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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

ER EMPOWERED 'RISE UP' CONFERENCE (DAY 1)

By: Mark Nethanel Michael
Pictures by: Jonathan Fabian, Timothy James Michael, Mark Nethanel Michael
KUCHING: 6th of June 2013, the first day of Easter Rally (ER) themed 'Rise Up 2013', saw some 600 delegates comprising youths from all across Malaysia and Brunei gathered in Kuching , Sarawak attending the rally. Of the 600 participants, eight were from the Diocese of Sandakan. The rally was organised by the Empowered Ministry of St Joseph's Parish Youth Ministry, held at the new Archdiocesan Curia Pastoral Center (ACCPC).
The day began with an electrifying praise and worship session by the Empowered Worship Team at the St. Joseph’s Main Hall. After the worship session Jude Antoine conducted the  plenary session. He explained the meaning of the chosen theme 'Rise Up' taken from Luke 7:14.
Jesus raised the young man from death because that boy has a potential to change his people. This signifies that Jesus has the power in overcoming death as compared to the Devil that holds the power of death. Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death ~ that is the devil; Hebrews 2:14. It is time for the youths to “RISE UP” from their sleep, moving forward to change the nation.
After, the plenary Session we attended the Project Worship session at the Mater Domini Audi Auditorium Hall facilitated by Fr. John Chia, the parish priest of St. Edmund Parish, Limbang. The focus of his talk was on “The Highest form of Worship” touching on being a true worshipper of God  He enlightened us that praise and worship is supposed to make us a better worshipper in the Eucharistic Celebration.
Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven in Christ. Thus he chose us in Christ before the world was made to be holy and faultless before him in love, marking us out for himself beforehand, to be adopted sons, through Jesus Christ. Such was his purpose and good pleasure, to the praise of the glory of his grace, his free gift to us in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1: 3-6)
The worship session began at 2.00PM right after lunch break. We were divided into music workshop called “STREAMING”. They divided the class to Vocals, Bass Guitars, Lead Guitarists, Drums, and Keyboard groupings. It was really fun for us to learn new things such as being a humble musician for the Lord. We must not overplay our instruments and vocals, so that we may contribute to the harmony in magnifying the Lord. It was conducted by the Empowered Music Ministry. After which we moved onto another session facilitated by Andre Ong, a worship leader from the Shalom Working Youth Fellowship (SWYF), an inter-parochial Catholic Charismatic Renewal Group catering to single working youth adults in Penang. His talk was about the main criteria for being a musician for the Lord and the power that may change and mold one’s life. He shared about the humble beginning of their worship team.
The opening mass for ER: Rise Up was at 7.30PM. presided over by Fr. Felix Au and con celebrated by Fr. John Chia. During his homily, Fr. Felix highlighted that the love of God comes first and the love of neigbour is firmly grounded in the love of God taken from the Gospel according to Mark 12: 28-34. He said that all believers must draw love from God and live the Commandment of love in our daily life. To end the night a dazzling opening ceremony was held shortly after the mass. It was filled with music, lights, colors and huge cheers. The opening ceremony was a great start for the participants.

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