125TH ANNIVERSARY SERVICE
Journey with God for peaceRaise pastors
THE PEOPLE OF TAMIL METHODIST CHURCH (TMC) were given two challenges at its 125th Anniversary Service on Sept 30, 2012. The message of Bishop Dr Robert Solomon, based on Psalm 125, engaged our minds to see ourselves as pilgrims climbing up Mount Zion to reach the Temple. To continue on this journey and be inspired by what we notice on our way, we think of God and His character and learn to place our trust in Him. We have to have the confidence that this God, who is steadfast, will give us His protection, from all that is evil, by His providence.
We are, therefore, to seek righteousness: being right with God, and when we have the Holy Spirit working actively in and through us, we will live well with man. We are challenged to be people who work towards having the peace of God within us. For he who has peace of God will enjoy peace concerning all things.
This timely message makes us Christians realise that we cannot waste our time basking in past achievements or have the attitude of “we have arrived”. It is a reminder that this journey is about going forward and upwards; this continuing pilgrim journey, with all its distractions and obstacles along the way, is to be undertaken with the faith that God is our steadfast protector and provider; we cannot make this journey on our own.
Tamil Methodist Church, as with all our sister churches, is established, entrusted, settled and protected. We are to abide where God has placed us, “from henceforth and evermore” (Psalm 125:2) to be workers of His Mission – better than what we have been in the past.
The congregation, comprising members and guests, was excited when it learnt from Bishop Dr Solomon himself that as a 16-year-old, he received his call to commit his life to Jesus on the evening after he had attended an evangelistic service at Tamil Methodist Church.
Why the excitement? Because the second challenge the Bishop issued us was to raise one or two pastors from amongst our congregation, “and that would be the best birthday present for Tamil Methodist Church’s 125th anniversary”. Quoting Matthew 9:37, he reminded the congregation: “For the harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few”.
This was exactly our plan. Brochures initiating a Theological Education Scholarship in celebration of the anniversary were in the hands of the worshippers. Thus had the Holy Spirit led us. The timing could not have been better for plan to meet challenge.
Join us in prayer that these two meaningful undertakings will bear fruit. At the fellowship lunch after the service, a booklet entitled Flames of Hope was launched. This collection of biographical stories tells of the church lives of a small group of our laity of the yester years whose descendants, who received the baton of faith from their ancestors, still worship at and serve God through this church.
Copies of the Bishop’s latest book, The Virtuous Life, specially printed with his anniversary message, were also made available for church members.
Prizes for the hymn-writing competition were presented to all the participants. Lyrics of the prize-winning hymn, “Loving God, Loving People”, which is the theme of the 125th Anniversary, were penned by Mr Melvin Dineshraj. It is set to the tune of “I Vow to Thee My Country”.
Tamil Methodist Church, established in 1887, is the second oldest Methodist Church in Singapore after Wesley Methodist Church was formed in 1885.
Tamil Methodist Church’s 125th Anniversary was not one of pomp or extravagance, but one of recalling God’s faithfulness; to be reminded that we have not arrived; that we are still walking forward and upwards and that there is no conceivable reason why we should not put our trust in God.
The year’s celebrations will climax with the burying of a Time Capsule on Dec 2. However, I believe that our 125th Anniversary Service that was celebrated on Sept 30 will be the most outstanding of all of our programmes for the commemoration of this historical event.
To God be the Glory for the things that He will do.
Veronica Poore is a member of Tamil Methodist Church.