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December 2011

8th Edition

Bishop’s Christmas Message

Innocence of God

And when the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”) and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.” Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And inspired by the Spirit he came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the law, he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel” Luke 2:22-33 (RSV, 1972).

He must have gestured and Mary handed over the baby to old Simeon. Now Simeon had been enlightened by the Holy Spirit that he will not die before he saw the salvation of Israel and he was waiting for the day that he will see the Saviour before he left to rest with his fathers. On that day, after many decades of waiting, when he saw the face of Christ, he saw the face of salvation, the face of hope in the innocent face of Christ! He saw nothing less than the innocence of God, his glory! The Holy Spirit took hold of Simeon and he recited this song of praise: “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which thou hast prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to thy people Israel” that we still recite today as the Nunc Dimittis (a Latin word which means “beginning” or “permission to depart” or “dismissal”) in our Sunday liturgy. It was a song put into the tongue of Simeon by the Holy Spirit. Simeon went to the Lord having found hope in seeing that the great power of Jerusalem and the chains by which the nation had been shackled would be broken by this innocence. Of course, he also saw the great sacrifice that this baby Jesus would make and it would be a price God was willing to pay, but this was for another day.

The birth of Jesus is not only a lesson on God’s faithfulness but it also reveals God’s heart and character such as his innocence. Jesus was born to parents who kept the laws of the Jewish faith. Mary entered the Temple and in passing met Simeon, a very old man.

Bishop’s Christmas Message Editorial Report on 48th Diocesan Assembly (Triennium Year 2011) Do Not Fear (Tamil)

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What does this mean? Now, there was a time after the Exile and Return of Israel, when the people of Israel and Jerusalem built a Temple for the Lord, and committed the nation to serve

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Bishop’s Address at 48th Diocesan Assembly ELCM Events / News Update ELCM Programme for 2011

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realized that God had not forgotten Israel. Simeon’s song also reflected another aspect, the dawning of a wisdom that had eluded his aching heart all his long life. Simeon was waiting for the salvation of Israel but on that day, when he laid eyes on Jesus, God stabbed him in his heart as well with the long-forgotten truth that the glory of Israel is the light of revelation to the nations of the world! Redemption of Israel must also mean salvation for the Gentiles. This underlying truth eluded even the apostles for a long time. God sent a child not to save the nation but to make free the promise of God for the world to receive.

the Lord faithfully. They believed in the covenant with Yahweh and wanted what God promised them. The blessings of a godly nation, richly blessed with riches, and of course, prestige! It would give them a fingerwagging right to say to other nations: “we are the holy nation!” These intentions may be, in a sense, noble because they were dealing with none other than God himself. However, there was a small problem in running a holy nation. The Israelites could have imagined that they were enforcing their religious laws which they believed to be pure and holy. But a nation is a nation and it had to be run “just like other nations.” There was bound to be dissent and people in the nation who disagreed with the “holy” law; there was bound to be people who desired to debate the law; and there was bound to be people who desired to question the righteousness and intentions of those who were chosen to interpret and enforce the law.

The difficult lesson for us today is that the power to stand against tyranny and unrighteousness is innocence. But it is not an innocence that we can manipulate because no person is innocent! It is God’s innocence. Therefore, when great powers prevail against us, it is God who must battle for us. It is only God himself who can redeem us. Jesus came to break this hold! He came to save us from the narrow parochialism of Israel and the idea of a holy land. He came to reveal that Israel was created by God for a purpose and that he was the purpose. Being born in the worst possible land, among the most troubled people, Jesus became the bridge for humanity to reach for God. Jesus the innocent child should always be in our hearts, and we ought to love him and walk in life without fear but with glowing faces reflecting the glory and purpose of the innocent infant Jesus. Our entire life should be rejoicing for what God has done for us through our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

In time, when Israel was conquered by the Romans, the Temple leadership made a pact with the Romans, holding out on their own when it came to religious laws and observances. The Romans cemented their relationship with the Pharisees and the Sadducees by allowing them to benefit from the taxes and duties that came from the enormous amount of trade that Jerusalem created. This not-so-holy alliance gave the rulers of the Temple immense wealth and prestige. This is what God lamented about to the prophet Samuel when the people asked for a king. The people of Israel groaned under this weight of their rule. They hoped in the Lord that the evil in Jerusalem be removed for all time. They waited, hoping and expecting a divine intervention for a righteous king. This was the dilemma in Jerusalem and I would reckon that it is still the same in Jerusalem today! Israel had become a nation like other nations and so it had to be governed like other nations. The Law (i.e. the Halakah) derived from the Torah, the Talmud and all the extensive works of Jewish jurisprudence could not mean righteousness before the Lord. It was tyranny that was the order of the day in Jerusalem when Jesus was born! To be saved from this tyranny and unrighteousness was what Simeon had prayed for.

This Christmas, let us be mindful of God’s intentions for us, our Church, and the role we ought to play and the price we all must pay. Let us be particularly mindful of how God saved the world in Jesus Christ, his Son. When we next see the face of an infant, let us wonder what God has intended for that child. Let us try to recover the sight that Simeon saw in the arms of Mary. The sight of innocence and, above all, the vision of hope! Wishing all members and well-wishers of the ELCM, A JOYFUL CHRISTMAS AND A BLESSED NEW YEAR!

On that day in the warm and dusty Temple in Jerusalem, when Simeon saw the infant face of Jesus, what did he see to acclaim this beautiful song of praise (recalling Isaiah 60: 1-3)? He saw innocence! He saw the innocence of God reflected in that face. He

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Rt Rev Dr Solomon Rajah

Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia December 2011

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Nguhaupd; fpwp];J n[ae;jp (gpwg;gpd;) nra;jp

NghftpLfpwPu;.

NkhNrapd; epahag;gpukhzj;jpd; gbNa mth;fSila Rj;jpfhpg;gpd; ehl;fs; epiwNtwpdNghJ>Kjw;Ngwhd ve;j Mz;gps;isAk; fh;j;jUf;Fg; ghpRj;jkhd­ nj­d;g;gL ­ k; vd;W fh;j;jUila epahag;gpukhzj;jpy; vOjpapUf;fpwgb mtiuf; fh;j;jUf;nfd;W xg;Gf;nfh­ Lf;fTk;> fh;j;jUila epahag;gpukhzj;jpy; nrhy;ypap­ Uf;fpwgb> xU N[hL fhl;Lg;GwhitahtJ ,uz;L Gwhf;FQ;RfisahtJ gypahfr; nrYj;jTk;> mtiu vUrNyKf;Ff; nfhz;LNghdhh;fs;. mg;nghOJ rpkpNahd; vd;Dk; Ngh;nfhz;l xU kD\d; vUrNykpy; ,Ue;jhd; mtd; ePjpAk; Njtgf;jpAk; cs;stdhAk;> ,];uNtypd; MWjy;tuf; fhj;jpUf;fpwtdhAk; ,Ue;jhd; mtd; Nky; ghpRj;j Mtp ,Ue;jhh;. fh;j;jUila fpwp];Jit eP fhZKd;Nd kuzkilakhl;lha; vd;W ghpRj;j MtpapdhNy mtDf;F mwptpf;fg;gl;LkpUe;jJ. mtd; Mtpapd; VTjypdhy; Njthyaj;jpNy te;jpUe;jhd;. ,NaR vd;Dk; gps;isf;fhf epahag;gpu­khz Kiwikapd;gb nra;tjw;Fj; jha; jfg;gd;khh; mtiu cs;Ns nfhz;L tUifapy;> mtd; mtiuj; jd; iffspy; Ve;jpf;nfhz;L> Njtid ];Njhj;jphpj;J: Mz;ltNu> ckJ thh;j;ijapd;gb ckJ mbNaid ,g;nghOJ rkhjhdj;NjhNl NghftpLfpwPh;> Gw[hjpf­ Sf;Fg; gpufhrpf;fpw xspahfTk;> ck;Kila [d­khfpa ,];uNtYf;F kfpikahfTk;> NjthPh; rfy [dq;fSf;Fk; Kd;ghf Maj;jk;gz;zpd ck;Kila ,ul;rzpaj;ij vd; fz;fs; fz;lJ vd;whd;. YHf;fh 2:22-33

Gw [hjpfSf;Fg; gpufhrpf;fpw xspahfTk;> ck;Kila [dkhfpa ,];uNtYf;F kfpikahfTk; rfy [dq;­ fSf;F Kd;ghf ePu; Maj;jk; gz;zpd> ckJ ,ul;rpg;ig vd; fz;fs; fz;ld.) ,ijNa ehKk; ,d;Wk; QhapW Njthuhjidapy; rpkpNahdpd; fPjk; vd;W nrhy;yp gad;gLj;JfpNwhk;;. ,J gupRj;j MtpahdtupdhNy rpkpNahdpd; ehtpy; itf;fg;gl;lJ. A+j jiytu;fspd; njhlu;f; fl;Lfis nfhz;l vUrNykpd; Mjpf;fj;ij khrpy;yh jd;ik nkw;nfhs;Sk; vd;w ek;gpf;ifNahL> mtu; Mz;ltuplk; nrd;whu;. xU ehs; ,e;j Foe;ij ,NaR flTspd; ntFkjpahf> ngupa gypahfg; NghfpwijAk; fz;lhu;.

