2016 / 2017
IN REVIEW Discipleship Ecosystem
Vicarâ€™s Address page 6
2017 - One of the most exhilarating and toughest years
MCI (P) 069/05/2018 | MAY 2018 ISSUE
maturity ministry mission Everyone has only one life, but two ways to live.
Our First Camp For Families With Special Needs
Dover Heartfriends Ministry: sharing the good news winsomely
Metam orphou sthe! MCI (P) 158 /03/
Vicar’s Addres s
2015 was a year of many outs moments tanding
were ope n, and mig hty was the mov e of the Holy Spir it!
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| APRI L
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we kne that God w full well was with us
mission trips are indeed bec more cha oming llenging!
Welcome to the second issue of In Review. After a brief hiatus last year, we sought to gather stories of thanksgiving and testimonies over 2016 and 2017. In the process, the underlying thread of “Discipleship Ecosystem”, the theme for this year’s issue, became apparent. These stories are not just recollections of events past, but also speak of lives that have been touched by God’s love and, compelled by that love, seek to pour back into the lives of the SJSM community and our neighbours, near and far. There is also a constant reminder of God’s calling on SJSM as a conduit for the nourishing River of Life to flow through the existing ministries and more recently, Project Spring-Winter. As we look back, we are awed by an everlasting God whose faithfulness is unfailing and whose love is never ending. We have full confidence in His unchanging character to follow His lead into unfamiliar grounds and allow Him to transform us into a community recognised by our love for Him and for each other. Our prayer is that as you read the articles, may the Spirit of the Lord move our hearts to give thanks for God’s wondrous and mighty works, and may our spiritual eyes be opened to the vision God has given us to be thriving discipleship ecosystem.
EDITORIAL Chief Editor Revd Joshua Sudharman Members Connie Lim Nigel Sim Yeo Han Hwee Layout Wilson Kok Contributors Asher Caleb Goh Diana Wu Dr John Lim Joni Thio Julian Chin Kevin Kwang Kiff Loh Larry Choi Lillian Tan Nivitha Nixon Ong Juan Hui Richard Lau Shara Perales Simon Devaraj Trixie Chin
Year in pictures
10 Clergy movement 12
people behind the scenes
The River of Life
DISCIPLESHIP SYMPOSIUM 2
Two Ways to Live
making of a deAconess
SJSM TAMIL CONGREGATION
Reaching Out Through Music
Becoming channels of God’s Love
Know and Share the Gospel
A Call to Love
For God So Loves.
A Camp Like No Other Bereavement Ministry
Project Spring - Winter
the Word in Art
Word Art by Asher
A Call to Turn the World Upside Down
He Calls Me to Him
Nepal Medical Missions Reflections
Transforming SJSM through Project Spring-Winter
Vicar’s Address My dear SJSM Family, In Review is back! Due to a number of factors, we were not able to publish an issue in 2017, but going forward, we will resume our rhythm of an annual collection of reflections on the past year’s highlights, timed to be released around the AGM. As usual we have filled these pages not just with text, but also with many beautiful photographs – snapshots of the SJSM Family in action! When I think about how 2017 was for me personally, my conclusion is that it was one of the most exhilarating years of my life, as well as one of the toughest years of my life. Allow me to explain. ‘Come Home This Christmas!’ was
a fantastic journey for me! It started in prayer as far back as late 2015/ early 2016, when I sensed that for the five-year period leading up to our Jubilee, the Lord would have us step up our evangelism in 2017 (as well as 2019) well beyond the usual levels. The Christmas planning team started meeting from the beginning of 2017, actively seeking the Lord for His will to be made known. And what initially started out as a plan to hold four Gospel services for Christmas instead of the usual two, began to grow in scope and scale to include a Christmas Village over two weekends. This grew even more in complexity when our friends in the Dover RC expressed a desire to
partner with us in the Village, and we added on the idea of weekday Christmas banquets for Cells in the Community Hall. Although I delegate the chairing of most routine event planning teams to my staff, I knew that this was a planning team I needed to personally helm. My most important role was recruiting the right people to help me, empowering them, and providing
milestones Ps Joshuafrom andleft his: family. Clockwise Ps Joshua, From left: Ps Joshua, Emma, Emma, Faith and Aletheia Faith and Alethea
the coordination across the various groups involved. It was a journey of many firsts for me, including starting my sermon preparation months in advance, so that the drama could integrate well with the sermon. (Confession: I’m usually very last-minute in my sermon preparation) When the 16th of December finally came and the Christmas Village kicked off, it felt like a dream come
true… because it was! To see the hundreds of guests warming up to the idea of being in a church, and the hundreds of SJSMers wearing ‘Welcome To Our Home’ T-shirts and serving in myriad ways, was incredibly encouraging! And while I share the disappointment of some of us that, despite the more than 700 guests at our services, we didn’t have more responses at the altar calls, I am nevertheless reminded that salvation is a process and a journey, not an event. And every time we help a person take one or more steps in the right direction (whether that be hearing the Gospel for the first time, or even becoming more open to relating with Christians or the church) we are doing our part. 2017 was also the year that I got approval from the Diocese to commence further studies. This was something that I knew was going to stretch me and potentially push me into the red zone in terms of my energy reserves. (Some people have told me to my face that I am mad!) But I nevertheless had a strange peace about it throughout the application and approval process – a peace that the Lord would somehow strengthen me and see me through. The travel and the extra reading and assignments have certainly been demanding, but I have also been very stimulated and sharpened by them. And I am greatly helped by the understanding of my beloved wife and children, and the provision of great staff and lay leaders who have stepped up their support for me. I am learning to delegate more wisely. And I am constantly and unabashedly
soliciting prayer from all who express their concern for me. With my duties in SJSM, the Education Board of the Diocese, care for my parents and family, and now my studies as well, time management is an ever-present struggle. In fact, when Pastor Roger Campbell visited SJSM with his wife Ginny last February and March, we had some time to fellowship together, which was a great privilege and delight for me. And when he returned to England, out of his concern for me, he mailed me a book on Time Management! I was very touched, and have read it more than once already. Often it feels like two steps forward, one step backward in mastering this skill. But I think I’m gradually making progress, by God’s grace. Finally, let me close with this Scripture, which has refreshed me and lifted my spirits time and again. May you also be refreshed by the realization that all our days are foreordained by the God who knows us through and through, and wants the best for us! Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! (Psalm 139:16-17) Much love, Pastor Joshua
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Clergy Movement By Richard Lau
A Time to Bid Farewell…
2017 was an eventful year for our clergy in SJSM. Two of our clergymen were posted out on 30 September 2017. Revd Dr Ivan Ee, the priest of our Chinese Fully Developed Congregation (CFDC) was posted to All Saints’ Church as its Vicar and Revd Martin Jungnickel was posted to St Hilda’s Church as its Associate Vicar.
