By Ivy Chai
KUCHING — Chairman of the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS), Archbishop Simon Poh, recently announced the cancellation of the annual Christmas City Parade scheduled for 5 December.
The ACS Combined Christmas Service to be hosted by the Catholic Church at the Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre on 17 December this year, has also been cancelled.
These Christmas events will likely be attracting a huge gathering of people from all faiths and denominations. To add to that, hundreds of spectators will also be lining the roadside to watch the Christmas Parade.
Archbishop Simon Poh said the collective decision by the Christian Churches to cancel these annual events was for the safety of Kuching residents, as well as their contribution to help contain COVID-19 in Sarawak.
Also, in conforming to the SOP from UNIFOR, Churches will not be organising house to house Christmas carolling, an activity which involves visiting houses of church members to sing Christmas carols and to bring Christmas cheer.
Instead, Christian youths are encouraged to be creative and to make use of modern technology and social media, such as e-carolling online to celebrate this festive season.
Christmas is also a season of sharing and giving. The Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Kuching would like to appeal to Catholics to be generous during this period and include charitable works as part of their activities. They can contribute towards helping poor families and people in need or donate blood to the blood bank.
Looking beyond that, he said students going back to school in January next year will require stationeries and face masks. He is inviting Catholics and friends of goodwill to assist by bringing hope and encouragement to these families and students.
“May we open our hearts to celebrate and welcome Christ our Emmanuel – our ‘God is with us’ who has come to us this Advent and Christmas,” he said.