,jd; nghUs; vd;d? vfpg;gjpypUe;J jpUk;gpa ,];uNty; kf;fs; fu;j;jUf;F vUrNykpy; Myak; fl;b tpRthrj;NjhL fu;j;jiu Nrtpf;f jq;fis xg;Gtpj;jdu;. “ahNt” Ald; nra;j clz;gbf;ifia ek;gp vij mtu; thf;Fj;;jj;jk; nra;jhNuh mij Nfl;ldu;: nja;tPf Njrj;jpd; MrPu;thjq;fs;> mjpfkhd nry;tj;jpd; MrPu;thjk;> nfsutk;. ,it “jhq;fs; gupRj;j Njrj;jhu;” vd;W kw;w Njrj;jpdUf;FKd; nghUikAld; nrhy;Yk; cupikia mtu;fSf;F nfhLf;Fk;. flTs; xUtuplNk mtu;fs; gq;F nfhz;likahy; ,it mu;jKs;sJk; rpwg;Gnfhz;lJkhd rpe;jidNa. ,Ug;gpDk; gupRj;j Njrj;ij elj;Jtjpy; rpwpa gpur;rid ,Ue;jJ. ,];uNtyu;> jq;fsJ khu;f;f rl;lj;jpl;lq;fs; gupRj;jKk; fyg;gw;wJkhdJ vd ek;gp mtw;iw gyte;jkhf mKyhf;fk; nra;jdu;. Mdhy; xU Njrk; NjrNk> mJ kw;w Njrq;fisg;NghyNt elj;jg;glNtz;Lk;. kf;fs; kj;jpapy; fUj;J NtWghL ,Ue;jikahy; Njrj;jhu; gupRj;j jpl;lq;fis Vw;Wf;nfhs;shikAk; mij gw;wp thjpf;fTk; Kd;te;jdu;. kf;fs; ePjpiaf; Fwpj;Jk;> mij tpyf;fpatu;fisAk; Nfs;tp Nfl;f Muk;gpj;jdu;.

,NaRtpd; gpwg;ghdJ> flTs; nfhLf;Fk; tpRthr ghlk; kl;Lky;y> mJ mtUila khrw;w Fzhjpraj;ijAk; ntspg;gLj;JfpwJ. ,NaR A+jtpRthrj;ij filgpbj;j ngw;NwhUf;F gpwe;jtu;. kupahs; Myaj;jpw;Fs; GFe;J nry;Yk;nghOJ> tajhd rpkpNahidf; fz;lhs;. rpkpNahd;; Foe;ijia nfhLf;Fk;gb Nfl;bUf;f Ntz;Lk;. kupahs; tajhd rpkpNahdplk; Foe;ijia nfhLj;jhs;. ,];uNtypd; ,ul;rpg;ig fhZKd; kuzkila khl;lha; vd;W gupRj;j Mtpahdtuhy; mwptpf;fg;gl;bUe;jgbahy;> rpkpNahd;; fhj;jpUe;jhu;. gy tUlq;fs; fhj;jpUe;j rpkpNahd;;> fpwp];Jit ghu;j;jNghJ mtu; Kfj;jpy; ,ul;rpg;G> ek;gpf;if> khrw;w epiy Mfpaitfis fz;lhu;. mtu; ghu;j;jJ flTspd; kfpikAk; khrw;w epiyANk. gupRj;jhtpahdtu; rpkpNahid Ml;nfhz;lNghJ ,j;Jjp fPjj;ij ghbdhu;;. (Mz;ltNu> ckJ thu;j;ijapd;gbNa ck;Kila mbahid ,g;nghOJ rkhjhdj;JlNd

Nuhku;; ,];uNtiy ifgw;wpaNghJ> Myaj; jiyikj;JtkhdJ> khu;f;f rl;ljpl;lq;fis njhlu;e;J filgpbf;f cld;bf;if nra;J nfhz;lJ. vUrNykpd; mjpfkhd tpahghuj;jpd; %yk; te;j tupt#ypg;gpd; Mjhaj;jpy; gupNraiuAk;> rJNraiuAk; gq;Fnfhs;sr;nra;J> Nuhku; mtu;fSld; cwit gyg;gLj;jpf; nfhz;ldu;. nja;tPfkpy;yhj ,r;nray; Mya mjpfjupfs; ngUiknfhz;L nghUshjhuj;jpy; Kd;Ndu> rl;lk; ,lk; nfhLj;jJ. kf;fs;> murd; Ntz;Lk; vd;W Nfl;lNghJ> flTs; rhKNty;

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... khrw;w epiyia ehk; rPu; Fiyf;f KbahJ. fhuzk; vtUNk khrw;wtu;fsha; ,y;iy. ,J flTspd; khrw;w epiy. MfNt ngupa ty;yikfs; ek;ik vjpu;j;J epw;Fk;NghJ> flTNs ekf;fhf Nghupl Ntz;Lk;. rPu; Fiyf;f KbahJ. fhuzk; vtUNk khrw;wtu;fsha; ,y;iy. ,J flTspd; khrw;w epiy. MfNt ngupa ty;yikfs; ek;ik vjpu;j;J epw;Fk;NghJ> flTNs ekf;fhf Nghupl Ntz;Lk;. flTs; xUtuhy; kl;LNk ek;ik kPl;f KbAk;. ,NaR ,e;j rhgj;ij Kwpabf;f te;jhu;. mtu; ek;ik FUfyhd ,];uNtyupd; Mya gw;Wjypy; ,Ue;Jk;> gupRj;j G+kp vd;w vd;dj;jpypUe;Jk; ,ul;rpf;f te;jhu;. ,];uNty; xU fhuzj;Jf;fhf cUthf;fg;gl;lJ.

jPu;ffjuprpaplk; Gyk;gpdhu;. ,g;nghOJ ,];Nty; kf;fs; ,e;j ghukhd Ml;rpapdhy; Ntjidg;gl;ldu;. epue;jukhf ,e;j jPik jq;fis tpl;L ePf;fg;gLk; vd mtu;fs; fu;j;jupy; ek;gpf;if itj;jdu;. flTspd; jiyaPl;bdhy; ePjpAs;s xU uh[h tUthu; vd vjpu;g;ghu;j;jdu;. ,JNt vUrNykpy; fhzg;gl;l> ,uz;lf epiyahFk;. ,d;Dk; mg;gbNajhd; vUrNyk; fhzg;gLfpwJ. ,];uNty;> kw;w Njrq;fisNghyNt Mfptpl;ljhy;> kw;wNjrq;fisg;NghyNt mjpy; Ml;rp elj;jg;glNtz;Lk;. A+ju;fspd; epahag;gpukhzk;> jy;Kl;> A+ju;fSila mjpfhu tuk;G rl;lq;fs; ahTk; fltspd; ePjpNa vd vz;zKbahJ. ,NaR gpwe;jNghJ vUrNykpy; A+ju;fspd; nfhLq; Nfhyhl;rpNa ele;Jnfhz;bUe;jJ. ,e;j nfhLq;Nfhyhl;rpapypUe;Jk;> mePjpapypUe;Jk; ul;rpf足 ;fg;glNt rpkpNahd; n[gpj;jhu;.