Revd Martin Jungnickel I praise God for the friendships that we made at SJSM, with members, staff and fellow clergy. It made us feel at home. We treasure these friendships even after leaving SJSM and will continue to pray for you! Please continue to pray for us, for my mum, our children who will soon all leave the nest, and for Jo Anne and I to serve the Lord faithfully. We want to grow in our witness for Jesus, both in our personal life and as we lead the church.
Revd Ivan Ee Ministry Highlight: 我感恩神帮助我们开始全教会 门训。在其中，我看到自己、 弟兄姐妹与教会的成长。
My Prayer for SJSM: 弟兄姐妹继续委身活像耶 稣，帮助别人一起跟随。
I thank God for helping us start our Church-wide Discipleship. Through it, I saw myself, our brothers and sisters, as well as the church, grow stronger.
May our brothers and sisters continue to grow into the likeness of Jesus and help others follow Him.
milestones We also welcomed two clergymen who are new to SJSM: Revd Alvin Toh, previously from St Andrew’s Cathedral to be priest at the English Congregation in July; and Revd Thong Tang Hiong, previously from All Saints’ Church, as priest in the Chinese Fully Developed Congregation in October 2017. Finally, we welcomed home Revd Lewis Lew (who serves as Dean of Nepal) in November 2017 as an honorary clergy.
and A Time to SAY welcome!
Revd Alvin Toh One of the things I really appreciate about SJSM is the efficient and hardworking staff team, many of whom are ‘home-grown’ and long-time members. They work hard and sacrificially because it is more than a job, it is God’s calling for them; and also because it is not just God’s church, it is their church.
Revd Thong Tang Hiong I am honoured to join the SJSM family. My prayer is that in the days to come, we will be able to learn together, grow together, build up the house of God in SJSM together, and glorify His name. Hence when the day comes and we have to part, when we reflect on this time, we will be glad that what we have left for each other is a time of mutual encouragement, learning and collaboration; a time worth remembering. Amen!
What also impressed me was the strong cell network – the high involvement of members in cells, and the commitment of the cell leaders. It made me look forward to settling my family into a cell group that would enable them to grow new friendships, enjoy strong Christian fellowship, and provide an environment where they can be challenged to continue growing in Christ.
Revd Lewis Lew There’s an ancient African saying - “It takes a village to raise a child.” In our case, SJSM our ‘village’, has raised us since we were tertiary students in T4 ministry. Over the years, this ‘village’ has invested in our spiritual formation, equipped us with biblical knowledge, entrusted us with leadership responsibilities and sent us out to serve the wider community. Leng and I are glad to be back after being away for nearly six years, to join the SJSM family in its new season.
Behind the Scenes
Many SJSMers work behind the scenes to support SJSM in fullfilling her mission and ministry: We thank God for the contributions of the various committees under the PCC as well as our staff team over the past year. SJSM Staff team Parochial Church Council (PCC) Seated L to R: Rev Lewis Lew, Rev Alvin Toh, Daren Ng, Dr John Lim (Vicar’s Warden), Rev Joshua Sudharman (Chair), Ling Kay Bin (People’s Warden), Yap Chuen Kong, Rev Daniel Teo and Michael Tan Standing L to R: Andrew Khaw, Wong Kin Nyen, Daniel Lin, Foo Suan Jong, Larry Choi, Kok Chee Chun*, Lo Hing Loon*, Chee Su Eing and Dawn Yip (Not in picture : Yee Choon Seng (CFDC), Revd Andrew Raman & Revd Solomon Periyanayakam ) *co-opted members
Finance Committee L to R: Lee Chee Sheong, Alfred Chan, Michael Tan, Yap Chuen Kong (Chair) and Soo Khian Seng (Not in picture : Michael Wong, Fam Wee Shun)
Establishment Committee L to R: Lee Chee Sheong, KC Kwok, Mok Kim Terng, Phoon Chee Meng, Audrey Teo and Andrew Khaw (Chair) (Not in picture: Julian Chin)
Missions Committee Seated L to R: Rev Solomon Periyanayakam, Ling Kay Bin, Rev Andrew Raman (Chair), Trixie Chin and Janice Ng Standing L to R: Cassandra Busch, Ong Kung Yew, Lee Soo Jin and Peter Teo
Property and Maintenance Committee L to R: Ong Kung Yew, Goh Teck Chuan, Milton Wee, Chee Su Eing (Chair), Jose Ortega and Jonathan Huang
Project Spring-Winter Main Committee Seated L to R: Dawn Yip, Sherlyn Lim, Ling Kay Bin, Lee Hoon Hwee and Megan Ching Standing L to R: Wong Kin Nyen, Larry Choi (Chair), Dr John Lim and Wilson Tan (Not in picture : Michael Wong, Michael Tan)
Before and After School Care L to R: Ko Siew Luan, Oliver Chan, Alfred Chan (Chair), David Goh, Nancy Loh and Andrew Ponniah
Policies and Procedures Committee L to R: Kelvin Mok, Lo Hing Loon, KC Kwok, Foo Suan Jong (Chair), Lee Chee Sheong and Jin Kam (Not in Picture: Evelyn Ng, Lim Ai Yee)
Communications Committee L to R: Adrian Yuen, Ong Wai Kin, Alvina Suah, Dawn Yip (Chair) and Nigel Sim
As the river of life flows, we will increasingly experience and become channels of God’s redeeming love, God’s renewing love and God’s restoring love.
THE RIVER OF LIFE
By Dr John Lim
In preparing for this message, the image that came to my mind was that as the ground is broken for Project Spring-Winter (PSW), a river of life-giving water will gush out and flow through our new “SJSM Village”and ministries. The imagery of rivers is found throughout the bible from Genesis through to Revelation. In Genesis 2:10, we read that “A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden”. In Revelation 22:1, the apostle John says “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb”. In other parts of the bible we encounter rivers that flow in the desert and the river of the water of life flowing from God’s throne to a thirsty world in need of Christ. In one of our key PSW verses from Isaiah 43:19 that different people and groups have been consistently reminded of since we started our
PSW journey, the new thing that the Lord promises is described as “springing forth”, with God making a way in the wilderness and rivers flowing in the desert. Psalm 46:4 tells us “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High”. In John 7:37-38, Jesus paints the picture of rivers of living water that flow out of those who place their faith in Him: “On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”” Jesus directly claims to be the Temple which the prophet Ezekiel had spoken of in Ezekiel 47 that foretold of an ever-deepening river of life and healing flowing from God’s temple.
