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Friday, September 18, 2015


Article by Dalius 
photos by GBell
Sandakan: Sandakan Catholic Diocese hosted the 8th Sabah-Heilbronn Ecumenical Partnership (SHEP) Day on 12th September with a get-together at the Diocesan Conference Hall.
Representatives from the five partners viz; the Catholic Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu, Catholic Diocese of Keningau, Catholic Diocese of Sandakan, Sabah Basel Council of Churches Malaysia (BCCM) and the Protestant Churches of Sabah (PCS) were present to commemorate the auspicious event.
The local partners are linked through ecumenical connect with that of the Catholic and Lutheran Churches in Heilbronn, Germany, thus the concept of SHEP was derived. Around 50 people attended the function with pastors and guests from the RC, BCCM and PCS coming as far as Kudat and Keningau.
Terrence, the MC of the event
Bishop Julius Dusin Gitom
Rt. Rev. Julius Dusin Gitom, the Catholic Bishop of Sandakan graced the 8th SHEP Partnership Day. In  in his address, the prelate commended the commitment of the local organizing committee headed by Raymond Wong for arranging the event and welcomed all participants from all member churches. 

“We are blessed by the Lord and we have to share the blessing by continuing to strengthen and deepen the friendship among the partners, for this friendship is founded by the Lord himself and not by mere human strength,” affirmed the prelate. 

Based on the reading of the day, from Luke 6:46-49, the prelate related that although the partnership faced many challenges but the relationship remains strong among the partners because it is built on a strong foundation.
Christine Kinsik
In her welcoming speech, the Chairperson of SHEP, Christine Kinsik thanked the Diocese of Sandakan for hosting the 8th SHEP Partnership Day for 2015. She shared that the hosting of the Partnership Day is rotated among the member Churches in Sabah. 

She explained that SHEP is a committee formed with the objectives of promoting the partnership among the member churches in Sabah. It is also responsible in handling matters related to ecumenical biennial exchange visits of participating Churches to Sabah and Heilbronn. 

The partnership will share information pertaining to the churches in Heilbronn and Sabah and promoting awareness and better understanding of Christian unity through the sharing of resources and enhancing mission and theological education for both countries. She also acknowledged Bishop Julius' contribution to the partnership, where he was one of those responsible in the earlier stage of the partnership.
Daniel Oduhau from the Protestant Churches of Sabah
Fr. Jasery Gabuk
The program continued with a slide presentation showing pictures of the exchange visits of participants of SHEP in Germany and in Sabah. This was followed by sharing from the representatives of BCCM, PCS and RC Churches who have visited Germany recently under the partnership program. 

Pastor Timothy Lo

Pastor Timothy Lo of BCCM reflected on the subject of Salt and Light of the world. As Christians, we are to be shining example in the community at large. For the good work we do, people may give glory to the Father in heaven.  The SHEP Partnership Day concluded with an intercessory prayer led by the pastors from BCCM and RC. All were invited and adjourned to a luncheon fellowship at the foyer of the Conference Hall.

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