kfh Nflhd G+kpapy;> njhy;iyahd kf;fs; kj;jpapy; gpwe;J> ,NaR kdpj tu;f;fj;jpw;Fk; flTSf;Fk; ghykhdhu;. khrw;w Foe;ij ,NaR vg;nghOJk; ekJ ,Ujaq;fspy; ,Uf;f Ntz;Lk;. ehk; mtiu Nerpj;J ekJ tho;f;ifapy; gakpd;wp eilNghl Ntz;Lk;. Mdhy; gpufhrkhd Kfj;Jld; khrw;w Foe;ij ,NaRtpd; kfpikiaAk; Nehf;fj;ijAk; gpujpgypf;f Ntz;Lk;.

c\;zj;jpy; GOjpgbe;jpUe;j Myaj;jpy; me;j ehs;> rpkpNahd; Foe;ij ,NaRtpd; Kfj;ij ghu;j;jhu;. Vrhah 60:1-3 y; fhzg;gl;l mUikahd ghkiyia ghLk;gbaha; mtu; mjpy; vd;dj;ijg; ghu;j;jhu;? mtu; Foe;ijapd;; khrw;wKfj;ij fz;lhu;. khrw;w flTspd; gpujpepjpia fz;lhu;. flTs; ,];uNtiy kwf;ftpy;iy vd rpkpNahd; czu;e;jhu;. rpkpNahdpd; ghly; ,d;ndhW fhupaj;ijAk; gpujpgypf;fpwJ. mjpy; jd;Dila tho;ehs; KOtJk; jd; ,Ujaj;jpy; Ntj足 idAld;Njbdij fz;lhu;;.

ekJ tho;f;if KOJNk ,ul;rfu; ,NaR fpwp];J top> flTs; vd;d nra;jhNuh mij ntspg;gLj;j Ntz;Lk.; ,e;j tU\k; fpwp];k]; fhyj;jpy;> flTs; ekf;fhf nfhz;Ls;s Nehf;fj;jijAk;> ekJ rigiaAk; ek;Kila flikNahL nghUg;igAk; fUj;jpy; nfhz;L nray;gL足 Nthkhf. tpNr\khf flTs; jd; Fkhudhfpa ,NaR fpwp];Jitf;nfhz;L vg;gb cyfj;ij kPl;lhu; vd;gijAk; fUj;jpy; nfhs;sTk;. mLj;J xU Foe;ijapd; Kfj;ij ehk; ghu;f;ifapy;> ,f;Foe;ijf;F flTs; vd;d rpj;jk; nfhz;Ls;shu; vd Nahrpg;Nghk;. kupahspd; iffspy; rpkpNahd; ghu;j;jij kPz;Lk; jpUk;gpg; ghu;g;Nghk;. khrw;w ghu;itAk;> vy;yhtw;wpu;f;Fk; Nkyhf ek;gpf;ifapd; Jhu Nehf;ifAk; ekJ fz; Kd; epUj;JNthk;.

rpkpNahd; ,];uNtypd;; ,ul;rpg;Gf;fhf fhj;jpUe;jhu;. Mdhy; md;W ,NaRit ghu;j;jNghJ kwe;JNghd rj;jpakhfpa ,];uNtypd; topaha; cyf Njrj;jpw;F xspapd; ntspghL tUk; vd;gij flTs; rpkpNahdpd; ,Ujaj;jpy; czu;j;jpdhu;;. ,];uNtypd; kPl;G Gwkj];ju;fSf;Fk; ,ul;rpg;G vd;Wk; nghUs;gLk;. ,e;j mbg;gilahd cz;ikNa ePz;lfhykhf mg;Ngh];jyu;fSf;Fk; njupatpy;iy. flTs; xU Foe;ijia mDg;gpdJ Njrj;ij tpLtpf;f kl;Lky;y> cyfNk ,e;j flTspd; ,ytrkhd thf;Fj;jj;jj;ij ngwNtz;Lk; vd;gjw;fhfNt.

RtpNr\ Yj;jud; jpUr;rigahu; ahtUf;Fk; kfpo;r;rpkpf;f fpwp];J n[ae;jp tho;j;Jk; MrPu;thjkhd Gj;jhz;Lk;> tho;j;JjYk;. khkiwjpU. Kidtu; rhyNkhd; uh[h Nguhau;. kNyrpa RtpNr\ Yj;jud jpUrr;ig. brk;gu; 2011

,d;W ekf;F nfhLf;fg;gLk; fbdkhd ghlk;: nfhLq;NfhYf;Fk;> mePjpf;Fk;;> vjpuhf epw;Fk; ty;yik khrw;w epiyNa. Mdhy; khrw;w epiyia ehk;

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Christmas ….

A Celebration of God’s Love for You! Editor-in-Chief

Rt. Rev Dr. Solomon Rajah Bishop, ELCM

Editor Rev. Albert P. Abishegam Asst. Editor Rev. Steven Lawrence Members Rev. Paul K. Rev. Ebenezer Irai Amirtham Rev. Moses Muthusamy Bro. Eliezer Peter

The Lutheran Herald is the official publication of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia (ELCM). For further information, please contact the ELCM as follows:

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia 21, Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad, Brickfields 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel: 03-2274 1033 / 03-2274 0204 Fax: 03-2274 1750 Email: elcm@streamyx.com Website: www.elcm.com.my The Lutheran Herald welcomes articles, including news on deaths, weddings, baptisms, confirmations and any other congregational activities. Please email your contributions to lutherald@gmail.com All contributions are subject to editing as and when deemed necessary by the Editorial Board. Please visit our website as above for further information on the ELCM.

The entire reason for Christmas is the love of God as explained by our Lord Jesus in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.” God loves you so much that he came to earth as a human on that first Christmas day so you could get to know him and learn to trust him and love him back. God became one of us, a human being, so we could understand what he is really like. Until Jesus arrived, our understanding of God’s love was limited. So God invaded the earth! He didn’t send an angel or a prophet or a politician or an ambassador. He came himself. If you really want people to know how much you love them, you can’t send a representative to communicate it. You have to say it personally. That’s what God did at that first Christmas day. The Bible tells us that God is love. It doesn’t say God has love, but God is love. Love is the essence of God’s character. It is his very nature. The reason that everything in the universe exists is because God wanted to love it. Think about this. If God didn’t want to love something, he would not have created it. Every star, every planet, every plant, every animal, every cell and, most of all, every human being was created out of God’s compassion. You were created as an object of God’s love. He made you in order to love you. And there is nothing you can do that will make God stop loving you. You could try, but you’d fail – because God’s love for you is based on his character, not your conduct. It’s based on who he is, not what you’ve done. One potential problem of our annual Christmas celebration is that many people think of Jesus as a baby! Their conception of him is only as a helpless new-born in his mother’s arms. If Jesus had never grown up to do what he did, he’d have no power to transform our lives. But the baby born in Bethlehem did not stay a baby. Jesus grew to manhood, modelled for us the kind of life that pleases God, taught us the truth, paid for every sin we commit by dying on the cross, then proved that he was God and could save us by coming back to life. This is the Good News. When the Romans nailed Jesus to a cross, they stretched his arms as wide as they could. With his arms wide open, Jesus was physically demonstrating, “I love you!” The next time you see a picture or statue of Jesus with outstretched arms on the cross, remember, he is saying, “ I love you THIS much!” The Lutheran Herald Editorial Board takes this opportunity to wish all our readers A MEANINGFUL CHRISTMAS AND A BLESSED NEW YEAR!