This imagery appears again at the end of the book of Revelation in chapter 21. With the coming of the new heaven and new earth, “the river of the water of life, bright as crystal” flows from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the new Jerusalem, and is again associated with healing of the nations that comes from the leaves of the tree of life. From these scripture readings and related passages, we find three themes that describe how the Lord will transform us spiritually and socially as His river flows. I believe this is how the Lord will work in and through us as the PSW buildings are built and SJSM Village becomes a physical reality. As the river of life flows, we will increasingly experience and become channels of God’s redeeming love, God’s renewing love and God’s restoring love.
milestones 1. God’s Redeeming Love Firstly, God’s Redeeming Love. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. His intention was to redeem His wayward and sinful people from the separation and exile inflicted by the Fall, and usher in the new creation that was inaugurated by Jesus’ death and resurrection. This is ultimately the new thing that God is doing at a universal and cosmic level. The purpose is not so that we all escape to heaven but so that the new heaven and new earth are ushered in at the end of history, as we read in Revelation 21. But the first fruits of the Kingdom are already to be tasted now. It begins with our volition or personal choice. Just as Jesus did with the Samaritan woman by the well in John 4:13-14, he offers the same invitation to us: “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” It then extends into our vocation, which is to proclaim the Good News of Jesus as we begin sharing about and demonstrating God’s redeeming love now. Jesus’ invitation in John 7:37- 38 is for those who believe in him to become channels of rivers of living water that flow from him and through his people out to a needy world - “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture
has said, “Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”” As the river of life flows through PSW, we are being called to increasingly fulfil our vocation to minister the life and healing to the nations that Ezekiel 47 and Revelation 22 refer to. The pictures painted in these passages are of a river swarming with life and full of freshness, and of the tree of life around the river being constantly fruitful and its leaves a source of life and healing for all peoples. There are also strong associations with Pastor Joshua’s picture of a transformed SJSM as a watered garden or a flourishing, fruitful ecosystem. If we extend the imagery of the well-watered garden to a picture of God’s river flowing in and through PSW and our SJSM Village, we can also begin to visualise the old, the young and the generations in between rejoicing and dancing along the banks of this river. It becomes a picture and a promise of the spiritual and social regeneration that will be increasingly flow out of SJSM’s various ministries and help to define our parish life in the years to come. 2. God’s Renewing Love The second theme is of God’s Renewing Love. In a sermon on Revelation 21-22, Dr Philip Ryken, President of Wheaton College describes the New Heaven and the New Earth as “Creation Recapitulated”. At the end of the Bible and at the end of world history as we know it now, there
are strong echoes and images of the Garden of Eden and what is described at the beginning in the book of Genesis. Certainly the river of the water of life reminds us of the river running through the middle of Eden to irrigate the land. And where there was a Tree of Life in Eden, in the New Jerusalem there is the Tree of Life on either side of the river of life yielding its fruit throughout the year. The New Jerusalem is really a “Garden City”, so in some ways I suppose it will be like a far more beautiful and renewed version of Singapore! There is a sense of familiarity about the new heaven and new earth because the Bible does not talk about “making all new things” – instead, God is “making all things new”. This is an important distinction. In other words, God’s renewing love is leading to the transformation of things known to us - or in SJSM language, “metamorphousthe”. While we have often described our PSW journey in terms of how God has been challenging SJSM by leading us into new territory and areas we are not familiar with, all that we have experienced as a church community over the past 47 years does not just disappear. Yes, there will be a newness and perhaps even strangeness to what follows groundbreaking. But there will also be echoes of things God has already taught us and established in us.
And if we are open to the Spirit’s leading and teaching, we will also find a sense of familiarity of ministry and mission in the expanded parish life we will experience in the new SJSM Village. There will be reassuring echoes of what God has already brought us through during the first 50 years, but expressed in new and exciting ways in the years ahead. This will be both an experience and an expression of God’s renewing love for all of us in SJSM, as well as all the new people He will draw into this community through Inter-Generational ministry and outreach. This is why we see a continuity with how the Lord has led SJSM to engage over many years with Dover through Heartfriends, Kopi Stop, Before and After School Care, and the Orange Blessing. The Gospel and Healing Services, the ministry to families of children with special needs, and the engagements with the tertiary institutions around us also form part of the rich tapestry of neighbourhood presence and engagement that will see extension and growth as God makes all things new for us through PSW. Another aspect of God’s renewing love that we will experience is a strong sense of “Home”. This was the theme for our Christmas Village and gospel services. I believe it is not coincidental that we were led to reach out to welcome everyone - both our church members and guests - home. I was struck by a phrase from Philip Ryken’s message. He describes
the new heaven and new earth as a “Sanctuary for the heart of every lonely pilgrim longing for home”. The final chapters of Revelation give us a glimpse of a place of perfect communion and community, a place of hope, joy and peace. As we look forward to the new heaven and new earth community that will emerge as our new SJSM Childcare and SJSM Nursing Home facilities develop, we are being called to live out the spiritual and social significance of reflecting God’s renewing love for all those He is calling and inviting home. He is bringing the young and the old, the healthy and the infirm, the lovable and the unlovable. Let us pray that as the river flows through our SJSM Village, there will be a rich outpouring of God’s renewing love, bringing deep experiences and expressions of home and wholeness, of sanctuary and salvation. 3. God’s Restoring Love The third theme is of God’s restoring love. We all live with varying degrees of pain, loss, failure and guilt. We have all wasted opportunities or not gone far enough in rendering good to others. These are aspects of a fallen world where the choices we make and the circumstances we experience are not always the best, and where the consequences of our actions can hurt others and haunt ourselves, even after many years.
But in Revelation 21:4-5 we read of the way in which God restores life and hope with infinite tenderness and compassion. These are always words of great assurance when they are shared with the loved ones of those who have gone to be with the Lord: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”” As Bishop Rennis was preaching at the Confirmation service in January, he mentioned two aspects of how God restores. Firstly, brokenness is healed and secondly, strength is renewed. As we welcome the young but especially the elderly with chronic diseases and dementia into our SJSM community in the years to come, how will we convey the fullness of the hope and restoration that the good news of Jesus brings? How can we become channels through whom God’s Spirit and His river of life flow to bring about healing of brokenness in its many physical, emotional and spiritual forms? And how can we allow that same river to touch many whose strength needs to be renewed? Revelation 21 and 22 describe the full restoration that God’s love brings when the new heaven and new earth come. But God’s restoring love is not just something for the end of history. Because of Jesus ushering in his
milestones Kingdom through His death and resurrection, God’s restoring love should already be experienced as we become a community like what is described at the end of Revelation. If the promise is that the river of life will flow through our community in the years ahead, then the promise of Revelation is also that along our riverbanks, the tree of life will grow, bearing fruit all year around. There will be ministries of healing for all members of our community and for the nations beyond. We will minister and experience God’s restoring love through ministries of mercy. This is not just for the needy we reach out to and who will join our community, but also for all of us. To one degree or another, each one of us is needy and in need of a touch from the Lord to restore and assure us of His love. So before we come to groundbreaking, and in order to enter into the fullness of the “new thing” that God is calling all of us to and become His channels of living water to others, there is a personal invitation for each one of us to encounter afresh His redeeming, renewing and restoring love. We need the ground of our lives to be broken so that God can do a deeper work of transformation in us and so that the Holy Spirit can make us clean vessels out of whom and through whom the river of the water of life will be able to flow mightily and unhindered.
