Greetings in the Name of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ .
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2). The writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes goes on to enumerate a kind of antonyms until verse 8. Would I to be more specific, I would add another line by saying that “there is a time to begin and a time to end” in every human endeavour, but our walk alongside our Lord is for eternity.
After 36 years of service, the time has come for retirement. I was ordained to the Diaconate on December 6, 1981 and to the Priesthood the following year on August 8, 1982 by the late Datuk Bishop Basil Temenggong. Both took place in St. Thomas’ Cathedral. Recapitulating on how it began, it fits in well with the way the way it ends. Ordained in the Cathedral and eventually to retire in the Cathedral. I thank Almighty God for making it all possible. Initially I must say that it was never to my wildest dreams to serve I the Cathedral, but God in his mysterious way, has placed me here. “My thoughts are not your thoughts, and my way is not your way.”
I have done my best and run the race, and the rest is in the hands of Almighty God. Years from now, keen historians will delve into the records and make their own assessments. One could only hope that the Lord would say what the Master in the Parable of the Three Servants said to the Five-Talent man and the Two-Talent man: “Well done, you good and faithful servant! Come on in and share my happiness!” (Matthew 25:21,23). However, whatever happens, I thank God for everything.
Life in the Cathedral as a Dean is neither predictable, though we keep the traditions as close as possible, nor is it unpredictable. The stability, sensibility and wisdom of those who are in the position of guiding the Dean – Chairman of the Cathedral Chapter and Parish Council and several other committees – help in maintaining a conducive working atmosphere. Undeniably the Spirit of the good Lord is in control, who creates and strikes a right balance in the management of the Parish.
Therefore, I want to thank members of the Cathedral Chapter and Parochial Church Council for their wisdom in guiding me for the last eight years, for their patience and understanding amidst my apparent indecisiveness. There is a reason for that. I place a great importance on relationships. Maybe I should have been more confrontational just as Jesus was confrontational at times. Like Jesus it can’t be the norm of my practice. Perhaps confrontational but it was occasional and sparingly. I think what matters at the end is our relationship, whether at management level or as a Body of Christ. Surely that is what Jesus also emphasised. Relationship leads to unity, and unity leads to witness in sharing the Good News of Jesus with the world around us. Is it not what Jesus demanded from His followers? If we are united, only then will people know that we are the followers of Christ.
Thanks to our lay staff, Mr. Robert Tnay has been a father figure to all our lay staff. He has his unique way of guiding them in their work. To my fellowclergy, I wish to thank them for their cooperation. I do not believe that I have regimented them unnecessarily for God has given them their unique gifts. We are placed in the Cathedral for a reason. If we have done our best, what else can anyone expect? Despite being set apart for our priestly ministry, we are still human beings with al our frailties.
Thank you to all those who are involved in liturgical and pastoral ministries – the Sub-deacons, lectors or readers, intercessors, choirs, technicians and others. You have all helped to carry the burden of leadership in the Cathedral. Despite having a brand new and excellent sound system and electronic Johannus Organ, the murmuring of the new Israelites continues. The desire for excellence is insatiable. Our satisfaction is in our willingness to offer the little talent that God has given us to serve him in his Church and beyond.
Out of curiosity, some have been asking me where I will go from here. What will I do in my retirement? Once a clergyman, always a clergyman.
I will retire prayerfully as the Spirit leads in peace. May God bless you as you faithfully continue to offer your service in the Cathedral under the next Dean, yet to be made Canon and installed on January 7, 2018, in the person of the Rev’d Kho Thong Meng.
Pax et bonum
Fr. Michael Buma Galami
|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|