AFTER several months of faithful preparation and fervent prayer, the Barker Road Methodist Church (BRMC) Preaching Point at ACS (International), off Holland Village, held its first regular 10.30 am worship service in the school’s Multi-Purpose Hall on July 8, 2007.
The Preaching Point was first envisioned two years ago when ACS (International) – the latest member of the ACS Family of Schools in Singapore – was first started.
Recognising the opportunity that God had provided in planting a school in the heart of a popular residential area, with students drawn from all over Asia, BRMC entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the school in July 2005 to provide Christian ministry in the school, and to eventually set up a Preaching Point there.
In the middle of 2006, a working committee of lay people led by Mr Mun Kwok On, was set up. There was close working relationship with BRMC’s pastoral team and the school’s leadership to work towards the Preaching Point’s launch.
The team began with regular weekly prayer meetings, seeking to base the project firmly on the Lord’s guidance and empowerment.
As part of the build-up to the launch, two special evening worship services were held – on Christmas Day 2006 and Good Friday, April 6, 2007.
The services were an opportunity to reach out to residents in the area as well as BRMC’s own congregation. The services also served as a dry-run for the eventual Preaching Point services, and were an opportunity to demonstrate the wonderful facilities which the Lord has prepared at the school.
The 300-plus worshippers who attended the Christmas Day service were treated to a celebratory presentation by the Creative Arts Ministry, based on the Parable of the Lost Coin, and a message from the Rev Malcolm Tan. The service was a joyful celebration of our Lord’s birth, and was followed by a reception to mark BRMC’s first-ever worship service at the school.
At the Good Friday evening service, about 200 worshippers gathered to remember our Lord’s divine sacrifice. They were joined by the Rev Dr John Barrett, the Principal of the school and a British Methodist minister. The Rev Dr Barrett is the Chairman of the World Methodist Council.
It was indeed fitting that the special services took place on two of the most important days in the Christian calendar, and the turnout on both occasions was a great encouragement to the team committed to the Preaching Point.
Following the success of the two special services, momentum quickly built towards the launch of regular services, and to the inaugural service in particular.
Flyers were printed and distributed in the neighbourhood. Members of BRMC were also encouraged to support the new Preaching Point.
When the big day finally came, it was indeed a blessed occasion with about 130 worshippers present to sing His praises and hear His word. While some members of the congregation were well-wishers from BRMC who had come specially to celebrate the launch of the Preaching Point, many others had come with the intention of being part of the growth of this new community of faith.
There were even some visitors from the surrounding neighbourhood who had come to know about the service through the publicity flyers distributed in the area Those present at the inaugural service included the Chairman of the ACS Board of Governors, Mr Tan Wah Thong, as well as two other members of the board. The school itself was represented by the Rev Dr Barrett, Mr Cedric Chew, the Vice-Principal, Mrs Ivy Teo, the Associate Director (Administration and Finance), and other teachers.
BRMC’s Pastor-in-Charge, the Rev Malcolm Tan, led in the worship service and gave the first sermon.
During the service, the Rev Dr Barrett welcomed all to the school, and expressed his hope for a strong partnership between church and school. He also led in the congregational prayer.
The service was followed by a buffet lunch to celebrate the occasion. Amidst the fellowship, more came forward to express their commitment to the Preaching Point, and to volunteer to help out in the weekly worship services.
The Lord’s blessings
Indeed, the Lord has continued to bless the work of His servants at the Preaching Point. After the first month of regular services, a regular congregation is already appearing, while many visitors from the neighbourhood have also discovered the new place of worship in their midst.
The Preaching Point started its first small group last month, and the first Holy Communion service was held on Aug 12, 2007.
BRMC praises the Lord for His blessings upon this project, and looks forward to the day when this Preaching Point will become a full church, ministering to the students of ACS (International), and to the neighbourhood.
Christopher Ong is the Chairman of the Finance Committee of Barker Road Methodist Church.