1. Formation of 4th District
At the Special Session of the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) held in July 2017, the Rev Dr Gregory Goh, CAC President, proposed the formation of four districts to replace the former three-district structure. This is to aid in strengthening collaborations among churches, and better position District Superintendents to oversee and coordinate resources. This will also help facilitate pastor and leadership development. The pastors and lay delegates were in unanimous support of the proposal, which will be implemented in 2018.
2. Visit by the China Christian Church to CAC President and the Four Denominations Chinese Churches Council
On 25 July 2017, the Three-Self Patriotic Movement Church Committee Chairperson, Elder Fu Xianwei, together with five other delegates, met with Minister of Health Mr Gan Kim Yong, and members of the Four Denominations Chinese Churches Council (Lutheran, Presbyterian, Anglican and Methodist). The meeting was coordinated by the CAC and held at the Methodist Centre.
This visit has helped to cement and broaden the long-standing relationship between China and Singapore churches that has been built and established for 25 years.
3. World Federation of Chinese Methodist Churches (WFCMC) 7th Mission Conference
From 3-17 July 2017, the WFCMC held its 7th Mission Conference in Kowloon, Hong Kong. The theme was ‘Holistic Mission – From Generation to Generation’. It brought together Methodists from 12 Conferences including Australia, England, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Sabah, Sarawak, Singapore, Taiwan, the USA, and West Malaysia. A total of 722 delegates attended the conference. Singapore’s delegation was 124-strong, and included Bishop Dr Chong Chin Chung, CAC President the Rev Dr Goh, pastors, and church members.
The WFCMC is a body of Chinese Methodist Churches from around the world. They collaborate in translating Methodist materials, training and research activities, and supporting Cambodian missions work. The first Mission Conference was held 30 years ago in 1987. It is organised once every five years.
The 8th Mission Conference, in 2022, will be organised by the CAC in Singapore (see top right pic for flag handover).
4. Walks to Emmaus in 2017
Yet another group of brothers and sisters have embarked on their ‘Walk to Emmaus’ journeys (26-29 June and 4-7 September respectively). Just as the two disciples met the Lord Jesus on the road to Emmaus so many years ago, these participants may have started out with no idea of what to expect. Away from the haze of their busy lives, they experienced a new encounter with the merciful Lord, turning away from their lost wandering to find life that is bright and colourful. (For more information about the ‘Walk to Emmaus’ retreats, see MM Mar 2017 P9-10.)
5. Day for Prayer for families
The CAC’s Board of Family Life, which had been newly formed last year, organised a Day of Prayer for families on 19 Aug 2017. It was a heartfelt time, as households gathered to pray earnestly for families in the name of the Lord (see above left and right pics). The morning was filled with joy, that surely this was time well spent, and pleasing to the Lord.
6. Retreat for pastors and lay ministry staff
A one-day retreat was held for pastors and lay ministry staff on 28 Aug 2017, based on St. Benedict of Nursia’s rule to help with work and life. The speaker, Father Anselm Grün, shared how in silence, one may be able to listen to one’s inner feelings, so as to reconcile with ourselves and also with God. One can then live well with others in community. From our life experiences and biblical insights from the example of Christ, we can receive direction in leadership, work, and life.
From the Chinese Annual Conference President’s Office
Photos courtesy of the Chinese Annual Conference