“THE Journey of Discovery” was the theme for this year’s Methodist Students Retreat, which was held at the National Community Leadership Institute (NACLI). Sponsored by the General Conference and organised by a student committee for Methodist students attending Trinity Theological College, the event was held from Jan 16 to 18, and attracted about 40 students, mostly from ministry tracks.
The purpose of the retreat, which is becoming an annual event, is to bring local and international Methodists together for a time of reflection on Methodist themes.
The theme was aimed at helping students discover elements of the Methodist heritage, pitfalls in ministry and aspects of the calling to ministry.
The Rev Dr John Barrett shared with the group on Friday evening, bringing his perspective as a pastor, educator and international Methodist. He spoke on various aspects of the church’s Wesleyan heritage, encouraging participants to consider what unique qualities they would most expect if they walked into a Methodist church in another country.
The Rev Dr Barrett, a minister of the Methodist Church in Britain, is the founding principal of ACS International and also serves as the President of the World Methodist Council.
The Rev Malcolm Tan, Pastor-in-Charge of Barker Road Methodist Church, spoke from personal experience about the pitfalls of ministry. He shared candidly his own concerns that led him to step away, temporarily, from the Annual Conference, and what eventually led him back.
The Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung, the newly-elected President of the Chinese Annual Conference, spoke in Mandarin about the calling to ministry as well as various issues that often come with full-time ministry.
In addition to hearing the speakers, the students enjoyed sharing meals, spiritual exercises and fun activities together. On Saturday they spent two hours in a prayer labyrinth, which allowed students to spend some time praying and reflecting on Jesus’ own journey and the way of the cross. First-year MDiv student Shaun Chong used his laptop to play instrumental Taize music in the background.
The afternoon was given over to “Life Game”, a simulation game where participants passed through stations representing certain aspects of life. In this case, second-year MDiv student Priscilla Quek modified the game to represent a humorous look at ministry preparation at TTC, such as dressing up as historical figures or trying out new forms of liturgical dance. Through playful activity, students were given new perspectives on theological education.
First-year MDiv student Patrick Chen said: “From the planning to the logistics and execution, it all went well, much to our fun, fellowship and bonding across all conferences and languages.”
The retreat was organised by a student committee, chaired by Samuel Lee, a second-year MDiv student, with advice and input from the Methodist chaplains. Plans are already beginning for another retreat, with the selection of first-year students Lau Chong Yaw and Candy Liong as the new core leadership team.
STORY AND PICTURE BY GEORGE MARTZEN
The Rev George Martzen is Minister Attached to the Bishop’s Office.
OBITUARY: HENRY TAN HOAY GIE (March 27, 1919 – Feb 1, 2009)
A life of joyful service to church and community
MR TAN HOAY GIE, or Henry (right), as he was affectionately known, passed away on Feb 1, 2009 after a full life of joyful service to the church and the community.
From the time when he joined the 2nd Company of the Boys’ Brigade attached to Kampong Kapor Methodist Church in 1932, he remained actively engaged in its activities. He rose through the ranks and was appointed Captain of the Company.
He was subsequently elected Brigade President from 1970-1975, and Honorary Vice-President until his passing, a life-long engagement with the organisation that he loved and had shaped his life.
For many years, Mr Tan was a member of the Local Church Executive Committee of his local church, and served as Chairman for several years.
He was also a member of the Board of Governors of Anglo-Chinese School, his alma mater.
In 1984, he was elected General Conference Treasurer of The Methodist Church in Singapore, and served for two quadrenniums – 1984 to 1992.
In 1979, he was appointed a Justice of the Peace, and was awarded the Public Service Star in 1985.
He leaves his wife, Choon Lan, and his two sons, Assoc Prof Bernard Tan and Dr Clarence Tan and their families.