Consecration Service of Sengkang Methodist Church
JANUARY 12, 2003 marked a milestone in the establishment of Sengkang Methodist Church (SKMC). Representatives from 16 CAC, ETAC and TRAC churches, as well as the Women’s Society of Christian Service and other ministries, gathered at the new church building at 31 Anchorvale Road for the Consecration Service.
It was wonderful to see some 800 of God’s people coming together to celebrate this occasion. Indeed, it was a great joy to see Sengkang Methodist Church become a reality since the day the go-ahead was given at the 24th Annual Session of the CAC in November 1999 to bid for the church site.
On Sept 10, 2000, SKMC was planted as the first Protestant church in Sengkang. On Dec 1, 2002, SKMC moved into Anchorvale Road.
The Consecration Service began with the very familiar hymn, “Give Thanks”. It was appropriate because, in the hearts of everyone present, there was a deep sense of gratitude and thanksgiving to our Lord God for His provision and guidance throughout this building project.
Bishop Dr Robert Solomon gave the sermon. The title was “He has chosen You” and the scriptural text was taken from 1 Thessalonians 1.
It is not easy to build a church in Singapore these days because of the high costs. Thus the exhortation was for the people of God to pool their resources to do God’s work to glorify Him.
The sermon outlined the model for Christian living, the method of Christian mission and the manifestation of Christian mission based on Apostle Paul’s letter to the Thessalonian Christians.
In verses 2 and 3, Paul gave examples of Christian living. He stressed that faith in God must be evidenced by works. The Thessalonian Christians were active Christians as they had a vibrant and practical faith, said the Bishop.
Secondly, he said, “we need to display love producing labour. When our work for God becomes difficult and frustrating, when we have to deal with disappointments and difficult people, the only thing that will keep us working for God, according to Apostle Paul, is love. Then our work becomes labour. It can be tough and difficult but we can continue in faithfulness”.
The next characteristic, he said, was hope producing perseverance or steadfastness. “Even our labour for God can be tested beyond imagination, especially when we feel like giving up, but hope in God’s promises help us to persevere.
“These characteristics mark the Thessalonian church: Faith, love and hope. John Calvin called this a ‘brief definition of true Christianity’.
“Verses 4-6 spelt a method for Christian mission. Firstly, we are to say it. The message came in words. These words were used by the Holy Spirit to bring forth conviction. We are to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to our neighbours far and near. Next, we are to show it. We are to practise and demonstrate the Gospel in our lives, both individually and corporately.
“As for the manifestation of Christian mission, the people of Thessalonica had turned to God from idols. And this is evidently an act of faith. In verse 9, people were found serving God in an act of love and they waited for Jesus’ return in an act of hope. What is reproduced is the character of a Christian. In faith, they worshipped God. In love, they served God. With hope, they waited for His return.”
How then should the CAC respond to the call?
Bishop Dr Solomon helped CAC members to see that Sengkang was their mission field. At the heart of their mission must be the character of their church — faith, hope and love.
Said a lay leader: “We are to practise and proclaim the Gospel to the surrounding areas as well as to worship, work and wait. It was for this purpose that God has chosen you and me.”
Lim May Kwan is a member of Sengkang Methodist Church.