CERC celebrates Family Day
13 Oct 2022
At CERC, say the words “Family Day”, and the immediate image that comes to mind is the 31st of August, a hot humid morning at the park, with the whole church family, along with picnic mats, food, and cold drinks, and games of course. This year’s Family Day was extra special for many in CERC – it was the first in 3 years since the pandemic, and it was CERC’s 14th birthday.
Traditionally, CERC’s Family Day was born in conjunction with celebrating the Foundation Day of the church. As is the nature of any celebration, it was an avenue for the church to bond over food and fun, to enjoy a morning outdoors together, to give thanks to God for the work He has done and is doing in CERC, and to pray for more years of faithful service to the Lord. Family Day would typically consist of a huge potluck picnic at a park. The sports enthusiasts would play games like Captain’s Ball or Ultimate Frisbee, and it was also a good time to meet people and catch up.
In the last 3 years, CERC certainly has seen growth in numbers – a notably celebratory affair. At this year’s Family Day, you could see plenty of young children gamboling about the playground, babies in carriers or strollers, and mums and dads chitchatting while their children played. You could see fresh new faces, even family members of CERC members and candidates, fellowshiping over good food, and joining in the games.
Wei Wei, a CERC member, shared, “It’s been 3 years since the last Family Day, and I’m excited that I get to chill and have a good morning over food and games, and seeing people I’ve not met before! The church has definitely grown bigger since before the pandemic, and celebrating Foundation Day together today is God’s grace to us – so, happy birthday, CERC!”
His first time at Family Day, Nethaniah, a regular at CERC said, “Family Day is really cool because it’s a rare opportunity we get to meet people from another congregation. We don’t really get to gather as a whole church often, across the two congregations (AM and PM). Even in our own families, it’s not often the whole family gathers for a getaway or outing, so this has been really fun and enjoyable for me.”
The day started out early at 8am in Taman Bandaran Kelana Jaya, a park situated right in the heart of Petaling Jaya. Picnic tables were set up, an array of food laid out, and insect repellent applied. Each Growth Group brought food to share, picnic mats to sit on, and games to play. As more and more people trickled into the park throughout the morning, it was evident that even in the pandemic and with Virtual Ministry, God had blessed CERC with growth – with those who joined the church in the last 3 years, and families with babies born during the pandemic, some of which are now toddlers and preschoolers.
Melissa Oui, a member and one of the young parents in CERC, reflected, “It feels great to be back at Family Day after so long. My firstborn was just a baby back at the last Family Day in 2019 and now I have two kids! Seeing all the old and new faces from different families reminds me to be thankful for God’s faithfulness in keeping and growing His church despite the hardships we have gone through. Here’s to seeing continued growth not merely in numbers but in lives lived out in service to our King.”
As a church, the word “family” takes on a whole new meaning. More than biological ties, the church family is bonded by the very blood of Christ Himself. It is an eternal bond that is stronger than anything else in the world; a unity that lasts forever, because it was purposed by God in love and for His glory. It is a community that sees each other through laughter and mourning, fun and strife, hard work and relaxing times. Nissi, a regular at CERC, reflected upon this point, “It’s nice to see Christians celebrating something like Family Day. We don’t just simply celebrate it but we understand what it means to be truly a family in Christ. And the fact is, as God’s family, we will be together for eternity.”
Joshua Johnson, a longtime member of CERC also shared his thoughts, “It’s nice to be able to see everyone in person (and not on screens anymore), to enjoy a day out together, and celebrate CERC’s birthday together. By God’s grace, it’s been 14 years of ministry in CERC, and we look forward to God’s grace upon us in hopes and prayers that we will continue to celebrate many more years to come as a church.”