Highlights

A Universal Church

Jan 2020    
The ordinands at the closing service

“Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere, that Jesus Christ is born,” sang the children of the Hope Voices Choir from Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home at the opening holy communion service that marked the start of the Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC) 43rd session, which was held from 18 to 21 Nov at Trinity Methodist Church. The ministerial and lay delegates from the 21 English-speaking Methodist churches later joined the children in the rousing song.

The song was a timely reminder of the W in “Worship”, TRAC’s theme for the coming year. TRAC’s logo carries five W’s: “Word”, “Worship”, “Welcome”, “Witness” and “Wonder”. TRAC President, the Rev Dr Gordon Wong, pointed out that in the 2013 session, TRAC began with a focus on the “Word”. The theme for each subsequent year followed the sequence of the five W’s.

Wesley and Worship

In the President’s Address on 19 Nov, the Rev Dr Wong covered “Wesley and Worship Participation” in the first section of his address. He encouraged the delegates to continue worshipping God in song and prayer. He described how congregational singing was not practised in churches before the 18th century. The Anglican priests recited or sang musical changes and choirs would perform, while the congregation respectfully listened. But John Wesley, inspired by the Moravian Christians, promoted congregational singing, a legacy that lasts to this day. The Rev Dr Wong also encouraged the delegates to pray with one another as a Conference.

In “Wesley and Worship Wars”, the second part of Rev Dr Wong’s address, he advised the delegates that if they disagreed with how other Christians worshipped, they should do so in a “charitable and respectful manner”. One of Wesley’s more famous sermons was entitled “The Catholic Spirit”,1 where he used the word “catholic” in the sense of “universal”. In the Rev Dr Wong’s words, “a big, large, wide-hearted spirit, a catholic spirit of universal love”.

For contentious issues—such as infant baptism as a holy sacrament, singing in tongues, withholding Holy Communion from those who have not yet been baptised, or matters to do with divorce—the Rev Dr Wong said, “By all means, let us try to persuade each other as to what we believe is the Bible’s clear teaching, but let the manner of our persuasion and debate be marked by a catholic, charitable spirit.”

Conferring and Worshipping Together

Over the next few days, the delegates focused on worship as the boards and councils gave their reports. They conferred together and approved policies on pressing issues of the day, particularly with regard to loving homosexual persons in the church.

At the opening service, nine local preachers were recognised. At the closing service, Mr Robert Kee was ordained as Diaconal Minister; Pastors Jacob Lim, Anthony Phua and Collin See were ordained as Deacons; and the Rev Benjamin Fong and the Rev David Ho were ordained as Elders. The Rev Fred Tan, the Rev Sng Chong Hui, the Rev Irene Thung and Christian Ministry staff Mrs Agnes John are retiring and were thanked for their years of service. The latter three will be re-engaged or re-employed by TRAC.

Let us draw near with faith.
Let us hold unswervingly to hope.
Let us consider how to love. (From Heb 10:22–25)

In his sermon at the closing service, the Rev Dr Wong preached from the New International version (NIV) of Hebrews 10:22–25. The NIV, he said, has managed to preserve the three-fold repetition of the Greek phrase that translates to the English “let us”. He reminded the leaders of the TRAC churches, especially the newly-appointed deacons and elders, to draw near to God with faith (v22), hold unswervingly to hope (v23), and consider how to love (v24)—together.

Church leaders, he said, should not be so busy running the church that they forget how to be the Church. He admitted, “Pastors struggle. We struggle to remember what God has called us as pastors to be, and to do.”

“But please,” he implored the ordinands and the pastors in attendance, “do not give up… Let us encourage each other, and stir up each other…to words of love, and acts of love even to those we regard as enemies. Because in Christ, we are family.”

The Church, he said, “is a congregation of people who are learning how to worship together, helping each other to draw near to God in personal communion, helping each other hold on with hope when life’s trials push us towards despair, and inspiring each other to thoughtful acts of love and good deeds to our neighbours everywhere.”

The Rev Dr Wong reiterated the well-known Christian trilogy of “faith, hope and love” he had mentioned in the previous year’s conference—that in the Church, the greatest of these is love.


1 John Wesley, “The Catholic Spirit”, Sermons on Several Occasions, trans. into modern English by James D. Holway (Ilkeston: Moorley’s, 1987).

TRAC Appointments for 2020

DISTRICT 1

District Superintendent: Rev Alvin Chan

 

 

Barker Road MC

Pastor-in-Charge Rev Dr Chiu Ming Li
Pastor Rev Dr Daniel Koh
Pastor Rev Lawence Chua
Pastor Rev Wendy Watson
Pastor Rev Jeremy Ong
Pastor Rev Benjamin Fong

 

 

Bedok MC

Pastor-in-Charge Rev Khoo Kay Huat
Pastor Rev David Gwee
Pastor Rev Timothy Yong

 

 

 

Christ MC

Pastor-in-Charge Rev Dr Edwin Wong
Pastor Rev Dianna Khoo
Pastor Rev David Ho Gim Pin
Pastor Pastor Benjamin Lau
Pastor Pastor Tay Li Ping

 

Christalite Methodist Chapel Pastor-in-Charge Rev Shaun Chong
Pastor Pastor Reginald Chan

 

 

Kampong Kapor MC

Pastor-in-Charge Rev Kenneth Huang
Pastor Rev Gabriel Liew
Pastor Rev Tay Kay Leong

 

 

 

 

DISTRICT 2

 

District Superintendent: Rev Dr Edwin Wong

 

 