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fpwp];k]; cq;fSf;F flTspd; md;G mwptpf;Fk; Xu; nfhz;lhl;lk; 'fpwp];k];"f;F Koikahd fhuzNk> Nahthd; 3:16 “Njtd;> jk;Kila xNuNgwhd Fkhuid tpRthrpf;fpwtd; vtNdh mtd; nfl;Lg;Nghfhky; epj;jpa [Ptid milAk;gbf;F> mtiuj; je;jUsp> ,t;tstha; cyfj;jpy; md;G$u;e;jhu;.” flTs; cq;fis Nerpf;fpwhu;;. Kjy; fpwp];k]; md;W mtu; kdpj &gnkLj;J cyfj;jpw;F te;jhu;. ePq;fs; mtiu mwpe;Jf;nfhz;L mtiu ek;gp mtiu Nerpf;Fk;gb te;jhu;. mtiu Gupe;Jnfhs;Sk;gbahf flTs; ek;ikNghy; kdp­ jdha; gpwe;jhu;. ,NaR tUKd;> flTspd; md;igg; gw;wpa czu;T> Fwpg;gpl;l msNthNl ,Ue;jJ. MfNt flTs; G+kpapy; gpuNtrpj;jhu;. mtu; Njt JhjidNah> jPu;f; juprpiaNah> jk;Kila gpujpepjpiaNah mDg;gtpy;iy. mtNu te;jhu;. ePq;fs; ve;j msT kf;fs; Nky; md;Gnfhz;Ls;sPu;fs; vd;gij kf;fs; mwpe;Jndhs;s gpujpepjptop njhlu;Gnfhs;sKbahJ. ePq;fNs jdpg;gl;l epiyapy; Ngr Ntz;Lk;. mijj;jhd; flTs; Kjy; fpwp];k]; md;W nra;jhu;. Ntjk; nrhy;YfpwJ flTNs md;G. flTs; md;Gs;stu; vd;W nrhy;yhky; flTs; md;gha; ,Uf;fpwhu;; vd;W nrhy;YfpwJ. flTspd; FzhjpraNk md;Gjhd;. ,JNt mtuJ ,aw;if Fzk;. gpugQ;rk; ,Ug;gjpd; fhuzNk flTs; mjpd;Nky; md;G nfhz;lbUg;gjpdhNyNa. flTs; Nerpf;fhtpl;lhy;> mij mtu; gilj;jpUf;f khl;lhu;. xt;nthU el;rj;jpuKk;> xt;nthU kz;lyKk;> xt;nthU nrbAk;> xt;nthU kpUfKk;> xt;nthW mZTk;> Nkyhf xt;nthU kdpjDk;$l gilf;fg;gl;lJ flTspd; fUiz­ ap­­ dhNyNa. flTSila md;gpd; nghUl;lhfNt ehk; gilf;fg;gl;Nlhk;. Nerpg;gjw;fhfNt cd;id cUthf;fpdhu;. flTs; cd;id Nerpg;gij jLf;f cd;dhy; KbahJ. eP jLf;f Kaw;rpf;fyhk;> Mdhy; eP Njhy;tpailtha;. Vnddpy; flTs; cd;dpy; md;G$UtJ cdJ ey;y elj;ijapdhy; my;y. flTspd; ,aw;ifj; jd;ikapdhNyNa> mJ cdJ nra;ifia my;y> flTs; ahu; vd;gijr; rhu;e;Nj ,Uf;fpwJ. tUlh tUlk; fpwp];k]; nfhz;;lhl;lj;jpd;NghJ mNef kf;fs; ,d;Dk; ,NaR Foe;ijahfNt ,Uf;fpwhu; vdf; fUJfpd;wdu;. ,NaR tsuhkYk;> nra;a Ntz;baitfisr; nra;ahkYk; ,Ue;jpUe;jhuhdhy;> ekJ tho;f;ifia

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khw;wp mikf;f mtUf;F ty;yik ,Ue;jpUf;fhJ. Mdhy; ngj;yNfkpy; gpwe;j Foe;ij> Foe;ijahfNt ,y;iy. ,NaR tsu;r;rp ngw;W flTSf;F Vw;wgb elf;Fk; topia ekf;F fhl;b> rj;jpaj;ij Nghjpj;jhu;. rpYitapNy jd;id xg;Gf;nfhLj;J kupj;J ehk; nra;j vy;yh ghthj;jpw;Fk; gupfhuk; nra;jhu;. kPz;Lk; capu;j;J jhd; flTs; vd;gij ep&gpj;J> ek;ik ,ul;rpf;f KbAk; vd;gij ekf;F fhz;gpj;jhu;. ,JNt ew;nra;jp.

Nuhku; ,NaRit rpYitapNy miwAk;NghJ> mtu; fuq;fis ,Ugf;fkhf ,Oj;J tpupj;jdu;. ,Ufuj;ijAk; tpupj;jtuha;; ehd; cd;id Nerpf;fpNwd; vd;W ,NaR $Wfpwhu;. mLj;j Kiw ,NaRtpd; cUt rpiyiaNah> my;yJ mtu; rpYitapy; ,Ue;J fuk; tpupj;J epw;gijNah fz;lhy;> ,e;j msT “cq;fis Nerpf;fpNwd;” vd;fpwhu; vd;gij epidj;Jf;nfhs;Sq;fs;. ,ij thrpg;Nghu; ahtUf;Fk; Yj;jud; JhJtupd; gjpg;ghrpupau; FOtpd; mu;j;jKs;s fpwp];k];> Gj;jhz;L tho;j;Jf;fs;.


Report On th 48 Diocesan Assembly (Triennium Year 2011)

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attention and focus of the delegates to their portion and responsibilities in this age of Pentecost. Bishop added that all delegates should strengthen and expand the diocese by implementing the strategies already spelt out. Turning to congregational responsibility, Bishop emphasised that establishing an outreach centre was a congregational responsibility. Bishop then went on to outline the 10-point DC Plan of Action for all congregations for the new triennium 2011 to 2014. Bishop concluded his address with the hope that our old and young people would continue to dream dreams and see visions for the ELCM.

e give all praise and glory to our mighty God for a very successful and productive 48th Diocesan Assembly (Triennium Year 2011). More then 90 delegates, clergy and lay, and observers attended the assembly which was held from Friday, 28th of October to Sunday, 30th Of October, 2011 at the Allson Hotel, Putra Nilai, Nilai, Negeri Sembilan. The theme for this 48th DA was “Strengthening & Expanding the ELCM”. There were 6 main sessions with the first session commencing with Opening Devotion led by Rev. Peter Ratnam. Rev. Peter Ratnam, in his sharing based on John 17:23, reminded the delegates of their primary duty to preserve the unity of the church and preach the gospel of Christ.

The Diocesan Treasurer, Mr. A. Selvaraj, then proceeded to table the Audited Annual Accounts 2010 as at 31st December 2010, the Annual Operating Budget 2011/2012 and the Capital Expenditure Budget 2012. They were duly approved by the assembly.

Session I began with Bishop Dr. Solomon Rajah welcoming the delegates and thanking them for their prayers and visitations during his recent hospitalisation.

The second day, Saturday, 29th October 2011, began with Rev. Stephen Vello leading the devotion which was based on Matthew 28:19-20. Pastor Stephen touched on the Great Commission of our Lord and our responsibility to go and bring more souls into the kingdom of God.

The Diocesan Secretary, Mr. Silas M. Das, made the Roll Call and announced that there was a quorum as 72 delegates were present – 22 pastors and 50 lay leaders. The second session commenced with the Bishop going through all 12 resolutions approved by the 2010 Diocesan Assembly. The Bishop informed the assembly that the resolutions had either been implemented or were in the process of implementation.

Session III commenced with the election of the Diocesan Council for the triennium 2011 to 2014. The said election took place after it was confirmed by the Diocesan Secretary that there was a quorum. 90 voting delegates, 23 pastors and 67 lay leaders, were present at the time of election. The newly-elected Diocesan Council for the triennium 2011 to 2014 was as follows:-

The Bishop then began his address to the assembly by reflecting on Joel 2:28. He then proceeded to draw the

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The Diocesan Secretary also reported that, during the triennium 2008 to 2011, the church had set up the Deaconess Training Programme, established Rumah Luther Ria in Port Dickson, the ELCM Women’s Care and Counselling Centre in Port Klang and, lately, the ELCM Women’s Skill Training Centre in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur. Chairman : Vice-Chairman : Diocesan Secretary : Diocesan Treasurer : Members :

Session V began at 3.30pm during which time the reports from the Pastors’ Conference, the Arbitration Board, the Disciplinary Board and the various diocesan committees and institutions were unanimously accepted by the assembly.

Bishop Dr. Solomon Rajah Rev. David Devapirian Mr. Peter Khar Mr. Silas M. Das Rev. Steven Lawrence Mrs. Linda Kanimoly Mrs. Flora Somraj Mr. Andrew Thiagu Mr. A Selvaraj

Two long-serving leaders of the ELCM, namely the Diocesan Secretary, Mr. Silas M. Das, and Deaconess Sister, Nancy Clemons, were honoured for their long and distinguished services to the church in a brief ceremony officiated by the Bishop at the beginning of session VI. Comprehensive reports on the vision, mission, activities and services of Rumah Luther Ria, Bethany Home, Women’s Care and Counselling Centre, Rumah Hope, Rumah Chrestus and ELCM Women’s Skill Training Centre were presented by the respective leaders-incharge.

