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新加坡卫理公会华人年议会 Chinese Annual Conference

The Methodist Church in Singapore

C A C

N E W S

第404期 • 5月2016

知不觉我们已经进入5月,快 半年了! 教会和社会5月都有许多节目

和活动,它们都是按着生命的季节精心 为我们准备,我们一定能从中受益。 今年的年会五一庆典定在5月2日 (星期一公假),会友事工部为我们预备 一个非常重要的讲座:《亢奋的恩典——

会 长 的 话

不一样的福音》,分别由马来西亚神学院

张振忠牧师

黄迪华博士以中文开讲,三一神学院谢正 金教授以英文主讲。这题目之所以重要是 因为在新加坡时下有许多信徒被似是而非 的福音困扰,尤其对上帝恩典的理解,偏 离圣经神学的解释,以致我们误以为恩典 是廉价、随意的,这影响教会对传福音、 宣教事工的看法。 今年的5月应该是炎阳高照,气温 会比往年高。这也表示今年5月8日的母 亲节或恳亲日将在热天高温下庆祝。许 多做儿女的会迫不及待为父母安排外出 或餐饮的节目,以表对父母的感恩和爱

五 月

服侍。我也在此感谢她们对华人年议会各 事工的积极参与和支持。 5月15的主日是圣灵降临节,教会传 统都认为这一天是教会的诞生,因为圣灵 在耶稣基督复活升天10天后,降临在凡相

爱 心 亲 情

意。牢记和报答父母及长辈的恩情是基本的人性 表现。当然身为父母的不会期望儿女们只是在5月 请吃一顿“补肥”buffet大餐,更重要的是他们 在儿女眼中和心里仍然被惦记和关爱。“常回家 看看”不只是在中国的口号,也是对忙碌的新加 坡人的重大提醒。爱,不要只停留在口里,用行

信耶稣基督的人身上,使他们不止经历圣 灵内住在我们心里,同时也领受圣灵赐给 信徒各种不同恩赐,一起同心建立教会。 卫斯理约翰灵性的复兴,恰好是在1738年 的5月24日,他在参加英国伦敦雅德门街 一间小教会的聚会,听见有人宣读马丁路 德写的圣经罗马书注释的序言时,经历了 内心异常温暖的属灵经验,这个属灵的经 验成为卫斯理生命的转捩点。从此卫斯理 更积极宣传福音,到处布道讲道,引领许 多人归向基督。今天世界各地许多卫理宗 的教会都会在5月24日前后举行聚会,或 举办讲座、布道培灵、庆典音乐会等。新 加坡卫理公会今年也定在5月21日至5月 24日举行一系列的聚会活动,地点选择在 卫理公会感恩堂。有21日的音乐诗歌赞美

会、22日及23日晚上的特别讲座,以及24日的 雅德门庆典感恩礼拜。这些聚会都是免费开放给 大家出席参加。所有的节目消息都刊登在每一间 卫理公会礼拜堂的主日周刊报告,敬请留意。 祝福你有个温馨喜乐的5月!天下的母亲 们,母亲节快乐!■

动关爱我们的父母和长辈吧! 5月8日也是我们华人年议会在教会年历里定 为妇女会主日。这一天我们要强调的是妇女姐妹 的福音事工。她们对教会、社会里的弱势群体的 关怀,在识字教育、卫生福利、扶贫医疗、福音

下期《卫讯》将在 2016年8月出版 / 7月30日特别年议会 召开, 有关代表请出 席,并代祷。

布道、海外宣教以及神学教育培育传道人等的女 界事工贡献良多。她们扮演的角色就像当年在地 上耶稣传福音时,身边有许多妇女信徒的支持帮 助一样。历代教会都一再肯定我们妇女姐妹们的

02 会督的话--上帝在职场中

10 此生不再庸俗/静默的爱

21 Unite as We Ignite

03 基督徒操练自己--朗读和抄写圣经

12 回顾过去,重新委身

22 Meet The President Session

04 "见而信之"与"未见而信"

13 教育者的灵塑

05 百合情缘

14 城市宣教--新加坡

24 What is General Conference all about / The 21st Century Mum in Singapore

06 奉差的宣教士和宣教的教会

15 你了解总议会多少?

26 Lessons Learned from Missions Opportunities Missed in History

08 做主门徒,进入世界

16 大巴窑堂走过的40年 20 Precious Lord, Take My Hand

28 I Visited Jesus in Prison

09 外面下着雨

沟 通 讯 息

促 进 了 解

30 My Pilgrimage with CAC

分 享 见 证


2 会督的话

督追随者的事奉舞台不在教会里,而 在教会外。 每逢基督徒想到事奉上帝,常以为自

己的事奉只在教会范围里,如当主日学老师、招 待员、诗班员、委员会里的成员、全职圣工人员 等。这种狭隘的想法把教会变成一个内向独善其 身的个体。圣经其实给我们展现的是一幅迥然不 同的图画。 教会是信徒接受装备去事奉的地方。然而许 多基督徒却误以为事奉是从他们教会牧师、同工 和其他授职人员那里所提供的服事(如祷告、辅 导、教导、讲道),违背了保罗写给以弗所教会 的教导(弗4:11-12)。使徒、先知、传福音的、 牧者和教师是要装备圣徒(信徒),使圣徒能够 成为事奉的人,以建立教会。 为要建立教会,信徒的事奉走出了教会外。 我们一般说在教会里“事奉”是一种误导。教会 里,我们被装备;教会外,我们事奉(即服事)。 当我们无法区分两者的不同时,教会就把注 意力单放在会友的需要上,教会就变成了一间医 院,专顾生病和受伤需长期照顾的病患。相反的, 教会若能察看出不同处,就会着眼于培育和装备会 友,动员他们去寻找、去服事和拯救失丧者。 这种动员,把教会会友带进了职场。柯林斯 字典解释“职场”并不单指“买和卖的商业世界”, 且是“任何意见、想法交流的中心”。换言之,在 这里进行交易的不只是商品,也是思想和价值观。

5 • 2016 •

上 帝 在 职 场 中

黄文合会督

职场不是中立和与道德无关的地方,它可以是 人与人之间互相陷害、高尚的原则被扭曲的邪恶场 所。一个原是倡议改善低收入者工作环境的项目, 可以沦为一个给机构敛财而不是为低收入者带来利 益的腐败财政计划。 因此,教会必须培育和装备他们的会友在这类 的环境里事奉。耶稣说:“你们的光也要这样照在 人前,叫他们看见你们的好行为,把荣耀归给你们 在天上的父。”(太5:16)好行为在那种环境里指 的不是祷告、读经、赞美和敬拜;指的纯粹就是我 们的好行为,不论是秘书、保安人员、维修人员、 销售员、律师、医生或我们可以一展所长的任何专 业;也就是说我们是称职的秘书、保安、维修人员 等等。 我们在自己职场的事奉,就是提供最棒的服务, 借此把荣耀归于我们的天父上帝。 我们往往把属灵的事局限在教会的圈子。然而 保罗在写给罗马基督徒称我们“将身体献上当作活 祭,是圣洁的,是上帝所喜悦的”,就是所谓的“属 灵敬拜”(罗12:1)。 因此,我们进入职场需带着这种态度——我 们的身体在那里是为服事上帝。在哪里工作,哪 里就成了我们以工作来敬拜上帝的地方。由于上帝 在我们里面并通过我们,祂诚然临在也活跃于职场 中。■


非一般物语 3

基督徒

操练自己 ——朗读和抄写圣经

孙爱玲

武吉班让堂

English/Chinese Subtitle),然后举起你双手唱“哈利路亞”

用圣经来抵挡说:“经上记着:人活着,不是

充满,相信周围的人也感觉到。当然也有唱哀歌的时候,伤

单靠食物,乃是靠耶和华口里所出的一切话。”(路4:4,

心的时候,我会唱《我知谁掌管明天》。有声的赞美固然好

申8:3)

所以记住圣经节,把握上帝的每一句话语,是很重

听,无声的举手赞美也很感人,你是否看过聋哑儿童用手语

要的。提摩太也明确指出读经的好处:“圣经都是上帝所

赞美上帝,手的比画使感情十分丰富,也异常美丽。相信你

默示的,于教训、督责、使人归正、教导人学义都是有益

一定有比我更多的赞美见证!

的,叫属上帝的人得以完全,预备行各样的善事。”(提后

■ 抄写经文

3:16-17)

们如何面对生活的种种挑战和磨难?一般我们 会抓住圣经的话语,因为耶稣被魔鬼试探是

的部分。在教堂歌唱,我也喜欢举手赞美上帝,然后圣灵就

我们修身对己,处世对人,蒙教训、受督责、归

正、学义、完全、行善,都要依靠圣经,因此如何把圣经 记住,随时应用,那就必须操练。我们可以通过朗读和抄 写圣经来操练自己,这是基督徒的基本功。

■ 朗读圣经 诵经在佛教和回教很受重视,反观基督教,是否我们 也应该推广朗读圣经?朗读圣经是十分奇妙的,无论你用 什么语言,一个人大声朗读起来,那种圣灵同在的氛围马 上就来了。最近我用粤语读诗篇,感觉很好,就觉得记忆 力强了,为了要读准确粤语字词,得专注和聆听读出来的

抄写圣经和上帝特别亲近,感觉与祂面对面一般,好 像静静在为祂做些什么,又好像再次看到祂的启示和督导。 抄写对手脑的协调有一定的帮助,加强身体的平衡 和思维,加强脑引导手活动的能力,也加强记忆。教会许 多年纪大的弟兄姐妹,小时候写繁体字,可以训练自己, 用繁体字书写,增加字体的美感;如果你学过书法,用隶 书、行书、楷书,甚至篆书,写起来。你可用毛笔,可用 硬笔,或告诉自己,让我买一支好的钢笔或墨水笔写一部 经典——圣经!

词汇和句子,也因此应用大脑的记忆、辨认、纠音,不断

我们不妨先抄写新约的书信,然后是启示录,或者

训练脑力,觉得细胞活了起来。大声朗读,头部、脑部和

旧约箴言和传道书。方法是有时间就抄,自然随意;可泡

口腔鼻腔的发音运动量增加,口齿也伶俐。因此呼吁大家

壶茶,可听音乐,可一边读一边抄。你会发现时间很快过

不妨开声朗读圣经,几个星期后,发现肺活量大增,呼吸

去,而且字体越练越好。可用格子本,用单线本,最好是

更畅通,对上帝的话语特别注意。

空白本子,怎么抄写都行,训练眼和手的直线平衡,也可

最新医学证明:“人在大声朗读时,副交感神经会

加图画。可横抄,可直书,不要用电脑抄写。

加强工作,大脑得到放松,心情爽快了。朗读可以降低血

最近在无印良品店买到一些日本抄写本,有小方格

压。据专家测定,朗读20分钟可以使全身增加10%的热量

本,有空白本,薄薄的精美适中,带在身边也方便,在公

消耗,持之以恒可得到减肥功效;朗读会引起胸腹之间的

园坐下,在林中亭子,在咖啡馆里,抄写起来,都是与上

横膈肌运动,使肺吐纳更多的空气。”(《大声朗读的十

帝亲近的时刻。

大好处》)如果读到好的金句,我们反复多读几次,用朗

约翰福音8:3-11记载,耶稣用指头在地上画字。那时

读记忆法增强我们的记忆,朗读圣经节使我们对经节的记

文士和法利赛人带着一个行淫时被拿的妇人来,问耶稣该

忆加强。

怎么办?按律法这妇人要用石头打死。耶稣却弯着腰,用

在练习朗读时,建议先选诗篇、箴言、耶利米哀歌,

指头在地上画字,他们不耐烦,耶稣对他们说:“你们中

或者诗歌体的文字朗读,如先知书中的祈祷、赞美、歌

间谁没有罪,谁就先拿石头打她。”接着又弯着腰,用指

颂,也都适宜。如果用方言朗读,抑扬顿挫,十分好听;

头在地上画字。耶稣在地上写字,缓和当时对立的气氛,

有些民族语言朗诵也动听,你是否听过印尼话、泰语、韩

他们听见这话,都不定妇人的罪,一个个走出去。因此有

语等语言朗读圣经或唱诗,特别感人,如天籁之声,会听

解经家说耶稣写的是众人的罪。

到流泪!

