Happenings

MCS shares DISCIPLE material with Presbyterian Church

Dec 2011    

THE METHODIST CHURCH IN SINGAPORE (MCS) and The Presbyterian Church in Singapore (PCS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Oct 25, 2011 to allow the PCS to translate and use the DISCIPLE Bible Study material distributed by the DISCIPLE Agency of the MCS.

Bishop Dr Robert Solomon represented the MCS, and the PCS was represented by the Right Rev Dr Steven Gan Giap

Soon, Synod Moderator. The brief ceremony consisted of both church leaders signing and exchanging the agreement documents in front of witnesses from their respective church denominations, following which the Right Rev Dr Gan gave a short speech of appreciation.

He said that he had found the DISCIPLE programme to be the “most comprehensive and detailed material covering Genesis to Revelation”. He added that the material has had “great impact on the growth of my church”, referring to the running of the DISCIPLE programme in his own congregation. Later, he shared that the signing of the new agreement would enable his congregation to translate and use the material in the Myanmar language.

Bishop Dr Solomon closed the ceremony with a prayer of thanksgiving.

Help for those with debt, gambling problems

One Hope Centre also helps sexually-abused women and children and abused foreign workers

AS A PIONEER MINISTRY in Singapore providing specialised assistance to people facing debt, gambling and abuse problems, One Hope Centre (OHC) was inundated with calls for help once its helpline was set up in February 2005.

Established by a group of churches in Geylang in prayerful response to the needs of the community in the area, OHC has handled more than 700 cases since its operational launch in August 2004. It has three key areas of focus: loan shark victims and their family; sexually-abused women and children; and needy and abused foreign workers.

Other than the helpline, OHC also provides services such as weekly support groups for gambling addicts and their families, financial counselling and debt management, legal and medical advice and referrals, loan shark mediation, pastoral care and counselling, job recommendation, family enrichment, home visits and befriending.

OHC also works to raise community awareness of debt and gambling issues through partnerships with various organisations, such as the National Council on Problem Gambling and the Prison Christian Fellowship, and through mass media and community events. It also assists in practical research on gamblers’ behaviours and how gambling affects families.

Although open to all regardless of race, religion and nationality, OHC firmly believes that faith is a crucial factor in the recovery process, and remains a faith-based charity. erefore, it does not qualify for government and community funds to support its work and relies on fund-raising, inviting the Christian community to partner with it in this challenging but necessary work.

It runs two weekly services to provide help to those facing debt and gambling problems at St Andrew’s Cathedral on ursdays from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm (Recovery Support Group), and Geylang Chinese Methodist Church on Saturdays from 6.45 pm to 9.30 pm (Family Support Group).

OHC is seeking the partnership of churches and Christian volunteers to establish more Family Support Groups all over Singapore to reach out to gambling and debt-related clients. It further plans to set up a shelter for sexually-abused women and children, training and rehabilitation programmes for these people and professional advice for abused foreign workers.

It is currently located at 8 New Industrial Road, #04-04 LHK3 Building, Singapore 536200. For more information, visit www.onehopecentre.org or email help@onehopecentre.org or call the helpline at 6547-1011.

SOS! We need volunteers

SAMARITANS OF SINGAPORE (SOS) is looking for volunteers to help man their 24-hour telephone hotline providing confidential emotional support to people in crisis, thinking of suicide or affected by suicide.

In Singapore, one person dies from suicide everyday on the average and SOS receives more than 100 calls a day from people who were distressed by what they were facing in their lives, in crisis or feeling suicidal.

What many people need at a time of crisis is someone to listen to them, not to give advice, or to criticise or judge.

The hotline is manned by volunteers from all walks of life and nationalities, and they are crucial to helping those in crisis or contemplating suicide.

Please consider volunteering if you meet these criteria:

• At least 23 years of age;
• Conversant in English;
• Can commit to regular duties for at least two years;
• Not afraid of talking about suicide;
• Can be depended on to preserve confidentiality and anonymity as volunteers.

Training will be provided and volunteers are expected to commit for at least two years upon completion of the training programme. For registration or more information, please visit http://www.sos.org.sg/ volunteer.htm or email samlink@samaritans.org.sg

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