Following the election of the Diocesan Council, the Arbitration Board Panel for the triennium 2011 to 2014 was confirmed. Dato’ Dr. Cyrus V. Das and Mr. Joseph Clemons were duly elected as Chairman and ViceChairman of the Arbitration Board respectively. Session III closed with the house unanimously approving the appointments of Messrs. Yuen Tang & Co. and Mr. Francis Xavier/Mrs. Anita Magdeline as the external and internal auditors respectively for the new triennium.

The final day, Sunday 30th October 2011, commenced at 8.00am with a Holy Communion Service. The Holy Communion was celebrated by Rev. G. Sritharan and Rev. Albert Vijay Joseph. Rev. W Babyington delivered the sermon which was based on Lamentations 3:21-24. The offering amounting to RM653.05 was donated to Rumah Chrestus.

Session IV of the assembly saw the Diocesan Secretary, Mr. Silas M. Das, presenting the report of the Diocesan Council for the triennium 2008 to 2011. Among other things, the Diocesan Secretary stressed that, in future, due emphasis would be given to increasing the membership of the church, streamlining and co-ordinating all activities and programmes in a more relevant way and further promoting and developing the church’s existing auxillary ministries with special focus on the diakonia ministry. Mr Silas also touched on the three challenges which the ELCM has to face as we enter into the new triennium, namely financial self-reliance, second-line leadership and mission/outreach.

Immediately after the Holy Communion Service, the newly-elected Diocesan Council was installed by the Bishop in a brief ceremony. After the coffee-break, Rev Steven Lawrence presented the Census Report 2010. The total membership of the ELCM as at 31st December 2010 was 4,187. The breakdown was as follows: Congregations - 2,450 Outreach Members - 432 Contact Members - 1,305 Total

The Bishop, in his closing address, thanked every pastor in the ELCM, members of the old Diocesan Council and the Diocesan Office staff for their excellent work that contributed to the smooth running of the Church and the Diocesan Assembly. The DA was brought to a close at 11.55am with prayer led by the Bishop. It was indeed a very successful and productive assembly. To God be the glory!

Diocesan Secretary, Mr. Silas M. Das, and Deaconess Sister Nancy Clemons were honoured for their long and distinguished services to the church.

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gag;glhjpUq;fs;:

“,Njh> vy;yh [dj;Jf;Fk; kpFe;j re;Njh\j;ij cz;lhf;Fk; ew;nra;jpia cq;fSf;F mwptpf;fpNwd;...” vd;whu;; Njt Jhjd;. fpwp];J gpwg;G vy;yh [dj;Jf;Fk; kpFe;j re;Njh\ j;ij cz;lhf;Fk; xU ew;nea;jp. Fwpg;gha; ,J Vio vopNahUf;F kfpo;r;rp jUk; ew;nra;jp. Mdhy; nry;tk; gilj;jtu;fSf;Nfh Jh;nra;jp. MfNt jhd; VNuhJuh[h ,NaR fpwp];Jtpd; gpwg;ig mwpe;jTld;> mtDk; mtNdhNl$l vUrNyk; efuj;jhh; midtUk; fyq;fpdhh;fs;;. ,NaRtpd; gpwg;gpd; gpd;ddpia ikakhf itj;J: tk;rk;> Ch;> gpwg;G> gpwg;gpd; Kjy; nra;jp vd;fpw ehd;F fhhpaq;fis cq;fs; Kd; itf;fpNwd;. 1. tk;rk;,NaR ghyfdha; ngj;jyNfkpy; gpwe;jNghJ> tho;j;Jj; je;jpfs; ,y;iy> thdNtbf;if ,y;iy> ,dpg;Ngh tpUe;Njh gfpug;glTkpy;iy> Rtnul;bfs; ,y;iy. rptg;G fk;gs tuNtw;gpy;iy> tpohNfhyk; ,y;iy. fhuzk; mth; gpwg;G vspik> cyif Mste;jthpd; gpwg;G> cyFf;F xsp nfhLf;f te;jthpd; gpwg;G> cyif ,ul;rpf;f te;jthpd; gpwg;G> vspikapYk; vspikaha; ,Ue;jJ. ,ijjhd; gTy mg;Ngh];jyd;; “jk;ikj;jhNk ntWikahf;fp mbikapd; &gnkLj;J” te;jhu; vd> gpypg;G gl;lzj;jpw;F vOJfpwhh;.

kj;NjA Kjyhk; mjpfhuj;jpy; ,NaR fpwp];JtpDila tk;r tuyhw;iw ghh;Fk; nghOJ> Mgpufhk;> jhtPJ> tk;rj;jpy; ,NaR fpwp];J gpwe;jhh; vd;Wk; $wyhk;. jhkhh;> uhfhg;> &j;> gj;;Nrghs; MfpNahUk;$l ,Nj tk;rj;jpy; gpwe;jtu;fs;jhd;. jhkhh;- ,ts; Ajhtpd; kUkfs;. jq;fsJ FLk;gj;jhy; ntWf;fg;gl;L> fztid ,oe;J iftplgl;l ngz;. Ntrpjdj;jpw;Fk; Mshfpwhs;. (Mjpahfkk; 38.) uhfhg;- uhfhg; vd;wTld; ek; epidTf;F tUtJ NahRth. NahRth Gj;jfk; 2k; mjpfhuj;jpd;gb ,ts; NtTghhf;;f nrd;wth;fSf;F milfyKk; ghJfhg;Gk; mspj;jts;.

4. gpwg;gpd; Kjy; nra;jpekJ tPLfspy; tpNr\k; vd;why; Kjy; jfty;> nra;jp> rigapy; rKjhaj;jpy;> Kf;fpa];jyh;fsplKk;> nry;thf;F cs;sth;fsplKk; jhd; njhptpf;fpd;Nwhk;. ,q;Nf ,ul;rfh; gpwg;gpd; Kjy; nra;jpahd> ghku Nka;gh;fSf;F mwptpf;fg;gl;lJ. Nka;gh;fs; tho;ifia> Vrhah31:4> vNukpah 5:6. Mfpa Gj;jfq;fspy; thrpf;Fk;nghOJ> mJ> mghak; epiwe;jJk; fbdkhdJkhAk; ,Ue;jJ vd;W mwpfpNwhk;. fLk; c\;dj;jpYk;;> FspUk; gdpapYk;> MLfis Nka;jJ te;j ghku Nka;gh;fSf;F gukdpd; gpwg;gpd; Kjy; nra;jp fpilj;jij ghu;f;fpNwhk;.

&j;- eNfhkpapd; kUkfs;. ,ts; xU tpjit. filrpapy; flTSila kdpjd; Nghth];ir kzk;Ghpfpwhs;. gj;Nrghs;- jhtPJ chpahtpd; kidtp.

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5. ,NaRtpd;: tk;rk;> Ch;> gpwg;G vspikfpwp];J gpwg;G ekf;F jUk; ek;gpf;ifapd; nra;jp. tk;rk;> FLk;g gpd;ddp> gpwg;gplk;> nry;thf;F> ,it vtw;iw gw;wpAk; ftiy NjitNa ,y;iy. cyfj;jpNy te;j ve;j kD\idAk; gpufhrpg;gpf;fpw xspNa me;j nka;ahd xsp. me;j nka;ahd xspapd; gpwg;ig mh;j;jj;NjhL nfhz;lhLNthk;.

2. Ch;kPfh jPh;fjhprpapd;; Gj;jfj;jpy;> vg;gpuhjh vdg;gl;l ngj;jyNfNk eP a+NjahtpYs;s Mapuq;fSf;Fs;Ns rpwpajhape;Jk;> ,];uNtiy Msg;Nghfpwth; cd;dplj;jpypUe;J Gwg;gl;L vd;dplj;jpy; tUthh;. vd;W thrpf;fpNwhk;. mw;gkhd CupNy mw;Gjh; gpwe;jhh;.

,NaR ghyfd; Mapuk; Kiw ngj;jyNfkpy; gpwf;fyhk;... xU KiwahtJ> cq;fs; cs;sj;jpy;> cq;fs; ,y;yj;jpy;;> gpwf;fhtpl;lhy; ehk; nfhz;lhLk; fpwp];k]; gz;bifNa tPz;. ,NaR ghyfd; gpwf;f rj;jpuj;jpy; ,lk; ,y;iy. cq;fspd; ,jaj;jpy; ,NaR ghyfd; gpwf;f ,lk; ,Uf;fpwjh?

