Bishop urges congregation to ‘widen door’
LIVING HOPE Methodist Church, formerly known as Tampines Methodist Church, was consecrated by Bishop Dr Robert Solomon on March 5, 2005.
About 400 people attended the Consecration Service at the church in Tampines Street 33, which is on the fringe of Tampines housing estate and near Simei and Changi estates.
They included the newly-elected Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC) President, the Rev Wee Boon Hup, Living Hope MC’s former pastor, the Rev Michael Wong, TRAC’s District Superintendent (East), the Rev Dr Jonathan Seet, MP for Tampines GRC, Ms Irene Ng, and grassroots leaders from the constituency.
The service began with the reading of Isaiah Chapter 54 followed by the Processional Hymn, “Be Thou My Vision”, during which the Cross, the Bible and six banners bearing the words, Changi, Tampines, Simei, Kampong Kuantan, East Timor and Prisons respectively, were carried into the sanctuary and placed at the altar area.
The banners represent the territorial commitment of Living Hope MC.
The church’s Pastor-in-Charge, the Rev Dr Lorna Khoo, the Pastor, the Rev Jeannie Chiu, the TRAC-Living Hope Building Committee and the Local Church Executive Committee (LCEC), led by the Chairman, Mr Yeo Pee Hock, and Lay Leader, Mrs Lim Yow Poh, then presented the church building to Bishop Dr Solomon for consecration.
In his sermon based on Isaiah 54 read out earlier by Mr George Ong, the LCEC Vice-Chairman, Bishop Dr Solomon urged the congregation to “widen its door”.
He said the opening and consecration of the new church building coincided well with the 120th Anniversary of The Methodist Church in Singapore.
He said that for some time Methodist churches from the three Annual Conferences, namely the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC), TRAC and Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference (ETAC), were known as “CTE” churches, they being located around the CTE (Central Expressway) areas from the north to the south of Singapore. CTE was also used as a pun to represent the CAC, TRAC and ETAC.
Therefore, he was glad to see Living Hope MC coming up in the eastern part of the island.
Living Hope MC started when several members of TRAC churches, including those from Wesley, set up a preaching point called the Tampines Outreach Project in 1989.
The group began as a cell group but later had an inaugural service at the chapel of St Hilda’s School.
The next 14 years or so saw the church and its congregation moving from one borrowed premises to another while it searched, without success, for a permanent home.
The church had in the past bid unsuccessfully for land in Tampines and Simei from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) to build its own premises on three occasions. It had also tried to buy two bungalows and two shophouses in Upper Changi Road North, but was unsuccessful.
When the HDB put up the 3,064-sq m piece of land at Tampines St 33 for bidding by churches in September 2002, Living Hope MC, which was using the St George’s Chapel at Cranwell Road, off Loyang Avenue, for its Sunday services since 1991, bid successfully for it.
After two years, the four-storey church building with a sanctuary big enough to accommodate up to 600 worshippers is now ready.
One distinctive feature of the church building’s exterior is that it has three crosses. The central cross represents Christ, with the other two, the two thieves.
Living Hope MC conducts two Sunday services, at 9.30 am (in English) and 5 pm (in Mandarin/Hokkien).
‘The Sound of Music’ brings cheers to Methodist schools
THE Esplanade was alive with the sound of music … with a large gathering of Methodists from all our churches and schools on April 10, 2005 at the Methodist Schools’ Foundation (MSF) Charity Show of “The Sound of Music”.
A total of $350,000 was raised from the event, which will benefit our Methodist schools.
Students from Geylang Methodist Schools, Fairfield Methodist Schools and Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School ushered guests to an Austrian reception buffet of sausages, wiener schnitzel, roasted potatoes and cookies before the show. As guests mingled, new acquaintances were made and many old friendships renewed.
It was heartwarming to sit in the theatre, turn around and see Methodists all over together with Bishop Dr Robert Solomon, the Rev Wee Boon Hup, the Trinity Annual Conference President, the Rev Khoo Cheng Hoot, the Chinese Annual Conference President, and the Rev James Nagulan, the Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference President, all seated and waiting for the show to start.
The cast of “The Sound of Music” did justice to the musical and it was a most enjoyable evening. An all-time family favourite had the audience humming “Doe a deer” as they left the theatre.