Jesus calls us to come and drink, to have our thirst quenched and our faith strengthened through his redeeming love. For all who are spiritually thirsty and seeking God, Jesus through His death on the cross for our sins and His mighty resurrection power, offers us the water of eternal life. As we drink of this water, God’s renewing love is making all things new, and calling us home to the new heaven and new earth that He is bringing - a sanctuary for the heart of every lonely pilgrim longing for home. The Spirit fills us and flows through us so that we experience the fullness of God’s restoring love which heals our brokenness and renews our strength.
builds up our SJSM Village through PSW. God is transforming us in SJSM through His Spirit. And He will continue to transform us so that individually and collectively, we become His river of life flowing in and through us, proclaiming and ministering His redeeming, renewing and restoring love.
This article is an abridged version of a message delivered by Dr John Lim at the weekend worship services on 24 and 25 February 2018. Listen to the full sermon online at www.sjsm.org.sg
As Bishop N T Wright said in a sermon, all the glory of incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection are at the heart of John 7:38 and throughout John’s gospel. Our Spirit-driven mission and call are to be channels of living water. We are cleansed by the death of Jesus and have become a people who receive the Spirit of God. We are now a new covenant, new creation people out of whose hearts flow rivers of living water, brimming with the healing and restoring love of God. As the words of the song put it: The river of God is teeming with life and all who touch it can be revived and those who linger on this river’s shore will come back thirsting for more of the Lord This is our great calling as God
By Julian Chin There was much anticipation for our second Discipleship Symposium (DS2) in June 2017, as it had been 2 years since the first Discipleship Symposium, which many had found very beneficial. In line with our Jubilee vision to be a thriving discipleship ecosystem, the theme for DS2 was “Discipleship: Ready. Set. Go.” DS2 kicked off with Session 1 on a Friday evening, which was open to all church members. This session focused on the sub-theme “Ready”, with Pastor Martin Jungnickel encouraging everyone to be ready for discipleship. He revisited the basics of discipleship from John 15:1-12, that as disciples we are to abide in our Lord Jesus, to love others, and to bear fruit in Maturity, Ministry and Mission. He reminded us that discipleship is not about a programme, or just attending cell, or just head knowledge, or even about enforced accountability. He then shared on the discipleship roadmap, that from January 2018 onwards, every second week of the month will be intentionally set aside for small group discipleship. These small discipleship groups can choose to use any of three recommended resource books, namely, Design for Discipleship by the Navigators (suitable for new
believers), The Life You’ve Always Wanted – Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People by John Ortberg (suitable for growing disciples), and The Emotionally Healthy Leader by Peter Scazzero (suitable for upcoming leaders). DS2 continued the next day with two more sessions in the morning, and three workshops in the afternoon. These sessions and workshops were limited to our leaders, with the aim of better equipping us for discipleship. The second session was led by Stanley Tay, focusing on the sub-theme of “Set”. He emphasized the vital importance of soul-keeping in being set for discipleship. Discipling is about cultivating a spiritual friendship
Stanley Tay leading the second session.
and sharing life with the disciplees. Before we can do this, we must first care for our own spiritual wellbeing. With the aid of his usual video clips, he shared on how only we can be the keeper of our soul, and warned of the real danger of spiritual weariness and burnout if we do not take care and attend to our soul. I helmed the third session, which focused on the sub-theme of “Go”, by sharing practical ideas on how to go and disciple. Getting us to fill up the many blanks in our notes, I also shared on the inward and outward qualities of a discipler, and on how to shape a discipling session.
maturity I closed the session by reminding us that discipling is a spiritual activity, and so only the Holy Spirit can spiritually grow both the discipler and the disciplees. The leaders then had time to fellowship over a simple lunch, before the start of the afternoon workshops. All present were divided into groups of eight to ten. Each group was then rotated to attend each of the three workshops, which were based on the three resource books referred to by Pastor Martin in the first session. Each workshop was led by a lead facilitator, who introduced the book and highlighted its key points. Each group was then led by an individual facilitator, who conducted a mock-up of
a discipling session, using a designated chapter of that book. Many of the leaders found these hands-on workshops very helpful. Finally, DS2 closed the next day, with Pastor Joshua preaching on â€œTowards a Thriving Discipleship Ecosystem in SJSMâ€? at our Sunday E1 and E2 services.
Richard Lau leading a workshop session.
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The second SJSM Discipleship Symposium concluded with Pastor Joshua preaching a sermon titled “Towards a Thriving Discipleship Ecosystem in SJSM” at the weekend services. In his sermon, Pastor Joshua highlighted that small group discipling addresses the “Last Mile” challenge of discipleship. He observed that many struggle to allow the word of God to complete its journey from heaven to our hearts by ‘doing’ the word. He quoted 1 Peter 3:15 to explain that all believers are commanded to be ready to make a defence of the Gospel. We need to be prepared with a twofold application of this: (1) to be courageous to share the Gospel and (2) to rehearse and be skilled to share the Gospel. Two Ways To Live (2WTL), an
different scenarios in using 2WTL. The objective of launching 2WTL church-wide was for all cell members to know and gain confidence in sharing the Gospel. We are all called to be disciplers who witness as part of an authentic and joyful new life in Christ. To complement this intiative, the pulpit series was based on the book by Tim Keller on The King & The Cross which focussed on the Gospel of Mark. The response from cells attending the 2WTL course was very encouraging, despite the challenge of memorizing scripture and different parts of the 2WTL presentation. As we look back, 2WTL is not merely a course that the church went through, but a “God moment” when the urgency to share the Gospel was rekindled
Two Ways To Live - Know and Share the Gospel By Two Ways To Live Staff Team evangelism tool developed by Matthias Media, was launched in SJSM through the cells over seven weeks. Ps Joshua conducted a church-wide training for the first two out of the nine sessions. The rest of the sessions were conducted in the individual cells using resources which consisted of videos, and participants and leaders’ manuals. Participants also had the opportunity to role play
for many of us. Members recounted stories of gaining confidence to share the Gospel with relatives and friends. There was new zeal in cells to encourage one another to be God’s witnesses wherever he has placed us. The impact would be seen in our Maturity, Ministry and Mission. The foundation has been strengthened for greater
fruitfulness in each cell. 2WTL does not replace inviting our friends and family to the Alpha Course or the Gospel Services. However, 2WTL is a tool that helps remove the fear or hesitation of sharing the Gospel whenever the Holy Spirit prompts and presents an opportunity through a simple and accessible way.
If your cell missed the opportunity to go through the 2WTL course, do contact the Adult Cell Ministry for the training materials by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Making of Deaconess SJSM’s very own Laura Chan was made a Deaconess on 19 February 2017 at St Andrew’s Cathedral, along with Ds Anong Lekmuang of Christ Church Ban Chang in Thailand. Ds Laura is only one of five Deaconesses in the province of Southeast Asia. Ds Laura shared, “Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be made a Deaconess.” Although her role within SJSM has not changed much, she now strengthens SJSM’s connection with the Diocese. Let’s pray for DS Laura to be anointed and strengthened for this new season of ministry.
