No building yet, but SKMC already serving community
PASTORS and leaders of Sengkang Methodist Church (SKMC) have faith that the church will hold its first worship service at the new premises on Dec 1 this year.
However, their move to the new building is subject to the granting of the Title deed of Purchase (TOP) by the relevant authorities.
Located at 31 Anchorvale Road, the building is scheduled to be ready for occupancy by the end of October this year, said Mr Ong Heng Kok, Chairman of the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) Sengkang Building Committee, during the Topping-up Thanksgiving Service held at the new premises on April 28.
But while the church building is undergoing construction, two ministries of SKMC – Oikos.Community@Sengkang and Gloria Family Centre – are already serving the Sengkang community.
Oikos.Community@Sengkang, a group of volunteers led by the Rev Lek Yong Teck, Assistant Pastor of SKMC, has been partnering a neighbouring school since late 1999. Their efforts have been well received and greatly appreciated by the school and students.
Their scope of work includes providing pre-examination tuition, post-examination activities, counselling services and organising special projects, such as the Sports Leaders Camp in 2000.
This group also serves the community by distributing gifts during the festive seasons and organising special events, such as the Kindness project.
Gloria Family Centre, a sister organisation of Oikos.Community@Sengkang, provides kindergarten services, before- and after-school care, and organises activities for the youth of the community.
Plans have been finalised for the launch of the Sengkang Methodist Children Centre, which will conduct pre-nursery programmes as well as classes for Kindergarten 1 and 2, from January next year.
Kindergarten classes to open in January, 200 children likely to enrol
A total of 105 children have registered for the programmes. Registration is on-going, and the Rev Chng Siew Sin, Pastor-in-Charge of SKMC, expects to see 200 children when the centre opens for classes in January. The centre has places for up to 400 children.
Currently, members of the SKMC English congregation worship at Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ Secondary School (PLMGSS) at 8.30 am. There are two Chinese worship services – one at PLMGSS at 10.30 am, and the other at Block 4, Toa Payoh, also at 10.30 am.
Together with the CAC President, the Rev Khoo Cheng Hoot, the Rev Chng, the Rev Lek, and other CAC pastors and leaders, about 200 members, friends and workers attended the Topping-up Thanksgiving Service.
Referring to 1 Chronicles 28:10, Mr Ong urged the church to realise that the Lord has chosen His people to build His holy temple and sanctuary.
He said: “Now do it, and do it with determination … the Lord is the master builder and we the builders do not labour in vain.” So far, a total of $4.5 million has been collected. Another $12.8 million needs to be raised through donations.
Mr Han Hai Kwang, Chairman of the Fund-raising Committee, said that SKMC was a faith project, and urged all CAC members to stay united and give generously.
He said: “Methodist people are good people. Methodist people are great people. Methodist people are generous people. We serve a good God, a great God and a generous God! We need not beg, because God will touch our hearts and we will give.”
SKMC ‘will bring honour and glory to God’
The Rev Khoo believes that SKMC will bring honour and glory to God. He said the people in SKMC would bring the Gospel to the Sengkang community and beyond to neighbouring Ponggol.
This points back to the mission statement of SKMC: Seek and bring the lost into the Kingdom of God and help them become fully devoted disciples to continue the mission of Christ.
In his address, the Rev Chng highlighted four core values of the church: to be Christ-centred, community-minded, culturally and doctrinally-balanced, and cell-based.
SKMC envisions to be a church that loves God with a gentle and humble heart, and be a big family that loves people, and is committed to one mission: to preach the Gospel.
With the building in place and a cease in fund-raising programmes, the church now concentrates its efforts on moving in the people and the facilities.
The Rev Chng pointed out that the 158 members of SKMC in the Chinese and English congregations came from three churches, namely Gloria Methodist Church (Toa Payoh), Singapore Hakka Methodist Church and Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church.
Therefore, it was necessary to ensure that the physical aspect was well taken care of before the integration of the members into the new church community could begin.
Said Mr Ong confidently: “We will conduct our first service in this new church building on Dec 1 this year. Of course, we will need to have the TOP from the relevant authorities before we can move in.”
Chen Yi Reng is a part-time correspondent for Methodist Message.