■ 举手赞美 有一首诗歌称《我要唱耶和华的大慈爱》,凡有感 谢的时候我都要唱它,在公园、在山上举手高声唱。还有 一首《哈利路亚》,你打开视频看“韩德尔哈利路亚大合 唱 ” , 上 面 有 中 英 文字幕( Handel : Hal l el uj ah Chorus,

2000年台湾圣经公会曾发起《千禧年手抄本聖經》运 动。2012年台湾高雄有位弟兄见证抄圣经治忧郁,他历时 近三年,抄写完一整本圣经(约一百万个字),忧郁症更 因此得医治! 如今是个人的推动,希望你由自己做起,抄起圣经来, 把你的笔迹墨宝潇洒地留下吧!■ • 5 • 2016


4 芦苇迎风

“见而信之” “未见而信”

林佑璋

武吉班让堂

基督教是一个极其有信心的信仰,它就是踏踏实实地劝你信,而且直 言不讳地说:“你因看见了我才信,那没有看见就信的,有福了。

督徒是一个有极大信心的群体。整本《圣经》 就是这个空前信心的建立过程,这个千年信心 的建立,是不住地经受考验的。但它至今屹立 不倒,成为“信望爱”的牢固根基。 这个信仰,不需要靠特定的“实体”代以呈现,不需 要靠“因时因地”来进行什么“修正”和“调整”。一本 《圣经》,两千年不变,管你时代如何风吹雨打,“圣经 就是圣经”,不需要七修八补,投人喜好。 你说女性怀孕需要男人的精子吗?没有人说不需要, 但《圣经》却理直气壮地告诉我们,马利亚受圣灵感孕; 历代先知不需要为了“合乎逻辑”而对这一则历史进行什 么“合乎时宜”的修正。 耶稣行神迹奇事,驱鬼逐邪,叫盲者启目,瘸腿行 走,麻风病愈,以及拉撒路死而复活,这连串的奇迹,耶 稣行了。别忘了,当耶稣行这连串神迹奇事的时候,那个 时代是有医学的,是有医生的。在路加福音5:31就提到了 医生说:“无病的人用不着医生,有病的人才用得着。” 可见,那是一个有医学存在的时代,但耶稣一边提醒人 们,有病应寻医之外,又眼看着漫山遍野的有需要的人 群,不由得心生怜悯,行了医治的大能。

有名的怀疑主义者多马,怀疑得极有道理,他一定 要证明。耶稣明白人的内心,终于满足了多马,叫多马服 服贴贴地信了。耶稣时代的百姓是有幸的,因为他们在诸 多的神迹奇事的面前看见了,服了。我不知道,像多马这 位仁兄,如果耶稣不让他看见和摸他手上的钉痕,那么, 他最后能信吗?可能,他逼于无奈,反正你们众人都相 信,我姑且也信吧!但这么“姑且”一下,当然还是充满 许多的猜疑的。但我相信,不管你是如何地疑神疑鬼,像 多马那样的人,他与耶稣同时代,起码也见过耶稣所行的 神迹,如赶鬼驱魔、医瘸治瞎、还有五饼二鱼供五千人吃 饱,这一切都已足够多马去疑转信的。当然,恐怕要有一 段时间。多马看到了耶稣的钉痕,立马便信,否则,就让 他再走二里路吧!保证他也得信。在天底下诸般的宗教 中,万教万宗都知道人的弱点,就是要“看见”,然后才 会信。因此诸教之中才有了门类诸多的“偶像”。满天神 佛都不妨为他们立像塑神,这样,让众人有“凭据”、 有“见”,心便踏实了,便容易去信。连摩西的助手亚 伦,也敌不过众百姓就是要有看得见的“神”,造了一尊 5 • 2016 •

金牛犊,说这是神了。因为百姓就是要看得见,要摸得 着,你不让他们看得到、摸得到,他们就不信。 华人的“神像”不外两类:一是威严,一是仁 慈。神有神威,便有吓唬的作用;神有仁慈,便有 “亲和力”了。这样看见了,人们的内心便产生作用 了。信上帝是一个异类信仰,从来没有人见过上帝, 因此也从没有哪一个“神像”、“神物”像上帝。就 连摩西,恐怕最有福气与上帝面对面了。但是,从圣 经看,摩西登上了西乃山,但肯定还无法看到上帝的 荣光,因为圣经说,摩西上山见上帝的时候,山上有 云彩遮盖,“西乃全山冒烟,因为耶和华在火中降于 山上,山的烟气上腾,如烧窑一般,遍山大大的震 动,叫声渐渐的高而又高”。随后说,“耶和华召摩 西上山顶,摩西就上去”。但随后二者有否面对面的 相见,圣经语焉不详了。 因此,上帝的荣光是一个谜,无人见过。因此世 人也无从雕刻上帝的神像。当然,上帝也坚决反对人 造的神像,因为祂一而再,再而三地警戒世人:不可 雕刻任何的偶像。 基督教不是一个靠特定的什么“神像”来“施 威”或“施恩”行遍于天下的。这是一个极其有信心 的信仰,它就是踏踏实实地劝你信,而且直言不讳地 说:“你因看见了我才信,那没有看见就信的,有 福了。”(约20:29)。进一步讲得更深刻了,耶稣 说:“看见你们所看见的,那眼睛就有福了。我告诉你 们,从前有许多先知和君王,要看你们所看的,却没有 看见,要听你们所听的,却没有听见。”(路10:24) 见了,相信了,不出奇;未见,却相信了,这就 大大的“出奇”。从“见而信之”到“未见而信”, 这是一个信心的大工程,也是每一个基督徒生命的大 转折。希伯来书(11:1)有一句话讲得十分抽象却也 十分的有“底气”,说的是,“信就是所望之事的实 底,是未见之事的确据。” “所望之事”与“未见之事”,停留在思维上 是处在“虚”的层面,但信仰却给之提供了坚实的根 基:“实底”、“确据”。正是这结实无比的话概括 了天底下一切基督徒信仰的磐石和坚实的根基啊!■


情缘

百合

主耶稣是我良友,有主胜得万有, 万人中救主是我最好灵友; 主是谷中百合花,我惟一需要祂, 祂能洗净我使我圣洁无瑕。 悲伤时祂来解忧,患难时祂保佑, 一切挂虑全放在主肩头。 副歌:主是晨星灿烂光华, 是谷中百合花,万人中 救主最美好,我爱祂。

活节总让我想起初信主 时“谷中百合花”这首圣 诗。主日学老师说百合花 除了象征纯洁,也是耶稣复活的象 征。特别在欧美地区,复活节时百 合花束经常出现在教会与基督徒家 庭中。那个年代,在新加坡很难找 到百合花,每当有机会遇见时,我 们都很欢欣,也疼惜地摸一摸柔和 的花瓣,嗅一嗅清淡的花香。在中 国,百合花是母爱的象征。在古罗 马和希腊的婚礼上,百合花象征着 纯洁和天真,用百合花配有麦穗作 为新娘的头饰,寓意着五谷丰登, 百年好合。 说到百合花,对潮州人来说, 我从小的记忆是每逢大年初七,家里 食用一样特别的菜肴“七样菜”,一 年只有这特别的一天,选用七样不 同的菜混合煮成一道佳肴;这七样 菜是:萝卜、厚合菜、葱、大蒜、 韭菜、芹菜、春菜。因为萝卜取 “清白”、韭菜俗称久菜,与春菜一 样取“长年回春”;葱取“聪明”; 芹菜取“勤劳”;大蒜、厚合取 “诸事合算”。在食用前长辈总要 说:合家清清白白,新年回春,聪 明勤劳,诸事合算,百事无忌。这 七种菜配合在一起,味道怎样是其 次,主要目的是为了过年图个吉 利。当中有些菜可以按照各地的风 俗和口味,灵活搭配。

杨姿英

培训部执行干事 我印象最深刻的一样菜;因为它是 花也是菜。在成长的过程中,我发 现妈妈竟然常常用花养育我们,每 一天我们饮用菊花茶,偶尔喝茉莉 花茶、金银花水、金针花汤…… 看金庸大侠的《书剑恩仇录》 时,发现了香香公主这位单单吃花 的人物,也看见了我们周围好些朋 友也是在各自妈妈呵护中饮用花草 长大的孩子……祝天下所有以爱养 育孩子的妈妈“母亲节快乐”。 今年四月到六月,我们生命 中有好些庆典:主耶稣的复活、母 亲节、父亲节,无论是教会或是信 徒的家中,我们都会看见许多别具 意义的花:百合花、康乃馨、满天 星、向日葵……当中百合花居然是 这三个庆典的主题花卉。百合象征 着一个家庭百年好合的祝福,欢庆双 亲节让我们回顾各自成长的家园。 在这个“家家有本难念的经” 的时代里,多花时间阅读或聆听家 庭教育教导是必要的功课,听说世 界知名的黄维仁博士应 Families for Life 的邀请于3月莅新主讲好几场 家庭讲座,期盼那些到现场参加讲 座的群众都得到有益的启发。他对

生活小品 5 于“原生家庭对个人的影响”的教导 (可于Youtube 收听),让我们可以认 真地思考:自己成长的家庭带给自己怎 样的祝福或伤害?自己今天所建立的家 庭又怎样祝福这屋檐下的配偶与子女? 古今许多心理学家或社会学家都有 类似的看见,那些生长在父母具备身心 灵健康,情绪、感情、理性等平衡家庭 中的子女,父母为他们累计许多灵性的 产业,在面对患难、挫折……中可以支 取不尽。那些每场争执都非赢不可的个 体,有朝一日将会输得凄惨不堪。专家 们也提出家庭生活中最佳的保健品是拥 抱、宽恕与致谢。 今天,信了主后的孩子,在回顾原 生家庭时,有些心存深厚的感恩;也有 些沉重叹息,祈愿那些受害人因“在基 督里是新造的人”而晓得体谅家长的不 足或不智,也晓得不幸的过去与记忆是 该丢弃的包袱;避免因自己背负无形的 苦毒,拷贝出与父母同样的枷锁,伤害 自己建立的家庭成员也自焚,更知道要 靠主的厚恩修补自己的缺陷。美丽的百 合与众多的花卉,都穿越层层的沙土石 砾而绽放,至于我们: “主是谷中百合花,我惟一需要 祂,祂能洗净我使我圣洁无瑕。悲伤时 祂来解忧,患难时祂保佑,一切挂虑全 放在主肩头。” 信徒都有一个用挥霍的爱来爱我们 的上帝(《关怀布道法》),使我们成 为灵里富裕的孩子,也领受丰富的能力 去摆平生命中或大或小的困境。但要记 得常常连接于主(约翰福音15:1-4),生命 才有绽放的季节。■

这当中,我妈妈选用了百合 代替萝卜,她认为白萝卜会挑起旧 疾,所以灵活配搭。百合花就成为 • 5 • 2016


6 信仰广场

年,我的美国卫理公会宣 教部邀请我反思普世教会 协进会的宣教部和布道部

的文告: “以上帝的使命开始会引发 从基层开始的教会观。在这理念之 下,不是教会有一使命,而是上帝 的使命拥有教会。宣教不是教会扩 展的项目,而是教会体现上帝在这 世界的救恩。出于这种活泼地传承 使徒传统教会之理解:使徒传统不 仅维护千古的教会信仰,但也参与 了使徒传统的传承。因此,教会主 要和最重要的需要是成为一宣教/传 教的教会。(普世教会协进会的新文 献-共同迈向人生:宣教与福音不断 变化的景观,2012年的宣教和布道 部在希腊发出的文告,第58段)。” 我也在美国卫理公会的宣教刊 物“新世界的展望”(New World Outlook, 2015年, 3-4月) 以自己的 经历,分享对这文告的诠释。来临 的5月,当我准备结束这14年半以 宣教士身份在三一神学院的教学生 涯,并返回加州太平洋年议会牧会 之际,我想与教会进一步反思 “奉差的宣教士和宣教的教会”这 课题。

■ 余清杰讲师和夫婿乔治马曾牧师及公子余翘

奉差的宣教士 和宣教的教会 余清杰博士

三一神学院讲师

5 • 2016 •

“奉差的宣教士和宣教的教 会”是我这些年来从耶稣大使命得 来的领悟: “所 以 , 你 们 要 去,使 万 民 作我的门徒,奉父、子、圣灵 的 名 给 他 们 施 洗。凡 我 所 吩 咐 你 们的,都教训他们遵守,我就 常与你们同在,直到世界的末 了 。”(马太福音 28:19-20)耶稣 的大使命对于我以及教会至少有以 下几重意义:

去—使万民作主门徒,是基督 门生的召命 自使徒行传开始,宣教一直是 圣灵在教会使基督徒走出教会的运 动。圣灵差遣基督徒和教会走进世


信仰广场 7

我常常以特蕾莎修女办公室一个匾额上的 文字作为我的座右铭:随时屈服于上帝;然

后向主祷告:耶稣你可以随意差遣我。 界、社会、各角落到形形色色的人 群中,使耶稣成为世界上的光。去 传教、去宣教、去教导、去使万民 作主门徒,是耶稣给所有基督门生 的呼召和命令,让我们尝尝主恩以 及体会与上帝同工的荣幸和意义。 我很感恩,已故的陆清华牧师 给我们很扎实的理念:基督徒的终 身职业就是传耶稣的大使命,糊口 的职业是副业,不是正业。因此, 这些年我一直在问主:我以及教会 要如何将福音以不同的形态和方式 传达?教会如何避免封闭心态,去 使万民作主门徒?又或者,我们需 要如何在这股移民风潮,欢迎圣灵 的工作,去使这些移民也参与圣灵 的运动?所以,我去了好几间神学 院装备自己、在不同教会牧会、十 多年在神学院教书、随时随地为主 作见证、及以微不足道的爱心关 怀,我都认为是回应主的召命— “去”。因此,我感恩美国和新加 坡的教会给于我和我先生乔治∙马曾 牧师(Rev George R. Martzen) 的爱心支援,特别五年前的抗癌, 满满地领受大家的祝福和代祷,让 我还可以“去”,继续被主差遣。

这召命要求基督门生顺服上帝 来随意差遣他 基督门生回应上帝需要磨练 顺服又顺服。但是,不愿意顺服主 呼召的,耶稣就不会差遣,也不能 使用他们。我常常以特蕾莎修女办 公室一个匾额上的文字作为我的座 右铭:随时屈服于上帝;然后向主 祷告:耶稣你可以随意差遣我。 我很感恩,可以让耶稣随意差遣 我:1981年派司到实兆远的二条路

