For Methodists, rituals mark the relationship between God and His people, and help to deepen our relationship with God. The Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) in Singapore is proud to have hosted the 9th Worship and Liturgical Conference of the World Federation of Chinese Methodist Churches (WFCMC) from 12 to 14 July this year.
Built around the theme “The Living Power of Life’s Liturgy”, the conference offered a precious opportunity for pastors, church workers, lay leaders, praise teams and even lay members to gather and deliberate on matters concerning liturgy.
Organised over a series of theme talks and panel discussions, the conference featured sharing from liturgical experts from the Chinese Methodist churches and regional theological colleges.
This year’s conference covered four key liturgical rites—Baptism, Holy Communion, Holy Matrimony and Funerals. Baptism and Holy Communion are two sacraments that were instructed by the Lord Jesus, and every believer would have experienced these sacraments and personally witnessed their special spiritual meaning. Baptism is the ritual that marks our new identity in Jesus, while the Holy Communion or the Eucharist nourishes the spiritual life.
Rites relating to holy matrimony and funerals mark important moments in one’s life. The matrimonial ceremony reflects the kind of bond that links the risen Christ to His followers, whilst funerals celebrate the Christian hope in the risen life.
Through a better understanding of these liturgies, it is hoped that Methodists can bear witness to our hope in Christ and understand the true meaning and value of our lives.
The three-day conference saw more than 150 participants representing various countries: Australia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. Over warm fellowship, old friendships were renewed and new acquaintances made.
The Rev Dr Lu Chen Tiong, Director of Worship & Music Programme, Methodist Theological School, Malaysia, delivered the opening service on “Reflecting on Life’s Liturgy”. The event was bookended by the Rev Dr Gregory Goh Nai Lat, President of the Chinese Annual Conference Singapore, who closed the conference with his message on “Living Out Christ”.
President Dr Lam Sung Che, the Rev Dr Niam Kai Huey, the Rev Dr Khoo Ho Peng and the Rev See Ping Eik participated in the conference as speakers and panellists.
The conference was held at Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church, Singapore’s oldest Chinese Methodist church, which offered the participants an opportunity to appreciate the building’s historical significance. The location also gave an added dimension to the understanding of liturgical rites as a means of honouring tradition.
The CAC would like to express its gratitude to all the speakers for their insightful yet practical advice. on liturgical rites. We would also like to thank the various CAC local churches who came together to offer venues and volunteers, as well as served in leading worship and as hospitable hosts to our foreign delegates. This was truly a memorable #cactogether event.
By the Chinese Annual Conference Board of Worship and Music
Photos courtesy of the Chinese Annual Conference