World Federation of the Chinese Methodist Churches (WFCMC) 8th Missions Conference | 9-13 June 2022
Every Missions Conference, participants from Chinese Methodist Churches from around the world gather physically at the host country for a lively and vibrant meeting. This was what happened in Hong Kong in 2017 and should have happened in Singapore this year.
However, as effects of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to be felt, the 8th Missions Conference (8MC) became the first World Federation of Chinese Methodist Churches (WFCMC) Missions Conference to be held online. As many brothers and sisters in Christ were unable to travel to Singapore, they joined us online. There were 1,200 registered participants, and many non-registered participants who joined segments of the 8MC that were open to the public.
While most of the conference programme was held online, the Opening and Closing Services and the keynote addresses took place on-site, with the help of Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church (QCMC) and Toa Payoh Chinese Methodist Church (TPCMC), allowing participants in Singapore to enjoy in-person fellowship.
We were encouraged by Conference Bishops, Presidents and representatives from overseas, who travelled to Singapore to participate in the 8MC, despite the risks and inconveniences posed by the pandemic.
The Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) in Singapore welcomed our overseas guests with local food during their short stay here. CAC President Rev Dr Gregory Goh, District Superintendents and guests gathered at TPCMC or the nearby eateries to enjoy delicious meals and fellowship before tuning into the online conference together.
President Lam Chun from The Methodist Church, Hong Kong, kicked off the conference with a message on “Passing On & Receiving the Baton”. He noted that the legacy of faith is not a one-off event and that it ought to be developed into a culture of the church. As we pass on or receive the batons of ministry, we should also impart the conviction of succession, ensuring that the baton continues to be passed on and received. Towards the end of his sermon, President Lam Chun highlighted that God has a different plan for each of us where no two people walk identical paths. Those who receive the baton are not to blindly follow and imitate, but rather to internalise the spirit of the experienced and to seek renewal and the Lord’s guidance for the path ahead.
Bishop Emeritus Dr Robert Solomon delivered three keynote talks at the conference. He shared the importance of being one with Christ and one with each other before we can be one in ministry to all the world. He began by reminding us that we—the branch—need to be fully dependent on God—the true vine, for apart from him, we could achieve nothing of lasting significance. BE Dr Solomon asserted that it is precisely in the God-given diversity of gifts that the Christian community is called to replicate the unity of the Trinity. He reiterated in his final keynote talk that only with one heart and one mind can we attain missional unity.
At the Closing Service, Rev Dr Goh spoke about “Methodist Missional Life of Holiness”. He said that while the Methodist Church involves itself in a lot of social concerns such as running schools, hospitals and other social services, the Methodist mission is not about social concerns and the value of social actions per se. Behind these activities and at the heart of the Methodist mission lies a deep love for God, as well as the personal and collective striving towards sanctification. He emphasised that the Christian life is a missional life where one life should and will impact another through the pursuit of holy living.
Plenty of time and heart went into the preparation and running of the 8MC and we thank God for his faithful and sovereign guidance through it all. We give thanks also for the speakers, pastors, church staff and volunteers who contributed to the event.
Echoing what President Lam Chun expressed at the Opening Service, we pray and hope that this conference has benefited everyone who participated and that their experience will have an impact on their ministries.
You can watch parts of the conference at the WFCMC 8MC YouTube channel.
By the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) Communications Team / Photos courtesy of Joshua Khoo, Kong Kum Cheong and CAC