This year, Charis Methodist Church (Charis MC) celebrates our 25th anniversary and the theme is “Celebrating 25 years of God’s Faithfulness”. “Charis” means “God’s grace”, and the history of Charis MC is indeed a sojourn of grace. From its beginning in 1966 till now, God’s faithfulness has been manifest throughout.
Charis MC began as the Methodist Youth Fellowship of Geylang Chinese Methodist Church. An English service was started soon after. By the grace of God, the congregation grew over the years and we became a local conference in 1989.
For many years, we did not have a place to call “home” until late 1992 when we purchased the current church premises at Koon Seng Rd. Today, we have two English worship services and one Mandarin worship service, with a total membership size of 550.
Charis MC’s vision is that the church will be characterised by love for God in outreach and service to one another and the community. This is perhaps encapsulated by the phrase “A People after God’s Heart”. This theme was developed at one of our leaders’ retreats. It is our desire for Charisians to grow to become men and women after God’s heart.
On a more personal note, Charis MC has always had a special part in my life. I was first posted to this church as a Member-On-Trial after my graduation from Trinity Theological College in 2003, overseeing the Mandarin congregation. The church witnessed my transition from a happily single young pastor to a wife and then a mother.
I was appointed back to Charis MC in 2011. In 2013 I became the Pastor-in-Charge, and I am grateful for the encouragement and partnership of the leaders as they join me in God’s ministry.
Charis MC has embarked on a journey called the DisciplePath, to help us to be more effective and intentional in disciple-making, so that together we fulfill the Great Commission. DisciplePath marks a new journey for the church as we relook and organise our infrastructures to be even more deliberate in growing disciples for Christ. This will affect almost every facet of our ministries.
As a family church, the needs and challenges of different age profiles needed to be carefully considered. We need to be more deliberate in engaging our youths, strengthening their Christian identity and making sure that the church stays relevant to them. Effort must be made to support the young adults as they go through this life phase marked by many transitions.
Charis MC, in partnership with Methodist Welfare Services, has started a new Activity Centre for Elders – Charis ACE . We hope to help the middle-income groups not covered by other elderly service centres.
The vision is that Charis ACE will be a place where older adults can find their independence, vitality and purpose in life. We aim to empower the elders to connect and interact, and provide a one-stop health resource, advice and referral centre for elders to tap on national health services and manage their health care needs. In this way, they can age with dignity.
We thank God for His grace and faithfulness, and we pray for His continual blessings on this church so that we can fulfil the church’s vision, and offer God’s grace to the world.
Pictures by Charis Methodist Church
We continue our series of profiling local churches from our three Annual Conferences of The Methodist Church in Singapore. As we come to have a better understanding of each other’s history and ministry, there may be opportunity to forge cross-church partnerships and collaborations.
PRAY * for Charis MC’s journey in disciple-making, and their outreach efforts to the community
JOIN * Charis MC in serving seniors in the Activity Centre for Elders
The Rev Helen Hoe is Pastor-in-Charge of Charis Methodist Church.