五条路教会牧会,1984年到台湾神 学院深造和服事,1986到美国深 造,1987年被委派为美国长老会 的宣教士,1988年到加州开始博 士班和一连串的牧会服事机会;然 后,2001年又来到了新加坡。虽然 如此,我深深体会也汗颜,基督门生 包括我自己和教会都是那么容易固执 己见,甚至有时还成为绊脚石,绊倒 自己和别人,主再来时何以交差?所 以,在离开新加坡前,如果我们欠缺 谦卑和顺服主,祈盼教会、学生们和 同工们包容我和先生。

基督徒欲实践耶稣的大使命, 就必须是能屈能伸的宣教士 基督徒如果要真的实践耶稣的 大使命,就必须是奉差的宣教士, 因为耶稣本身也是奉差的宣教士, 去传天国的福音。祂带着门徒走遍 加利利和耶路撒冷,并向他们示范 如何生活起居。而我们卫理公会牧 师们的派司制度和传道的实质也提 醒我们,牧师和信徒们都是奉差的 宣教士。但这奉差不是流浪没有家 或不断跳槽,也不一定是跨国界, 或受委派;而是假设我们是耶稣的 脚,常常顺服圣灵的引导,通过形 形色色的模式,去做没有人为耶稣 做的事,去那缺乏工人的工场, 去到天涯海角传福音没有到过的地 方;然后回来激励教会及接受教会 的鼓励。基督门生不奉差就不是宣 教士,没有了耶稣的呼召和差遣。 但是,奉差也是一双向的运动。 奉差出去的宣教士也要奉差回来, 让教会受益和激励更多人愿意被主 差遣,扩大信徒的视野和信心。虽 然我很喜欢在神学院参与准备天国

工人的服事,也感谢主通过教会和 神学生磨练我,如果按照自己的意 愿,是何其希望留在新加坡;但主 提醒我奉差出去,也要奉差回来, 所以我们唯有遵命。

宣教的教会—借着奉差的宣教 士体现基督使命 普世教会协进会的文告提及 “不是教会有一使命,而是上帝的 使命拥有教会。宣教不是教会扩展 的项目,而是教会体现上帝在这世 界的救恩……因此,教会主要和最 重要的需要是成为一宣教/传教的教 会。”这文告意义深长,教会可有 反思教会的主人是谁?教会有无回 应上帝呼召去传教和栽培门徒?不 是教会拥有什么大梦想,或是在宣 教事工作出多大的预算案,而是由 于我们要体现上帝多伟大。宣教也 不是教会为着增加经济预算的扩展 项目,而是教会体现上帝在这世界 的救恩,借着奉差的宣教士体现谁 是教会的主人,教会听命于谁,是 否体现基督使命。因此,不是教会 的经济能力决定上帝的事工,而是 上帝的呼召决定我们不能不宣教, 不能不顺服主去怜悯和关怀那些需 要福音的人群,不能不跨出信心之 步,让上帝可以大大动工。 这些年来,我很感谢主,从跨 出马来西亚、回来新加坡又即将回 去美国,深深体会教会要持续成为 宣教的教会都需要莫大的信心,相 信上帝会供应,会带领,会开路, 在祂没有难成的事,必会补足我们 和教会的不足,让人可以见证上帝 的作为。当日我回来三一神学院教 书时,有学生谢谢我回应上帝的呼 召回来。今日我们回去美国牧会 时,盼望可以激励教会和信徒: “让上帝的使命拥有我们吧! 让主可以随意差遣我们吧!”■

• 5 • 2016


8 信徒分享

做主门徒, 进入世界 ——福灵堂红绿本门徒 课程结业学员感言 《绿本门徒》学员感言 ▶余素馨

■ 绿本门徒聚精会神

上课、分享的情景

透过课程也让我学习彼此分享 圣经信息、互相关心和鼓励,并在 属灵操练和代祷中并肩成长。 愿上帝的话常存在我的心中, 成为每天的提醒,使自己能以生命 来影响他人的生命。

这次参与《绿本门徒》的研 习,我得着的是做主门徒,必须先 塑造内在的生命。

▶ 张碧珠

课程中教导我们要研读圣经, 扎根真道,认识这位全能的上帝, 祂是创始成终的神,所说的每一句 话都必要成就。

感谢上帝让我再次参与《绿本门 徒》的研读之旅。《绿本门徒》让我 体会到:若没有扎根在祂的真道上, 就无法以坚定不移的生命深入世界。

我也再次被提醒要敬畏上帝、 遵守安息日、让上帝在生活中居首 位这些宝贵功课。求主耶稣帮助我 调整自己的生活步伐与价值观,学 习做主门徒,让事奉融入生活中。 一切归荣耀与上帝!

在旧约研读中,令我印象深刻 的是颁布十诫之前提到的经文,深 入明白“一切顺服与遵循的基础是 上帝”,若不是出于祂主动的爱与 救赎之恩,我的服事即没有什么可 夸的。

▶ 程燕英 做主的门徒,不是用嘴巴说说 而已,而是在生活中体现主的爱; 上《绿本门徒》不是要得到学问, 而是想得到激励和胆量来把福音 传。不但用口去宣讲和传扬,也在 生活中实践出来。 对圣经认识是传福音的装备, 而胆量是来自圣灵的带领。愿我所 学的是开拓我对上帝的认识,使我 更能亲近主。谢谢大家的分享所带 给我的鼓励。

▶ 曹福成 每一次上课都是一种享受,非 常珍惜共同欢聚一堂学习的时光。 在这具有意义的课程里,我学习有 计划、有纪律地研读经文,从而加 深自己对信仰的认识。 5 • 2016 •

在新约研读中,我从徒13:2-3 中领悟到要敏锐于圣灵的引导和感 动,事奉与祷告并行。除了要辨明 个人的呼召,教会也要一起的祷告与 辨明。服事者的意愿,不只关乎自己 有感动去行,更要有上帝与祂的教会 所委托的使命,带着教会的支援去成 为别人的祝福,扩展上帝国。

《红本门徒》学员感言 ▶ 杨木清 感谢上帝!好不容易把34课 的门徒课程念完了。其实课程的结 束,并不代表我们真的‘毕业’ 了,而是我们的属灵及委身生命的 另一个开始。 印象最深刻的课程安排就是有 机会去伯大尼疗养院作探访,学员们 都能同心合一的预备礼物、食品、敬

拜的诗歌、见证、分享等等。大家在 过程中经历上帝的带领,以上帝的爰 去关心那些住在疗养院的老人,大家 都有美好的事奉与团契。 在这10个月的相处当中,我们 12位学员也建立了良好的关系,彼 此问候、关怀、勉励、代祷、一同 学习过团契的生活。最重要的是透 过有深度、有规律的圣经研读,使 我们的生命得以更新,灵命增长。

▶ 莫世梅 起初参加《红本门徒》课程 对我来说是不可能的事,因为常常 需要出国工作,同时也参加运动课 程和关心长辈的社区工作。想到参 加《门徒》,第一个反应就是:没 时间!可是,经过祷告和顺服,我 凭着信心报名上课。靠着上帝的恩 典,现在已经完成了 34 课的课程。 这让我学习到只要有渴慕的心,愿 意认识主的话,祂必加添我们力 量,带领我们完成这个课程。

▶ 徐立新 通过上《红本门徒》课程,我 才明白读经的几大要素,从而加深 自己对圣经的理解。上帝知道我的 软弱,就引导我怎样去参与分享和 讨论,互相关心和鼓励,操练代祷 的功课,也经历主在我生命中所做 的善工,改变了我人生价值观。感 谢主。在圣灵的光照下察验自己, 使我看到自己在信仰上,行为上所 犯的过错。“教导”是使我做主的 门徒,“训练”使我走基督徒的道 路。愿上帝的话语时常光照我,让 门徒标志成为我每天的提醒。■


信徒分享 9

外2 面 下 着

014年9月中,虽然雨季尚未临 至,可是我的生活竟“开始下起 雨来”……

那晚我突然失眠,接下来每晚的 睡眠都受到干扰。我开始去看医生, 然而病情却每况愈下。 在一个周末下午,外子建议上山 散心,可是上了山不久,就下起大雨 来,我们只有一把小雨伞,结果都淋 湿了,赶紧到附近的建筑物里避雨。 当时我的思想很灰郁,心想连天父都 不帮我们了,我觉得世界末日到了, 谁在我身边都会被我连累;我不单为 自己难过,也为外子难过。几天前还 是我俩的廿年周年结婚纪念日,可是 我们居然没有庆祝,因为那天的前一 晚我整夜失眠,结果一个浪漫的日子 就在灰郁郁的气氛中悄悄地溜走了。

后来我向医生拿了病 假,那医生开了一种新药给 我。她建议我去公园走走, 或到图书馆看书。我两者都 没做,只想到找好友聊聊, 没想到她因为父亲逝世,没 有及时回电,而外子以为 我真的去了公园,也没打电 刘淑莲 话给我。结果我只身在家, 直落亚逸堂 无意识地在整间屋里踱来踱 去,坐也不是,躺也不是,后来站在门口,望着对面的组 屋,想起外子住在对面的一位生病的好友已有好几年都把 自己关在家里,完全不外出。我想到自己快变成他那样 了,心情顿时掉落到谷底,觉得自己的人生没有希望,没 有意义了,只有一片黑暗及声声哀叹……这样想着想着, 就过了几个小时,外子才打电话给我,要我晚上参加紫本 《门徒》班的最后一课。当晚,大家看到我的异状,不是 热情地拥抱我,就是轻拍我的肩膀。上课时,我虽然不 适,却因为学员们积极上进的分享,心情好转了许多,最 后甚至毕了业。当夜,我吃了新药,结果副作用发作,腹 泻得厉害,整个人毫无力气地摊在墙上;外子醒了,发现 我许久都没回房,就到厕所找我,慢慢地扶着无力的我回 房。这样折腾了一晚,天亮了,想不到更好的方法,只好 入院医疗。可是在医院还是无济于事,当晚我还是失眠, 故决定不作无谓的花费,第二天便出院。 出院后不久,我连续三天彻夜不眠。到了第四天,我 几经辛苦地来到办公室,同工们看到我的样子,晓得我无

法工作,便拉我去看医生。我非常茫然,不知所措, 到底该去哪里看什么医生才对呢?感谢上帝的带领, 最后让我找对了医生。当晚,很奇妙地,我还没吃 药,还没上床,心情却迥然地开始好转,心里也产生 了一点点信心、一点点平安。结果那夜起,我的睡眠 素质改善了很多,也从此有了更多的信心、平安、盼 望与喜乐!称谢主!这一切都源自于施恩典、赐慈爱 的主耶稣基督!后来,有一晚,我特别累,很早就去 睡觉,半小时后,我突然醒了过来,眼前出现异象, 我看到一幅图画,周围是黑色的,当中有很多不规则 排列的红点,当时我心中的意念马上是:“满了”。 第二天,我跟关心我、常常为我祷告、到医院、家中 探望我的牧师提及这个异象,他反问我:“你认为上 帝要对你说什么?”我毫不犹豫地回答:“祂要医治 我。” 当我提笔写这篇见证此日,正是我摆脱安眠药的 第一天(2015年3月6日)。 除此以外,我特别感恩的是,在那半年内,是 上帝圣洁、宝贵而满有能力的话语支撑起我这无力、 无能、无助、无望的生命。犹忆生病初期,我无法带 领小组聚会,外子毅然答应代我领会,故我就很安心 地等待晚上小组的到来。但万万意想不到的是外子竟 然必须加班,无法赴会。当我接到外子电话时,我对 他说:“这是我平生遇到最糟糕的事!”结果,在无 可奈何的情况下,我只好硬着头皮地上礼拜堂。但是 信实慈爱的主并没有撇下我,当晚总组长竟然意外地 出席了聚会,她是上帝差派来的天使,助了我一臂 之力。更令我对主油生感恩之心的是,当晚小组所要 查考的 经 文 成 为 了 我 在 患 难 中 的 帮 助 和 力 量 。诗 篇 69:13 - 提及“上帝丰盛的慈爱及拯救的诚实”;申 命记31: 8写道:“耶和华必在你前面行;祂必与你 同在,必不撇下你,也不丢弃你。不要惧怕,不要惊 惶。”这些圣言实实在在、真真切切地激励了我,鼓 舞了我。我就是凭着上帝的话语存活到今时,并再度 刚强起来的!哈利路亚! 那半年内,我心里一直下着大雨,感谢主的是 朋友乃我的雨伞,其中有一位同工在那时候常常传简 讯给我,她的话语安慰了我,其中有一句说:“不要 急,不要慌,要休息,要知道祂是神!”外子的简 讯也激励了我:“雨后必有彩虹。”现在外面的雨停 了,我的心里出现了绚丽的七色彩虹!这是伟大奇 妙、恩慈施怜悯的上帝给予这个大地和渺小的我宝贵 的应许和赐福!颂赞、荣耀归与祂! ■

