Subdeacons, Readers & Lay Readers Conference 17-18 January 2020 (2 Timothy 3:17)
The Diocese of Kuching organised the 1st Lay Readers, Readers and Subdeacons Conference for Upper Southern Archdeaconry and Lower Southern Archdeaconry at St. Francis’ Parish, Kota Samarahan from 17th to 18th January 2020.
Archdeacon Jose Jol did the opening prayer and followed by the Praise and Worship session led by St. Francis’ Church worship team.
The Chairman of the Organising Committee, Rev’d Alfred Damu who is also the Warden of the House of Epiphany, initiated this to start off the training programmes for Subdeacons, Readers and Lay Readers, in line with the Bishop’s vision to groom and strengthen the lay leadership in the Diocese.
A total of 253 participants from the various parishes of the Upper and Lower Southern Archdeaconry and the Cathedral took part in the Conference.
The Bishop of the Diocese of Kuching and Negara Brunei Darusalam, the Rt. Rev’d Datuk Danald Jute declared open the conference on the evening of 17thJanuary 2020. He praised and thanked God for his goodness to His people. The theme for the Conference is based on 2Timothy 3:17 “So That The Servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”. The Bishop’s message to the leaders was based on the Acts of Apostle chapter 20 verses 17 – 28. St. Paul called the elders of the Church and taught them the principles of serving. Bishop told the church leaders that we are called to serve God’s people with great humility and with tears in the midst of severe testing. Our calling is not to serve the priests or ourselves. Pray from the heart with intimate relationship with God. God honours us in his calling, to glorify His name. It is a great responsibility as leaders to sacrifice and to do like Christ. Live up the Gospel to understand God’s word, to equip ourselves and to understand the whole will of God and to focus on the Glory of God. The calling was to care deeply and sincerely for the Church, to care for the soul that Christ has shed his blood for and as shepherds to protect the flock, keeping watch over ourselves and the flock. This session was to invite us to move with God, be intentional in all we do and with intensity.
The opening session ended at 9.30 pm and the participants were served with refreshment and fellowship with one another.
The Conference on 18th January 2020 started with the morning Devotion led by Rev’d Alfred Damu from 7.30 am to 8.00am for the English Speaking Track and Rev’d Stephen Gendang for the Iban Speaking Track. Breakfast was served afterwards.
The speakers for the conference were Canon Andy Shie, Bishop Nelson Ugas, Rev’d Stephen Gendang (The Director of Christian Education and Literature Bureau), and Rev’d Alfred Damu (the Warden of HOE), Archdeacon Jose Jol, and Canon Dennis Gimang.
Asst. Bishop, the Rt. Rev’d Nelson Ugas spoke in dual languages on “The Spiritual Life of a Reader: Building a Devotional Life” :the Prayer Life and the Word of God.
The 3rd session was conducted by Rev’d Stephen Gendang who spoke on “Introduction to New Catechism Syllabus” followed by Rev’d Alfred Damu on “Introduction to Theological Studies” and “The Church and Discipleship”
The 4th session was conducted by Archdeacon Jose Jol on “Pastoral Leadership” while Canon Dennis Gimang spoke on “Mission and Evangelism”
The last session for the day was conducted by Rev’d Alfred Damu on “Introduction to Theological Studies” and “The Church and Discipleship” while Rev’d Stephen Gendang on “ Introduction to New Catechism Syllabus” .