What do pastors and seminary lecturers on course do on Sundays? We gathered to be the church at the cement front yard of the multiplex where all of us were staying. We christened it the Church of the Open Air, a church without walls and doors. Being so interdenominational in our mix, we did a rojak service. We sang a contemporary worship song, Above all powers, acapella. We had a time of silence for contemplation. The scripture from Exodus 11 was from the Revised Common Lectionary for this Sunday after Pentecost. It was read three times with intervals of silence. After which we shared honestly about where our lives connected with the illumined texts. It was holy ground. God was palpably present though there were no pyrotechnics, strobe lights nor professional musicians. We felt close to God, close to one another -all welded in a strange mix that defies definition but which St John hints of when he speaks of koinonia.
Dr Rosalind Lim-Tan who heads the Holistic Child Development center showed us warm Malaysian hospitality and brought us to the New World Park hawker center for us to dig into local Penang cuisine. We had a walloping time! Penang laksa, char kway teow, ba-long-long juice with plum, etc. It’s my opinion that the best food is in the north and as you travel down to Ipoh and Kuala Lumpur, farther to Malacca and Johor Baru, and finally down to Singapore, the food somehow loses its explosive bang and becomes as tepid as Newater. After food we went off to window shop at a too “atas” shopping mall next to a marina, and then to Tesco to buy provisions. We had our service at 9am in the morning and by the time we were back it was 2pm.After some discussions for a presentation on Tuesday, it was time to exercise and we trekked up and down and around the seminary for an hour and winded down with 15 minutes of stretching. Its been a wonderful Sunday. (Photo credits – Lau Ying Kheng)