ANOTHER CHURCH YEAR and another quadrennium have come to a close. What does this mean to us who belong to the family of e Methodist Church in Singapore?
Amongst many other things is the coming of change. With the changing of guards from the position of bishop down to the oﬃcers in councils, boards and committees, there will be an inflow of “new blood” with the entrance of new oﬃcers.
Change! It is inevitable; resistance to change is futile. Change is necessary and an expectation especially when worldliness is steadily growing and entering our churches.
Many problems and accompanying recommendations will have been received from the annual reports and reviews by the Bishop, Presidents of the three Annual Conferences and local churches, calling for continual improvement and the drive to do better, through change. It will then be the responsibility of the persons who have accepted leadership to work at these problems; to find and implement solutions.
What is the Christian’s approach towards working for change?
Our attitude towards change has to be guided by God-given wisdom; a sound knowledge and application of God’s Word and love. We are to walk circumspectly to make correct decisions.
The first thing is to believe that we are all in this ministry together. Unity! When we are united we will be able to encourage and strengthen each other. We are to be used as instruments of peace to develop togetherness. Ephesians 4:12-13 says that together we can obey God more fully than any of us could alone. Human tendency is to overestimate what we can do by ourselves and to underestimate what we can do as a team.
We are to do away with unhealthy competition and discord. God has taken great care to design unique gifts for us to influence others and build up the body of Christ in ways that are special to us. erefore, there is no need to fight over our diﬀerences or limitations, but to use these gifts to eﬀect change.
God never changes. His Word never changes. God calls us to depend on Him to face the challenges of change in our own lives, in the church and in the world. When we submit ourselves to this holy God and become His instruments of change, we will see change as being positive because of the benefits we derive from it.
We know that nothing that we do is because we are good, for only God is good. As we prepare to accept new responsibilities and face challenges along the way for God’s Mission to continue, let our eyes continue to be on Him; let us walk in His Light. Together, we will grow and bear sweet fruit amidst all the changes.
The Rev James Nagulan is the President of Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference.
Goodbye, zai jian, sendru varugiren
WORD FROM THE EDITOR
SO IT’S GOODBYE … zai jian … sendru varugiren. is December 2012 issue of Methodist Message is the last that I have edited and produced as I will retire before the year ends. I have decided to call it a day much as I will miss the challenge of producing Methodist Message and ensuring it comes out on time month after month. I have been in the driver’s seat for the last 15 years. It has been a long and interesting drive with a few bumps and knocks along the way. But what’s a few bumps compared to the joy of a wonderful journey with Methodist Message even though they had not been caused by potholes but by people? As an optimist I prefer to throw the negative stuﬀ out the window and think only of the positive, remembering the joy and satisfaction of producing what is lovingly known as MM, which I hope has been an edifying and engaging monthly. And what a privilege it has been for me to serve God’s Church the way I know best.
I was appointed Editor of Methodist Message in August 1997 by then Bishop Wong Kiam au while I was still in mainstream journalism. e twin tasks for me were to raise the quality of the newsletter – in terms of content and design – and to ensure that it comes out on time every month. It was a challenge every newspaperman would love to take on, but I soon found that editing a church newsletter had its peculiar challenges, not least of which was to be sensitive to the culture of doing things with, and by, the Chinese Annual Conference, Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference and Trinity Annual Conference.
All the challenges of editing a daily were there – copy deadline, copy editing, rewriting, page rejigging, production schedule – and more. One bugbear was to remind, over and over and over again, contributors to keep their submission deadline. Some promised articles never came. So began the rush to fill up the empty page with a quickly-written story. And this situation sometimes led to the rejigging of two or more pages. But in all of this, the Lord Jesus Himself was always at hand to steer me out of the rough. My Editor-in-Chief was always there to guide and lead me, and for that I am eternally grateful to Him.
I have been blessed by the many edifying articles I had to read in the course of my editing work, and I trust that Methodist Message has been a blessing to you, too. To all our contributors, readers, churches, agencies, schools, advertisers, sponsors, and our printer COS, I thank you very much for your support these past 15 years. My prayer is that MM will continue to reach out to a widening pool of readers and be a blessing to them.
Goodbye, my friends, for sharing 15 good and memorable years with me.
Zai jian. Sendru varugiren.