What is a Deaconess? The ministry of a Deaconess has its origin in Jesus (Luke 10:41-42) and it is acknowledged by the apostles, especially St Paul (Romans 16:1-2; 1 Timothy 3:8-12). Church fathers such as Clement of Alexandria (155-220 AD) and Origen (185-254 AD) underline in their writings the significant contribution of deaconesses in caring for the weak and needy in the church. The office of Deaconesses affirms and enhances the ministry of women with that special calling within the ecclesiastical order of our Diocese. Deaconesses serve under the authority of the Diocesan Bishop and typically serve alongside Clergy in the Parish Churches they are assigned to. Source: Diocesan Digest
A Call To
By Kevin Kwang and Diana Wu
“The junior church needs people to help with its programmes.” The exact wording may be a hazy memory now, but the sentiment was well received and, with that, my wife Diana and I decided to commit the second half of 2017 serving in the Kindy group at Junior Church. I would love to say it was plain sailing and a breeze, since it was just twice a month, every other month. Except it wasn’t. At their best, the children were engaged and excitable - and it was eyeopening for us to see the world through them. We re-learnt about God even as the Bible and its many stories were told to five- and six-year-olds. It was refreshing. Oftentimes, though, their (understandably short) attention was quickly diverted to their friends - leading to a quick and quiet exodus to the nearby books and toys corner. Cajoling, well-intentioned nudges and even outright “do this or else” instructions fell on deaf ears, even as worship, Bible stories and even puppet skits were going on somewhere else in the room. It
ministry got exasperating. Quickly. So, why am I sharing all these challenges in an article meant to feature the Junior Ministry in a positive light, and possibly recruit more parent volunteers while doing so? In order to better appreciate the sacrifices and dedication of the core Kindy teachers we were fortunate to see in action. One in particular stood out: June Kit, a young, single man who could have spent his time hanging out with his girlfriend, pals or even the Playstation on his weekends, instead he was always welcoming the children with a cheery, smiling disposition on Sunday mornings when serving. How he does that without a constant caffeine drip stuck in his arm is beyond me. He would also help lead the art and craft, worship and Bible story-telling sessions during the times we were there - all the while
garnering the love and respect of the children, which is a feat, considering there were more than 20 in the class at any one time. Additionally, we could see in the WhatsApp chatgroup created for these Kindy teachers and parent volunteers that they weren’t just going through the motions when planning programmes. Worship songs were picked for a reason, and those leading would turn up earlier to practice the dance moves together. The camaraderie was not contrived. As parents with children in the ministry, it has put our minds at ease that our kids, too, will benefit from their constant, dedicated presence. More than that, we were also taught the beautiful lesson of sowing into the lives of the next generation. This, if anything, is God’s love in action.
As you can see, it does take a village to raise a child, and we would love for you to join our small, but determined, kampong. If you’re keen to join the children’s ministry team in the NextGen Ministry - whether as a core teacher or parent volunteer – send an email to email@example.com All it takes is the passion to mentor, love for God and the belief that He alone qualifies and energises us to serve. Every adult member in the serving team (which include newlyweds, single adults, parents
of older children and youth) takes the initiative to actively reach out to pursue and disciple the children because he or she does not take lightly the Lord’s command, “Let the little children come to me. Don’t stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to people who are like these little children.”(Luke 18:16)
d o G r Fo
s e v o L So By Caleb Goh
The Spirit moved as many came to the altar for prayer, His tangible presence filled the hall as leaders ministered to the youths. Youth Camp 2017 seemed to stand out from other youth camps of the past, as many after the camp said that it was the very first time they had heard the voice of God. Prior to the camp in December, youths came together to pray for Heartbeat and the camp in what was a youth-led 36 hour prayer chain, called Shema, the Hebrew word for “listen” or “hear”. Different cell groups stepped up to register for 1-2 hour slots over the one and a half day event to intercede and pray for their fellow brothers and sisters, as well as to ask God for a fresh outpouring of His Holy Spirit during the camp. The event ended with a dedicated Shema service in place of the regular Heartbeat service on a Saturday evening. Everyone had an opportunity to pray with someone they did not know and to share about what they wanted to see different in Heartbeat, then to pray for those things in faith.
The camp speaker, Jemima Ooi or Jem, affectionately known to many as “the lady from the Congo”, spoke on knowing the heart of God and hearing His voice. It seemed oddly less “missional” than expected, in the sense that though she was a missionary, she spoke more on knowing God than doing things for God. “We are human beings, not human doings”, she said in a sermon about knowing our identity in God. It became clear by the end of the sermons that a heart for making disciples in the nations begins with knowing our identity in God, not simply as His servants, but also as His beloved children. Jem also trained us to hear the voice of God. She reminded us of a scriptural truth, that “God wants to speak to you more than you want to hear from Him”. Many of us who heard this grew to be more assured in hearing God’s voice and learnt to discern as He spoke to us and to our friends. We had special times where we prayed for our friends and prophesied into their lives, using the tools that
Jem taught us. It was wonderful and encouraging to see that even the pre-teens were beginning to encounter God in such a powerful way! The Lord taught us then that there was no such thing as a “junior Holy Spirit”, but that He is the same God to both the young and the aged! One highlight of the camp was during our worship when we invited anyone who had any visions or words from God to come forward to share. Person after person came up to the microphone to share what they had seen and heard, for almost one and a half hours! We learnt from that experience that we should let God move in the way He wishes to and not to clutter our time with programmes that take our focus off Him.
speak o t s t n a “God w han t e r o m to you o hear t t n a w you m” from Hi
t a be
t r ea 17
, aker e p S p Cam ima Ooi Jem
We thank God for the amazing time of hearing His voice and for granting us a glimpse of the things yet to come. May God seal in our hearts the words He has spoken to us, and to show us how, we can as a church share His love with others and make disciples of the nations!
A Camp Like No “I belong to you and you belong to me, not because of our beliefs and our behaviour but because of who we are.” When we think back on this milestone event a year ago, so many images and thoughts come to us: • It was five years in the making a hope and plan birthed in our hearts after Pastor Rod Wilson and his wife Bev shared in 2012 at Prof Brawn Café about their journey as parents of Jessica, a young woman with special needs. They spoke with such honesty and sensitivity, which enabled other parents of children with disabilities, siblings and volunteers to ask difficult, personal questions. That day, all of us left the Cafe with the sense of a shared journey and that perhaps this was the start of something more for special families. • It was about some families going away to camp for
the very first time because their special child would not have to be excluded and indeed would be central. • It was not about numbers yet the Lord showed us we were to keep seeking out and inviting families who are too often bogged down by cares and tiredness to respond – it was just like the great banquet in Luke 14. So we persevered and had about eight to nine families stay over with several others coming in and out during the three days to attend the talks and other sessions. We had more time to spend with different families and to get to know each other better.
