to shine '
The new, beautiful building of Faith Methodist Church and Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church all aglow on the evening of the Consecration Service. - FMC picture.
By THOMAS LING
WAS it coincidental that Bishop Dr Robert Solomon's exhortation
to the congregations of both Faith Methodist Church and Queenstown
Chinese Methodist Church was that we were "called to shine"?
With a spanking new and towering five-storey building shining like a beacon in the neighbourhood, it seems the calling for both churches appears obvious.
After two years of construction, the 400 Commonwealth Redevelopment project was finally completed - as scheduled, and both the churches moved back in December 2003 to resume their ministry and services.
On the evening of Jan 17, 2004, led by Bishop Dr Solomon, both Faith Methodist Church and Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church consecrated their new building to God.
Joining in the service were several guests, who included the Rev Khoo Cheng Hoot, President of the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC), the Rev Dr Isaac Lim, President of Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC), and pastors and leaders of both TRAC and CAC churches.
The worship leaders for the bilingual service were the Rev Kow Shih Ming and the Rev Ho Yu Choy, the Pastors-in-Charge of Faith MC and Queenstown Chinese MC respectively.
Their stirring Call to Worship, followed by the rousing Opening Praise, "Majesty, Worship His Majesty", set the mood for the evening.
For the many members of Faith and Queenstown Chinese MC, the Consecration Service marked the end of an arduous task of reconstruction but signalled the beginning of a new journey of working together as one.
Bishop Dr Solomon rightly reminded the worshippers how " Faith and Queenstown Chinese Methodist Churches were founded in 1966 to reach out to the people residing in Queenstown".
Singapore was then a one-year-old republic, he said, and life was quite different from what it is today. The history of Faith Methodist Church and Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church spans the same period as the history of the modern republic of Singapore.
"The Queenstown neighbourhood has also changed a lot. It has been redeveloped and looks quite different from what it was in the 1960s. Moreover, new housing estates in Ghim Moh, Clementi and Dover have been built around the church.
"The church is today strategically located near major housing estates - not to mention its convenient location near an MRT station - and faces the challenge of reaching out effectively to the hundreds of thousands of neighbours. The opportunities are there.
"Our prayers are therefore with you as you seek to honour Christ by faithfully sharing the Gospel and meeting the needs of the people around you. May the Lord give you much wisdom and faith as you further develop your ministries and witness to meet the challenges of this new century.
"In the process, may the Lord continue to build your church family to be a vibrant community of biblical faith and life so that many people may be attracted to our Lord through your faith, hope and love (1 Thess. 1:3).
"Like the ancient Thessalonian Church, may the Lord's message ring out from you to the areas around your church and beyond, and may your faith in God become known everywhere. (1 Thess. 1:8).
"May the Lord bless you to be His children of the Light as you live in His presence and walk in His Light. Let the Light of Christ shine brightly here "
Having two churches operate out of the same building presents numerous difficulties but the opportunities to work together in love, patience and forbearing each other must rightly reflect that unless "love begins at home, we can't be reaching in love to the neighbourhood".
Indeed a high and timely calling as members of Faith Methodist Church and Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church finally came home.
Bishop Dr Solomon (far left) making the Declaration
of Purpose during the Consecration of the Building with Chinese
interpretation by Mr Chan Kok Chuon (next to him). Behind them
are TRAC President, the Rev Dr Isaac Lim, and CAC President, the
Rev Khoo Cheng Hoot. Others in the picture are, from left, the
Rev Kow Shih Ming, Pastor-in-Charge of Faith MC, Mr Jackie Ng
of Faith MC, Mr Liew Kok Lin of Queenstown Chinese MC, and the
Rev Ho Yu Choy, Pastor-in-Charge of Queenstown Chinese MC. - Fairfield
Methodist Church picture.
Thomas Ling is a member of Faith Methodist Church.