—— 写于决志信主30周年纪念 • 5 • 2016


10 人 物 特 稿

此生 不 庸俗 再

————访梅派京剧演员刘明芳 王慧莹

卫讯编辑

刘明芳曾得梅兰芳之子梅葆玖及王志夷等艺术前 辈的亲授,是梅派京剧演员,在京剧界演出30多年, 小有名气。现今为何跨界到另一领域,唱起福音诗歌? 且以传统京剧形式编写了像“一生一世敬拜我神”、 “十字架荣光,照儿勇向前”等10首这类基督教的诗 歌? 不说不知,原来刘明芳来自梨园世家,父母都是 梨园弟子,从小随着父母出入梨园行,耳濡目染,终实 现父母愿望,12岁入科,人小志气大,专攻青衣花旦, 由4年中专剧校,到中央戏曲学院,一步一脚印朝酷爱的 京剧下苦功。在就读时期,她不断鞭策自己,研习梅派 京剧的精髓,以超越父母、师长、同学;她刻苦自励, 且经常不眠不休,不时偷着练功,虽苦含泪也不言累, 此种卧薪尝胆的心志,老師打从心里赞赏。不仅如此, 又加上她天赋条件好,嗓音高亢婉转,扮相甜美秀雅, 奠定了她艺术表演之路。 京剧是中国的国粹,也是综合性表演艺术,刘明 芳练就了一身京剧演员在唱、念(念白)、做(表演)、 打、舞的扎实基本功;每一剧目,少不了都重复演出 200场,通过程式的表演手段叙演故事,刻画人物,才 能达至炉火纯青的地步。在30多年演过的40多剧目当 中,刘明芳偏爱的不外是经典京剧《贵妃醉酒》、 《霸王别姬》和《杨门女将》。承袭梅派典雅、高贵、 大气、含蓄的唱腔,只见眼前的刘明芳来个水袖的姿 势,一把折扇在脸前来去,就把贵妃的醉态娇姿表现得 淋漓尽致,引发我这个京剧门外汉的戏瘾。

事业顶峰遇见主 当时年未过30的刘明芳,事业达到了顶峰,身为 北京梅派京剧演员和中国广播民族乐团的特约演员,在 国家领导、外国使节,以及许多大型文艺舞台上,总少 不了她那圆滑甜美,令人陶醉的嗓音,缺不了她那灵动 洒脱、百媚生姿的身影,满台生辉中赢得阵阵喝彩。 刘明芳人红了,走到哪儿,人群前恭后拥,犹如 旧时官员出行,随从的人很多;而且,她尚有医师和经 纪人贴身照顾,无需劳动自己一根指头。 有一回,纽西兰驻华大使看了她精湛的演出,倾 心不已,信步走到后台,为她安排到纽西兰参加文艺晚 会的演出。这简直是从天上掉下来的好差事,让她兴奋 之极,因这是多少演员梦寐以求的向往。

梨园弟子一身功 北京梅派京剧演员刘明芳的到访,给办公室掀起一阵不 小的骚动。 她一开腔“梨花开,春代雨,主我敬拜您。呼主, 恩典此生只为主父去,到他君王情也痴、情也痴。慈爱 天父,您爱我,天父原样接受了我,长恨一曲千古古, 古谜长恨一曲千古古思……”以难度最大的韵白唱出这 首词曲皆出自她手的“主耶稣我仰望您敬拜您”,含蕴 不尽的醇厚韵味三日绕梁。 5 • 2016 •

2000年,刘明芳在纽西兰的奥克兰市政大厅,将 自己创新的梅派经典名剧,与奥克兰国家交响乐团合作 演出,将京剧传统音乐与西方交响乐两者表现手法融为 一体,演绎了一场撼动人心的表演,获得观众如雷贯耳 的掌声。这天,有个洋人牧师看了她的演出后,来到她 面前,唐突地问了她一句:“你信上帝吗?”“上帝! 这不就是我在京剧里常常开腔唱到的“天啊!” “对啊!你的‘天啊’就是宇宙万物的上帝,你早已把 他们连接在一起了!”接着在牧师的邀约下,抱着单纯 信心,不作他想的刘明芳马上信了主耶稣。第二天就到 教会去做礼拜。


刘明芳虽说信了主耶稣,但因常到海外作巡回演 出,以及国内登台机会应接不暇,造成读经祷告松懈, 教会也没去了;主的道就像撒落在路旁的种子,不是飞 鸟来把它吃掉了,就是太阳出来,因为无根就枯干了。 忙于世上众多事物的她,对于灵里的状况似乎视而不 见。

信 徒 分 享 11

静默的爱 冼榕基 感恩堂

婚姻触礁寻回主 虽说人红了,36岁的刘明芳身边的真命天子一 直都没出现。她开始急了,当有一天出现了这么一个 对象,也不管对方是否和自己拥有同样信仰,就下嫁 了。婚后,她对他百依百顺,从不拂他心意,一心希 望他能相信主。然而随着岁月,枕边人的面目暴露无 遗,对她拳脚相向。一个在人前、戏里都风光的伶 人,台下生命却令人垂泪、神伤。被刘明芳唱遍无数 回的京剧《霸王别姬》里的虞姬随项羽饱受风霜,劳 碌年年复年年,最后与项羽诀别的悲歌,似乎很能描 述刘明芳生命无从安置的凄凉心境;不同的是,此枕 边人非彼枕边人,搞外遇,搞家暴,刘明芳最后含怨 与他离婚,5年的婚姻由此划上休止符。 这场婚变看似危机确也是转机。经历了婚姻的 历练,刘明芳幡然醒悟,终于回到上帝的面前忏悔, 把心交出,天天勤于读经祷告,读到保罗被来自上帝 的光照亮的故事,她仿佛也看见上帝荣耀的光辉,写 下了第一个福音剧目“十字架荣光,照儿勇向前”。 去年她摆下繁琐杂务,跟北京10个牧师去了韩国济州 岛的祷告山,边祷告,边学习敬拜,福音词曲由天翩 然而至,写来全不费功夫。过去,她因长年累月地练 功,脊骨严重弯曲,长期诊治她的医师束手无策的顽 疾,就在祷告山被上帝彻底医治。20天她人在韩国远 离尘世,仍接到不少登台的邀约,可见当她亲近上帝 时,上帝从不让她为工作和经济来源烦恼。以前登台 演出,她和所有伶人最担忧的莫过于患上感冒,导致 嗓子无法发声,刘明芳说她信主后,信心超越了嗓子 问题,忧虑全然消除。

此生为主福音忙

巍峨蜿蜒的山峦 伸展出强壮的双手 热情地环抱着海洋 释放出自由与欢唱 坚固的堡垒 守卫着心爱的子民 抵御顽敌的侵袭 千年不动摇 肃穆的山 万古磐石 永不崩坏的城门 悄然稳健屹立背后 昼夜不止息 聆听细诉和祷告 宽阔的膀臂 雄伟的背影 肩负了烦忧 饶恕了过犯 医治和慰藉创伤的心灵 无限祝福送 宛如美丽浪花的冲击 深切呵护拥 宛如山谷间浑厚低沉的回响 是恩慈的浇灌 是关爱的旋绕 是信实的彰显 流露着静默的爱 是你我永远的依赖

问刘明芳如何看自己的成就,她说过去前半生 的成就皆属世俗的成就,30多年才子佳人宫廷剧目 每唱至悲处,衣袖轻轻一抹,抹去的尽是眼眶里打转 的假泪,一举手,一投足,浮躁中还带着诈。“庸 俗啊!”她一语道尽“人生如戏,戏如人生!”过往 的半生。“而今而后,我的戏是演给上帝看的。”刘 明芳放下满载声誉的京剧演员的身段、自尊、虚荣, 后半生学主样式,活出低调、卑微,以天地为她的舞 台,用上帝所赐予的嗓子和积累的人生经历,到大剧 院、交响乐团、大教会去唱;也到小剧场、小戏园、 小教会,甚至凡夫走卒聚集的公园,舍名、舍利、不 择时、不择地为主、为福音来唱。 “我这一生最大的成就,就是与上帝在一起,成 就祂的华美和荣耀!” 刘明芳沉稳坚毅地说道。■ 印尼语诗班

• 5 • 2016


12 年 会 消 息

回顾过去, 重新委身

林天源牧师 大巴窑堂

————记教牧退修会

■ 众教牧为张振忠会长祷

■轻松游戏——考考教牧对各堂会成立的年份

年度华人年议会教牧退修 会于4月7日至10日假印 尼巴淡岛举行。主题为 “回顾过去,重新委身”。讲员为 华人年议会会长张振忠牧师。共有 47位教牧参与此次退修会,6位华 人年议会办公室同工也随团而行。 退修会首晚,吴丽真牧师以泰 泽祷告会带领众教牧与上帝亲近。 众教牧逐一进前点燃蜡烛,形成的 十字架,让祷告会氛围显得格外神 圣。除了吟唱泰泽诗歌,祷告会也 以各种方言和各国语言诵读经文, 引导教牧默想上帝的话语。之后,祷 告会也为世界、新加坡和教会祈祷。 在第二天与第三天的两讲里, 张会长以约翰福音10章1-5节带领教 牧反省是否是好牧羊人?与羊群关 系如何?是否关顾圈外羊群?能为 羊群牺牲什么?他也以彼得前书5 章2-4节劝勉众教牧在牧养时,要与 羊群建立关系,要甘心牧养羊群, 不贪财,也要建立领头羊与牧者同 工。在第二讲里,张会长则以提摩 太后书1章1-7节提醒教牧要肯定自

来”为题,

■ 牧者们以短剧“过去,现在,未 表现对会友的牧养与关怀。 5 • 2016 •

己牧者的身份和使命,要以刚强、 仁爱与谨守的心去牧养。他也谈到 保罗与提摩太之间的深厚情谊,并 劝勉资深牧者学效保罗栽培年轻牧 者,年轻牧者也要像提摩太给予资 深牧者扶持。 此次退修会亮点之一是“超级 星期六:过去、现在、未来”。分 成六组的教牧以5分钟短剧呈现“过 去、现在、未来”的教会崇拜、牧 养与教会管理方式。结果,创意与 逗趣的短剧,让大家捧腹大笑,也 从中得到不少的省思。 教牧退修会以圣餐主日崇拜作 为结束。廖惠安教区长分享当以上 帝形象创造世界。他谈到我们习惯 性地将人事物改造成“我们”的形 象,而非上帝的形象。我们常以对 与错决定事情。但是对的决定不一 定是满有爱与怜悯的决定。因此, 以上帝的形象创造世界乃是根据爱 以及叫别人得益处来做决定。主耶 稣即是如此。最终,在圣餐中,众 教牧再次立志委身基督、华人年议 会与卫理神学。■


年 会 消 息 13

训部每届“堂会学校教师 证书课程”后,都会为教 师们举办一次静修营,为 的是给教师们的属灵生命提供“加 油站”,成为投入事奉时的激励。 今年静修营已在3月9日至12 日于香港卫理园举行,由属灵导师 吴乃力牧师与特邀讲员慧仪牧师带 领。参加者来自本年会属下各堂共 19位老师,他们教导服事的范围包 括堂会学校、《门徒》、“基督里 的良伴”、小组组长、宣教禾场, 和与培训部有关的事工。 以下是各堂参加者归来的感言:

教育者的灵塑 ————堂会学校教师静修营参加者的感言

▶ 李素勤 芽笼堂 以前学了不少教导的技巧,以 为这次也是老套的技巧学习,没想 到是针对教师的灵塑。让我了解到 教师生命的影响力,也是教导过程 中的重头戏。我原以为充分预备教 学内容最重要,然而,教导内容的 传授、教师自身的生命、教师与学 员的联系,学员与学员的关系…… 这诸多方面应是由教师来整合出一 张网,与学员共同成长。

▶ 徐幼芬 宏茂桥堂

▶ 林宝琪 大巴窑堂

这是一次多么美丽的经历!安 静、独处、与内心世界里的自己对 话和了解,完全毫无保留地跟上帝 面对面,让上帝牵着我的手……这 些,在忙碌的都市生活里,感觉都 是很奢侈的事。在这三天四夜里, 让我在远离世俗繁忙的环境的当 中,平静下来,聆听上帝的话语, 让祂亲自来塑造我的灵,好让我从 新得力,面对这地上的世界。感谢 主,阿们!

