THANKSGIVING SERVICE OF THE GENERAL CONFERENCE WOMEN’S SOCIETY OF CHRISTIAN SERVICE
LIKE a master portrait-artist, God has plans for us – and He gives us the opportunity to participate in His work of shaping our lives so that the finished picture will be in accordance with His purpose. Our part is to respond with passion and commitment as we seek His will for our lives.
This was stated by Trinity Annual Conference (TRAC) President Rev Dr Wee Boon Hup at the Thanksgiving Service of the General Conference Women’s Society of Christian Service (GC-WSCS) at Sophia Blackmore Hall, Methodist Centre on Jan 19.
Preaching on the theme of “Becoming Ardent – Women in Pursuit of God’s Purpose”, he stressed the importance of knowing what God’s purpose is so that we can pursue it with devotion and commitment.
The Rev Dr Wee went on to explain how we can know both God’s general purpose for all of us as His children, as well as His unique personalised plan for us as individuals.
Firstly, we know God’s general purpose for us because it is clearly written in Scripture: God has made known to us the mystery of His will.
The sermon text, Ephesians 1: 7–14, shows us that God has already blessed us with abundant spiritual blessings in Christ, blessings that are available to us here and now. He has also given us an inheritance, of which the Holy Spirit is a guarantee or “down payment” for what is to come.
While the Bible states clearly God’s general purpose for all believers, His unique plans for us as individuals have to be discerned by each of us as we grow in love for God.
The Rev Dr Wee reminded the congregation that God knows each of us intimately – even the very hairs on our heads are all numbered (Matt 10:30–31).
Knowing this, we can be confident that there are things that God has prepared for those individuals who love Him. Therefore, the place to start is to recognise where our hearts are. As we grow in our personal relationship with God, the Holy Spirit will reveal to us God’s purpose for each of our lives.
Closing his sermon, he exhorted the congregation to “love God in the Wesleyan tradition with all our heart, soul, mind and strength”.
His sermon was framed by worship items designed to allow members of the WSCS to praise God with song, dance and personal testimonies. What made this Thanksgiving Service of special interest was the multi-cultural note that was struck because of the presence of WSCS members from all the three Annual Conferences.
At the start of the service, the congregation was led in the multilingual singing of hymns such as “How Great Thou Art”, “You Are My All In All”, and “Be Thou My Vision” by Mrs Liza Soh (TRAC), Mdm Poh Lay Tin (CAC), and Mrs Gnanamany Philip (ETAC).
Surprisingly, the sound of these familiar hymns sung in English, Mandarin and Tamil at the same time was not jarring at all. Instead, the fact that the entire congregation was joining together to worship God in different languages was an
inspiring reminder that we are all equal in Christ’s universal family.
The sermon came after the greetings from GC-WSCS President Mrs Laureen Ong, ETAC President Rev James Nagulan and CAC President Rev Khoo Cheng Hoot.
Following a brief Mandarin translation of the sermon by Ms Ling Chee Ngok, there was a surprise item during which Mrs Ong and the three Annual Conference Presidents called the children present at the service to go to the front of the hall to be prayed over. This was done to acknowledge the role that women play as mothers and nurturers in their families.
This was followed by a presentation of items by women from each of the three Annual Conferences – a lively song called “My Best Friend” by the CAC, a cultural dance called “Kaithatti Paattu Paadu” by ETAC, and a moving personal testimony by Mrs Felicia Ling from TRAC.
The Thanksgiving Service ended with a tea fellowship during which guests were given the opportunity to renew old friendships and share news of how God has been working out His purposes in their lives.
Zhang Ruihe is a member of Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church.