33RD SESSION OF THE CHINESE ANNUAL CONFERENCE: NOV 10-14, 2008
THE Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung, Pastor-in-Charge of Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church, was elected President of the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) at its 33rd Session at Hakka Methodist Church on Nov 11, 2008 – the second day of the session.
He was elected on the third ballot, garnering 56 votes out of 80 votes – more than the two-thirds majority needed to be voted in.
As soon as the election results were announced, the Rev Dr Chong was invited to the front to be acknowledged.
Bishop Dr Robert Solomon was the first person to congratulate him.
The Rev Dr Chong thanked the conference delegates and asked for their continued support as he takes on the presidency of the CAC in the coming years. He then asked the Bishop to pray for him.
The Bishop prayed for God’s protection for the Rev Dr Chong. “Protect your servant and fill him with the Holy Spirit that he may manifest the character of Christ as he leads the Chinese Annual Conference,” he prayed.
He also prayed for the Rev Dr Chong’s family and prayed that God would use them for the furtherance of his service to the Church.
Three key positions filled later in the day were: Board of Finance Chairman
– Mr Stephen Lim Beng Lin; Treasurer – Mr Tang Kee Fei; and Assistant Treasurer: Mr Gwee Lian Chok On the following day, Nov 12, other key officials were elected. Mr Han Hai Kwang was elected Conference Lay Leader. For the first time, two Associate Lay Leaders were elected – Dr James Goh Cho Hong and Madam Wong Pey Wah.
The Rev See Ping Eik was elected the City West District Superintendent, while the Rev Dr Gregory Goh Nai Lat was voted in as the City East District Superintendent. The Rev See remains as the Pastor-in-Charge of Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church. The Rev Dr Goh also stays on as the Pastor-in-Charge of Holy Covenant Methodist Church.
The new Chairman of the Board of Ministry is the Rev Goh Aik Hiang, who was previously the Registrar. The new Registrar is the Rev Chua Ooi Suah, Pastor-in-Charge of Toa Payoh Chinese Methodist Church.
With the Rev Dr Chong assuming the position of the President, the Rev Louis Chai Shung Chee has been made the Pastor-in-Charge of Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church.
A Memorial Service for Mrs Gong Hock Ming was held on Nov 12 when the afternoon session resumed after the lunch break. Members of the family were present.
The half-hour service ended with the CAC pastors singing the hymn, “Still, Still With Thee” in honour of the late Mrs Gong.
CAC members ‘building covenant ties with
IN COMPLETING his second term of office as President of the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC), the Rev Khoo Cheng Hoot dwelt on various aspects of the churches in his Conference in the past year.
He noted in his address that during the past 12 months, attendance at worship services had improved, while the people were building a covenant relationship with each other, and pastors watched over each other in covenant discipleship groups.
Training in “Growing a Healthy Church” was carried out as a strategy for learning, while the ministry of love and care reached out to the youth, the family,the community (through the students, the prison, the hospice, and aged home ministries), as well as initiating the Reverse Mission to foreigners living in Singapore.
At the same time, the churches were aligning themselves with the Annual Conference in prioritising disciple-making in which training programmes were organised to achieve three goals – churchplanting, evangelism and mentoring.
The effort to complete the financial obligation to the $16-million Sengkang Methodist Church project was brought nearer the goal after $1 million was converted fromloans to gifts by local churches.
Under Evangelism, he noted that the total adult baptism for the year increased by 579, about 10 per cent, making a total of 1,984 for the quadrennium, just short of the target of 2,000, while adult baptisms increased by around 5 per cent.
Rallies were held by dialect congregations and training in Caring Evangelism was carried out. To improve mentoring, various training programmes were carried out for Church School teachers, for Local Church Executive Committee members to acquaint them with the principles of Methodism, for pastors and lay leadership in the “Growing a Healthy Church programme”, and for the new generation of youth leaders through youth camps and other associated training programmes.
Turning his attention to local church finances, the Rev Khoo said that they were
growing stronger through encouraging members to tithe or pledge. The challenge was to do it both individually and corporately, “particularly when we are concerned for the needy as well as missions in fields ripe for the harvest”. By EARNEST LAU