The latest 2013 Revised Edition of The Book of Discipline of The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) is now available at $20 a copy from the Administration Office of the MCS at Methodist Centre, 70 Barker Road, Level 6, Tel: 6478-4786.
It incorporates all the amendments made by the General Conference in 2012, and is published by the Discipline Revision Commission of the MCS.
The Book of Discipline constitutes the law and doctrine of the Methodist Church. Originally published in 1784 by the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States of America, our own Book of Discipline has been published once every four years since achieving autonomy in 1968.
Without doubt, it is a useful and relevant rule-book for Methodist ministers, officials as well as lay persons serving in various ministries. It sets out our Methodist structure in Singapore, how we operate at the General Conference, Annual Conference and local church levels, and includes our Constitution, our Doctrinal Statements and General Rules (the Articles of Religion, unchanged since 1784), our Social Principles and the organisational and administrative rules.
In the Episcopal Foreword, Bishop Dr Wee Boon Hup said: “While we maintain the core of what we believe and how we organise ourselves as a church, the amendments (by the General Conference) reflect how the contemporary situation has made it necessary for us to adapt.”
Interestingly, in the Episcopal Greetings of the 2012 United Methodist Church (UMC) Book of Discipline, the UMC Council of Bishops wrote: “We do not see the Discipline as sacrosanct or infallible, but we do consider it a document suitable to our heritage. It is the most current statement of how United Methodists agree to live their lives together.”
Methodist Message in the Discipline
This is mentioned in the guidelines for the Council on Communications (CoC) in Section V of Chapter Three, which provides the various Administrative Order guidelines. The CoC is “the official news-gathering and distributing agency” for MCS, and it “shall publish a periodical known as the Methodist Message containing news and information of The Methodist Church and its agencies, and of activities and developments of other Churches, ecumenical bodies and other agencies of interest to Methodists”.