Once again, the Clergy Retreat is held and celebrated by the Diocese for the Clergy to take a break from their daily routines in their Parish, sit down together to discuss their challenges and plan ahead.
This year, the Diocese has organised the Retreat at Salcra Bajo Training Centre, Lundu from 5th September to 7th September 2019. Eighty three Priests and Deacons from the forty three Parishes gathered together with the Bishop, the Rt. Rev’d Danald Jute, accompanied by his spouse, Mdm. Julita Jack and his invited guest of honour, the former Anglican Archbishop of New Zealand, The Most Rev’d Sir David Moxon and his spouse, Lady Tureiti Moxon.
Bishop Danald has chosen a most appropriate theme for this year “Reaching Forward Intentionally” according to Scripture Philippians 3:13, to strive forward in his plan to reach his goal intentionally according to God’s will.
Participants arrived at the Centre before 2pm, 5th September before the 1st session of the Conference began. Rev’d Jeffrey Renos, the coordinator presented the programmes to run through the day.
At the opening prayer, Bishop Danald praised God for the safe journey from various parts of Sarawak and Brunei to the Centre and to seek His presence. The three sessions of conversation by Bishop Danald, Rev’d Ivor and Bishop Nelson Ugas were to create greater desire to intentionally press forward to reach the goal.
Bishop Danald spoke on using the Synod to report on the past 2 years performance and to plan for the next 10 years to rebuild the church with reaching forward intentionally to the lay readers, laying the basic foundation and planting the pillars with various conferences such as Children Conference, Prayer Conference, Youth Conference and so on. Doing the same over the years was a hindrance to go forward intentionally. A powerful Gospel can change our life and for us to become more Christ like.
Next speaker was Rev’d Ivor, the Coordinator of APMM ( Anglican Prayer movement and mobilization), speaking about intentional prayer life for everyone. The movement was started in 2018 and Rev’d Ivor has travelled to various parishes to launch and commission the prayer ministry, the latest being St. Francis Church, Samarahan.
The 3rd speaker was Assistant Bishop, the Right Rev’d Nelson Ugas. He touched on the expansion of members throughout the Diocese but not enough priests to serve. Therefore, there is the need for the Diocese to create mission districts and mission fields and to equip members using training centres in Kuching (HOE House of Epiphany) and Bintulu (Kedurong Training Centre) .
In Conference 2, Canon Andy Shie spoke about Pontianak Mission Partnership with Pastor Kristof of St. Margaret’s Church Pontianak, introducing the new site and plan to expand starting with working with schools , Partnership in education and training (PET).
Rev’d Stephen Gendang spoke on Education and Training with Rev’d Alfred speaking on Theological Training structure.
The 2 visitors from New Zealand, Archdeacon Paul and Richard also spoke on their experience in their parishes, using music to draw children to God.
By 5.30pm, the afternoon session ends and dinner was served on 6.30pm with Bishop Nelson saying Grace and give thanks to God.
The Retreat began at 8.00pm, starting with Praise and Worship.
Bishop Danald welcomed the speaker, The former ArchBishop of New Zealand, The Most Rev’d Sir David Moxon and his wife, Lady Tureiti Moxon.
The theme for the Retreat was “Reaching Forward Intentionally” (Philippians 3:13) and was preached in 6 sessions.
Session 1 : In the Strength of God ( 5th September Evening )
Session 2 : In the Grace of God ( 6th September Morning )
Session 3 : Under Orders, consecration (6th Septhember Morning)
Session 4 : How to Let God lead you (6th Septmber afternoon)
Session 5 : How do we share Baptism (6th September Evening)
Session 6 : Leadership as Christian Leaders (7th September Morning)
By 9.15pm, Deacon Ralpheal Rueben Bonnie of St. Thomas’s Church, Bintulu conducted the Compline and the day session ended by 9.30pm.
On 6th September, the second day of the retreat, at 7am, Rev’d Villy Velin from St. Columba’s Church Miri recited the morning prayer followed by the Scripture readings by the various priests, Reflection by Archdeacon Stanley Bunseng and Intercession by Rev’d Ivor Lim. Holy Communion service was convened with Archdeacon Andrew Paha as the celebrant.
After the breakfast , The Most Rev’d Sir David Moxon continued with his sessions. The Retreat ended on 7th September 2019 at 1pm. Glory to Christ our Lord.