3. gpwg;Grj;jpuj;jpy; ,lkpy;iy. ahUf;F? mth; nghpatuhapUg;ghh;> cd;djkhdtUila Fkhud; vdg;gLthh;. fh;j;juhfpa Njtd; mtUila gpjhthfpa jhtPjpd; rpq;fhrdj;ij mtUf;F nfhLg;ghh;. mth; ahf;Nfhgpd; FLk;gj;jhiu vd;nwd;iwf;Fk;> murhSthh; mtUila uh[;aj;jpw;F KbtpuhJ> vd;W fhgphpNay; Jhjd; khpahsplk; ciuj;jhNu> me;j ,NaRTf;Fjhd; gpwf;f rj;jpuj;jpy; ,lkpy;iy. ,J Yhf;fh RtpNr\j;jpy; 1:32-33 gjpTnra;ag;gl;Ls;sJ.

,NaR ghyfd; cq;fspy; gpwf;f tho;j;Jf;fs;! ,iw gzpapy; kiwjpU. [p. vgpNerh; ,iw mkph;jk; Nghjfh; ngj];jh

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ELCM New Outreach Ministries Puchong Utama Outreach The Puchong Utama Outreach under the spiritual care of Evangelist Samuel Kanagaraj has 57 members actively participating in its programmes. Other than Sunday divine services, healing services are conducted every Wednesday in addition to Evangelist Samuel Kanagaraj conducting regular visitations to every member’s house. The outreach celebrated its children’s Christmas Party on the 3rd of December, 2011 on a grand scale. Batu Gajah Outreach The Batu Gajah Outreach, established on 20th March 2011, has since grown by 12 members. 40 to 60 members attend Sunday divine services. Auxiliary activities conducted include Youth Fellowship, Women’s Fellowship, Sunday School (every Saturday), soul-winning ministry (every Thursday) and bible study and prayer meetings. Kulai Outreach The Kulai Outreach dedicated by Bishop on the 9th of October, 2010 has a total membership of 45 members. Rev. Paul Raj together with Candidate Gnanadas provide pastoral leadership and care for the members. Activities include Sunday Divine Services, Junior Work and Sunday School (held before Sunday divine services), monthly house prayer meetings and regular house and hospital visitations.

ELCM Diakonia Ministries The ELCM Women’s Skills Training Centre, Sentul, Kuala Lumpur has currently 14 trainees under its care. Another 6 women are expected to register in the near future. The centre, under the leadership of Rev. Stephen Vello, is providing skills training in tailoring, baking and basic computer knowledge. Future plans of the centre include training more underprivileged women and young girls and providing job opportunities for them, introducing new courses and providing guidelines for government loans.

Our Condolences... Mr. S. Sivam Sinnathamby - Mr. S. Sivam Sinnathamby of Cheras Lutheran Congregation was born on 22.10.1975 and entered into eternal rest on 16.05.2011. The funeral service was held on 17.05.2011 at Cheras Lutheran Congregation followed by cremation at MBPJ Public Crematorium. We thank God for his faithful services to Cheras Lutheran Congregation. We express our heartfelt condolences to his wife, children and other family members. Mr. Kannan P. Ramasamy - Mr. Kannan P. Ramasamy of Cheras Lutheran Congregation was born on 13.02.1944 and passed away on 04.11.2011. The funeral service was held on 05.11.2011 at his residence in Taman Kajang Perdana, Kajang, followed by burial at Meru Christian Cemetery, Meru. We thank God for his faithfulness to the church and express our sincere condolences to his wife, children , grandchildren and other family members. Alfred Abraham Devasirvatham - Alfred Abraham Devasirvatham of Zion Cathedral Congregation was born on 18.08.1930 and entered into eternal rest on 11.11.2011. The funeral service was held on 12.11.2011 at Zion Cathedral followed by cremation at Cheras Crematorium. We thank God that he was an inspiration to many in his faithfulness to the church and express our heartfelt condolences to his family members.

Bishop Emeritus Bertil Envall - Bishop Emeritus Bertil Envall, the first bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia, who served us from 1961 – 1975, passed away on 23.11.2011 at the age of 102. We thank God for his faithfulness, commitment and inspired leadership to the ELCM. We express our heartfelt condolences to Biskopina Emeritus Ingefrid, children, grandchildren and other family members.

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24 – 31.03.2011 – Director of Bethany Home, Mr. Jayasingh Rajiah was in China to conduct specialised training for teachers in special schools and church workers.

27.03.2011 – Rev. Albert Vijay Joseph was appointed as Circle Leader for Good Hope Junior Work

24.04.2011 – Bukit Mertajam Congregation together with their pastor, Rev. K. Jegadass, after Easter Service

24.04.2011 – Aaron and Abithal were baptised at Bethesda Congregation on Easter Sunday, Teluk Intan

26.06.2011 – DYC members together with youths of Bethesda Congregation during a DYC visitation programme

22.07.2011 – Revival Meeting at Resurrection Lutheran Congregation, Port Dickson

24.07.2011 – Pastor John Scudder and Rev. Ebenezer Irai Amirtham together with participants of Women’s Seminar held at Resurrection Congregation, PD

23.07.2011 – Participants of Sunday School Teachers’ Training at Resurrection Congregation, Port Dickson

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06.08.2011 – Bishop with Rev. Albert Vijay and Mr. Silas Das at opening ceremony of ELCM 110 Year Anniversary Photo Exhibition at Lutheran Hall, KL

26 -28.08.2011 – Good Shepherd Congregation held their family retreat at PD Lutheran Centre 

03.09.2011 – Stephen Jesudas and Remaranee Thiagarajan together with officiating pastors at their wedding in Zion Cathedral, KL

11.09.2011 – “newly-baptised” adults of Kajang Lutheran Outreach with pastor and Local Council Members of Cheras Congregation

18.09.2011 – 14 Kajang Lutheran Outreach confirmands together with Rev. Steven Lawrence, Bro. Somraj and Mr. Kamal on their confirmation day.

24.09.2011 – Daniel Prakash and Jennie Christina at their wedding held at Holy Trinity Congregation, Teluk Intan

25.09.2011 – Good Hope Congregation members together with their pastor during an outing to Lake Gardens, KL

25.09.2011 – Baptism of Sarah Jayasheela by Rev. Ebenezer Irai Amirtham at Bethesda Congregation, Teluk Intan

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15.10.2011 – Good Shepherd Congregation members donating blood during blood donation drive at their church premises

15.10.2011 – A jumble sale, food fair, free medical check-up and blood donation drive were held at Good Shepherd Congregation, PJ

22 – 23.10.2011 – Participants of Cheras Congregation Family Retreat at MBS Recreation & Training Centre, Kundang, Selangor

23.10.2011 – Pastor and members of Good Hope Congregation in during a visit to MV Logos in Port Klang

19.06.2011 – Gideon Bryne and Amanda Sheeba were baptised in Resurrection Congregation, PD

29 – 31.07.2011 - 45 members of Our Saviour Congregation, JB during their family retreat held in Pulau Pangkor

04 – 24.07.2011 – Rev. G.V. Siritharan attended a Summer School Programme in Neuendettelsau, Germany

28.05.2011 – Rev. G.V. Siritharan was married to R. Rachel at Bethany Lutheran Congregation in a service officiated by Bishop

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24.04.2011 – Holy Cross Congregation after their Easter Sunrise Service

19.11.2011 – Zion Cathedral English Service donated a van to Mt. Sinai, Congregation, Kuala Pilah for the ministry in the area

19.11.2011 – Members of Zion Cathedral English Service organised a Christmas party for the children of Mt. Sinai Congregation, Kuala Pilah

15 – 16.11.2011 – Pastor Abraham Charles from the UK in action during his healing and deliverance meeting at Lutheran Hall, KL

30.10.2011 – 15 people attended first-ever English / Bahasa Malaysia service organised by youths of Kluang Congregation

02.09.2011 – Kluang Congregation children during an eye-opening excursion to historic city of Melaka

12.11.2011 - A free medical camp organised by Women’s Care and Counselling Centre at Holy Cross, Port Klang

15.10.2011 – Children of Bethany Home participating in their 45th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service

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Report on

ELCM 110th Year Anniversary

Celebrations

T

he ELCM marked 110 years of Lutheran Ministry & Service (1901-2011) with a grand celebrations of thanksgiving and fellowship. The celebrations began with Bishop Dr. Solomon Rajah opening the 110 Year Anniversary Photo Exhibition at 11.00am on Saturday, 6th of August, 2011 in the Lutheran Hall, Brickfields.

