Dedication Service 2017 – “Year for Those with Special Needs”
The dedication Service of the Ceylon Bible Society took place on the 14th of January 2017 at the St. Luke’s Church Borella and it started at 9.30. The opening prayer and welcome was delivered by the President of the Ceylon Bible Society Mr. Sriyantha Seneratne. Mrs. Samudrika Lihiniyakumara welcomed those present on behalf of the General Secretary and staff of CBS. The opening hymn was “To God be the Glory”. All hymns sung were written by Fanny. J. Crosby also known as Frances Jane Van Alstyne who is a blind songstress. The Bible reading was from 1 Corinthians 13:3-13 and it was expressed in Sign Language and Braille by two students from the School for the Deaf and School for the Blind respectively. The Blind school choir sang “Pass me not O gentle Saviour” as special item. They brought tears of Joy to people’s eyes with their rendition of the song.
Ms. Kruthagna Nadini Perera gave the first messages. She introduced Special Needs and the Church’s responsibility towards those with special needs. She is a Speech Pathologist and a researcher on Childhood disabilities. She is also a member of the General Council. Her message was very insightful and gave us some points to ponder upon. Then the Church of the American Ceylon Mission sang; the Tamil version of the hymn “Blessed Assurance” which was the 2nd item. Mrs. T. Joyleen Rebecca gave the second Message on the theme Special needs and the Christian Organization’s responsibility towards helping those with Special needs. She is a Master facilitator in Training in the CBS Special Programme “Healing the Wounds of Trauma” which is a programme under the theme “Bible and the Family.” Her message to us was very inspiring and thought provoking. It was given in Tamil Language and Mrs. Sugi Thevabalasingham read a translation written in English which was a synopsis of the message. Rebecca works for LEADS/ESCAPE in the Child Protection Department.
The 3rd Special Item was “Jesus Keep me near the Cross” which was sung by the St. Luke’s Church Choir. This song is a personal favourite among many churchgoers. Next Mrs. Lakshani P. Fernando General Secretary gave her message which was also very inspiring to us all. Next was the Offertory Hymn which was “I am Thine O Lord”. This is a Hymn usually sung during funerals but it can be used at any other time too. The Offertory prayers were delivered by the Very. Rev. Dr. Daya Shelton Welikadaarachchi– Rector Deva Dharma Nikethanaya and the Chairperson of The CBS Translations Committee and by Mrs. Jayanthi David President of the Women’s Committee. The Staff of CBS sang the Bi- Centenary Theme song of the Bible Society. The closing prayer and Benediction was delivered by Rev. Niroshan De Mel, Parish priest of St, Luke’s Church, Borella. The Salvation Army Band provided the music during the service.
There was time of Fellowship after the service and the Dayamina Centre for Special Children with needs presented a Dance to “Lord I come to you”.
During the dedication service the Book of Isaiah in an Audio format was launched and was prayed over by Ven. Sunil Ferdinando Archdeacon of Galle. This is part of the “Talking Bible project’’ recordings made especially for those who cannot see or who cannot read in Sinhala using the Sinhala Old Version(1938) Bible. This CD contains the book of Isaiah in straight reading format which means the entire book is read as it is and recorded. The voice behind the recording is Kalabushana Givantha Arthasad who is also a media personality and is known among the children as Kathandara seeya. The book was sponsored By Mr. Denzil and Mrs. Shiranthi Perera, Mr. Dilshan and Mrs. Tani Perera and Dr. Suren and Mrs. Shehani Peters and their families