这次是非常难得的时光,我很 珍惜;因为在繁忙的工作中能够抽 出时间与上帝相遇,感恩。原先期 待的,就是能够放慢脚步,聆听上 帝的话,这些都已经实现了。

▶ 黄卿卿 芽笼堂 这次最大的得着是我能够在这 美丽的环境当中有平静安稳的心来 亲近上帝。再次深深感受到祂如此 地爱孩子,愿意拣选孩子来更加认 识祂。 这次营会帮助我更加了解到教 育者内心深处的认知和整合自己是 重要的。我了解到自己有很多的缺 乏、软弱和看不到的盲点,盼望以 谦卑的心靠主改变自己,成为上帝 所喜悦的孩子。

营中我学习到上帝告诉我做为 一个老师,常常要省察自己。虽然 有压力,我们仍需常常亲近上帝, 支取力量,这就得透过与上帝独处 的时间。个人与上帝独处不代表孤 僻,乃是要聆听上帝要我们做的。 当我们与上帝建立美好的关系,心 灵必得舒畅,看到自己的恐惧靠主 得胜后,才能帮助学生去面对他的 恐惧,感谢赞美主。

▶ 毛丽妃 女皇镇堂 我的身份是一个教育者。在 忙碌的现实中,我发现自己不知何 时竟失落了那份最初的热忱、理 想。“教育者的灵塑”这个静修会 或者能给我一个安静的空间,让我 重新找回失落的心志?带着这样的 动机,我报名参加。

确实,这环境、这课程以及弟 兄姐妹的鼓励,让我再次经历了上 帝的同在。祂在风中、祂在云中, 祂也在我的生命中,特别在走“明 阵”的时候,当我低头一步一步跟 着“明阵”中的“轨道”走时,我 发现,唯有低着头,慢下来,我才 能走在上帝的轨道中,不偏离,而 最后,我能抵达光明的终点。 但愿离开营会后,我仍能时刻 安静,与上帝亲近。

▶ 林志成 感恩堂 到一个远离喧哗城市的地 方——卫理园来参加静修营,让自 己的心完全放下一切的束缚,与一 群来自不同堂会的弟兄姐妹一起团 契、分享、彼此互相鼓励;享受着 群体生活,也享受与上帝的独处。 把自己的心完全交托给上帝,让祂 来塑造我、陶造我,让我在做教导 时,更明白上帝的心意。

▶ 张雪霞 芽笼堂 感谢主,这次不只是自己,也 与教会的几位组长一起参与静修营。 这次是以主题式分享,针对教 育者的灵性塑造,特别包括安静独处 的指导。期待营会后,我们在一起的 服事,能彼此扶持、劝勉;也个别重 视与上帝独处的时间。 此营会帮助我反省这几天内心 的状况,放下人与事的纠扰,回归平 静,享受与主的独处。■

• 5 • 2016


14 特 稿

城市宣教 - 新加坡 方瑞英/蔡尚志牧师

市宣教,在全球城市化和大迁移的21世纪, 是备受重视的宣教策略。其所涉及的课题广 泛,因篇幅有限,本文只聚焦于新加坡教会 在“使万民作主门徒” 这使命的契机。

城市宣教是具策略性的,因为: ■ 城市有丰富的资源,具备学术、商业、工业、政治和 专业管理机制,也是发挥影响力的地方。 ■ 城市人口密度高,许多居民来自其他省份或国家,和 当地文化、习俗、语言有着很大差异。他们就是大使 命中所指的 “万民”。他们因身份、职业和文化,在 复杂的脉络中常被忽略。 ■ 外族人来到城市,一般上较容易接受新观念,有助于 生命的交流和福音的传递。 ■ 城市宣教可以提供许多渠道,让我们直接参与前线宣 教。我们不需要千里迢迢地飞到国外,就能接触到许 多未得之民。并不是说不需要投入海外宣教,而是我 们可以在城市中全民总动员,以更少的花费来成就既 广泛又持续的前线宣教。 ■ 传统宣教士所必须克服的许多困难,如艰涩的语言学 习和深层的文化适应大大减少。 ■ 教会可持续的栽培、装备万民成为主门徒、宣教士, 并透过他们从各地到全地完成大使命。 城市宣教从早期教会开始,就是传福音的主要策 略。保罗是明显的例子,他的宣教地点集中在地中海的 大城市:哥林多、歌罗西、以弗所、帖撒罗尼迦、加拉 太,最终是罗马。他预期在城市里所展开的福音工作, 必扩展到附近的乡村。 新加坡是个世界瞩目的城市国家,过去20年来开放 的人口政策,更大量引进世界各地族群。据统计,目前 51个族群中约20个是属于鲜闻福音的族群。他们很多从 未听过福音,族群里很少基督徒,家乡也很少教会。他 们如今就生活在我们当中:学校、办公室、工厂、公共 场所等,占人口很大比例。 置身于同一片土地,我们岂能对万民视而无睹?他 们的需要和灵魂,不正是教会所当关注的吗?刻意性的 接触,不正是我们无可推诿的吗?从什么时候开始,新 加坡的教会只专注于向同族人传福音呢?为何所收到的 奉献大部分是用在为基督徒举办的活动上?那由谁向来 到我们当中的万民,述说上帝的慈爱和基督的救恩呢? 主耶稣升天前,再次交代,命令:“你们要去使万 民作我的门徒,奉父、子、圣灵的名,给他们施洗。” (太28:19) 5 • 2016 •

基督徒熟悉这段经文,但为何大多数还是无动于 衷呢?是因为他们没有认真看待耶稣的命令,只当它是 个建议吗?是因为他们不知道 “万民” 指的就是我们 身边这数以百万计的异族朋友吗?又或者他们都还在等 待? 在等待上帝感动他们到哪个国家,向什么人宣教? 在等待领袖开拓事工、分派工作?在等待有人挺身而 出?在等待教会更壮大些,资金更雄厚些再说?我们就 这样一等再等,五年、十年,转眼就过去,我们还只是 在等待! 哪天我们说,够了!不可以再等待了,我们又该 如何起步呢?首先在个人层面,可以开始留心周围哪些 人是从哪里来的;为某个群体,或身边的几个外族人祷 告,和他们建立关系,在他们当中活出天国的价值观、 基督的生命;可邀请他们到家中做客,或到教会参加活 动。在众群体之中,我建议关注以下三个群体: ■家中女佣 — 雇主的生命和对女佣的关怀,是最好的

见证。我们是否爱她们如邻舍?是否关心她们的家人和 需要?是否愿意多走一里路,为了让她们认识这位造她 们,爱她们,救她们的上帝?若她们已信主,我们可否 让她们到以她们语言聚会的教会?并和她们的教会讨论 如何栽培她们成为真门徒?教会层面,是否愿意让一组 人去了解哪些会友家庭有女佣,她们需要什么支援?是 否能设立女佣小组聚会? 或一年一次的慰劳会,肯定她 们的贡献和辛劳?你若信主,你和你一家必要得救,你 的一家包括女佣。女佣会因你得福,她的一家也要因你 得救。 ■国际学生 — 学生、教师、或有关行业,常接触到非

华族的国际学生。除了个人的关爱和友谊,教会可以举 办国际学生晚会,让来自各国非华族学生,齐聚一堂, 互相交流,认识彼此的文化;也可为他们开办会话班、 启发课程等。多数人信主是在青少年期,我们不可忽略 国际学生信主后,在他们同族人中所将带来的长远影 响。他们将来可能是自己族群教会的生力军,未来的带 职或全职宣教士。 ■客工群体 — 超过一百万的客工成为了我们的同事、

属下或邻居。我们可在日常生活中,如盐似光的影响他 们,也可选定某个宿舍去接触他们。有些教会担心突然 来了这么多外族人,会引起会友的抱怨,那我们可否组 织短宣队,每周派一组人到宿舍或工厂去?得着一人, 就有机会得着一家、一村、一个群体。 庄稼成熟了,现在就是收割的时候!你在什么岗位 上,就透过你的影响力去收割主庄稼吧!■


你了解总议会多少?

特 稿 15

————访问总议会文书林思亲

年9月,新加坡卫理公会将举行四年一度的总 议会。此总议会的性质到底是什么?一般的 卫理公会会友将会受到怎样的影响?《卫理 报》和2000年被选为总议会文书、义务服务至今16年的 林思亲做了访谈。

问:林先生,可否请您和我们阐明总议会的功能? 答:总议会基本上是新加坡卫理公会三个年议会的代表 一起修订教会法规、通过整个卫理宗教会的工作计 划和预算,以及为道德和社会课题进行议决的会议。 总议会为新加坡卫理公会的一般工作设立理事会或 属下组织 ,总议会举行期间将会选出监督各个理事 会和机构的工作的负责人。选举包括选出会督去监 督总议会的事工。总议会每四年举行一次。特别年 议会是在总议会外有需要时召开。

问:为何总议会分两部分来召开? 答:第一部分的总议会在9月召开,当11月的年议会召 开时,四年一任的会督已被选出;年议会只需从合 格的长牧中选出他们的会长。根据新加坡卫理公会 法规第574条,会督不能兼任年议会的会长。 第二部分的总议会在12月召开,让7月31日截至的该 年度财务报告提交审核和通过。至于即将来临的第 11届总议会,第一部分议会将在9月12至16日于卫 理公会宏茂桥堂举行;第二部分则在12月1至2日在 卫理总部召开。

问:谁该出席总议会? 答:根据卫理公会法规,总议会的成员是由30至70名代 表组成。牧师和会友代表各半。目前的安排是各年 议会派出牧师和代表各7位,使总议会人数达到42位。

问:总议会与一般卫理教会会友有何关系? 答:首先,为总议会祷告。因为总议会要做出许多重要 的决策,和设定教会未来四年的发展方向。尤其 是为选出的各部员祷告,求上帝赐予他们力量和智 慧去履行即将来临的一届的角色。 总议会也会接受并讨论各教会提出改进卫理宗教会 的陈请书,这些陈请书通常是由年议会、教会牧师 和平信徒提呈。 提呈陈请书必须遵守以下的条件: 1)将一式3份的陈请书送交总议会文书或处理陈请书的 专责文书。 2)每一份陈请书只可针对法规的其中一段;若与法规 无关,则只可针对一个课题。 3)提呈陈请书者必须在每一份陈请书上署名,并列出 个人资料,如地址、本地教会、与卫理公会的部或 组织的关系。 4)陈请书必须在7月14日总议会召开前的60天,呈交陈 请书专责文书。 陈请书必须在截止日期前寄至以下地址: The General Conference Secretary The Methodist Church in Singapore 70 Barker Road #06-04, Methodist Centre Singapore 309936

过去三届的总议会,共收到75份陈请书——所讨论 的事项从宪章、议会行政规则、司法行政、社会原则、 本地教会、行政规则、教会产业及信托、牧职、及法规 修订问题。在未呈交立法委员会去辩论并提呈建议给总 议会前,法规修改小组将协助审查陈请书。总议会可接 受或不同意他们的建议。■ (文章转载及翻译3月的《卫理报》)

■ 总议会文书林恩亲(右图) • 5 • 2016


16 堂 会 剪 影

时间轴

新一代领袖的诞生

成为社区的灯塔

1971年8月5日卫理公会以32万 元标得大巴窑堂这块地皮,之后福 灵堂被选为负责建堂的堂会。同年 12月25日动土,1973年8月完成建 堂工程,1977年8月14日正式成立 牧区。

以色列人以四十年为一代,大 巴窑堂也已经迈入四十年,掀开教 会新的篇章。除了建筑硬件被更新 外,信仰软件亦被上帝建立起来。 从客观条件来看,大巴窑礼拜堂位 于大巴窑市镇中心,地铁站和巴士 总站近在咫尺,四周组屋林立,加 上近年来政府陆续或翻新或重建组 屋,许多年轻的家庭纷纷迁入大巴 窑。广大的禾场叫我们责无旁贷。 近年本堂更有年轻的弟兄姐妹在执 行委员会和各委员会服事,上帝已 经为本堂预备新一代的领袖了。追 本溯源,这都是上帝的恩典。

本堂2011年至2016年的目 标——“提升崇拜,坐满圣殿”, 其中2014年的目标是预备成为社 区的灯塔,带领四周围的人来认识 上帝、接受耶稣、得到永生。上帝 的国因此得以扩展,完成耶稣所托 付的大使命。我们相信卫理公会大 巴窑礼拜堂是一间蒙恩的教会,并 祈求将来所蒙的福,大过先前所蒙 的福;后来的荣耀,大过先前的荣 耀。阿们!■

由于人数增长,教会的发展 更全面,2005年12月21日中英两 堂领袖签下谅解备忘录,正式开始 重建事工并展开筹款,2008年2月 23日动土,2010年9月26日迁入扩 建后的圣殿庆祝立会37周年感恩崇 拜,2013年建堂工作在庆祝40周年 终于告一段落,正式献堂。

40

大巴窑堂走过的

黄幼莲牧师 大巴窑堂

■ 2016年堂会学校、门徒与基督里的良伴等老师就职礼 5 • 2016 •


消 息 / N e w s 17

职场中的卫理信徒 为何我的工作 举足轻重? 来听上帝怎样在职场使用你 立即把此活动列在你的日程里!

