Happenings

A C.L.A.S.S act The Methodist Co-operative Society Ltd

Aug 2017    

By Methodists, for the Christian community

Formed by Methodists under the auspices of the Council of Christian Social Concerns in 1995, the Methodist Co-operative Society Ltd (MCSL) continues to be the channel for like-minded Methodists to be involved in the co-operative movement, and an enabler of regulated social enterprises that meet the needs of our community.

Its main social enterprise is Hosanna Bereavement Services, which most Methodists would be familiar with. This is the Co-operative’s key social mission to our Christian community in times of grief and loss, through the provision of one-stop dignified bereavement services.

MCSL’s secondary social enterprise (MCSL Management) provides facility management service. The aim is to relieve mundane responsibilities in the upkeep of common properties. This service is currently deployed to two main sites at John Wesley Centre and Ang Mo Kio Methodist Church respectively. MCSL Management also undertakes cleaning services at several churches on a smaller scale.

Though MCSL is constituted separately from the General Conference of The Methodist Church in Singapore, it sees itself as part of the Methodist family based on its founding principles.

Its vision is to be a premier co-operative society guided by the spirit of unity and love for others as written in Acts 4:32. Its businesses in bereavement and facility management services, as well as its charitable support to the Methodist community and beyond, continue to reflect the values of sharing and caring for one another.

New shared values and a burgeoning membership

This is further articulated in its newly-developed shared values ‘C.L.A.S.S.’ which stands for Caring (showing compassion, concern and consideration for others), Leadership (serving with integrity as servant leaders and leading by example), Appreciation (having appreciation and mutual respect for all shareholders and valuing their contributions), Sustainability (recognizing that sustainable profits and business value creation are essential to doing well and doing good), and Stewardship (acknowledging that God owns everything including our talents and resources, and letting honesty and fairness guide our actions to protect and look after them).

Today, MCSL counts more than 1,000 members from both the Methodist and non-Methodist denominations participating in its co-operative endeavours. The significant increase in membership is largely due to MCSL embarking on road shows at several Methodist churches to promote awareness of the Co-operative and to strengthen its membership base. We encourage fellow congregants to come to our booth and join as members whenever the Co-operative is running the road show at your church.

A portion of the Co-operative’s surplus is retained in the Common Good Fund. This fund is designated for the common benefit of its members, including its Annual Thanksgiving Dinner, educational seminars, and excursions to neighbouring countries.

MCSL recognises that one of its priorities is to be able to serve its members better. In this respect, MCSL has partnered various co-operatives in Singapore in extending special benefits to them. Some of these initiatives include discounted hotel stays here and abroad, discounted professional training programmes, and interior renovation services, along with a newly-designed membership card (see above). Do check out MCSL’s website and Facebook Page at www.methodistcoop.org.sg and www.facebook.com/methodistcoop respectively.

MCSL has been blessed over the last 22 years to be in a position to purchase two properties. The first is a commercial unit at Hexacube while the second is another office unit at Sunshine Plaza, both for rental as well as for asset appreciation purposes. The Co-operative aims to provide good returns to its members for the shares they have invested in.

Engaging the younger generation

One of MCSL’s greatest challenges is to bring the younger generation into its fold. Presently, about 80 per cent of its members are more than 50 years old, which do not bode well for its renewal and long-term plans. The Co-operative seeks more millennials to be involved in new enterprises and the co-operative movement, as well as in addressing societal needs.

To this end, MCSL has recently started engaging in various youth initiatives, such as with the Republic Polytechnic’s Social Enterprise Management Diploma Programme, the Singapore National Co-operative Federation’s Youth Co-operative Camps, and speaking at our Methodist schools.

In supporting these programmes, MCSL hopes to encourage our youth to take the path less trodden for the benefit of our society, to be future social entrepreneurs who can take MCSL further as new leaders in the years to come.

In a nutshell, MCSL exists for its members, and what the members would like to do, now and in the future, in terms of its economic interests and the core values it embodies. Nevertheless, our fervent prayer is always that the principles of caring and sharing, as described in Acts 4:32, will continue being exemplified by each and every one of us. For we are reminded in Hebrews 13:16 to “not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (NIV).

 

 

Becoming a Member

Contact Mr Victor Seow, General Manager
Tel: 6767-1638 Email: vicseow@methodistcoop.org.sg

Hosanna Bereavement Services

Contact Mr Ricky Guok, Funeral Director
24-hour Hotline: 6352-7797 Email: admin@hosannabereavement.com.sg

Facilities Management Services

Contact Mr Victor Seow, General Manager
Tel: 6767-1638 Email: vicseow@methodistcoop.org.sg

Victor Seow –

is the General Manager and a board member of the Methodist Co-operative Society Ltd. He worships at Charis Methodist Church.

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