By Robin Gomes
As restrictions to contain the spread of Covid-19 continue in Malaysia, the Institute for New Evangelization (INE) has initiated a weekly online forum for four weeks, entitled, "Cast the Net on the Net".
Begun on April 29, the forum every Wednesday involves a maximum of 30 people, who meet for an hour on the Zoom teleconferencing platform. Participants interact, dialogue and share ideas with the speakers who come from various sectors of the Catholic Church of Malaysia.
The forum has two sharing sessions with question and answer segments.
Formation of evangelizing leaders
INE chairman Simon Wong said that the forum style allows participants to engage better with the speakers as it provides room for dialogue and sharing of ideas.
While offering a space for dialogue, he said "Cast the Net on the Net" also aims to contribute to the formation of leaders who are dedicated to the evangelizing mission of the Church.
“We know that many Church leaders have done a lot of good work during this crucial period, and therefore it would be a great chance to give them a platform to share their stories,” he said.
“We hope that through the sharing of diverse experiences and ways of being effective disciples on mission, forum participants will be able to assist those around them in their own way.”
Wong said that the forum might be extended, subject to the current situation and the availability of speakers, opening the invitation to all Catholics to join and communicate with the speakers.
The first online forum saw Christine Ho from the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit (CHS) in Penang sharing about the parish’s COVID-19 outreach programme, and Daryl Tan from the Campus Ministry Office of the Diocese of Malacca Johore highlighting efforts in reaching out to tertiary students.
The second forum on May 6 revolved around the use of social media, with Carmelita Xavier presenting on using this tool to promote Jesus and Martin Jalleh sharing ways of evangelising on Facebook.
The upcoming forums on May 13 and May 20 will feature speakers such as Elizabeth Lopez, Anthony Lim, Adrian Ho and Annie Ling covering topics on enhancing one’s spirituality and faith through online resources.
Covid-19 emergency extended
The Malaysian government on Sunday announced an extension to the relaxed lockdown of another four weeks to June 9.
Malaysian health authorities on Tuesday reported 16 new coronavirus cases, the lowest daily increase since the government’s Movement Control Order (MCO) imposed curbs on movement and businesses to contain the virus on March 18.
The new cases bring the cumulative total to 6,742 cases. The health ministry reported no new deaths, keeping the total number of fatalities at 109.
Existing rules include practicing strict hygiene, social distancing, school closures across the country and the continued shut down of Malaysia's borders, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said in a televised address on Sunday.
Those wishing to join "Cast the Net on the Net" need to register themselves by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0124011567, after which they will receive a Zoom meeting ID and password for the forum.