Sandakan: The Star of Yahweh Covenant Community (SYCC) commemorated their 27th anniversary with a thanksgiving dinner at 7.30pm, Friday 12th August 2011 in a local Seafood Restaurant. Around 80 people attended the function. The Covenant Community is a Catholic Charismatic Renewal (CCR) group whose members bind themselves to one another and to the group, and made the covenant to live a righteous life.
Michael Lee, the presiding elder of SYCC in his opening address, welcomed Rev. Fr. Thomas Makajil, Pastoral Council Chairman, Patrick Seah and invited guests for being able to share the joyful occasion with the SYCC. In his speech, he shared that for the past 27 years, the community had a lot of joy and good time but they also went through tough time – heavy storms and even landed in desert but they manage to survive because God is with the community. He concluded by encouraging all members of the community to respond to God’s calling as in Phil. 2:14 “Do everything without complaining; so that you may be innocent and pure as God’s perfect children, who live in a world of corrupt and sinful people. You must shine among them like stars lighting up the sky, as you offer them the message of life.”
Rev Fr. Thomas Makajil, the rector of St Mary’s Cathedral congratulated the SYCC whose members are committed witnesses of Christ in unity, journeying together in faith for the past 27 years despite the many challenges faced by them. He hoped they will bear witness to others especially in families and the parish community. He acknowledged that a few of the new Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) line up came from the SYCC, and he hoped through their experiences, will be able to share and channel their many talents to enrich others and become catalyst of change at the parish level.
Gary Quadra, the MC for the function
‘Opening Prayer’ by Fr Thomas
Michael Lai, one of the elders of the Community
The ‘young ambassadors’ of the Community rendering a song
After the speech, a cake cutting ceremony by the Rector, PPC Chairman and the SYCC Elders signified the mark of 27th anniversary thanksgiving gathering. Soon after, the attendees were entertained to performances by Christopher Aban, a talented solo guitarist from St Mary’s Cathedral (Finalist of Bakat TV RTM), Poco-Poco dance from the SYCC ladies and SYCC Youth.
The high light of the thanksgiving night was a touching sharing by Sarah Chew (15), how a quiet and reserved girl and whose father passed away nine years ago, changed her life through the recent concluded SYCC Youth Retreat program. She felt a sense of belonging because the uncles, aunties, brothers and sisters in SYCC are now part of her own big family.
The anniversary night concluded at 9.45pm with a closing prayer led by Fr. Thomas followed by a group photograph taking.