Since the genesis of Tamil Methodist Church (TMC) 133 years ago, we continue to hold on to the belief that it is God Himself who has strategically positioned us in this neighbourhood so that we can reach out.
Beginning our ministry with the Tamil-speaking in what is known as Little India, our ministry has marched with the times. TMC at Short Street has seen major changes in its surroundings: from low-rise shophouses to multi-storey structures. Many generations, both from the church and secular world, have moved, but TMC remains, as does the impact that we have on the lives of people.
TMC is surrounded by schools such as Kaplan Corporation, La Salle College of the Arts, TMC Academy, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore Management University, Cosmoprof Academy, as well as many other non-governmental institutions and learning centres. Adjacent to TMC stands SMU Prinsep Street Residences and opposite us, dwell Student Living.
With a vision to reach out to the growing student community around us, we took great efforts to invite these youths to our church programmes. Hours had been devoted to planning and designing publicity posters, banners and e-invites, and many other strategies to appeal to youths had been instituted, but sadly, we had not reaped. Nevertheless, we persevered in our ministry with the belief that we are here as a people for God’s purpose.
God has blessed us with this young, vibrant and energetic population. He knows our hearts’ desire and He orchestrated the union of ETAC MYF and TMC for the programme, “The Reason”. Spun-off from another outreach initiative, “The Reason” was the result of an afterthought that arose from a realisation that there is more wisdom in collaboration and synergy.
At the time, ETAC MYF had no idea of TMC’s longing cry to do outreach amongst the student community in its vicinity. But God’s plans supercede ours; He makes all things beautiful in His time. “The Reason”, an initiative inspired by 1 Peter 3:15, comprised English, Korean, Burmese, Hindi, Thai song performances from well-known and upcoming bands. As a small cohort with great plans, we knew that we needed support and assistance. Therefore we collaborated with one of our sister churches from the Chinese Annual Conference. Ps Shawn Koh, the emcee of the event, and the music band from Ang Mo Kio MC were a great blessing to us.
Along with all the fellowship and entertainment, the programme was helmed by Jennifer Heng, director of Safe Place, and Yong Wei, a counsellor from Prison Fellowship Singapore. We wanted the audience to know that there is always hope, through God, even in situations that seem hopeless.
This breakthrough in reaching out to a cohort of interested youths is a renewed mission for TMC. We are re-energised and dare to believe that God has kindled hope in those hearts, and they now know that, at their doorstep, there is a place for worship and people who have offered a hand of friendship. We continue to work with them for a greater purpose—their salvation.
“The Reason” was only possible and successful because TMC had partnered with our sister churches. Our prayer is that “The Reason” will be an exemplary model for other such collaborations within MCS.
Pastor Jeremy James is Assistant Pastor at Tamil Methodist Church (Short Street).
Photos courtesy of Tamil Methodist Church