THE REV DR WEE BOON HUP (above), 61, has been elected the new Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS).
He will be consecrated on Dec 7, 2012. Currently serving his second term as the President of Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC), he was elected Bishop on the 6th ballot at the church’s 10th Session of General Conference at the Methodist Centre on Sept 3.
The Rev Dr Wee has been a Methodist pastor for the past 28 years. He was pastor of Ang Mo Kio Methodist Church, Wesley Methodist Church and Pastor -in-Charge of Paya Lebar Methodist Church. He was elected as President of TRAC in 2005.
He graduated from Trinity Theological College with a Master of Divinity in 1984. In 2007, he received his Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, the US.
In response to his election, he asked for support and prayers.
The Rev Dr Wee will succeed Bishop Dr Robert Solomon, who is retiring after serving as Bishop for the maximum period of 12 years.
Bishop Dr Solomon was first elected in 2000, then re-elected in 2004, and again in 2008. His current term ends in December.
NEXT ISSUE: Election of GC officers and more on the GC session
10TH SESSION OF THE GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE METHODIST CHURCH IN SINGAPORE: SEPT 3-8, 2012
Keep our focus clear: Bishop
‘Hold on strongly to the original doctrine, discipline and spirit’
BISHOP DR ROBERT SOLOMON has reminded Methodists of the vital importance of keeping their focus clear.
He highlighted this point in his 16-page Episcopal Address which covered a wide-ranging review of the programmes and mission of The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) during the 2008-2012 quadrennium, and the challenges ahead.
He was delivering his third and final Episcopal Address at the 10th Session of the General Conference of the MCS at Methodist Centre to delegates and guests, three of whom were from abroad – Bishop Amat Tumino from the Methodist Church in Indonesia, the Rev Steward Damat from The Methodist Church in Malaysia, and the Rev Lily P. Twist, representing the British Methodist Church.
Paraphrasing what John Wesley said in the early days of Methodism, the Bishop stressed that unless Methodists held on strongly to their original doctrine, discipline and spirit, they would come to nothing.
Doctrine, he said, must be accompanied by discipline, a word that refers to the spiritual disciplines (or the means of grace) that we must practise regularly, faithfully and eﬀectively in order to grow into Christian maturity. “This is spelt out in our General Rules – a document which I suspect only a small minority of our members are familiar with. The practice of discipline also calls for mutual accountability.”
As for the original spirit, he quoted Wesley scholar Randy Maddox as asserting that self-denial is at the heart of it and that self-denial is necessary to deal with our sinful inclinations (contributed by our fallen nature as well as sinful social norms) that prevent us from growing into holiness.
The Bishop said that doctrine is essential to true Christian discipleship – “this much we know from reading the Bible carefully”.
Providing doctrinal guidance
As Bishop he has received a fair number of emails and letters asking what the Methodist stand is on certain matters. Often, he had to tell them the MCS had no official stand on a particular issue, but he would attempt to provide guidance using teachings or principles from the Bible. “I would also try to refer to the sermons and writings of John Wesley or the hymns of Charles Wesley. It is clear that there are at least some members who are seriously looking for pastoral and doctrinal guidance from the church.
“In this regard, I wish to point out that in the early conferences during the lifetime of John Wesley, the central questions dealt with at conference time were “What shall we teach?” and “How shall we teach them?
“For a long time in our history, what we now call The Book of Discipline (BOD) was called the Doctrines and Disciplines of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The emphasis was on both our beliefs and practices.