This was followed by a thanksgiving and fellowship dinner held on Saturday, 13th of August 2011 at the HGH Convention Centre, Jalan Sentul, Kuala Lumpur. The colourful dinner was attended by more than 800 church members, friends, well-wishers and church leaders, both Malaysian and foreign, including our Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr. Solomon Rajah, Rt. Rev. Dr. R.D. Vijayakumar, Bishop of the Arcot Lutheran Church, India, Rt. Rev. Dr. Philip Lok, Bishop of the Lutheran Church in Malaysia

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& Singapore, Rev. C. Jayaraj, President of the Tamil Annual Conference and Elder Tan Kong Beng, Executive Secretary of the Christian Federation of Malaysia, among others.

sumptuous dinner, the programme for the evening included greetings from Bishop Dr. Solomon Rajah and our guests. A video presentation on the ELCM’s ministry and service for the past 110 years was shown.

It must also be mentioned that a blood donation campaign was held on the morning of the dinner at the Lutheran Hall during which many members donated their blood.

This was followed by presentations from several congregations and groups in the ELCM. Included in the programme for the evening was a special appreciation and recognition ceremony for all pastors.

The highlight of the celebrations was the dinner held on Saturday, 13th August, 2011 at the HGH Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur. The event commenced at 6.30pm with songs of worship. In addition to the

This report would be incomplete without mention of the hardworking organising committee under the able leadership of its chairman, Mr. Silas M. Das, which ensured the success of the ELCM 110 Year Anniversary Celebrations. All glory be to God.

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BISHOP’S ADDRESS AT 48th DIOCESAN ASSEMBLY: TRIENNIUM YEAR 2011 48tJ Nguhaj;jpd; khehL 2011 %thz;L 28 – 30 October 2011 th

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Allson Hotel, Putra Nilai, Nilai, Negeri Sembilan

1. INTRODUCTION (1) As delegates of the 48th Diocesan Assembly, I welcome each one of you in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Grace and peace to all my fellow pastors, church workers and members of the Diocesan Council to this Triennial Assembly.

Christ. Peter quoted Joel as the fulfillment of a prophesy that was meant not just for Israel but for the whole world. It was the first Day of Pentecost! Tongues of fire poured over the heads of the foreigners and they were speaking in various tongues and all could understand. It was strange, it was mysterious and it was wonderfully miraculous. In a sense, this text of Joel was the subject of the first sermon in Christianity!

2. REFLECTION (2) “And it will come about after this that I will pour out my Spirit on all mankind; and your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions” (Joel 2: 28).

(5) Joel was the subject of Peter’s first sermon as he defended the events of Pentecost as God’s sign upon the nation of Israel as well as all the nations of the world – a lifting of a curse. Thousands of sermons have been written about this day, and it was found to be a great spiritual nourishment. As we step into our 48th Diocesan Assembly, let us reflect on this great event for our response.

(3) In the book of Joel, we find a prophet confronting a nation after a destructive plague of locusts. The people are standing on the eve of a major famine. The people understood what a famine was. We in the modern world may not understand or experience a famine! Famine means families slowly dying without food to eat. The sick will die, followed by the infants and the poor. No one will have the strength to bury them. Within a week or two, the strong will exhaust their foodstock and succumb to starvation and death. Entire villages will disappear leaving the land desolate! The stench of death will be everywhere as corpses just rot away in open air with no one to bury them. Joel stood before the Lord and wrestled with him the question “what shall I tell the people? How shall I comfort the nation?” God answered his prayer by putting in his mouth the prophecy for all mankind – a prophecy that transcended time in order to speak to us.

(6) The Jews understood that a plague is a curse from God. Joel directed his prophecy against the King of Tyre whom the Jews believed was none other than a principality of Satan, if not Satan himself. The famine that was to follow was divine retribution. In the midst of this impending doom, Joel was asking, “You people turned against God, and see what calamity you have brought upon yourself! Will you not now turn to God and seek his help? He will give you joy!” I am sure many would have surrendered their dying body in the slim glimmer of hope in God. (7) Peter chose this text because the spirit of God not only opened his mouth but also his mind. The people who crucified him were willfully denying God even as God was confronting them. As for Peter, he realized that God was stretching out his hands to Israel and to the wider world, in Jesus Christ. Like a master who had gone to the wayside to invite the people to the feast,

(4) This is one of the most popular Old Testament texts because Peter used this text to make the first Christian sermon (Acts 2 : 1436). It was directed at the Jews in Jerusalem, particularly, to those who disputed the resurrection of

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The Church is not only an organisation governed by rules. It is in fact primarily a community of worshippers who come together regularly to share with one another the good news of Jesus Christ. God spoke in songs and dances for the people to come, had performed miracles, had fulfilled prophecies, and now throwing at the people signs and wonders to show the curse on the land had been lifted. The curse is now turned to a blessing. God through our Lord Jesus Christ has come to live among mankind in the Holy Spirit by removing the curse so that all mankind should understand each other! Pentecost set us free once again. We are now one people. The famine is no more. There will be plenty and it is the call of the Church to stand testimony to this abundance of blessing to be received by the entire world. As Christians and members of the Church, we inherit the first Pentecost experience and its blessings even today!

explain: Now, there are some things only an individual can do, and such things should only be done by individuals! For example, you take a friend for tea and listen to him or her and may make attempts to support their needs. You may even share the wonderful miracles that happen in your personal life or give witness to the prayers that are answered and even say that God has been good in the midst of all your trials. These are every individual’s responsibilities. For such things, all of us must personally try very hard to grow in faith and understanding in Jesus Christ. Membership into the ELCM does not automatically guarantee that! It has to be worked at. One has to read the Bible, pray, fast, walk in faith and watch that we do not fall into evil ways.

3. OUR RESPONSE (8) While the theological significance of Joel and Pentecost can be further explored, but I want to draw our attention and focus on what then are “our portion and responsibilities” in this age of Pentecost. This is the question I want all of us to think even as we celebrate our 110 years of Lutheran Ministry and Service in Malaysia.

6. DIOCESAN RESPONSIBILITY (11) In the same way, there are some things that the diocese, as a whole, should rightly take responsibility and act. This we are doing through the ministries of Rumah Luther Ria, ELCM Women’s Care and Counselling Centre, the recently-opened ELCM Women’s Skills Training Centre, the ELCM Mission Centre, ELCM Graduate Fellowship, Deaconess Training, Voluntary Pastors’ Training and the Lutheran Book Centre. These are some of the activities that we may call as “Diocesan initiatives.” No individual can be expected to shoulder this sort of work. We are thankful to our local sponsors and contributors to our new

4. WHAT IS OUR PORTION? WHERE LIES OUR RESPONSIBILITIES? (9) To mark a new period of ministry in our ELCM, I laid out that we should strengthen the diocese by targeting five areas namely: (1) nurturing spiritual growth, (2) implementing self reliant projects; (3) leadership training for clergy and laity, (4) strengthening bilateral church relations, and (5) capacity building. These should then enable us to expand the diocese by (1) membership building, (2) developing new areas of ministry, (3) streamlining and coordinating all our existing programmes, (4) revitalizing our daikonia ministry, and (5) paying better attention to our revenue sources. 5. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY (10) Though the statements of our two-fold objective sound nice, it does not absolve the individual and the congregation from shouldering the portion for God. Let me

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areas of work. We are also thankful to our benefactors like the Lutheran Church of Australia, Lutheran Church of America, Missouri Synod and the Bavarian Lutheran Church of Germany. I am glad that Rumah Hope, Rumah Chrestus, Rumah Rapha, Bethany Home, and the Lutheran Women’s Hostel are soldiering on faithfully. As a matter of fact, they are reaching growth limits and are very aware that they need to raise capital to expand their work. You will notice that most of our diocesan initiatives are strong on empowerment of women and families. Praise God for that! There are other areas of work that we as ELCM can expand into, such as youth hostel, Christian music centre, skill education, old folks’ hospice, advocacy, free food for the needy, medical work and family counselling.

