dawn shadow painting

In 1992, the St. Andrew’s Cross was installed. The Cross is a replica of an 18th century brass altar cross found in the ancient church of Llandyfrydog on a wind-swept western isle in Britain. The Cross has been handcrafted by Malaysian Chinese carpenters from nyatoh, a local hardwood, and its unusual design is a variation of the Crux Immissa (Latin Cross). The terminal circles represent the Universe and the squares the Earth, with the centre circle representing Jesus Christ our Lord. (The original has a large ruby in its centre suggesting the Divine Blood of our Lord). Around the centre are tour triangular shapes representing the Evangelists.

The last decade of the 20th century saw a rapid increase in the number of worshippers, and it was decided that there should be two services on Sunday mornings. The 8.30am service was dubbed “Traditional Family Worship” and at 11.00am, “Contemporary Family Worship”. This positive trend continued and by 2002 it was necessary to introduce a third service at 9.45am as the numbers attending the 11.00am service were exceeding the capacity of the sanctuary.

The Church also came up with a new constitution that spells out clearly the categories of membership available and the organisation of the Church. Together with the new constitution, a new Mission Statement was created and it is believed that the Mission Statement marks a new period in the unity of the church and the commitment of the members to Mission. At the same time, members are reminded that every one is a minister. This period also saw a number of pastors and interim pastors serving the Church for short periods of time.

One important milestone in the life of the Church is the strong leadership of the Church, with an increasing number of Malaysians providing leadership as Elders and Deacons. In terms of membership, the number of Malaysians at St. Andrew’s has now exceeded the expatriates, but the expatriate community continues to regard St. Andrew’s as a spiritual centre and this fact was made apparent when St. Andrew’s hosted a memorial worship service for the victims of the September 11th attacks on the United States.

Music plays a vital role in the life of the church, with the choir and individual members helping to make the worship services brighter and more edifying. Special services led by the choir and musically-talented members are held regularly. The International Christmas Carols Night held during the month of December is also an important event in the church calendar.

The Church grounds have undergone a transformation with better landscaping and the children now have a playground to occupy them. The physical rejuvenation of the Church is especially evident in the restoration of the Church Pipe Organ, which required international help. The air-conditioning of the sanctuary was a welcome respite to the Pastor and members as Kuala Lumpur is now a large city and the din created by a bustling city can be rather disruptive, even on a Sunday morning.

The new challenges of the 21st Century include strengthening the leadership of the Church and coping with new ministries, especially those directed at the youth and young adults. The economic turmoil in Asia during the last few years of the 20th Century has not affected the ministry of the Church but the expatriate community has dwindled as a result. It is an exciting time for St. Andrew’s and there is bound to be a transformation of its life and ministry in the years to come.