ANNUALLY, CHURCHES IN SINGAPORE come together to celebrate the Republic’s National Day with a National Day anksgiving Service – to give thanks to God for blessings bestowed upon the nation and pray for the nation’s continued prosperity and peace.
This year’s service was held on Aug 18, 2011 at the historic St Andrew’s Cathedral. Some 550 people from various churches turned up. ey were joined by the Minister for Health, Mr Gan Kim Yong, and several Members of Parliament, namely Mr Lim Biow Chuan, Dr Lily Neo, and Mr Christopher de Souza. Also present were a former Senior Minister of State, Assoc Professor Ho Peng Kee, and a former MP, Mr Sim Boon Ann. ough these political leaders were there in their personal capacities, their presence was welcome by all.
At 7.45 pm, the chime of bells to the tune of “Amazing Grace” heralded the commencement of the service. Seconds later, the Dean of the Cathedral ascended the pulpit to welcome the worshippers. To the tune of “Majesty”, the processional followed bringing in its train the preacher of the day, readers and worship leaders to their designated seats in front of the altar. A dignified rite with all the elements of worship ensued.
It was a pleasing, if rare, sight to see united in worship our bishops, moderators and senior clergy representing nearly all of the Christian denominations and churches in the land.
The sermon was delivered by the Most Rev Dr John Chew who is the Bishop of Singapore (Anglican). Archbishop Chew’s theme was “Using the Grace of Gifts in Love for Common Good.” He urged Christians to do good always, “good” being defined as “the good that God does”. Doing good, he added, must include the “capacity to speak up” for others.
The service was much enriched by congregational singing as well as anthems rendered respectively in Malayalam and Chinese by the Mar oma Syrian Church and Glory Presbyterian Church choirs. Music throughout the two-hour service was provided by Wesley Soli Deo Gloria Ensemble and City Harvest Worship Team, under the able direction of Mr Jusuf Kam.
The service ended with Bishop Dr Robert Solomon of The Methodist Church in Singapore giving the benediction.
Lim K am is the General Secretary of the National Council of Churches of Singapore.