Daybreak on 25 March saw some 4,500 Methodists of varying ages and walks of life gathering together for the biennial fund-raising MethodistWalk 2017. The participants came from all 16 of the Methodist educational institutions, as well as churches from across the three Annual Conferences.
Hosted by the Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC) this year and graced by Mr Ng Chee Meng, Minister of Education (Schools), as the Guest-of-Honour, the Walk was the culmination of a fund-raising effort organised by the Methodist Schools’ Foundation (MSF) to gather donations for Methodist schools in upgrading school infrastructures and teaching aids, and to provide bursaries and financial aid to needy students.
Before the morning skies brightened, the football field of ACJC was already awash with the colours of red, navy blue, and yellow of the various Methodist schools as the crowd waited excitedly for the Walk to begin.
Participants were also given a free cap to commemorate the event – a departure from the usual T-shirts which were given out in previous Walks. The caps came in two colours – light blue for the participants, and white for volunteers and helpers. Lightweight, attractive, and with handy compartments for cards and cash, these caps were certainly well-received!
At 7.30 a.m., the participants had a short worship service before being flagged off on the Walk. As the participants were made up of different age groups and fitness levels, a shorter route was also available for the primary school students.
The rest of the walkers, consisting of parents with children on strollers, teenagers, young adults, and the elderly who were game for the challenge, took on the more gruelling four-kilometre walk that took them across the hilly and scenic terrain in the surrounding Dover area. Exiting ACJC, the throng of walkers passed by Rochester Mall before scaling a small hill en route to Biopolis, before rounding back via Ayer Rajah Ave to the start point.
Throughout the Walk, adults and school-going children mingled freely, giving them a rare, much-appreciated opportunity to interact and rub shoulders with each other. It was indeed gratifying to see the Methodist Church coming together as one body and in one spirit to engage with one another amidst busy lives and schedules. This goes a long way in fostering camaraderie and solidarity between the different congregations.
Mr A. Tamilarasan, a member of Pasir Panjang Tamil Methodist Church (PPTMC), said: “The MethodistWalk is a reminder for us to slow down in our fast-paced life, and to journey together in step with one another.”
Mr Simon Kho from Foochow Methodist Church said: “I enjoyed the walk which gave me a chance to engage with the many brothers and sisters from the other Methodist churches as well as the students. It was a joy to worship and participate in a healthy activity together!”
Said Mrs Joni Ong, Chairperson of the MSF, “As of 22 March, $1.5 million has already been raised by the Methodist schools which will be the beneficiaries of all funds raised through this event. The Walk and the money raised are only made possible with the sponsorship of a few Chinese Annual Conference churches: Foochow Methodist Church, Holy Covenant Methodist Church, Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church, Toa Payoh Chinese Methodist Church and the CAC Women’s Society of Christian Service.”
This is the first time the Walk was co-sponsored by a few Methodist churches, opening up opportunities for churches to collaborate in supporting this meaningful event.
The famished and tired participants were treated to a fine breakfast after completing the walk, and enjoyed great fellowship that was sure to kick-start their weekend proper. We hope you enjoyed the MethodistWalk 2017 and look forward to seeing you again in 2019!
Jason Woo –
is Methodist Message’s Editorial Executive. When not working on the latest articles, he enjoys long jogs and cuddling up with his three cats along with a good book.