5月21日至 24日

雅德门复兴大会

主题讲员:黄文合会督 (新加坡卫理公会)

备华语、淡米尔语传译

五月22日(星期日)晚上7.45至9.30

五月23日 (星期一)晚上7.45至9.30

第一讲及小组讨论

第二讲及小组讨论

小组成员:

小组成员:

Mr Henry Tan

Dr Tan Tee Khoon

Managing Director, Nexia TS. (Wesley Methodist Church)

Managing Director, KF Property Network Pte Ltd, a Subsidiary of Knight Frank Singapore. (Agape Methodist Church)

Mr David Ang

Mrs Joni Ong

Executive Director, Tong Kah Marine Engineering, Marine Construction and Services. (Kum Yan Methodist Church)

Managing Director, Great Place to Work Institute (Singapore); Kanesaka Sushi Pte Ltd. (Wesley Methodist Church)

Ms Serene Wee

Prof Lionel K. H. Lee

Chief Executive, Singapore Academy of Law. (Pentecost Methodist Church)

Executive Vice Dean, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University. (Charis Methodist Church)

雅德门复兴日崇拜 五月24日 (星期二)晚上 7.45 卫理肢体们,来一同敬拜基督,感受 “异常的温暖”。

雅德门崇拜庆典 五月21日 (星期六)晚上 7.00 让上帝的话语、祷告和音乐鼓舞你 “至死忠心”。

aldersgate.methodist.org.sg 地点:

卫理公会感恩堂 1号 奎因街 新加坡邮区188534

免费入场 新加坡卫理公会主办

6478-4765 communications@methodist.org.sg

• 5 • 2016


天 父

2016

华人年议会

宣教 大会 16-18 June

CAC MISSION CONFERENCE

18 消 息 / N e w s

MY FATHER’S BUSINESS

感恩堂 Kum Yan Methodist Church 讲员 Speaker

节目 专题 宣教士分享 工作坊 Program Theme Talk Missionary Sharing

新加坡卫理公会华人年议会 Chinese Annual Conference The Methodist Church in Singapore

• Workshops

宣教部 Board of Missions

费用 Fees

星期六

报名/询问 Registration/enquiries 吴端仪 Goh Tuan Gee

tuangee.goh@methodist.org.sg

天 《天路历程》

阅读,是最精致的聊天

阅读,是开拓一个更大的内在自我世界

我们需要让阅读成为一种习惯和生活方式

作者:英国作家约翰 • 班扬 约翰 • 班扬的写作生涯似乎比莎士比亚 更为传奇。班扬虽然没受过什么教育, 但却写了许多重要作品,尤其以这本 《天路历程》最为人所知且影响深远。 这本他在狱中所完成的书除了圣经以 外,全世界最畅销的书。三百余年来, 此书不仅在英语世界中长销不坠,而且 被翻译成上百种的语言,广受全球各地 读者的喜爱。 故事简介:

欢迎爱书人即日报名参加!

班扬借由一个梦者述说梦境,描述小说

经历的沮丧、迷失、绝望、危险,至终 书中充满想象力的剧情及深刻的人生哲 理,难怪本书被誉为“最伟大的寓言小 说”、“经典中的经典”。即使在21世 纪的今天,班扬这部充满灵性与文学之 美的好书,依然绽放光芒,吸引着无数

新加坡卫理公会华人年议会 主办单位 卫理公会华人年议会资讯部卫理读书会

导读员

孙爱玲博士 | 香港教育学院客座讲师

新加坡南洋大学中文系学士、新加坡国立大学专业教育文凭,香港大学哲学博士。 曾获2001年第四届新华文学奖、2004年亚细安写作奖。小说译为日文和英文。 得奖短篇小说有《么七》、《碧螺十里香》等。著作及评论有《绿绿杨柳风》、《玉 魂扣》、《孙爱玲文集》、《人也女也》、《儿童文学与读写教学》及《语用与意 图——红楼梦对话研究》等。 基督教作品有《天凉日影飞》、《风茄放香的日子》。 现为新加坡卫理公会武吉班让堂会友。卫理公会华人年议会期刊《卫讯》长驻作家。

中的主角基督徒为了到天城,途中所 战胜恶者,安然抵达天城的奇妙旅程。

The Methodist Church in Singapore

9828 6658

赏析书籍

阅读,是生活的一种享受

Chinese Annual Conference

路历程

| 2pm – 3.30pm | 卫理公会大巴窑堂

480 Lorong 2 Toa Payoh Singapore 319641 #02-19-20室

阅 读

Rev James H Taylor IV

$20 包括两个午餐 Include 2 lunch

2016读书赏析会

9月17日

戴继宗牧师

报名截止

8月15日

询问电话 6478 4815 | 电邮 waiying.wang@methodist.org.sg

好书共读共享 免费入 场 出席前请先阅读

渴望追寻永恒生命的读者。

网上报名: http://goo.gl/forms/xagg92Yqh3

5 • 2016 •


消 息 / N e w s 19

女皇镇堂欢庆 周年禧庆

50

三一神学院信徒夜课 学道爱人、活出真我 - 跟杜尼耶探讨生活与服 事的智慧 欢迎弟兄姐妹报名参加,特别欢迎从事牧养、医 疗、辅导等助人专业的同工一同前来探讨。 探讨课题: 1. 杜尼耶与他的《角色与真我》 2. 为人的意义与挑战 - 每个人都有秘密/自我探索 3. 孤单 / 恐惧 4. 男女 / 婚姻 / 家庭 5. 人生四季的美景与挑战 6. 信心与疑惑 /内疚与恩典 7. 在破碎的世界跟随基督 8. 医治与新生 日期:2016年7月5日至8月30日 7:30 pm 至 9:30 pm (逢星期二晚上) *8月9日国庆日暂停一课*

女皇镇堂将在今年欢庆50周年,该堂筹备了一系 列的节目与活动:

4月22日-24日 举办QC50培灵会,主题《建立基督荣耀的教会》, 讲员为香港建道神学院院长梁家麟牧师(博士)。

6月25日 戏剧表演《历史之夜》及《我是主厨》比赛

7月17日 感恩崇拜及感恩宴会

地点:三一神学院一楼,多用途礼堂 (一楼) 490 Upper Bukit Timah Road Singapore 678093 学费:S$100.00 过去一年内曾报读夜课者S$80.00 (三一校友和学生免费,但仍须注册) 讲师:李宗高博士是新加坡长老会牧师。他于1981年 至2005年执教于三一神学院。除教学之外,曾先后担 任该院训导主任和院牧等职位。退休后继续参与本地 和海外神学院与大学的教学。他于1995年创办乐龄学 院,并担任院长至2013年。■

11月14日-17日 华人年议会第41届议会

11月 出版50周年纪念特刊 女皇镇组屋区是政府建立的第一个卫星镇。1964 年一群教牧和领袖看见这地区福音的需要,就向政府 购买了一块地。1965年英文年议会和华人年议会委派 倪天增牧师负责筹划,先设立临时聚会棚开始主日崇 拜。1966年圣殿建成,Faith Methodist Church和女 皇镇堂就在同一堂址展开了上帝所托付的福音工作。 女皇镇堂得到直落亚逸堂的协助,成为直落亚逸堂的 属堂。王聪光传道神学毕业就受委派在女皇镇堂服事 和牧养。1976年成立牧区。 50年的漫长岁月真是上帝满满的祝福与恩典充 满其间。全教会正是以兴奋感恩的心迎接这欢庆的日 子,也期盼上帝世世代代作他们的居所,上帝的恩典 要绵延不绝、薪火相传,一代一代传承下去。■ • 5 • 2016


20 H y m n s & S o n g s

Precious Lord, Take My Hand

Mary Y.T.Gan

MSM Founding Principal (Retired) “

I

the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, 'Fear not; I will help thee.” (Isaiah 41:13) Precious Lord, take my hand, Lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn; Through the storm, through the night, Lead me on to the light: Refrain: Take my hand, precious Lord, Lead me home. When my way grows drear, Precious Lord, linger near, When my life is almost gone, Hear my cry, hear my call, Hold my hand lest I fall:(Refrain) When the darkness appears And the night draws near, And the day is past and gone, At the river I stand, Guide my feet, hold my hand:(Refrain)

Words & Music: Thomas A Dorsey, 1899-1993 (The United Methodist Hymnal, 474) Nothing could be more devastating than losing one’s wife and newly born baby at the same time. Such was the experience of Thomas Andrew Dorsey, the “Father” of African American Gospel Music, author and composer of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”. In August 1932, while leading a church service, the Rev Thomas Dorsey received a telegram that said his wife, Nettie Harper, had just died in child birth. Within 24 hours, his infant son also died. Thomas was thrown into inconsolable despair and pain! As Thomas Dorsey was grieving alone at a piano in his friend’s music room a week after the tragic loss of both his wife and baby son, he felt the deep peace of God that passes

5 • 2016 •

all human understanding. As he was embraced by the peace that he had never known before, he was moved to play the piano. As he was playing, a familiar melody came to mind along with the words of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand”. God gave him a song that lifted him from despair! Not only did this song lift him, it has also lifted many in times of trouble and pain. It has been translated to more than 40 languages and recorded by many well-known singers including Elvis Presley, Jim Reeves, Pat Boone, and Engelbert Humperdinck . Born into a Baptist preacher’s family, Dorsey loved music. At age 5, he moved to Atlanta and came under the influence of local blues pianists. In 1915, he moved to Chicago and studied at the Chicago College of Composition and Arranging. He played in nightclubs and accompanied blues singers. He also formed his own band, Wildcat’s Jazz Band. As a talented composer, arranger and pianist, he was in great demand. After suffering from a severe illness in 1926, Dorsey became more involved in the Pilgrim Baptist Church. He became the church’s choral director in 1932 and served for 40 years! He wrote at least 200 gospel songs. As President of the National Convention of Gospel Choirs and Choruses, he frequently directed other ensembles, including the Gospel Choral Union. The first stanza of the song helps us to confess the helpless predicament of our situation when we feel “tired”, “weak” and “worn” out in times of personal tragedy or communal disasters. The second stanza cries out to the Lord for divine help; for the Lord to be present and to hold our hands lest we fall. The final stanza expresses confidence and trust that God will “hold” our hands at the end of life’s journey as weface the valley of the shadow of death! As the Lord has promised in Isaiah 41:13, “I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, 'Fear not; I will help thee.” May we be comforted and encouraged as we meditate and sing this old favourite gospel song, “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” during difficult times! ■ To listen to a recording of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” sung by Elvis Presley, go to the following link: https://youtu. be/Qsiq87InDE8.


C h u r c h F o c u s 21

So carry your candle, and run to the darkness Seek out the lonely, the tired and worn And hold out your candle for all to see it Take your candle, and go light your world. — "Go Light Your World" by Kathy Troccoli

Unite as We Ignite: Blazing, Kindling, Sparking, Flaming

P

LCMM IGNITE Youth Camp 2015 marks another milestone for the Methodist Mission Youth as they embarked on a four-day, three-night camp, 20-23 December 2015, at the Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church. The camp theme, "Igniting Our Faith with God," spoke to the youths on a personal level about their very own spiritual walk with God. They were encouraged to continue growing the desire to advocate their own spiritual growth even after the camp. Throughout this camp, the youths were exposed to many speaker sessions, morning devotions and self-reflections on top of all the makan and game times. Speakers included Rev Jasper Sim, Chairman of the Board of Youth Ministry in CAC, and many other of MM's very own leaders.

Teo Teck Kuan Paya Lebar CMC

The camp verse was taken from the book of Ephesians where it showed that we, as prisoners for the Lord, have to be service-work- ready, so that we can glorify God and be Christ-like: “…until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:13) "It was a meaningful camp which met the youth committee’s objective of enriching the youth with the right knowledge about God, igniting their passion for Christ," said Sherman Sia, the Camp Commandant of IGNITE Camp 2015, as he expressed his thoughts and sentiments towards this camp. The most significant part of the IGNITE camp was on the third night, where the youths had their extended worship at the second floor sanctuary. The youths were very much touched when they saw the MM adults, some including their very own parents, joining them in that wonderful time of worship. They entered into an intimate time of worship with God as the presence of the Holy Spirit sent the youths raising their hands up high, praising the one and only God. They sang and praised as they wept tears of joy and tears of sorrow. For the closing song, Go Light Your World the youths gathered in the center, lighting up their own candles, to signify their passion for Christ, as they once again raised their voices in harmony to praise Him: "Because we are a family whose hearts are blazing So let's raise our candles and light up the sky Praying to our Father, in the name of Jesus Make us a beacon in darkest times." ■

• 5 • 2016


22 C o n f e r e n c e F o c u s

Meet the President Session Chan Fook Kay

T

Conference Lay leader

he dynamics of the appointment system was the primary topic of the Board of Laity’s “Meet the President” (MTP) session on 19 March at Toa Payoh Chinese Methodist Church. About 50 CAC church leaders came together to participate in the session with Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung, which also reviewed CAC church growth and planting strategies, and the Punggol Preaching Point. This is the first time in many years where the CAC President held an open dialogue with church leaders on specific topics in an informal setting. Usually when all the CAC church leaders come together, it is either at the Annual Conference in November or the July Special session, which are both conducted in accordance with the rules of the Book of Discipline. This gathering demonstrated especially a healthy concern for the wellbeing and development of CAC pastors and the importance of good relationships between clergy and laity. 5 • 2016 •

The President responded to many questions and concerns, especially about how pastors are appointed yearly at the end of each Annual Conference. The role of the Board of Appointment to assign pastors to 17 churches is not as simple as it might seem. Related to the appointments are many factors which need to be considered, including: changing needs of the local churches; matching of the supply and demand of pastors, made more complicated by the mix of English, Mandarin and dialect-speaking congregations; providing for pastors’ sabbatical, training, and development needs; and the dynamics between the CAC appointed pastors, the local church lay ministry staff and church leaders. Given the rate of retirement of pastors, one of most important concerns is the development of pastors, which must be carried out through a joint effort involving the local church Pastor Parish Relations and Staff Committee (PPRSC), the District Superintendents and the Board of Ministry. The President offered statistics on the current active pastors and explained the process of selecting and developing a pastor from an MOT to an Elder. He said that currently 20 students from CAC churches are studying at the TTC, so that within two to three years they may become MOTs. However, some may choose other ministries other than pastoral, such as becoming missionaries. At the same time, our retired pastors are not left out in the cold but most are still actively involved in our churches in different ways.


