A GROUP OF 66 MUSLIM LEADERS from 15 mosques and the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS) visited the Methodist Heritage Exhibition at our Methodist Centre on March 15 to learn about the history and mission of The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS).
Led by Dr Albakri Ahmad, Dean of MUIS Academy, the group comprised General Managers of the North West, North East and South East Mosque Clusters, imams, youth development oﬃcers, executives and staﬀ as well as others from MUIS and its Harmony Centre, including its Head, Ustaz Hj Mohamed Ali bin Hj Atan.
They were received by an MCS team headed by Bishop Dr Robert Solomon, who in his welcome address at Sophia Blackmore Hall, said he was pleased that the group could “find time to visit the exhibition and interact with us”.
Such interactions, he said, could “build bridges between the people of our two faiths”.
Ms Jenny Ng, the Assistant Archivist, gave an overview of the exhibition before leading the first group of visitors, all women, to the exhibition on the third floor.
A four-minute video on the heritage and mission of the MCS to celebrate its 125th Anniversary last year was shown to the visitors.
Dr Albakri later presented a gift to the Bishop.
There was a lot of interest in the exhibition as the group asked many questions.
Dr Albakri said he was “deeply impressed by the sense of service and mission of the Methodist Church and its institutions, as explained and portrayed at the Methodist Heritage Centre”.
“Not knowing what to expect at the time I arrived at the Methodist Centre, I bid farewell to Bishop Dr Robert Solomon with a deeper understanding of Methodism and the Church’s outstanding eﬀort to reach out and serve all, regardless of race or religion.
“The Bishop and friends from the Methodist Centre made us feel very comfortable to ask (even) silly questions and entertained our enquiries with smiles and sincerity.
“I personally look forward to our friendship and extend my best wish to all at the Methodist Centre.”
Mr Zainul Abidin Ibrahim, Deputy Director, Strategic Engagement, of MUIS, said: “I thought one of the most impactful segments of the video on the history and spectrum of community service undertaken by the Methodist Church and its aﬃliate organisations is the simple act of having volunteers personally delivering the package of assistance to the poor and needy recipients.
“This transforms the otherwise faceless transaction of electronically depositing the amount of assistance into the recipients’ bank accounts, into a personal and spiritual experience for both the giver and the receiver – the giver touched by the heightened understanding and feel for the less fortunate and on the part of the receiver, the care and companionship that may be a rare and priceless moment.”
Ustaz Ali Atan said the visit to the Methodist Heritage Exhibition “has certainly forged a greater understanding and learning journey for me and my colleagues of the Methodist Church’s rich 125 years’ history in their spiritual journey and excellent community outreach services in Singapore.”
Story by Peter Teo ■ Pictures by Roslee