Weekend services in the Cathedral are currently suspended. Please do join our online services at the following times:
Mandarin: 5.00 pm
Click through to the respective pages to join the service.
27th March 2020
The Dean's Message
Dear Sisters and Brothers at St Marys,
As we observe the situation around the world, and indeed in our own community, let us recall what we saw in God’s word in our online services last Sunday.
In many of our services, we were reminded from Psalm 46 that God is our strength and refuge, a very present help in trouble. For if we trust in Jesus as our risen King then we belong to his eternal city. And we are secure.
We also heard God’s call for those outside the city to surrender to God. Every disaster in the Bible and every disaster we face serves as a warning of the final judgement. And when the day of judgement comes the only place of refuge will be in the city. For only Jesus can save us from that final judgement because he is the one who bore our judgment for us when he died on the cross.
We also saw that beyond the final judgment, the glory of city will be seen. And those who are in city will enjoy God and glorify him together, forever. For death and mourning and crying and pain will be no more.
So, whatever happens now, we have the security of being part of that city.
We will meet online again this weekend at the same times as last week:
Mandarin: 5.00 pm
This week, we will be looking at Psalm 130 in our English, Iban and Bahasa Malaysia services. If you are in one of those congregations, may I encourage you to read the Psalm beforehand? We have produced a simple Bible Study on the Psalm that you can do before the service by yourself, with the people in your household or with someone online. That will help prepare you even better for the sermon. (For next week, you can check back at our website so that you can download the relevant study earlier in the week.) Some of our online small groups are already using the study. Downloading the order of service beforehand for the English service will further prepare you for the service.
Please note that because most of the services (with the exception of Mandarin) were recorded beforehand, the points for prayer in the service may not incorporate the most recent events.
During the Week
In my previous message, I mentioned that our small groups have moved online. I’m so encouraged by the news I’m hearing about our online groups. People who have been away are now meeting together and more groups are coming online. If you are not in an online small group but would like to be, you can let us know by filling in a form here. We will try to connect you with an existing group or start a new online group where we can.
We have also been working on ways to help children and families to continue to learn about God together at this time. Do look at our Kids’ Church page on our website for ways to connect with teachers and other families and for ideas for children’s activities and lessons.
Can I also encourage you to keep connecting with each other by phone, WhatsApp, Zoom etc? Please keep thinking of the old and vulnerable in our community and checking up on them. Our Pastoral Team and other leaders have been checking up on people but it’s great to see that the whole church body is lovingly doing this. Please also be looking out for people who live alone. Making a phone call to someone who lives alone to encourage them through this time is an act of love. Please keep doing that. Please also let your pastors or other leaders know if you have a special spiritual need or if you are in need of food aid or other practical help.
Our friends in St Ebbe’s in Oxford are broadcasting a short daily service every day from Monday to Friday. Rev Vaughan Roberts who has preached at our Cathedral a number of times is the one who leads it and I would like to commend it to you. You can access it from this link. A new service is put up each weekday at 4.45 pm Malaysian time (they advertise it as 8.45 am as they are working on GMT).
Christianity Explored is a course that we usually offer people at the Cathedral who want to find out about the Christian faith. It is now available online for free through the Billy Graham Association and you can access it here. Can I encourage you to spend some time doing this course? It is a really good and clear way for us to learn the Gospel ourselves or to be better prepared to explain it to others. If you know someone who would benefit from that course, please do share this information with them. And do let us know how it goes ☺.
We love others because God has first loved us and given his Son to die for us. As most of us remain at home, one way we can show love is through generosity to those in need.
Our Diocese has a Relief Emergency and Crisis Help (REACH) ministry, which is working with CREST and Malaysian Care to provide food for the poorest in our society at this time. If you are able to support this effort financially, we would encourage you to do so. You can find information on how to do that here.
Our own St Mary’s Agape Mission School is also helping to give food aid to families of the refugee children in the school. You can help that effort by contributing directly to the school. The bank account details of the school are on our website here. If you send money for this purpose, please put the reference as “MCO Aid”. Otherwise the money will be used for the general running of the school.
Can I also remind you that if you usually support the ministry at St Mary’s Cathedral itself by your giving at a service, we would be grateful if you could switch to online giving for this period. (Even though physical services are not happening, many of our operational expenses continue.) Details of how to do that are on our website here.
Working Outside and Staying at Home
Please pray for those who are unable to stay at home because they have to work in essential services. We have a number of people like this in our congregations. They are risking their lives for the sake of the rest the community and we are grateful to them. For the rest of us, the way we show love to our neighbor is to stay at home so as to minimize the potential spread of disease. That is a good and godly thing to do. I urge you to be diligent in doing so.
Keeping in touch
If you are not on our email mailing list, please do subscribe to it. We are sending emails each week to update you with important information. If you are on the list but have not been receiving emails, please check your junk/spam folder for them and if you find our email there, indicate to your email client that they are not junk/spam. You can still contact the office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any enquiries. Our Bishop has also written to the churches in our Diocese. Please do read his latest letter to us here.
The Weeks Ahead
As we prepare for the weeks ahead let us make sure that we are not only ready physically and emotionally but spiritually as well. Let us make sure that we have repented from all known sin, that we are trusting in Christ alone to save us from our sins through his death on our behalf, and that we are seeking to live our lives under him as our Lord. My prayer is that all of us will be ready to meet the Lord at any time.
Finally, would you join me in a prayer?
Father we thank you that your love for us never ends.
We thank you that you loved us in Christ before the world began.
We thank you that you have shown us your love in the death of Jesus in our place.
We thank you that you raised him from the dead and that you will raise us too.
We thank you that in all that we face, we know that you are in control.
We thank you that you are with us, by your Spirit, and that you will never leave us or forsake us.
We pray for all in our community who are unwell.
Please heal them.
Please reassure them of your presence and love.
Please help them to trust in you.
And we pray that you would help us all as we respond to this situation.
May we turn to you in prayer.
May we repent of our sins.
May we trust your promises to us in the Gospel.
And may we be people who show your love to others and point them to your Son.
We ask this in his name. Amen.
May the peace of God continue keep you in Christ Jesus.
Your brother in Christ,