Consecration ceremony to go ahead as planned at church in Brickfields

THE consecration of the fifth Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia (ELCM), Rev Steven Lawrence, this Saturday will be extra special as the occasion will be the first of its kind held during the Covid-19 period.

The date for the consecration and installation at 10am at the Zion Lutheran Cathedral in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, was set last year, well before the movement control order (MCO) was implemented on March 18 to prevent the spread of the virus.

Outgoing Bishop Rt Rev Dr Solomon Rajah said the church had to continue with the consecration ceremony as per the constitutional requirements of the ELCM.

“We decided to continue with the consecration, albeit on a smaller scale, due to our constitutional requirements,” he said in an interview.

He said the church was glad that the government had allowed church services to proceed from June 21 with standard operating procedures (SOP) in place under the recovery MCO.

Rev Steven, 42, was elected bishop on Nov 9 last year to take over the mantle from Bishop Solomon, who assumed office in 2009.

The pastor of 13 years obtained a Master of Ministry from the South East Asia Graduate School of Theology in 2017.

He is married to Susan Ann. They have three children — Samantha Ann, 12, Samuel Anbuselvan, seven, and Samson Anbunesan, two.

Bishop Solomon, 65, said the traditional procession of bishops and pastors would not be carried out because of social distancing rules.

“We have made all arrangements at the Zion Lutheran Cathedral in accordance with rules governing church services issued by the National Unity Ministry,” he said.

“These include social distancing markers on seats, the use of face masks and sanitiser as well as the taking of temperatures.”

On his successor, Bishop Solomon was confident that Rev Steven could take the church through these challenging times as he had proven himself as a leader with great potential.

Bishop Solomon said bishops from abroad could not attend the ceremony due to health control restrictions.

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