C o n f e r e n c e F o c u s 23 He said that the BoM and the BoHR are working together on a succession plan to attract and keep younger pastors, including considerations of pastors’ financial support, work conditions, development for greater effectiveness and preparing pastors for leadership in the Conference. The conference must be responsible for her pastors. Local churches must also support their pastors’ development. Local Ministry Staff must also be recognized and developed. The President said that LMS can be encouraged to go for the pastoral route, instead of just remaining in one local church. The BoM and BoHR will accept qualified LMS for MOT, and wherever possible will start them on an appropriate pastoral salary scale, so that they do not lose out too much financially. The appointment process is related to the concerns for CAC church growth and church planting. With an ever increasing high cost of land at a limited 30-year lease, the conventional approach of brick-and-mortar church planting seems remote. Churches have to think of creative means to overcome this setback. There are several approaches to church planting in Singapore, using industrial sites, school sites and using the facilities of existing sister CAC churches. Given the successes in Yishun and Woodlands, some leaders wondered if that approach can be used in other sites. However, referring to a 2014 church planting paper, the

President stressed that the old method of bidding for land is a low priority now. In the case of Punggol, there are no industrial buildings available right now. His preference now is for churches to consider starting in sister CAC church facilities. If the local church does not have enough resources to start another service, they can let a sister church that has the resources to come in and start a new service, and to secure a place for regular worship until they can find another location. He hopes that CAC churches can give this due consideration. Another approach is to follow the TRAC approach of planting churches using our mission school chapels and halls. The President said that this way is open, but the schools expect churches to support the schools financially and spiritually such as funding schools projects and provide counsellors and chaplains. CAC churches may be disadvantaged when compared to TRAC churches due to manpower and financial constraints. Regarding the development of the Punggol Preaching Point, the President noted that currently they are unable to secure either a cinema or industrial site, but that in a few years, the Singapore Institute of Technology will set up its campus in Punggol and along with it, the setting up of new industries where some of them will partner with the SIT on research work. ■

This gathering demonstrated especially a healthy concern for the well-being and development of CAC pastors and the importance of good relationships between clergy and laity.

• 5 • 2016


24 C o n f e r e n c e F o c u s

What is 2016 General Conference ——— Interview with GC Secretary Lim Soo Chin Methodist Message Team

L

ater this year, The Methodist Church in Singapore will be holding its regular session of the General Conference (GC) – which is held only once every four years. What is it all about? And how will the average Methodist be affected? Methodist Message sits down with GC Secretary and longtime volunteer Mr Lim Soo Chin to find out. Lim Soo Chin was elected as the General Conference Secretary in 2000, and is presently serving his 16th year as the Secretary. He spends his retirement attending to his General Conference work and Lay Preacher duties in his church, Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church.

Q: Mr Lim, can you explain to us what the General Conference (GC) is? A: The GC is basically a gathering where representatives of the three Annual Conferences (ACs) of The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) come together to revise church laws, approve work plans and budgets for church-wide programmes, as well as to adopt resolutions on moral and social issues. GC establishes councils or bodies for the general work of the MCS, and during the course of GC, elections are carried out to choose officers to supervise work in various councils and agencies. The elections include the choosing of a Bishop to oversee the work in the GC. A regular session of the GC is held once in every four years (a quadrennium), and special sessions are held in between the regular sessions whenever necessary.

Q: Why is it held in two parts? A: Usually, the first part is held in September, so that when the ACs are held in November, the Bishop for the next quadrennium would have already been elected and the ACs can elect their AC President from among eligible pastors. Under ¶574 of The Book of Discipline of The Methodist Church in Singapore (BOD), a Bishop cannot concurrently be the President of an AC. 5 • 2016 •

The second part is then held in December to enable the statements of accounts for the year ended 31 July to be audited and presented for adoption. In the coming 11th Quadrennium, the first part of the GC will be held from 1216 September 2016 in Ang Mo Kio Methodist Church and the second part from 1-2 December 2016 in the Methodist HQ in Barker Road.

Q: Who gets to attend the GC? A: According to the BOD, there should be no less than 30 but not more than 70 delegates to the GC, half of whom shall be ministers and half lay members. The present arrangement is for each Annual Conference to send seven ministerial delegates and seven lay delegates to the GC, making the full house of a GC comprising 42 people.

Q: How is the GC relevant to the average Methodist? A: Firstly, do pray for the GC, as many important decisions are made and directions for the Church over the next four years are set there. In particular, pray for the election of officeholders, that God will grant them strength and wisdom to fulfil their roles over the coming quadrennium. The GC also receives petitions, which are proposals to make changes in our Church, and debates them. These are often initiated by the Annual Conferences, pastors as well as lay people.


S h a r i n g 25

all about?

The 21st Century Mum in Singapore Kwok Wan Yee Vice President

M

odern mothers may have modern technologies and challenges, but in many ways they also continue important biblical ideals, such as found in Proverbs: “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.” (Proverbs 31:10)

Petitions must comply with these conditions: 1) Three copies of the petition must be sent to the Secretary of the General Conference or a designated petitions secretary. 2) Each petition must address only one paragraph of the BOD or, if the BOD is not affected, one issue. 3) Each petition must be signed by the person submitting it; accompanied by appropriate identification, such as address, local church, or Methodist board or agency relationship. 4) Petitions must be received by the petitions secretary no later than 60 days prior to the opening session of the GC (14 July 2016). Petitions must be mailed before the deadline to: The General Conference Secretary The Methodist Church in Singapore 70 Barker Road #06-04, Methodist Centre Singapore 309936 In the last three GCs, a total of 75 petitions were received – subject matters ranged from the Constitution, Conference Administrative Order, Judicial Administration, Social Principles, Local Church, Administrative Order, Church Property and Trustees, the Ministry, and editorial corrections required in the BOD. The Discipline Review Commission assists to look through petitions before assigning them to Legislative Committees, who debate them and then present their recommendations to the full body of the GC. The House then agrees or disagrees with their recommendations. ■ (reprinted from March Methodist Message)

The mum in 21st century Singapore is likely to have a career outside the home, raise on average fewer than 2 children and is very likely a sandwich generation, supporting both their school-age children and also aging parents. Instead of maids (like the woman in Proverbs 31), she is likely to have a robot to clean the floor and another to clean her windows. Juggling church ministry, home, career, children’s schooling and parents’ medical appointments (not necessarily in that order), the 21st century mum is every bit as industrious and enterprising as the wife described in Proverbs 31. While the demands are ever increasing, mothers today also thank God for the men and families behind them who provide the space, the encouragement and love that make all these achievements possible. We thank God for: • Husbands who iron their own clothes, or help to get dinner, who share our burdens and encourage us when things get tough, who are proud of whatever we do. • Children who return our love and make all the sweat and tears worthwhile. • Bosses who understand and let us have flexi-time. • Friends who remember us even while they are trotting off to another holiday. • Our parents, for without them, there would be none of us. Above all we want to thank God for His sustaining Word. This Mothers’ Day, I would like to share with all mothers the verse below that has been my daily prayer, especially through the toughest times in my life. May it strengthen you, build you, and give you peace. “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (Rom 12:12) God bless you! Happy Mother’s Day ■

• 5 • 2016


26 S h a r i n g

Lessons I Learned from Missions Opportunities Missed in History

t is important to learn from history lest, as the saying goes, “History repeats itself.” Sadly, the only lesson we have learnt from history is that “we never learn from history!” It is my prayer that disciples of Christ Jesus will not ignore the lessons of history. The last few hundred years of mission history reveal many important lessons for us. I wish to cite a few cases to serve as examples. I pray that we will respond wisely and expeditiously to the calls and opportunities for missions in our time. Japan: After the Second World War, there was a huge spiritual vacuum in Japan. The call of the spiritually hungry was obvious. The weak response to the call for missionaries in post World War II Japan gave rise to widespread materialism and non-Christian religions like Sokka-gakkai. Since then, Japan has been known as “the missionary’s graveyard” and a difficult mission field.

Stanley Ling

Member of BoMissions

5 • 2016 •

Empire of Genghis Khan - Asia, China, Mongolia, India, Europe: Marco Polo’s uncles, on their return from their first journey to China in 1266 (over 300 years before the Reformation), brought with them a message to the Pope from Kublai Khan, asking for the despatch of 100 men of learning, devoted to the Christian faith, who would be able to prove “to the learned of his dominions, by just and fair argument, that the faith professed by Christians is superior to and founded on more evident truth than any other”. However, the Pope at that time gave no response. Twenty years passed, and a new Pope, Pope Nicholas IV re-visiting the invitation, decided, in 1289, to send two missionaries via the Silk Road. One died on the way. If attention had been paid to this unique request and opportunity, the results might have been considerably different.


Sharing

India: Mahatma Gandhi, one of the most respected leaders of modern history, was a Hindu, who nevertheless admired Jesus and often quoted from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. Once, the missionary E Stanley Jones met with Gandhi and asked him, “Mr Gandhi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is it that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower?”

What have you learned from these pieces of historical record of church and mission history? Let us reflect on our situation now, hear the clarion call to reach out to the nations, the diaspora who are scattered around the world, the millions of refugees who have fled their homes and countries due to persecution, wars, economic crisis, and the migrant workers who come to our doorsteps.

Gandhi replied by saying, “I don’t reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ."r Christ.”

Will you heed the Macedonian calls? Will you respond to God’s call in reaching out to these people who are created in the image of God and loved by God? ■

Gandhi has a great point and I am no less guilty of being un-Christ like too. Sadly, Gandhi’s rejection of Christianity came from one single experience that happened when he was a young man practicing law in South Africa. Attracted to the Christian faith, he had studied the Bible and the teachings of Jesus, and was seriously exploring becoming a Christian. And so he decided to attend a church service. As he climbed the steps of the large church, a white South African elder of the church barred the way at the door. “Where do you think you are going kaffir?” the man asked Gandhi belligerently, using a racial slur.

Most examples are cited from: History of Christian Mission, by Stephen Neill, Penguin Books, 1986. Acknowledgment is given with thanks for research done by Rosemary Goh of SIM East Asia.

Gandhi replied, “I’d like to attend worship here.” The elder snarled at him, “There’s no room for kaffirs in this church. Get out of here or I will have my assistants throw you down the steps.” From that moment, Gandhi said, he decided to adopt what good he found in Christianity, but would never again consider becoming a Christian if it meant being part of the church. This is an opportunity lost to influence a man who could have turned India to Christ! Angola, Africa: In 1656 a princess of Matamba in Angola named Jinga desired to bring her people to the Christian faith which had apparently made a deep impression on the neighbouring potentates. In 1663 she wrote to the Pope and the Propaganda, urging that more missionaries be sent. But the church did not respond to the urgent call. A few years later she died, and no more was heard of this promising movement.

Methodists in the Marketplace

Why does my work matter?

Tuesday 24 May, 7.45 pm

Sunday 22 May, 7.45-9.30 pm

Monday 23 May, 7.45-9.30 pm

Lecture 1 and Panel Discussion Panellists: Mr Henry Tan

Lecture 2 and Panel Discussion Panellists: Dr Tan Tee Khoon

Managing Director, Nexia TS. (Wesley Methodist Church)

Managing Director, KF Property Network Pte Ltd, a Subsidiary of Knight Frank Singapore. (Agape Methodist Church)

Mr David Ang

Mrs Joni Ong

Executive Director, Tong Kah Marine Engineering, Marine Construction and Services. (Kum Yan Methodist Church)

Managing Director, Great Place to Work Institute (Singapore); Kanesaka Sushi Pte Ltd. (Wesley Methodist Church)

Ms Serene Wee

Prof Lionel K. H. Lee

Chief Executive, Singapore Academy of Law. (Pentecost Methodist Church)

Executive Vice Dean, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University. (Charis Methodist Church)

Come and be “strangely warmed” as a Methodist body for Christ’s service

Saturday 21 May, 7 pm Let God’s Word, prayer and music inspire you to be “Faithful To The End”

aldersgate.methodist.org.sg Venue:

Kum Yan Methodist Church 1 Queen Street, Singapore 188534

FREE ADMISSION TO ALL EVENTS

Organised by

6478-4765 communications@methodist.org.sg

• 5 • 2016

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28

Sharing

I

visited Jesus in prison! “Was Jesus ever in prison?” you rightly ask. Jesus did say, “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” (Matt 25:40 ESV) John Wesley expected faithful Christian discipleship to include visiting prisoners as an expression of love for God and love for neighbor. The Methodists were to visit the imprisoned because Jesus promised to meet us in the prison! It was in this tradition that the late Rev. Khoo Siaw Hua, a Methodist minister, started a chaplaincy ministry 60 years ago. 20 years later in 1974, his son, the late Rev. Henry Khoo, the late Elder Seet Poon Soo and I formed the precursor to the Prison Fellowship. We called it Rehabilitation Life before its name was changed to Prison Fellowship Singapore (PFS). Today, PFS is the handmaid of the church. It helps train and manage more than 500 volunteers in reaching out to offenders in prison through Bible studies, chapel services, Victim Empathy Programme, and counselling. It also reaches out to their families

through Angel Tree, Children´s Care Clubs and Support Groups. God is pleased to use PFS and the team of volunteers to seek and transform the last, the least and the lost. These fruits of the ministry are called ‘Trophies of Grace’ and they include Simon Neo, Don Wong and others who are leaders of Halfway Houses. Others, like Rev Neville Tan and Daniel Lee are pastors. Some are in business, like Tony Ng and Chef Benny Se Teo. Some of our staff members are also ‘Trophies of Grace’. Adeline Wong’s father was imprisoned after she was conceived and eventually sentenced to death. By God’s mercy, he received Christ while he was in prison under the ministry of the late Reverend Khoo Siaw Hua. She continues: “Since birth, I was placed in the care of my uncle’s family as my mum had to work several jobs to support both of us. I grew up not knowing my father and not having my mother with me. Life has not been easy. I quietly bore the shame of being fatherless while yearning for love and acceptance

and struggling with feelings of being unwanted and unworthy. My studies were a struggle as well. My teacher thought I had autism as I was very quiet and did not share much in school. I lived my life in darkness until I accepted Christ when I was in my twenties. I thank God that my life has changed and is now been filled with the joy and fulfilment of serving Him in PFS. I know I have a Heavenly Father who loves me for who I am and accepts me for who I was. He has also helped me reconcile with my mum and amazingly called me to serve in prison ministry, where I can bring the message of hope to children and families who face a similar situation as my own, and see God’s transformation in these precious lives.” Bruce Lim spent 11 years of his life in and out of prison for theft, drug addiction and possession, and was caned 15 times. Growing up, he was left mostly alone with his grandmother. His older sisters were in school and his parents were busy at work so there was little bonding with his family.

