By Pastor Melissa Chan
While brainstorming topics that might resonate with the members of our church, someone asked, “Will Malaysia become the next Sri Lanka?” So, I reached out to a childhood friend of mine, Christopher Choong, and asked if he could address this. Our catch-up over Zoom led us to a different perspective, one that I believed resonated with the heart of God.
Chris’s studies revolve around the poor, the marginalized, the ones with little voice. He highlights, to borrow the term, “inconvenient truths” that require justice, compassion, and paradigm shifts. Perfect for Christian conversation!
With this in mind, we organized a Cell Group Network Night (CNN) on 12 August with Chris as our guest speaker. The uniqueness of CNN is that small groups are randomly formed, comprising people from different CGs as well as visitors wanting to experience what CG is like. With 2 years of lockdown and face masks concealing our identities, the CNN’s goal is to rebuild community and friendships.
About 80 participants from 17 CGs attended the session, the second highest number since we started this concept in November 2021. The resounding feedback was that Chris opened our minds to perspectives that we often neglect to talk about. Without conversation, such matters tend to become ‘hidden’ and ignored. While a short conversation at CNN does not make us ‘woke’ per se, it does create interest in looking at our economic policies and bearing in mind that some sectors of societies are totally ignored and unappreciated.
Caregivers who take care of their elderly parents; a parent that forgoes his/her corporate career to raise children; workers who will never climb up the ladder. Every strata of society is contributing to the economy but we only recognize and appreciate those that bring home the moolah. Our worth is measured in ringgit.
Is this right? What needs to change? What does equality look like?
Although there will be no more CNNs in 2022, let us not give up meeting together to have robust conversations outside our CGs. As we return to onsite and face-to-face meetings, may we rekindle community through conversations that challenge our faith and love to grow.
📖 Read Christopher’s papers here.
🙏 Pray for policy makers in the government – wisdom, righteousness, compassion.
💬 Start a conversation with someone on less discussed perspectives.
🪴 Are you in a community, such as CG? If you’re not in a CG, reach out to us and we’ll connect you to a suitable CG.