THE CHURCH IS A PEOPLE. is truth was vividly seen by the 6oo visitors who walked through Tamil Methodist Church (TMC) on Methodist Heritage Day (MHD) on Oct 31 and viewed the many photo exhibits, “ Then and Now”, that showcased God’s people of all ages and backgrounds serving in and through the church, for the glory of God.
“My grandmother (a member of the Hinghwa congregation which worshipped at TMC in the 1920s) was married in this church.” This was an example of some of the declarations from the many elderly visitors who could relate to the scenes at TMC’s MHD exhibition.
The young visitors smiled on seeing photographs of the formally-attired ladies and gentlemen and less than elaborate than life-scenes; but they were curious and sought answers to what interested them.
The older ladies of the 80-strong group from Pasir Panjang Tamil Methodist Church expressed much nostalgia as they recalled knowing the pastors and lay leaders of the recent past.
Equipped with memorised information, TMC’s team of eight tour guides, assisted by 16 ushers, took manageable-sized groups to the three stations: the Foundation Stone, the sanctuary and the exhibition in the hall. The exhibition theme of “ Then and Now” of TMC and the seven other ETAC churches was captured in a hundred photographs accompanied with summarised information. With this were models of TMC (1925-1988) and that of the present church, a few artifacts and some early Methodist Church publications.
The crowd was thickest around 3 pm. There was an air of bonding as members from other congregations met and exchanged greetings. The mingling of our fellow Methodists and their cheer added to our delight in being part of this event.
Many visitors strolled in after a walk down Mt Sophia to see the first Tamil Methodist Church in Singapore – they were given a leisurely walk through the route, and they were not disappointed by the narratives given by our attentive, charming and informative tour guides/ushers comprising young adults and students.
Before our visitors left us, a cold drink, oﬀered by the ladies of the Women’s Society of Christian Service, was most welcomed just as much as the care of the marshals, comprising men from the Local Church Executive Committee, who guided them back safely into their buses.
The event was a success as visitors could identify and relate to at least one part of TMC’s history or see the similarities as reflected in their own church history. Together we believe that what the church is today and will continue to be is God’s committed people coming together to build His church. We are connected after all!
Our happy visitors left us with a legacy: the numerous compliments and prayers that God’s blessings and faithfulness continue to be on TMC. is is evidence that the MHD Exhibition achieved its goal: to show and tell of God’s faithfulness through how the church lives His Word and that the glory is God’s.
Veronica R. Poore and Shanthi Jeremiah are members of Tamil Methodist Church.
Story by Veronica R. Poore ■ Picture by Shanthi Jeremiah