BISHOP Dr Robert Solomon emphasised the need for Christians to exercise social responsibility for the love and sake of others, especially during this time when Singapore was fighting against SARS.
He was responding to questions on the dreaded disease from Methodist students at a tea fellowship at Trinity Theological College (TTC) on April 11, 2003.
He also encouraged the 50-odd students to live in faith and present a different viewpoint from the world, and to bring a message of hope in times of despair. He made this point in answer to questions on the recent Iraq War.
This was the third tea fellowship that Bishop Dr Solomon has held for Methodist students in TTC. The tea fellowship started with a brief time of worship led by the Methodist Chaplain, the Rev Chong Chin Chung, who is the Pastor-in-Charge of Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church.
The Bishop shared on the devotional disciplines in the Wesleyan tradition. He shared on how John Wesley was a man of prayer, waking up at 4 am daily to pray. Wesley saw the urgency to direct the first thoughts of the day to God and practised having different themes of prayer for each day of the week.
Wesley, he said, was also a man of “one book” (the Bible) though he did read widely. He read the Bible worshipfully and read it both as a scholar and a lover of God.
Bishop Dr Solomon also shared on the other disciplines of Wesley, such as partaking of the communion, fasting, community life through the class meetings and a social spirituality/holiness in which Wesley was involved in social welfare to the needy and did not neglect addressing the social evils (like alcoholism, gambling, etc) of his time.
The Bishop encouraged the TTC students to ground their devotional life by practising the spiritual exercises daily.
After the tea session, he shared on ministry opportunities for graduating students and fielded questions on the track system in TTC’s new curriculum, permanent order of deacons and the possibility of a Methodist Vesper in the future for Methodist students in TTC.
Ang Bee Yan is the Registrar of Trinity Theological College.