Ang Mo Kio MC

Pastor-in-Charge Rev. Anthony Lee
Pastor Rev. Lee Yam Kai
Assistant Pastor Pastor Emanuel Goh

 

Living Hope MC Pastor-in-Charge Rev. Ivan Tan
Pastor Rev. Joshua Loo

 

Methodist Church of the Incarnation Pastor-in-Charge Rev. Edmund Koh
Assistant Pastor Pastor Joey Chen

 

 

 

Paya Lebar MC

Pastor-in-Charge Rev. Dr Kow Shih Ming
Pastor Bishop Emeritus Dr Wee Boon Hup
Pastor Rev. Christopher Chin
Pastor Rev. Wendy Tay
Assistant Pastor Rev. Jacob Lim
Assistant Pastor Pastor Alex Chew

 

 

Pentecost MC

Pastor-in-Charge Rev. Dr Jonathan Seet
Pastor Rev. Jason Phua
Assistant Pastor Rev. Collin See

 

Trinity MC Pastor-in-Charge Rev. Alvin Chan
Pastor Rev. Paul Nga
Pastor Rev. Sng Chong Hui
Assistant Pastor Rev. Byron Teo

 

 

 

 

DISTRICT 3

 

District Superintendent: Rev Dr Chiang Ming Shun

 

Agape MC Pastor-in-Charge Rev. Nga Mee Hee
Pastor Rev. Lim Jen Huat

 

Cairnhill MC

 

Pastor-in-Charge Rev. Dr William Sam
Assistant Pastor Pastor Allan Lee

 

Fairfield Methodist Church Pastor-in-Charge Rev. Daniel Cornilius Tan
Pastor Rev. Ling Kin Yew

 

 

Toa Payoh MC

Pastor-in-Charge Rev. Reuben Ng
Pastor Rev. Ming Feong Ching
Assistant Pastor Rev. Poh Zhi-Hui

 

 

 

 

 

Wesley MC

Pastor-in-Charge Rev Stanley Chua
Pastor Rev Edmund de Souza
Pastor Rev Philip Lim
Pastor Rev Michael Tan
Pastor Rev Lilian Ang
Pastor Rev Chia Chin Nam
Pastor Rev Benjamin Lee
Pastor Rev Gladwin Lee
Pastor Rev Adrian Ng
Pastor Rev David Ho Seng Hian

 

 

 

DISTRICT 4

 

District Superintendent: Rev Stanley Chua

 

Aldersgate MC Pastor-in-Charge Rev. Dr Lynette Sathiasingam
Assistant Pastor Pastor Jeremy Yap

 

Covenant Community MC Pastor-in-Charge Rev. Malcolm Tan
Pastor Rev. Daniel Terence Yeo
Pastor Rev. Ian Lee

 

 

Faith Methodist Church

Pastor-in-Charge Rev. Raymond Fong
Pastor Rev. John Benedict Foo
Pastor Rev. Peter Koh
Assistant Pastor Rev. Eddie Ho
Assistant Pastor Rev. Anthony Phua

 

Holland Village MC Pastor-in-charge Rev Joel Yong
Pastor Rev. Dr Lorna Khoo
Pastor Rev Loretta Lim

 

Living Waters Methodist Church Pastor-in-Charge Rev Dr Aaron Tay
Pastor Rev Chan Siew Chye

 

 

 

SPECIAL APPOINTMENTS

 

Director, Truthmin Rev. Ian Lee

 

Assistant Directors, Youth Ministry Rev. Shaun Chong
Rev. Gladwin Lee
Rev. Byron Teo

 

 

Director of Young Adults Ministry Rev. Ivan Tan

 

Director, Lay Equipping and Development Institute (LEAD) Rev. Ming Feong Ching

 

Assistant Director, Lay Equipping and Development Institute (LEAD) Rev. Ling Kin Yew

 

Director, Seniors’ Ministry Rev. Irene Thung

 

TRAC Crisis Relief Coordinator Rev. Jason Phua

 

 

 

TRAC Chaplains to TRAC TTC Students

Rev. Dr Chiang Ming Shun
Rev. Bernard Chao
Rev. Wendy Tay

 

Lecturer, Trinity Theological College Rev. Dr Chiang Ming Shun
Rev. Bernard Chao

 

 

On Sabbatical Leave Rev. Dr Peter Wong
On Sabbatical Leave (1 Jan–30 Jun 2020) Rev. Vincent Goh

 

Study Leave Rev. Barnabas Chong
Rev. Lai Kai Ming

 

Coordinator Peranakan/Indonesian Ministry Rev. Jimmy Wong
Coordinator Peranakan Ministry Rev. Christopher Chin

 

 

APPOINTMENTS MADE THROUGH THE BISHOP’S OFFICE

 

Director, Ministry in Schools Rev. Dr Aaron Tay

 

Associate Director, Ministry in Schools Rev. Dr William Sam
Rev. Anthony Lee

 

 

 

METHODIST MISSIONS SOCIETY 2020

 

Executive Director Rev. Derrick Lau

 

Missionary Pastor (East Asia) Rev. Tan Cheok Kian

 

Missionary Pastor (Thailand) Rev. Clarence Lee

 

Missionary Pastor (Vietnam) Rev. Leslie Lim

 

Area Director (Timor-Leste & Laos) Rev. Teresa Wilborn

 

Missionary Pastor (Timor-Leste) Rev. See Swee Fang
Lay leader Mr Kim Seah recognises the local preachers
TRAC President the Rev Dr Gordon Wong addresses the delegates
The Methodist Festival Choir and Methodist Festival Orchestra perform

Sheri Goh is the Editor of Methodist Message.

Photos by Daniel Lie

 

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