Come to a celebration of the Wesleyan heritage
By PETER TEO
IF YOU want to know more about John Wesley and our rich Wesleyan
heritage, and ask questions about our Methodist movement, here
is a great opportunity for you to do so: Come to the Aldersgate
Convention 2002 to be held at Paya Lebar Methodist Church in
Boundary Road every evening at 7.45 from May 21 to 25.
On hand to tell you more know about our Methodist faith will
be Dr Thomas Oden, Professor of Theology and Ethics at Drew University
in Madison, New Jersey, the United States.
The theme for the Aldersgate Convention 2002 is "The Tradition
of the Church from a Wesleyan Perspective". The convention
aims to help church members explore scriptural holiness and Christian
discipleship in our Wesleyan heritage, and bring the Methodist
family together each year in this church-wide event.
A highlight of the convention is the bilingual (English and Chinese)
Aldersgate Service on May 24 at 7.45 pm, at which Dr Oden, an
experienced teacher and prolific writer, will speak on "The
Church and Sanctifying Grace".
The week-long event, organised by the Bishop's Office at The
Methodist Church in Singapore's headquarters, will not be just
a series of talks but also a celebration of joy. There will be
a time of discussion and interaction, and there will be congregational
singing of well-loved, beautiful hymns written by Charles Wesley.
Every evening, a choir from a local church will perform before
Dr Oden speaks.
On May 21, the Paya Lebar Methodist Church Choir will sing. It
will be followed by Ang Mo Kio Tamil Methodist Church Choir (May
22), Charis Methodist Church Choir (May 23), and Telok Ayer Methodist
Church Choir (May 24).
The Charis Methodist Church Choir will present an anthem, "And
Can It Be That I Should Gain". This well-loved Charles Wesley
hymn, written after his "heart-warming" experience
on May 20, 1738, expands on the immeasurable love of God.
Mr Noel Ong, the choir's resident accompanist, told Methodist
Message: "This new arrangement by Mark Hayes opens with
a triumphant beginning and a lovely middle section focusing on
God's infinite grace and concludes with the resounding statement
on the amazing love of God."
For music lovers, more treat is in store. Aldersgate Convention
2002 will round off with a Wesleyan Hymn Festival, put together
by the Methodist School of Music with participants from our local
churches from the three Annual Conferences.
The Combined Choir, to be accompanied by an instrumental ensemble,
will render 14 hymns, some of which will be sung with the congregation.
The Festival will open with the introit, "Praise the Lord
Who Reigns Above". The hymns will include "O For A
Thousand Tongues To Sing", "Christ The Lord Is Risen
Today", "Spirit of Faith, Come Down" and "Come,
O Thou Traveller Unknown".
Two of Charles Wesley's hymns will be sung to the tune composed
by our own Methodist, Mr Lim Swee Hong. They are "Jesus,
Lord, We Look To Thee", which will see the congregation's
participation, and "Blest Be The Dear Uniting Love",
which will close the Festival.
The Festival's musical directors are Ms Mary Gan, Principal of
the Methodist School of Music, and Mr Yusuf Kam, of Wesley Methodist
Chuch. Dr Evelyn Lim is the organist.
The Methodist Book Room (MBR) will set up a stall to display
books written by Dr Oden, as well as books on the life and work
of the Wesley brothers and on the Wesleyan heritage. All these
can be purchased at special prices, and orders for more can be
made on the spot.
Among the books written by Dr Oden that MBR has in stock are
"Requiem: A Lament in Three Movements", "After
What?", "Two Worlds", and "The
Transforming Power of Grace", one of his most well-known
So, make a date with the Aldersgate Convention 2002 from May
21 to 25 at 7.45 pm every day. Admission is free, but please
try and car-pool and park in lots near by as Paya Lebar Methodist
Church has limited parking space. Come, people who are called
Methodists. Come, listen and enjoy!
JOHN WESLEY'S EARLY
LIFE AND THE BEGINNINGS OF METHODISM