I Visited Jesus

5 • 2016 •

■ AfterCare MSG dragonboat 2014


Sharing When Bruce turned ten, and his parents started berating him for not doing well in school, he turned to his friends for solace, and found plenty of comfort. They told him that having red marks was no big deal. They, too, had plenty. For Bruce, it was a huge relief. He wasn’t alone. He was thankful for their support and acceptance which he did not receive at home. He started hanging out with his friends more often. He picked up smoking, moving on to abusing inhalants. At 12, though placed in Boys’ Town, he experimented with soft drugs such as cannabis before graduating to heroin. By 13, he was involved in gang fights, housebreaking and vehicle thefts. In 1989, at age 16, he was arrested for substance abuse and sent to a halfway house. There, he was exposed to the Gospel. While enlisted for National Service, He continued his criminal activities. In 1999, he was arrested, convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison.

God was kind to him, for in 2000, with about three more years left to his prison term, he accepted Christ. It was during a Christmas service in prison when Bruce answered the altar call by Pastor Don Wong. Soon after, while spending time with God alone, Bruce was led to Isaiah 42:6-7 and felt God’s calling for his life. Released in 2003, he committed himself to help others like him begin a new life. After a short stint in overseas mission through Youth With a Mission (YWAM), Bruce returned to serve in the Halfway House, followed by serving as the Youth Pastor of a church while volunteering at PFS. In May 2012, he became a full-time staff member of PFS. By committing himself to helping prisoners and ex-prisoners, Bruce hopes that they, like him, will be healed and restored to God’s fellowship. His consuming desire is for others to see in him God’s transforming power, grace and mercy.

in Prison

Lee Wing Yew, the most senior member of our PFS team, joined us in 1988, when he became part of PFS’ initiative for the After-Care ministry. Since his conversion from a life of a street gang leader in old Chinatown, his desire is to see ex-offenders reconnect with their families, continue in their journey with God as a member of a church and re-integrate into society. In his own words, “It has been greatly satisfying to see the lives of ex-inmates changed for the better, some of whom have gone on to full-time Christian ministry. What also continues to motivate me is to see reconciliation taking place between an ex-inmate and his family.” These are the stories God is writing behind the walls of the Prison because you care enough to pray, volunteer and financially support this work. ■ Note: For further information on how you can be part of this ministry, please visit our website: pfs.org.sg or call 6475 6136, or email admin@pfs.org.sg All cheque are to be made payable to Prison Fellowship Singapore Ltd and mail to PFS, Tanglin Post Office, PO Box 250, Singapore 912409. If you wish to donate via electronic banking, our account number is DBS Current Account 025-901931-2. We are also available to speak at your churches.

William Wan

Chairman of PFS

■ Men's Support Group

Retreat

■ Children's Care Club • 5 • 2016

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30

Pastoral Sharing

My Pilgrimage with CAC Rev George Martzen UMC Missionary

Rev George Martzen is a UMC missionary to Singapore along with his wife Dr Yu Chin Cheak,who has been lecturing at TTC. They will leave Singapore for USA after nearly 15 years of service amongst us. Their son is already studying in the USA. Rev George has contributed many articles to CAC News and helps editing our English articles. CAC and CAC News wish him and his family many blessings to come!

5 • 2016 •

W

hen Abram and Lot migrated to the land of Canaan, they faced a common geography problem, how to share the land. They had separate flocks and their shepherds quarrelled over land rights. Abram advised his nephew, “Let there be no strife between you and me.” (Genesis 13:8, ESV) Fortunately for them, they lived in a sparsely populated part of the world, not like modern, denselypopulated Singapore, so they had plenty enough room to go separate ways. However, we who dwell in urban societies, like Singapore, must learn to live in close proximity, even with our differences and disagreements. Where land is scarce, learning to share space is as much a spiritual exercise as it is a geographic problem. My family and I first came to Singapore at the end of 2001. We moved into the third floor faculty hostel at TTC, where my wife, Dr Yu Chin Cheak, immediately began teaching. My son also began attending a neighbourhood school. I quickly observed that in Singapore almost everything is stacked and that the pace of life is much faster than in California. We had to adjust to a place where most people live in highrise flats and economic pressures seem to make time run faster. For example, when my son entered Primary 1, he was already behind since he didn’t attend local kindergarten. Nevertheless, friends rallied around to welcome us, furnish our flat and help us to set up accounts. Singaporeans know how to maximize living and working space, with subways, multi-level carparks and shopping malls deep underneath highrise complexes, so that there is even room for parks. But people must also learn to share space with each other. Psalm 133 reminds us of the blessings of such community living. “How good


Pastoral Sharing

and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.” (Psalm 133:1, NIV) I have experienced this blessing. When my wife, Dr Yu Chin Cheak, began lecturing at TTC, I was initially posted to the Bishop’s Office, working in the areas of communications and event organizing. In that context, I learned the uniqueness of The Methodist Church in Singapore, with its diverse language ministries shared by three annual conferences. I helped to facilitate those times when they came together to collaborate in ministry, celebration and discernment, including eight Aldersgate Conventions, two General Conference sessions, numerous pastoral and lay gatherings and five retreats for TTC Methodist students. In these activities, it was important not only to find adequate venues, but also to set up programs that get people interacting. In 2010, after eight years in the Bishop’s Office, I was posted to the CAC and Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church. Besides, pastoral work at PLCMC, I always reserved at least one day a week for the CAC office for researching, writing and editing of CAC articles. PLCMC exposed me to the dynamics of dialect ministry. Though largely in the English Liturgical Service, my skill sets in worship put me in a position to coordinate across the seven worshipping groups for the various combined worship services. The 75th anniversary in 2014 was both memorable and challenging because we wanted to get all seven worshipping services together in one space for worship, with lunch immediately following. The most likely venue was the nearby PLMG auditorium. Some members objected that it wasn’t a proper worship place, but I discovered that when people

gather in one heart to worship the Lord, the Spirit of God was present, as Jesus promised. And when the Spirit of our Lord is present, there is unity, even with differences of language, opinion or style. It was during my six years at PLCMC that I recognized a similarity between the hospitality of a home visits and the hospitality of gathering for worship. During bàinián, for example, the householder welcomes all the New Year guests, but at church our Lord is the host. When members share in God’s hospitality it overflows to each other. I can attest to the virtue of that hospitality. Every time we gather for worship it is an opportunity to learn how to sharte space with each other. The Liturgical Service has a wonderful practice of tea fellowship

following worship which extends the time of sharing, so I have often conversed with members well after the lunch hour. In worship we also reaffirm the peace that Jesus shared with his disciples. When I have greeted the Hokkien members with píng an, I am reminded to keep a simple trust in God. Sharing peace is both a greeting and a theological affirmation, because Christ has broken down the dividing walls. That is why I have insisted on this ritual in LS. PLCMC is a microcosm of Singapore’s diversity. But when we focus on Christ and his peace, we can dwell together in unity. I thank God for the opportunity of sharing ministry with CAC, the pastors and lay persons, and especially for the members of the Liturgical Service for demonstrating God’s hospitality. ■

Congralutions

Rev George Martzen, a United Methodist missionary serving in CAC since 2010, has written a dissertation on liturgy for his Doctor of Ministry degree at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, entitled: “A Place for the Stranger: Worship as the Spiritual Practice of Hospitality”. His thesis is that participation in worship is a spiritual practice of hospitality, whereby God is encountered as both a host and a stranger knocking at the door. By comparing the ordinary actions of people entering and leaving private homes with the entrance and sending rites of worship, this project demonstrates that Christian worship is a school for transforming individuals into communities of hospitality. While the quality of this schooling depends upon how seriously pastors and worship leaders attend to the “grammar” of worship, the very fact of people gathering for worship is itself a vital enactment of hospitality, because they are learning to share space with each other. Rev Martzen researched and wrote this dissertation while on pastoral staff at Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church (Liturgical Service), for which reason he is grateful for the hospitality of members, staff and pastors. He graduates from PSR on 22 May 2016, after returning to California. ■

• 5 • 2016

31


新加坡卫理公会华人年议会 Chinese Annual Conference

The Methodist Church in Singapore

T

he month of May has crept up on us and we are almost halfway into the year!

Churches and social organizations often line up various events and activities in May. These are planned carefully for our benefit according to seasons in our lives. CAC’s May Day celebration will be held on 2 May (Monday, a public holiday). The Board of Laity has planned a very important seminar for the day: “Hyper-grace, A Different Gospel?” to be conducted in Mandarin (Speaker: Rev Dr Wong Tik Wah, Dean of Students, Malaysia Theological Seminary) and English (Speaker: Dr Roland Chia, Chew Hock Hin Professor of Christian Doctrine, TTC). This is a significant topic as many believers in Singapore today are confused by the preaching of the gospel that presents a different interpretation of God’s grace, which veers from its theological meaning in the Bible. Consequently, many have come to hold the fallacious belief that grace is cheap and arbitrary, and this will impact the church’s approach to evangelistic and missionary work. The month of May promises to be hot and temperatures have been forecast to be higher than in past years. Celebrations for Mother’s/Parents’ Day will therefore be held under very warm conditions. Many are all prepared to show their love and appreciation for their parents with invitations for dinner on this occasion. Gratitude to our parents and elders is a basic human quality. But beyond the sumptuous buffet treat in May, parents value being remembered and loved by their children, and busy Singaporeans can also be reminded by the slogan widely used in China, “Go home often!”. Let us love our parents with action and not just words. 8 May is designated CAC WSCS Sunday, which highlights the gospel ministry of women in the church. They have made commendable contributions in their service to society and church – helping the weak and needy in literacy, health, medical, and financial areas and supporting the preaching of the gospel, overseas missions, evangelism work, and theological training of preachers and missionaries. Their role is like that of the women believers who served Jesus during His ministry on earth, offering

编委会

C A C

help and support. Churches through the ages affirm the faithful service of our sisters in Christ. I would like to thank our WSCS for their active support as well as participation in various CAC ministries. 15 May is Pentecost Sunday, generally acknowledged in church tradition as the day the church was born. The Holy Spirit came upon all the believers of Christ ten days after His ascension. They received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as well as the gifts of the Holy Spirit to establish the church together. John Wesley had his spiritual revival on 24 May 1738 when he attended a meeting in a small church in Aldersgate Street. He was listening to the reading of Martin Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans when his heart felt strangely warmed. This spiritual experience marked a turning point in Wesley’s life and ministry. Consequently, he began preaching the gospel fervently, far and wide, bringing thousands to Christ. Each year Methodist churches worldwide commemorate this day by holding meetings, seminars, evangelical events, or musical celebrations on 24 May or days around this date. The Methodist Church in Singapore will be holding “Aldersgate SG 2016” from 21-24 May at Kum Yan Methodist Church: 21 May: Aldersgate Worship Festival; 2223 May: Aldersgate Convention lectures; 24 May: Aldersgate Thanksgiving Service. The Aldersgate program can be found in the Sunday bulletins of all Methodist churches. Admission is free. All are welcome!

Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung

“Go home often!”. Let us love our parents with action and not just words.

Loving Affection in May

张振忠牧师(博士)

主编

邓保庆

编辑

王慧莹

编委 设计

Rev Erick Tan Eng Ghee Rev Chan Kok Chuon

出版

梁志诚 郁君璋 杨姿英 陈新坚牧师 李幼吟

TO COMMUNICATE

P R ES I DE NT'S M e s s a g e

May the month of May bring you warmth and joy! To all mothers, have a “Happy Mother’s Day”! ■

顾问

华人年议会资讯部

N E W S

新加坡卫理公会华人年议会 70 Barker Road #05-04, Methodist Centre, Singapore 309936 Tel: 6478 4811 Fax: 6478 4816

E cac@methodist.org.sg W www.cac-singapore.org.sg F www.facebook.com/cac.singapore

承印

Print & Print Pte Ltd MCI (P) 151/01/2015

TO UNDERSTAND

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卫讯 CAC NEWS | 5 • 2016  
卫讯 CAC NEWS | 5 • 2016  
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