• It was about much needed Respite and Refreshment (both physical and spiritual) for the families, especially the caregivers. We saw tired and weighed-down parents come in but by the end of the camp, those same families left with big smiles and a light in their eyes, strengthened for the journey ahead, with new friendships made, even among the children – it was a sight beyond words for the team and we knew how greatly God had been present in our midst. • It was about creating a safe space for families to unwind, share and even cry because they are understood and loved. We saw a couple who has served their congregation for many years, put aside their ministry personas and allow
ministry Our First Camp For Families With Special Needs March 2017 By Special Needs Support Group
God to minister to them as parents and as a couple – there were many breakthroughs during the camp. • It was about unexpected support which came from the community – when Changi Sailing Club realised we were trying to organise short boat rides for our families with special needs, they waived their fees. One of our favourite moments was capturing the look of pure happiness on the faces of Jeremiah and his family as they went out to sea for the first time together. • It was about receiving a new, life-giving perspective on Behaviour, Belief and Belonging. Ps Rod Wilson spoke about how we are schooled to value behaviour
and belief in assessing whether a person belongs in our communities, churches, schools. Society often does not easily accept and tends to overlook those who are different especially those with disabilities. Instead, the place to start is to say, “I belong to you and you belong to me, not because of our beliefs and our behaviour but because of who we are.” All too soon, our time at camp came to an end and very reluctantly families said ‘goodbye’ to each other, to Rod and Bev and unanimously asked for another, longer camp next year! By God’s grace this will be happening 17 – 19 June 2018 and we earnestly seek your prayers and support. To God be the Glory!
荣 耀 荣 事 神 工， 益 人 无论是华人，还是其他种族，当面 对亲人过世，需办后事或丧礼，心 情总是复杂的。一方面，人都会有 感慨，不舍，需要被安慰和鼓励。 另一方面，华人常常带着忧虑，害 怕，绝望，甚至迷信的态度来应付 亲人的离开。
华文堂在好几年前，因为面对渐渐 增长的会友老迈和离开，决定重新 思考我们为会友家属的服事。在我 们的黄泽勋传道带领之下，“荣耀 事工”开始了！
每次的丧礼，我们都有一批弟兄姐 妹，愿意投入“荣耀事工”，出 席会友的丧礼，给予家属安慰和鼓 励。能有机会和他们配搭，对我这 个中年人，是很大的鼓舞。因为好 几位的弟兄姐妹，虽然行动缓慢， 甚至不便，但他们还是风雨不改， 常常出席丧礼。看见他们的用心， 我也有点惭愧，也带着敬佩他们的 心。
为什么称为“荣耀事工”？因为我 们深信，基督徒的过世，就好像人 进入上帝的荣耀，而不是一件沮丧
常常有家属在丧礼过后，特别的回 到主日崇拜，或写了卡片，为的 是要感谢教会对丧家的支持。甚至
BEREAVEMENT MINISTRY By Kiff Loh
Facing the passing of a family member can bring mixed and complicated feelings - grief, regret, fear and even hopelessness. I thank God for the opportunity to partner with a committed group of members, who despite age and mobility challenges, walked the extra mile to support grieving families by attending wakes and funerals. Through this simple gesture, we saw many families touched by God. In 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, the Apostle Paul reminded us that the reason we are able to comfort others in affliction, is because God first comforted us. What a privilege to be able to glorify God through this ministry of comfort!
有些未信的家人，因此愿意参加我 们的启发课程，最后还决志信靠耶 稣。哈利路亚！ 可以参与“荣耀事工”的服事，对 我而言，是与主同工，也是荣神益 人的宝贵机会。愿主借着保罗给教 会的鼓励，感动我们，使我们更能 带安慰给悲伤的人。 “我们在一切患难中，他就安慰我 们，叫我们能用神所赐的安慰去安 慰那遭各样患难的人。”（林后 1:4） 罗永恒
ministry SJSM TAMIL CONGREGATION
REACHING OUT THROUGH MUSIC By Nivitha Nixon
An example of impacting people within the area of our influence is the “Solid Rock Music School” which is the music ministry outreach arm of St John’s-St Margaret’s Tamil Congregation which was led by our Worship Team Leader Bro John Charles. Being musically inclined, he runs this school free of charge for anyone who is interested in music to come and learn the basics of music. For those who know how to play one instrument but have always longed to try another one, this is a platform to come and learn the instrument of their choice. The school runs every Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon and is open to all age groups, irrespective of music background. Many students eager to learn, enrolled in the classes and have
not only learnt music but also built great friendships along the way. These regular classes are punctuated by performances where their acquired skills are showcased. On 29 August 2015, the first concert was held where the students performed and shared
For 2018 about 25 people have registered for the music class. To find out more or to register for a class, get in touch with Bro John Charles @ 8499 9506
their testimonies. It was an evening filled with music, songs and dance performances. A music concert titled “Never Give Up” was held in 2016 and another in February 2017 called “Give Thanks”. .
DOVER HEARTFRIENDS MINISTRY By Simon Devaraj
Fans of the thorny “king of fruits”, with its rich, creamy flesh and delicious aroma look forward to durian season each year. On 30 July 2016 SJSM members invited friends and the Dover community to share in a feast of the best fruits our supplier could find. Under the stars at the open air carpark about 400 members and guests bonded over a durian feast. The Durian Fiesta was a Dover Ministry outreach event leading up to the Gospel and Healing Service and Alpha Course. Church members Thomas and Su Eing who brought guests had this to say, “We were thankful for the incredible efforts in organizing. Our guests and neighbours enjoyed it tremendously.”
Dover Heartfriends Ministry’s goal is to stir the hearts of God’s disciples towards good works and share the good news. In 2016, the focus was on laity engagement, appreciation and development. In 2017, we focused on harvest and bridge-building. Previously cells and members considered Orange Blessing as something extra and optional that occurred on a Saturday or Sunday. Last year, the Adult Cell Ministry and Dover Heartfriends Ministry collaborated to incorporate Orange Blessing into cell life by holding the Orange Blessing distribution on a Wednesday or Friday, in place of the usual cell meetings. As a result, cell members have caught the vision to follow up with residents who are open.
Truly, the night was a special moment for people who stepped onto church grounds for the first time. Pastor Joshua shared at the briefing that we could make a big difference in a person’s life journey by blessing them.
