Jesus said….“Let the little children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God…” Mark 10:14
St. Thomas’ Cathedral Kuching Sunday School celebrated the International Children’s Day and God’s wonderful gift of children in our lives on 4th November 2017, Saturday, from 8.30am to 1.00pm.
Activities for the day included visiting the Bishop’s House, a picnic with Bishop Danald and Mrs. Danald and hunting for the hidden treasures of our rich Anglican heritage.
The teachers and helpers met at the Parish Centre outside the Bookroom by 8.00am for the final briefing. At 8.30am, the children registration started and were given stickers with name/groupings. There were 60 kids with 19 parents totaling 105 participants including teachers and youths.
Natalie led the children in prayer before the start of the activities. She also enlisted parents to help take care of the younger children as participants in the activities as most of the children were under 6 years old.
A group photo was taken with the Bishop House as the background and another at the English Garden at the back of the house. The Bishop House is the first concrete house in Sarawak.
The children were divided into two groups, one group moving to the Upper floor led and briefed by Bishop Danald and his wife. The second group touring the ground floor was led and briefed by SD Gerald. Each group spent around 20 minutes touring each floor.
After the tour, by 10am, every one moved to the Bishop Garden to enjoy the picnic. Bishop Danald recited the thanksgiving prayer before morning tea was served. Natalie and Gerald conducted briefing on the treasure hunt after the tea break.
The treasure hunt began. Teachers went to their allocated check points and the groups led by group leaders went treasure hunting, looking for answers about the Anglican cathedral and Diocese history and heritage.
The children went on a 2 hour hunt in the Cathedral. They discovered the “hidden treasures” found in the Cathedral. They were in awe of the plans and thoughts put in to construct the cathedral. Every detail of the Bible was put into places within the cathedral. The hunt was carried out with the intention to instill pride in the children and parents, that they belong to a rich heritage in the Anglican faith.
Uncovering the hidden treasures of our Anglican heritage
We started this Anglican heritage lesson for the older classes since August 2017 when the Anglican Communication Centre was first set up. This was the first collaboration with one of the committee, Mr Gerald Ng. We, teachers felt that there are so much “treasures” around us and we don’t even know the “story” behind them. Sitting through the 4 weeks class, I personally felt at awe with the richness of our Anglican heritage. Things we took for granted but are built for a beautiful reason.
Like a child, here are some of the “I wonder” thoughts of our Cathedral that went through my mind ….. how did they build the beautiful dome where the altar is situated? And the top of the dome looks like it was made of shining seashell? How did they build the roof when there was no big machines (at all) a century ago when everything was manual? why so many steps? Why is the roof painted red? Why are they grill outside? Why is there a balcony inside the church? How did they put up the columns and the arch of the roof?
Children embarking on the 4 weeks journey of discovery
Have you ever wondered?
That’s was how the idea for the mini treasure hunt in the Cathedral came to light. We want to share what we learnt with the children and their parents. And who are better to carry the heritage alive but through us the ambassadors. We pray that children and parents will feel a sense of pride to be a part of this journey of faith, as much as we teachers felt when we put all the clues and answers together.
History starts at the big house up there…
Many children have asked who stays up there and some have gone up and down the little hill not knowing the house is part of the Diocese’s McDougall land.
Today, we also learnt how huge is the Diocese with its 40 parishes, and Uncle Bishop (as our Lord is called this morning) being the Head Shepherd and we, his sheep. Our 14th Lord Bishop and wife came out of the house with open arms and greeted the children, parents and teachers with a warm “welcome my dear children”. We had a tour of the restored century old “first concrete house in Sarawak” and enjoyed seeing part of the English background and lifestyle in parts of the house.
What is a Diocese?
We see so many episcopal seals (badges or shields) in the Cathedral and we hear about the Diocese of Kuching? What really does a Diocese means? Which one of these seals is the Diocese of Kuching? What about all the other shields hung on the walls?
Due to the time constraint, we were only able to help the children understand that we belong to the Diocese of Kuching, and our Lord Bishop as the Head shepherd. We use the illustration that the bishop as the captain of the big ship with all the little churches across Sarawak as the little boats and sampan tied to it. Thus the captain will set the direction and take care of the little boats, weathering the good and bad weather.