to reaffirm the DC Plan of Action for the congregations that was implemented in 2009. The DC Plan of action applies to the new Triennium (2011-2014) as well. May the Lord guide the congregations as they continue to implement the DC plan of action in the new Triennium (2011-2014), as appended below: 1. Every congregation is to have regular Bible study and regular cell group meetings, etc; 2. Every congregation is to raise its own funds and support its own operating cost for mission and ministry; 3. Every congregation is to train at least 8 new leaders for auxiliary ministries and leadership tasks; 4. Every congregation is to foster a cordial relationship and fellowship with neighbouring churches; 5. Every congregation is to raise at least two potential members for fulltime ministry either for Pastor’s training or Deaconess training; 6. Every congregation should attempt to increase its membership by double fold by implementing membership drive programmes – a growth of 30 members per year (10 new members and 20 new members for auxiliary activities per year); 7. Every congregation is to plant a new outreach centre; 8. Every congregation is to have at least 5 auxiliary ministries (Women, Junior Work, Young Adults, Senior Citizen, Youth Fellowship, Sunday School, etc); 9. Every congregation is to establish one social ministry either directly or indirectly; 10. Every congregation is to become self-reliant by supporting its own worker’s salary, assessment, quit rent, fire insurance and building maintenance.

(12) As a diocese there are national issues that we should pay careful attention, I am thinking of the recent Al-Kitab issue, the usage of certain words such as “Allah” and land allocation for Churches and burial grounds. It is for this reason that the ELCM ought to play a larger role in the Christian life of the nation and we should strongly support the work of the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM), Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) and the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Sikh and Taoist (MCCBCHST). 7. CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSIBILITY (13) Now, let us turn our attention to our congregations. I wish to gratefully say that our giving in the congregations has improved very well. This is good because giving and giving generously not only cultivates commitment but also will release the flood-gates of God’s blessings. We give because we can give and God blesses because he alone can bless us. (14) Opening an outreach centre is a congregational responsibility. The investment in terms of finance and human resources must rise from the congregation. Only then it is a sign of vitality and good health. Congregations which for long have kept away from this commitment should re-think this mission and congregational goals. Nonetheless, I am happy to announce that outreach centres have been established in Batu Gajah, Kulai, Klang, Kajang, Puchong Utama, Rantau, Bangi and Taiping. Hopefully, we can break the 5,000 membership target soon.

8. CONCLUSION (17) The Church is not only an organization governed by rules. It is in fact primarily a community of worshippers who come together regularly to share with one another the good news of Jesus Christ. We grow because God does a special miracle in each one of us. He gives us back a little more than what we first put in. Let us keep the peace we have received and show this world that we are blessed so much that we can give much. When any one asks us “why,” we shall say that we do this because we are the vibrant people who share the event and experience of the Pentecost. We are free in the Lord and we are blessed by the Lord Jesus Christ.

(15) We are still in dire shortage of pastors and Church workers. Currently only two of our evangelists are in Seminari Theoloji Malaysia (STM) doing a part-time diploma course. Certainly, this is not good enough! However, our pastors are generally doing well in their congregations conducting worship and attending to the needs of the flock. One of the things, I saw in many of the congregations is the strong laity participation with improved youth activities. I am impressed by the musical talents that I witnessed at “Born to Worship” and the evangelistic rallies and special events that attracted people from outside. Hopefully, this sort of work will turn our young organizers into ministers and also increase their burden for the ministry of the Church.

(18) May our old and young people continue to dream dreams and see visions for the ELCM. Rt. Rev. Dr. Solomon Rajah Bishop Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia 28th October 2011

(16) Based on our Twofold Diocesan Objectives, I would like

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ELCM Events / News Updates Grace Lutheran Congregation, Labis is appealing to all congregations for cash donations to rebuild its building which collapsed on 1st September 2011. Congregations and individuals who wish to donate towards this noble cause are advised to contact Rev. K. Thambiraj for further details.

Lutheran Book Centre The Lutheran Book Centre, managed by the Diocesan Council was opened by the Bishop on 28th November, 2010. The Centre sells all sorts of Christian material including Bibles (English, Tamil and Bahasa) devotional books, gift items and CDs, VCDs, DVDs and MP3s which contain Christian messages, movies and music. The centre recently acquired bilingual Bibles for sale to the public. New Tamil books have recently arrived at the Book Centre. The Bukit Mertajam Lutheran Congregation building is currently under renovation. The congregation is expected to have a wider and more comfortable sanctuary at the ground floor. Works on the auxiliary activity centre and pastor’s office at the first floor have already been completed.

Holy Cross Lutheran Congregation, Port Klang organised a banana leaf lunch held on Saturday 15th October 2011 to raise funds for its building renovation project. The lunch was attended by about 250 people. The ELCM Graduate Fellowship hosted 3 prominent Christian speakers who shared their spiritual and professional experiences with our graduates. In July 2011 the fellowship hosted Datuk Dr. Denison Jayasooria, a very popular social activist and member of SUHAKAM, who spoke on ‘Urban Poor and our Christian Response’. Two other political leaders, namely Mr. Charles Santiago, Member of Parliament for Klang and Senator S. Ramakrishnan, Member of the Senate, gave talks in October 2011 pertaining to nation building and poverty eradication together with equal opportunities for all in education and business. Those wishing to join the fellowship are kindly invited to contact Mr. Vijayan Samuel at 0126145 045, send an e-mail to elcm.gf@gmail.com or become a fan of ‘ELCM Graduate Fellowship’ on Facebook.

The CCM Indian Pastors’ Retreat held at the Good Shepherd Catholic Seminary, Malacca on 3rd to 5th August 2011 was attended by 35 pastors from the 3 mainline churches. The guest speaker was Associate Professor Krishanan Maniam who spoke on the future of Indians in Malaysia and some key issues facing Christians in the country. The two bible studies were conducted by Rev. S. Karthik (ELCM) and Rev. Joseph Yesupatham (TAC). It was a time of fellowship and sharing among the pastors. Our Bishop gave a brief address on the second day. The Diocesan Youth Camp held at the Barre Centre, Tanah Rata, Cameron Highlands on 27th to 30th August 2011 was attended by 144 youths from the various congregations.

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ELCM Events / News Updates The 45th Anniversary Celebrations / Thanksgiving Service of Bethany Home on 15th October 2011 at Bethany Home Hall, Simpang Empat was attended by 300 people.

received complete physical and spiritual healing. Indeed it was heaven on earth during these two nights. Special thanks to Rev. David Devapirian, Rev. Albert P. Abishegam, Evangelist Kanagaraj and Zion Cathedral elders and youths for organising the 2-day event in an efficient manner.

Bro. Eliezer Peter graduated with a B.Th from STM, Seremban on 22nd October 2011.

The Central District Candlelight Celebrations & Fellowship was held on 27th November 2011 at the Lutheran Hall. 15 congregations and outreaches including the Batak congregation participated in the colourful event. The Good Samaritan Lutheran Congregation in Sentul celebrated its 45th Anniversary on Sunday 6th November, 2011. More than 150 people participated in the celebrations which included a thanksgiving service followed by a sumptuous dinner. The guests of honour were Diocesan Council Vice-Chairman, Rev. David Devapirian, Diocesan Council Treasurer, Mr. Silas M. Das and Rev. Caleb Santhosam.

Appointment of District Pastors for year 2012 – Rev. Babyington, Rev. Caleb Santhosam and Rev. S. Anbunathan have been appointed as Northern, Central and Southern District Pastors respectively for the year 2012. Luther Ria, Port Dickson organised its first fundraising food-fair at the grounds of Resurrection Congregation, Port Dickson on 3rd September 2011. More than 750 people attended the event and a total of RM 41,000.00 was raised for the Luther Ria Fund.

Healing & Deliverance Meeting at Lutheran Hall Pastor Abraham Charles from the UK conducted a two-night healing and deliverance meeting at our Lutheran Hall in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur from 15th to 16th November 2011. More than 1,000 people participated in these meetings. The Lord did many signs and wonders during these two blessed nights. Many cancer patients, crippled, lame and deaf and dumb people were among the numerous souls who

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January

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Lutheran Herald 8th Edition _ V2  

The Herald's Christmas Edition for 2011. Bishop's Message - 'Innonence of God'

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