Kopi Stop is our weekly Saturday breakfast for Dover residents. Some of the cells have been serving at Kopi Stop for almost 15 years. We are thankful for cells and groups who have stepped forward to serve. As younger
cells come forward, we are exploring different ways to serve the community. The cells have taken great care to serve the most delicious breakfast. Moving forward we are considering empowering residents to cook at Kopi Stop. We are working with South West CDC to explore the NCSS Kitchen Programme for Dover. The programme targets seniors at risk of social isolation. We hope to reach 200 seniors. We relaunched Family Corner after Local Evangelism Weekend in March 2017. Family Corner is a monthly cell-led activity for the whole family with a special focus on children from 3 to 12 years old. A cell has run this event twice with games, food and a puppet show which was a crowd pleaser. We welcome cells with children or cells with a passion for children to step forward to serve. Before and
mission years, but was always held at the Dover HDB blocks. So it came as pleasant surprise when grassroots leaders were open to holding DCC within our Christmas Village on 16 December 2017. That partnership opened the door for many Dover residents to step into the church. It paved the way for closer collaboration in organising Health Talks to meet the needs of the Dover residents. What is our vision? It was discerned years ago that God is sending many people to SJSM. With healthy cells empowered and equipped, we are God’s disciples to show mercy and share the good news winsomely.
After School Care (BASC) now has quarterly “free ice cream” days which is proving very popular among the residents. Visitation is going to be the key focus for the coming years. As we have equipped ourselves with the knowledge of sharing the Gospel through Two Ways To Live, members will be more confident to befriend residents. Although
community visitations seek mainly to render financial aid or meeting needs, we do sense that with the many years of relationships built, the Dover residents are also open to friendship and companionship. December 2017 was a dream come true for us. Dover Celebrates Christmas (DCC) has been organized in partnership with the Dover Grassroots Organisation yearly for many
The World By Shara Perales
A Call To Turn
SJSM Filipino Congregation, Calvary Bible Institute 2015-2017
Thanks and praise to the Lord for the 33 graduates of Calvary Bible Institute.
mission The SJSM Filipino Congregation, in partnership with Calvary Bible Institute (CBI), conducted a twoyear Practical Theology course from 2015-2017. CBI teaches us to live out our faith by applying the Word of God in daily practical ways of living, such as Discipleship, Daily Bible Reading, Evangelism and Preaching the Word of God. It was a significant time for the participants as it transformed us into “Game Changers”. I thank God for using CBI and the SJSM family to equip, disciple and nurture us over two years.
My Life Then
How Do I Apply What I Learnt?
As an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW), working abroad is the biggest sacrifice for all of us - away from home, family and friends. Life is so tough; we need to endure feelings of loneliness, weariness and frustration when difficulties strike.
CBI teaches us a practical way of living as disciples who disciple others - by simply showing others our way of living for Christ, and providing help and counseling to others in times of difficulty.
My Life Now The SJSM family serves as a place of refuge, where most of us have found community and life. God moves mightily through His people in every area of ministry. Through CBI, many lives have been transformed. We have found God’s favour in our lives everywhere we worked. How Did I Experience Such Transformation in My Life? By the word of God, faith and the prayers of every under-shepherd who taught and discipled us, so that we too would multiply and empower others. Each of us receives a portion of gifts according to the faith that is given. What Lessons Have I Learnt? Regardless of the level of education we have, God has blessed us with knowledge and wisdom. Remain humble and let the word of God change our character from the inside out, so that the Lord may be glorified in all that we do.
We also conducted group discipleship in church using everything that we have learned. I now find it easy to share God’s word by using the Discovery Bible Study (DBS) methods where we simplify the topic by connecting it to our daily lives. How Can My Life Be a Witness to Others? I find it is most useful and effective if we live what we teach, if we act what we say, and if we do as we are taught. How Will I Apply These Lessons in the Future? I learned that many OFWs still suffer in darkness, like what I had been through before. Now that God has set me free from all kinds of suffering and bondages, I believe God’s will and purpose for my life is to reach out to the lost and bring them back to the Light, so that they too may be set free and know God, and that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Saviour who sets us free from all our infirmities and gives Eternal Life.
Our Saviour came to serve, not to be served - Matthew 20:28, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
He Calls Me to Him by Trixie Chin
him to continue his studies and complete his tertiary education, but he preferred to work instead of going to university. I was very disappointed and could not change his mind. I brought this matter to God in prayer, trusting that God would give His best to my son. Three months later, my son told me that he wanted to pursue higher education in university. When I heard that, my eyes were filled with tears of joy. The Indonesian Fellowship was formed in the mid-1990’s when there was an influx of Indonesian domestic helpers coming to work in Singapore. Over the years, many Indonesian domestic helpers have come and gone. Yet, we remain a place called home for the Indonesian Community in SJSM, helping them to build a healthy emotional and spiritual life. Here are two testimonies of individuals who have found God and community here in SJSM. My name is Warti. I came to Singapore as a non-believer of Jesus but God extended His grace to me and brought me into His kingdom as His child. Since then I have been attending the Indonesian Fellowship and my faith in Jesus is growing day by day as I trust in His guiding hands. In 2016, my son studying in Indonesia wanted to go for higher education (equivalent to A-level) but I was unable to support him financially. He is my only son and
I would really want him to have a better education. I brought this matter to God and He sent help through my employer. He gave me an advance in my salary to pay my son’s school fees and I could pay back by monthly instalment. Through this experience, I learnt that God has me in His heart and I am grateful to Him. Five months later, my son discussed his education with me. He shared that he planned to find a job after his studies. I wanted
I experienced God’s love and all that happened drew me closer to Him. I learned to rely on Him and trust in Him in all things. I thank God for choosing me to be His child. I want to worship Him and serve Him for the rest of my life, not because He answered my prayers but because He is worthy to be praised and adore. He is my Lord and my God. I am Ana. I am an Indonesian married to a Singaporean and have been living in Dover for a long time. Last year I had a
very challenging year and was struggling with some family issues back home in Indonesia. I was troubled, confused and lost; it seemed I was at the end of the road and could not come out from the tunnel. The thought of committing suicide crossed my mind. One evening, I walked around the estate aimlessly and saw a church. I saw written on the signboard, â€œIndonesian Fellowship meets on Sunday at 11.15 amâ€?. It seemed there was a voice calling me to come. It
so happened that the next day was a Sunday. So, I attended the fellowship. I stepped into the church and asked the people where the Indonesian Fellowship was held and they pointed me to room C205. I walked into the room and received a warm welcome. I sat down and joined in the songs that they sung and listened to the sharing of the Word of God. They prayed for me and there was a great peace in me. I felt
liberated from my problems and I went home with peace. Since then, I have been coming to the Indonesian Fellowship. I know it was God who saved me and helped me when I brought all my challenges to Him in prayer. I am really grateful for His love and pray that my husband will come to know Him too.
Nepal Medical Missions Reflections
Juan Hui is at the far left, front row
Reaching the nations through world missions is an integral part of the parish life of SJSM. Over the years, the church has sent out cross-cultural workers into the mission field and mobilised church members on short-term mission trips. Here are the reflections of two SJSMers who went on a medical mission to Nepal in 2017.
