pm onward.
On arrival, the Bishop of Sarawak and Brunei, the Rt. Rev’d Danald Jute with his spouse, Mdm. Julita Jack together with the special guests-of-honour, the Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas accompanied by his spouse Datin Amar Doreen Mayang, were welcomed by the Women Fellowship members and students from St.Mary’s Primary School dressed in their traditional costumes.
The evening programmes began with a traditional welcoming dance performed by students of St. Mary’s Primary School, Kuching followed by Praise and Worship from St. Faith Church with singing of hymns by all presence.
Before dinner was served, Asst. Bishop, the Rt. Rev’d Nelson Ugas said Grace and give thanks for the provision.
In his speech, Bishop Danald welcomed the Guest-of-Honour, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah and his spouse, Datin Amar Doreen, the Director of UNIFOR, Datu Dr. Ngenang Janggu, the State Secretary , Datuk Jaul Samion , Archbishop of Roman Catholics, Simon Poh, The former Archbishop of New Zealand, Sir David Moxon and his spouse, Lady Tureiti Moxon and Bishop of Nigeria, The Most Rev’d Dr. Josiah Idowo Fearon, Major Francis from Salvation Army, and the retired Bishops and Assistant Bishops and all the priests and parishioners who came to support the fund raising dinner.
He spoke about building today , tomorrow and the future, on the New House of Epiphany which required more than RM10.5 million for the estimated cost of construction and provision for furnishing and equipments for the 5 storey building, housing a Chapel, Lecture Room, Seminar Rooms, Library, Administrative and Staff Offices, Ministry offices , a mini museum/Archive, staff and Students’ Accommodations and others, which needed the contribution from generous donors to this project. It will be the training and equipment centre for the future of young people. He especially thanked the Sarawak Chief Minister , Datuk Patinggi Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Abang Haji Openg, who has responded favourably with a grant of RM7 million and hoped to raised fund of RM3.5 million to cover balance of the cost.
On the plan to organise a Youth Fellowship at St. Thomas’s Cathedral, he requested an additional four hundred thousand ringgit on top of the one hundred thousand ringgit already approved by UNIFOR to organise the event next year for over 2000 youth to gather for discussions and dialogues on the challenges of taking up the role of life in the church and the Diocese plan to transform the Anglican community to serve as Disciples in God’s Ki ngdom for the next 10 years with the theme “Pressing Forward Intentionally”.
The Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas gave thanks to God for the gathering. As Minister of Unifor, he wished to get assessment and feedback to improve the service. He announced the approval of grant of Ringgit Four Hundred Thousand for the Youth gathering next year by Director of Unifor, Datu Dr. Ngenang Janggu and pledged to raise RM 1.5 million from Unifor to the New House of Epiphany next year.
Datuk Amar Dogulas Uggah unveiled the House of Epiphany banner followed by the pledges and contributions and donations from the parishes and individual parishioners.
The function ended by 10.30pm with The former Archbishop of New Zealand, Sir David Moxon reciting the closing prayer. He was glad to see the cheerful and joyful generous giver giving rise to the growth of the church. To God be the Glory.