Church Profile

Hakka MC: Blessed to be a Blessing

May 2014    

Hakka Methodist Church (Chinese Annual Conference)
卫理公会客音天恩堂
1-B Evelyn Road, S(309298)
Sunday service:
9.00 am (Mandarin); 11.00 am (English) Every 2nd, 3rd and 4th Saturday:
5.00 pm (Hakka) Contact: 6256-2225 or visit hakkamc.org.sg

Reminiscing on Hakka Methodist Church’s early days, pastor-in-charge the Rev Daniel Lee said: “My memories of Hakka MC date back to the days when I followed my dad the Rev Lee Chin Ming to visit his good friend, the Rev Benjamin Chiu (the pastor in Kuantan, Malaysia), and his family living in the old parsonage. Orchids, tended by the Chius’ green fingers, grew everywhere in the church compound.”

Officially established as a local conference in 1949 under the Malaysia Chinese Annual Conference of the Methodist Church, Hakka MC’s roots can be traced even further back to 1911 when a Singapore Hakka Church met near a Hakka cemetery in Sung Long San (Holland Road). This was disrupted by the Second World War.

The vision of the church cast by the Rev Lee and church leaders is “Blessed to be a Blessing”.

“I sense that God wants Hakka MC to be a blessing to the community around us and to bring the good news of Jesus along family lines to the Hakka (guest) people and from the Hakka to the locals and other ‘guest’ peoples in Singapore and beyond.

He wants Hakka church to be a place where people can come to find healing for their spirits, souls and bodies. A place where they can learn about His rule of blessing and where they can be made whole,” the Rev Lee said.

The congregation currently numbers about 500 over three services conducted in Hakka, Mandarin and English.

The Rev Lee continues, “While Foochow and Hinghwa Methodist Churches retain their dialect identity, ours is the only Methodist church to restore dialect services conducted totally in Hakka. We need to recover this dialect ministry in other churches.”

One of the ways Hakka MC seeks to be a blessing is by holding its Hakka service on Saturday evenings, enabling Christians to bring their Hakka-speaking elders for the service without any clash with their own Sunday worship services. The immediate bonds felt by speaking the same dialect are further deepened over a fellowship meal after the service. Our Hakka visitation team is also kept busy with many requests from Christians to visit their Hakka-speaking elderly parents or grandparents at home.

Another ministry aimed at blessing others is our ongoing Hakka Overseas Missions Exposure (HOME) programme started last year. Aiming to expose more members to overseas missions, we have planned six to eight short-term mission trips to different countries, mostly during June and July. All these trips are led by our own members and cater to all age groups, including families with young children, youth, and the elderly.

The challenge ahead for us as a church is to grow even more. We still have empty spaces in the pews! As Chinese Annual Conference President the Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung has noted, “The Hakkas, as a community, have been notably resistant to the Gospel. It could have something to do with their traditional clan emphasis on careful attention to forebears’ funeral rituals, and reverence for and worship of their ancestors.”

More important than numerical growth, however, is to grow in the way that pleases God. We hope to grow more in the area of evangelism and social concerns. In line with this, our bilingual youth group, the Saltshakers, started this year to volunteer regularly at Residence @ St. George’s – a Methodist Welfare Services home for young female offenders.

PRAY with Hakka MC to * truly be a blessing to those around them * grow in the way that pleases God, particularly in evangelism and social concerns

We continue our series of profiling local churches from our three Annual Conferences of The Methodist Church in Singapore. As we come to have a better understanding of each other’s history and ministry, there may be opportunity to forge cross-church partnerships and collaborations.

Pictures courtesy of Hakka Methodist Church

Pastor Edmund Koh is a Preacher with Hakka Methodist Church.

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