“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.” (Psalm 127:1)
Established in 1939, PLCMC is celebrating its 80th anniversary in 2019. When measured against eternity, 80 years is insignificant. For the seniors who have grown with the church, 80 years feels like a blink of the eye. At this milestone, we celebrate each step, each footprint and each advance towards reaching where we are today. We give thanks for each step forward—every one proof of God’s grace!
For our 80th anniversary, the church had a vision to build a holy temple in the Lord (Ephesians 2:19–22). What was intended initially to keep pace with the external changes in our neighbourhood has now become our most ambitious church expansion project to date. We want to cater to the needs of the growing community of elderly church members, as well as those of a new generation of church members. After much prayer and preparation, the church expansion project, estimated to cost $16 million, commenced last year and will continue over the next two years.
A series of fund-raising programmes has also been organised in conjunction with our 80th anniversary celebrations.
We started off by launching a specially-commissioned set of commemorative stamps in July 2018. The stamps feature a unique design showcasing the buildings of all 17 Chinese Annual Conference churches. Last August, we held a food carnival.
On 1 May this year, esteemed Taiwanese composer and conductor Chan Hung Da (詹宏达) led an amazing choral tribute at our 80th Anniversary Concert, “光明中永不离”.
This was followed by a fund-raising Gala Dinner held at Fullerton Hotel on 3 May. We were blessed by the generosity of PLCMC church elder and art master Lim Tze Peng (林子平), who at 99 is the oldest practising Singaporean artist and a Singapore Cultural Medallion recipient. He kindly donated more than 30 of his valuable art pieces.
Our 80th anniversary celebrations will come to a climax at our Joint Thanksgiving Worship and Luncheon on 18 Aug.
Amidst all the fund-raising efforts, our vision of a glorious holy temple must be matched by the active nurturing of our church members’ spiritual lives. Thus, even as we worship in temporary premises, we continue our five-year plan to focus on Adoration, Belief, Camaraderie, Discipleship and Evangelism.
We give thanks for all who have supported us during this time, especially fellow churches that have so kindly availed their premises so that our weekly church services could continue.
History is built through a journey of trials and tribulations. God has given us 80 meaningful years. We give thanks for the pioneers who have built up our rich history even as we draw on God’s grace to journey forward and spread the gospel of His love. Just as our new building resembles an ark, we hope to bring in more to our church to receive salvation and the promise of eternity.
The Rev Dr David Koh is Pastor-in-charge and Mr Loh Boon Kee is the LCEC Chairman of Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church (PLCMC).
Photos courtesy of Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church