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Berita TAC, Issue 2 2017

TAC

TAC History Forum 2017 Today in History, Saturday 8 th April 2017, the Tamil Annual Conference Board on Archive and History (BOAH) with the help of Board of Laity organized the first TAC History Forum 2017 at Emmanuel Christian Assembly, Taiping with the theme, ‘Looking back to look forward’. A total of 210 people from the Northern and Perak Districts including the speakers attended the forum and 40 from TMC Sg. Petani with the highest numbers of participants. A short quiz was made available to gauge how much the participants know about our history. The hosting church, TMC Taiping’s pastor, Ps.Tharmapal welcomed everyone and after an opening song, Perak District Superintendent Rev. Sandireaseheran said the opening prayer. The moderator for the forum, Mr. Peter Seeni who is also the Organizing Committee Chairman called upon the BOAH Chairman, Mr. Steven Sekhar to give his opening message. Mr. Steven Sekhar thanked God for the role of the BOAH. He shared that the History Forum is a platform for us to review, understand and move forward in the mission and purpose God has for TAC in Malaysia. Therefore, it is imperative that we understand our roots; the burden, passion and love our forefathers had for the church and reflect where we are today and the direction we are heading. He hoped the forum will enable us to listen and discern through the speakers the voice of God and for all of us to be revived. The 2nd session of the TAC History Forum 2017 for the remaining Central, Selangor, Southern and Eastern Districts was held on Saturday, 20th May at Wesley Kuala Lumpur with exactly the same theme and speakers. Mr. Guna David who is also the Organizing Committee Chairman welcomed everyone and informed that the forum would be from 9.00am to 3.00pm. Thus, the time given for each speaker had to be shortened but nevertheless the content would be similar with the session in the Northern & Perak District forum. Without any delay the Eastern Dist. Choir with Rev. Doraiseelan John was invited to start the session with a short Praise and Worship session and the opening prayer. The keynote address, entitled ‘Looking Back to Look Forward’ was presented by Rev. Victor Vethamani. He emphasized that only when we look back in history, we will begin to understand our present situation better and get a clearer direction for the future. At the onset, Rev. Victor informed that our Methodist Church in Malaysia and conferences have adopted the American system. He explained that based on the biblical perspectives, God’s caution, command and the 6

aim of writing history becomes clear. It is to see what God has done and seek to give Him glory. The reason why we should look back is because it helps to sharpen our vision. God in His time and through His chosen servants takes the initiative to reach out to His people. These testimonies help us to understand God’s design and intent. The first missionaries; Rev. James Thoburn and Rev. William Oldham arrived in 1885 to Singapore and the first sermon preached was from Zechariah 4:6, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord’. There was much more information shared on the following titles; The Early Commendable Endeavors, Role of Retired Pastors & Pastor-Teachers, Role of foreign missionaries and TAC since 1976; we see growth in properties, MMM, Pastors, churches, Bible women, Youth Camps & Young Adults. From the 1950s the Tamil’s cry was to come apart to focus on our own needs and to build. Today, as we move forward, we have to seriously consider the coming together of the churches, be united in ministry, as well as being in partnership with the many new independent churches which are existing for God’s Glory. History should keep us informed about our roots and inspire us to greater heights. We should be sensitive to the new instructions God gives and remember the words of John Wesley, ‘The best is yet to be’, always working to bring greater glory to God. Next Rev. John Kovilpillai took the floor, he started his sharing with the following words, ‘With profound gratitude and thankfulness to God and great reverence to the respectful memory of those who labored faithfully in the Malaysian Methodist, I share the mission of the TAC Missions in Malaysia.’ Our history is always connected with the Malaya Annual Conference, mainly English speaking Methodists. Besides forming local congregations the Mission spread overseas. Rev. S.S. Pakianathan founded the Tamil periodical, ‘Light of Salvation’ in 1934. Since we were part of MAC with majority English speaking members, the Tamils were not able to fully participate in the day to day affairs of the church and give able leadership. Rev. V.A.Chelliah was responsible for the gathering on 12 th December 1958 in KL to form the Tamil work committee. In 1967, after a Nationwide Evangelistic Mission tour of the country at Port Dickson, Dr. Samuel Kamaleson challenged the Tamils, “Who will preach the gospel to the Tamils, but the Tamils”. Rev. John shared his own personal testimony and recalled the prayer meeting at P.D. Beach which was very significant in the decision to form the TPAC. He recalled how he too could 7

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