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Thursday, May 25, 2017

FELLOWSHIP OF MALAYSIAN COVENANT COMMUNITIES

Reported by Susanna Cordova
Kuala Lumpur: A group of 25 members of the Star of Yahweh Covenant Community (SYCC) from St. Mary’s Cathedral Sandakan attended a 3 days annual gathering of the Fellowship of Malaysian Covenant Communities in Petaling Jaya on 29th April – 1st May 2017. 
Covenant Community is a religious group whose members bind themselves to one another and to the group, and made the covenant to live a righteous life. This religious group comes under the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships (FC), is a Pontifical association of Christ’s Faithful (Pontifical Council of Laity), serving member communities arising from the Catholic Church in the current of grace of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and at present in over 220 countries worldwide.
The Fellowship of Malaysian Covenant Communities (FMCC), whose membership is made up of the nine covenant communities in Malaysia, was evolved from the Elders Fellowship formed from the early years to meet the need of support among the elders of the local covenant communities in the country. The nine covenant communities are spread out in the cities and towns of Kuala Lumpur, Taiping, Kuching, Sibu, Kota Kinabalu, Labuan, Sandakan, Papar and Penampang.–Source: Thomas Madanan, www.kkdiocese.net
The Servants of Yahweh from Kuala Lumpur hosted this year FMCC at Armada Hotel Petaling Jaya with 177 registered delegates. The fellowship commenced 2 days earlier specifically for the Elders of the Covenant Communities to have their annual meeting and their Leadership Formation sessions. The host Presiding Elder of Servants of Yahweh,  Anthony Felix extended his warm welcome to all, and unveiled the theme for this year in Psalm 50:5 “Gather my faithful ones to Me, those who have a Covenant with Me by Sacrifice.”  In line with the theme, he thanked everyone for making the sacrifice to attend this year’s FMCC here in Kuala Lumpur. He acknowledged that this is the work of the Holy Spirit in leading and guiding the communities, and enabling them to grow from glory to glory, to grow in strength and likeness of the Lord Jesus Christ. 
The opening of the Fellowship was marked with a Eucharistic Celebration by His Grace, Archbishop Julian Leow and con-celebrated by Rev. Fr. Paul Cheong at the very Ballroom where the FMCC was hosted. In his address, the Prelate congratulated and thanked God for the opportunity to gather as one community in the Malaysian Covenant communities. He related the story of Emmaus on the gospel reading  to our everyday life as we walk through hurdles and challenges along the road , and that as we become so preoccupied with the things in life, it prevent us from seeing that Christ Jesus is walking with us. He said, “Jesus is challenging our world’s view of how we see ourselves, how we see one another? Do we recognise Jesus in the migrants, in the people we have discarded or pushed aside and those that are not within our circle of friendship? Do we recognise Jesus in the poor?”  In his message to the delegates he said, “The challenge for you and me is to recognise Jesus in every person, even in the most difficult situation, those who have offended us. We are called to love till it hurts yet we have failed many times, but let us today at this gathering of ours be renewed in our quest for peace, for harmony, for understanding, for righteousness, and for justice. We, who are in the position,  who are blessed by God with many gifts, talents, and resources- these have been given to us for a purpose, to be shared with the less fortunate.” He also stressed to the delegates that all are called to go forth, to be a community of missionary disciples, not just disciples but missionary disciples, sharing Christ with the people they meet every day. Archbishop Julian concluded by saying, “Can we be a friend, a companion, as we walk on this road to Emmaus, our own road? Let us ask the Lord to show us this road, this path of life that we are walking along, to show us His face in those we failed to recognise.”
At night, the covenant communities had their welcoming buffet dinner and fellowship at Armada Hotel coffee house. 
The session continued with communities sharing their experience among their groups on their journey with the Lord. Then, the keynote was addressed by FMCC Chairman, Bro. Anthony Lim of Light of Jesus Christ Kota Kinabalu before lunch time. In the afternoon, the session was divided into men, women and youth sharing groups. The women’s group shared their experience on Mother Mary as their role model and resumed with their workshop on praising the Lord through dancing. The men’s group focussed on the subject of Man of God, whilst the youth discussed their problems and struggles in their parish and their own community.
This year’s Fellowship is significant to our Sandakan Covenant Community as the youth led the praise and worship session at this level together with the other youth of the Covenant Communities in this gathering called REST at St. Ignatius Church Petaling Jaya. Present was His grace Archbishop Julian Leow, who came and rendered his support.
The FMCC concluded in the afternoon of 1st May with praise and worship session and thereafter luncheon fellowship before all members depart back to their respective home. The Fellowship of Malaysian Covenant Communities for 2018 will be held in Labuan, Sabah.  

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