The hidden treasures discovered …this is only the beginning
After a fast breakfast picnic on the Bishop’s lawn, the 92 children and parents embarked in a two hours hunt. We have been requested by parents and also some members of the congregation to share on the treasures found. Thus, here are some of the questions and answers (some answers you will need to walk around and see for yourself):
The Chinese character that means ‘petition’ in mandarin. The building was constructed as a place of worship, to bring the good news to the local people of Kuching. One of races in the community are the Chinese who are not Christians. The character form part of the building, to allow the people to look in, to see what the Christians were doing in worship. “Petition” as the Chinese race are known to always seek (praying for) for blessings and goodness. 呈
As you look up you see 3 figures, Mary, the mother of Jesus, John, Jesus’s beloved disciple and Jesus, on the Cross. Where you stand right below is called the ROOT OF CHRIST. We go through this root, the purpose of our faith as we go up to receive body of Christ in communion
Write the bible verse found in this place as this is where the good news of the risen Christ is preached
CLUE: hey I am up here! Sunday school’s children walk beneath me going for blessing
13. How many symbols of the consecration cross can you find around the INSIDE of the Cathedral?
One each of the pillar and one at the altar (only the treasure hunters knows) = 13
14. At the “cave” (altar)
a. There are 5 nails on the altar. These represents the 5 scars on the body of Christ as he was nailed on the cross, including the last scar from the spear to his side.
b. The altar are stripped on Maundy Thursday. The altar represents Jesus’s Body. Maundy Thursday, is the day before Good Friday. Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and celebrated the last supper with the 12 disciples. In the garden of_Gethsemane_ Jesus was arrested, Jesus was stripped of his garments (Matthew 26:36)
c. In the early days, the believers are not able to worship publicly. They have to go underground or go into caves to worship. The shape where the altar are in looks like a DOM E or a CAVE
d. Candles represents Jesus the LIGHT OF CHRIST SHINING TO THE WORLD
15. Where angels sings – the place where the choir sat and sing. In heaven, angels will gather and sing.
a. The place where the ordained (the priest and the deacons) and choir sits is called THE CHANCEL. Everyone who sits here must be ROBED
b.Match the name in Latin on the stalls to the English version of the name:
c. The Episcopal seal represents the six Diocese whose Bishops were present during the consecration of the Cathedral. They are the Diocese of SABAH , CANTERBURY, LONDON, MELBOURNE, CALCUTTA and SINGAPORE
d. The Bishop’s high throne is situated near the altar. He will sit in his High Throne when he pontificate ie when he celebrating the Holy Communion. The Throne faces the NORTH
e. The pictures on the stained glass represents the 6 of the 7 sacrament. Match the sacrament to the meaning and the items used.
The activity was put to an end at 12.15pm with the children and parents cooling down to a treat of ice cream. While they were busy having their ice cream, the teachers were busy putting together the completed hunt results into folders for the children to bring home.
Prizes and gifts were presented to the children and the children went through the questions and answers with the teachers.
By 1pm, after a full morning of fun, the children gave thanks in prayer for a wonderful day and together with their parents, they seek God, to grow in their walk with God. Takeaway lunch was distributed to all. Everyone went home spiritually fulfilled and happy. Praise be to God.
|Morning Services||6.15 a.m.||Except on Wednesday|
|Holy Communion||6.30 a.m.||Except on Wednesday|
|Evening Services||4.00 p.m.||Except on Wed. and Sat.|
|Sunday Services||6.45 a.m.||Holy Communion in English|
|8.15 a.m.||Solemn Liturgy in English*|
|10:00 a.m.||Holy Communion in Chinese|
|5:30 p.m.||Evensong in English with Sermon and Holy Communion|
|Monday to Friday||8.30 a.m - 4.30p.m|
|Saturday||8.30 a.m - 12.30 p.m|
|Sundays and Public Holidays||Closed|
|Prayer Meetings Clergy (every Friday)||9.00 a.m - 10.00 a.m|