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02.08.2016 20:54:47 346x read.
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Daily Report Congregational Conference and Formators' Meeting 2016 at Syalom Retreat House in Bandungan, Indonesia.

The Outing of ConCon and Formator’s Meeting.
After five days meeting, the participants of Conngregational Conference and Formators Meeting had an outing. They visited some places at Semarang. The outing start on 09.00 from Bandungan. 
Sam Poo Kong, the oldest Chinese temple was the fisrt destination of the outing. Sam Poo Kong  also known as Gedung Batu Temple, is the oldest Chinese temple in Semarang. Originally this Chinese temple was established by the Chinese Muslim explorer Zheng He (also known as Sanbao), it is now shared by Indonesians of multiple religious denominations, including Muslims and Buddhists, and ethnicities, including Chinese and Javanese.
The foundations of Sam Poo Kong were set when Chinese Muslim explorer Admiral Zheng He arrived in the western part of what is now Semarang via the Garang River; the year is disputed, with suggestions ranging from 1400 to 1416. After disembarking from his ships, Zheng found a cave in a rocky hillside and used it for prayer. He established a small temple before leaving Java, but having grown fond of the area his deputy Wang Jing and several crewmen remained behind. A statuette of Zheng was installed in the cave.
The original temple was reportedly destroyed in 1704, collapsing under a landslide. In October 1724 the temple was completely renovated. A new cave was also made, located next to the old one.
The Sam Poo Kong temple complex includes five temples in a mixed Chinese and Javanese architectural style. The temples are Sam Poo Kong (the oldest), Tho Tee Kong, Kyai Juru Mudi Temple, Kyai Jangkar Temple, and Kyai Cundrik Bumi Temple. An additional worship site, Mbah Kyai Tumpeng, is also located within the complex. The buildings are spread over 3.2 hectares.
Tho Tee Kong (also known as Dewa Bumi Temple), is located just within the large gate at the northern end of the complex; it is used by those who seek the blessings of the earth god Tu Di Gong. Next to Tho Tee Kong is Kyai Juru Mudi Temple, the burial site of Wang Jing Hong, one of Zheng He's deputies. It is often frequented by people looking for success in business.
The main temple is built directly in front of the cave, located south of Kyai Juru Mudi. In the cave itself are an altar, fortune-telling equipment, and a small statue of Zheng He; underneath the altar is a well that is said to never go dry and to be capable of healing various ailments.Before the 2002 renovations, the temple measured 16 by 16 metres; it now measures 34 by 34 metres.
Further south is the Kyai Jankar Temple, named after a sacred anchor used by Zheng He which is held inside. The temple also contains an altar to those of Zheng's crewmen who died while fulfilling their duties. The southernmost temple is Kyai Cundrik Bumi, which is used to worship a weapon used by Zheng. Nearby is Mbah Kyai Tumpeng, a prayer site used by people wishing for their well-being.
After one hour had visitted the Sam Poo Kong the participants went to another destination. The second destination was the old church that is wellknown as Gereja Blenduk (Blenduk Church) in the old town of Semarang. This anchient church is The Immanuel Protestant Church of Western Indonesia (Gereja Protestan Indonesia Barat Immanuel). This church was built in 1753. It is the oldest church in the province.
The octagonal church, built on a stone foundation and with single-layer brick walls, has its ground floor at street level. It is topped by a large, copper-skinned dome, from which it gets its common name; the Javanese word mblenduk means dome. The dome is supported by 32 steel beams, 8 large and 24 small. Two towers, square at the base and slowly rounding until topped with a small dome, are located on either side of the main entrance, while a cornice consisting of horizontal lines runs around the building; Roman-style porticoes covered in saddle-shaped roofs are located on its eastern, southern and western faces. Blenduk also features etched and stained glass windows, as well as wood-panel double doors at the south-facing entrance.
There is beautiful park at the east of the Blenduk Church. After enjoying the ancient churc some brothers took some pictures at some part of the park. There were two antique bicycles there. Some brothers took some pictures int the pose of riding on the antique bicycles.
The last destination was the Buddist pagoda in Watugong, at the south of Semarang. The pagoda is offered to the god of compassion, God Kwan Sie Im Po Sat who is famous known as God Kwan Im. The pagoda islaid in the area of Vihara Buddhagaya Watugong.
Watugong is the name of a region in the south edge of the city of Semarang. His name is as unique as the iconic area, which is a stone shaped gong (traditional Javanese instrumen). That is why the local community while fostering a highway in the region called "Watugong" or stone like a gong. 
This monastery was abandoned for about 8 years but now revived under the guidance Sangha Theravada Indonesia. The beauty of the monastery tower plus unique exterior building ornamentation has attracted many travelers and pilgrims. There are two main building which is very popular at this vihara, that are Pagoda Avalokitesvara and Vihara Dhammasala. 
Pagoda Avalokitesvara also wellknown as Pagoda of compassion (Pagoda Metakaruna). This Pagoda was built for giving honour to the God Kwam Im. There are seven layer of this pagoda. The seven layer is symbolized seven grade of holiness. There 30 statues in the Pagoda. They are the statues of God Kwan Im, We Do, and Amithaba. At the top of the Pagoda there is a pearl of Buddha.
The outing was ended by having lunch together at an exotic restaurant at Ungaran. All the participants enjoy the lunch, not only the delicious of the meal/food but only the beuty of the enviroment and building of the restaurant. 
Reported by. Bro. Michael Sidharta (Indonesia Province)







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