GOH JUAN HUI Is God telling me something whenever I read this verse from Isaiah 54:2, “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes”? Or even through the vision of SJSM: “…to reach a world in need of Christ”, on the left front wall of Christ Sanctuary? Since my baptism and confirmation in 2013, I have sought to play my part in supporting medical missions. I sensed God’s hand at work in practically every mission trip I have participated in. His blessings, guidance and protection have always been evident. This was despite my tendency to rationalise situations which didn’t turn out according to my expectations. In contrast, I was inspired by the pure and simple faith of the local folks we ministered to.
When my wife, Judy, decided to join me in her first medical mission trip to Nepal in 2016, I asked her: “Are you sure you can endure all these discomforts and arduous road and trekking journeys?” But despite her tendency to suffer from motion sickness, she has accompanied me on other mission trips as well. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life,” made no sense to me in my teens, but this verse is becoming more relevant by the day. Thank You Jesus, Your grace is sufficient for me!
mission JONI THIO The verse that sums up the Nepal mission trip for me is found in Matthew 22: 36 -39: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.” Going to Nepal came from a
recognition that I am loved by a King of endless worth. Serving Him in missions is my heartfelt response to God’s immeasurable love towards me. It is a simple expression of loving Him back, but which in no way compares to how much He has lavished His great love for me. When my heart can no longer contain His love, it naturally pours out to the people we served in Nepal. We share His love so that they would also become part of the family of God. Serving in the children’s ministry during the trip has been such a blessing. It was an honour and privilege to plant seeds into the hearts of little children. Though brief, my encounter with them was overwhelming. For beyond the scruffy looking exteriors, I had a glimpse of what the Lord sees in them. In His eyes, they are His precious and beloved children, princes and princesses of great value and worth - worthy enough for the King of the universe to die
on the cross for. With the little time we had, I wanted the children in Hemja to do what God created them to do - that is to worship God. I wanted them to have the chance to hear and witness the glorious love and power of the God we serve. I suppose for me, the mission trip never ended, for I find myself praying for these little ones, that this great God be magnified in their lives, long after we have left. The biggest highlight of the trip for me personally was the day we were granted an “open heaven” experience with an amazing opportunity to serve the community in the Tibetan Refugee Camp. The overall atmosphere was almost electric, with a buzz that was felt from the registration area, waiting area, doctors’ examination rooms, pharmacy, and even out to the field where the children were playing. I thought a soccer match organised between the monks in their robes and our guys was just divine appointment, where love was the language spoken. Reflecting later about the day, the group felt the buzz we felt was joy manifested. Barriers were broken. I believe we flooded the place and the hearts’ of the Tibetans with light and love. It could only be attributed to the hand of God, and His immense love for them.
Joni and her husband, Abel.
Project Spring-Winter (PSW) can be characterised as the transformation of St John’s – St Margaret’s Church in three dimensions: Physical, Social and Spiritual.
Physical Transformation SJSM will be transformed from a sprawling colonial-age hill-top church with an open-air carpark into a modern urban village with a 273-bed nursing home, a senior day care centre for 100 clients and a pre-school for 200 children.
from a church-centric identity to a community-centred identity; from a Church, we will become a Village. We will truly become a “church without walls” that God intended; where the community is in the church, and church is in the community. There will be no barriers; indeed, we will encourage
Luke 22, “not my will, but yours, be done …” (Luke 22:42b). Not in our own wildest imagination would we have conceived of PSW on our own. Even when God told us during our 40th anniversary that He would do a “new thing” in SJSM, we could not imagine it would be PSW. Yet after the Lord made His calling clear through a combination of circumstances and revelations, we went through 5 separate votes at different AGMs and EGMs regarding this project, and each was passed with overwhelming majorities.
The human dimension of the physical transformation will be even more dramatic. A quiet office housing some 70 adults today will be transformed to a bustling community of almost 800 persons of all ages. This is more than a ten-fold increase in the weekday population. The human energy and vibrancy will also correspondingly jump. The ages represented in the new population will range from the very young (18 months) to the very old, and everyone in-between. This distinctive feature of a multigenerational population is what led us to name the project as “Project Spring-Winter” in the first place.
Social Transformation Through PSW, SJSM will morph
An integrated complex with one tower block of 11 floors and a pre-school annex that will rise to the 7th floor will be added to today’s clutch of lowrise buildings wrapped around natural hill contours. The usable space of the buildings will grow from the equivalent of 66 x fiveroom HDB flats today to more than 180 of them. That’s almost two entire HDB point blocks of 25 storeys each. The Ministry of Health has given us a significant capital grant, and we will have to raise almost $47m ourselves.
Through PSW, we are also being moved from comfortable self-sufficiency to experiencing what it means when “(God’s) power is made perfect in (our) weakness …” (2 Cor 12:9). PSW brought us beyond what we could ever do in our own strength, and this forced us to By Larry Choi rely on God at every turn with no Plan B. God has already free flow of people through our given us ample evidence that programmes. He is more than able to turn our SJSM will also grow from caring weakness into a miraculous display mainly for spiritual needs to offering of His provision, and we can be sure a broad spectrum of services. With more will follow. PSW, we will become a seamless God has called us forward towards provider of childcare, infant care, the new. Having experienced how medical care, respite care and God has carried us thus far in the home-based care as well as soul PSW journey, let us all choose to care. We will treat people as Jesus ride on His wings by faith till we are did – as whole persons. From a fully transformed. All glory be to place where the action takes place God! mainly during the weekends, SJSM will become a dynamic hub of activities throughout the week. From 7 am when the childcare first This overview of PSW was opens to 10 or 11 pm when church presented by Larry Choi, and nursing home activities wind Chairman of the Projectdown, there will be life; by God’s grace, abundant life in SJSM. Spring Winter(PSW) Main Committee, at the PSW Spiritual Transformation Groundbreaking Service on 3 As a church community, we will March 2018. move from choosing our own ministries to saying, as Jesus did in
Scripture reference: Clockwise from Top Left: Zechariah 4:11, Luke 14:15, Revelation 11:4, Revelation 21
This is the cover of Asher’s second book, WordArt 2 – Getting To Know God. The drawing on this page is based on two passages in Revelation that Asher has also linked to other parts of Scripture. For more information on his new book, please go to https://www.facebook.com/WordArtbyAsher or contact Wang Wei Lin via WhatsApp @+6598332793 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Asher’s drawings are expressions of what he has read from the Bible. They are often filled with subtle details that enrich the meaning of the Scripture passage or reference. What is even more remarkable is that Asher is autistic. We praise God for depositing such a precious gift in Asher.
ST. JOHN’S - ST. MARGARET’S CHURCH 30 Dover Avenue, Singapore 139790 Phone: 6777 0934 | Fax: 6778 6264 | Email: email@example.com Published by St. John’s – St. Margaret’s Church Copyright © St. John’s – St. Margaret’s Church, 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.
Annual magazine of SJSM Church featuring highlights from the past year.