GOOD things come in threes. Both Pentecost Methodist Church (PMC) and Bishop Dr Robert Solomon would readily agree.
PMC members have been walking in euphoria since June 4, 2006, a day of triple blessing as the Bishop pointed out.
It was Pentecost Sunday, the day God gave the Holy Spirit to the church. And it was the day when PMC was founded 74 years ago. It was the day, too, PMC was consecrating its new extension for the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Bishop, who also showcased three gems as guest speaker at PMC’s 74th Anniversary-cum-Dedication Service, was not alone in his observation.
“Everyone is so happy,” said Mr B. K. Tioh, Assistant Project Manager for the extension project, who, with his wife and colleagues from his construction company, was a special guest at the combined service of five congregations – Peranakan, Mandarin, Youth and two English.
So there were altogether 1,078 members and friends, including TRAC President Rev Wee Boon Hup and his wife, other TRAC pastors and members, gathered for the joyful dedication of the $4-million new extension after one-and-a-half years of construction.
The extension has added 40 per cent much welcomed capacity to accommodate PMC’s growing ministries to its almost 1,100 members. This includes a chapel, a multi-purpose hall, a 24-hour prayer room, meeting rooms, roof terrace and new office.
In his message, the Bishop reminded the congregation that their celebration must ultimately refocus on the central figure of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost and in the three things God’s people must keep at all costs.
The first is the Word of God which God uses like a surgeon’s knife to cut away the pus from our hearts so that we can be healed of the disease called sin. He recounted from Acts 2: 37-47 how God’s Word through Peter cut to the heart of his audience to convict them of their need for repentance.
“The Church must stand up with conviction about God’s Word”, he said. “It is good practice to publicly declare ‘This is the Word of God’. We must give primary importance to the public reading of God’s Word.”
The Holy Spirit is deeply connected to the Word of God, the Bishop added. He inspires the writers of the Bible and He illumines our understanding of what we read.
Likening Bible reading to a healing conversation with God, the Bishop shared how his “heart was warmed” when he read in the liturgy of the service the section where members are encouraged to continue reading the Bible if they have not finished reading through it. At the 2005 Anniversary Service, PMCers had been challenged to complete the reading of the Bible within a year by June 4, 2006.
The second thing the church must never lose is our identification with Jesus Christ through baptism. Just as God has identified with us at Christmas, we identify with Christ in our baptism.
“When the going gets tough, it is our baptismal identity that will keep us going,” said the Bishop. “Someone has said that Jesus has sneaked humanity into heaven during His ascension. Our greatest joy comes from knowing that our destiny is grafted to Jesus Christ.
There is no other destiny worth living or dying for. Our profound identity and future have been given to us by Jesus Christ.”
The Spirit’s role is to give us new life, to purify us and make us more Christ-like as we are baptised into Christ.
The eucharist rounds up the trio of heirlooms that the Christian cannot live without. “John Wesley saw it as both medicine and food to give us spiritual healing and spiritual food to strengthen us on our journey,” said Bishop Dr Solomon. He told a story called Babette’s Feast where a woman spent all her inheritance on a meal for the frugal believers of a small town.
“Jesus, too, comes into our lives on a rainy night not to be served but to serve. He prepares a meal for us and gave all He had to prepare that meal. He did not hold back.
“If we truly understand the depth of God’s love for us, we cannot remain unchanged,” he added. He compared the taking of Holy Communion to a living encounter with the living God which, with the Holy Spirit coming upon us, completes the full experience of our meeting God to let Him touch us.
On a sober note, the Bishop concluded that Christians, as a people of the Spirit’s anointing, are anointed with
power for service to do mighty things for God as well as for suffering to produce in us character and real fruitfulness – in the same way that Jesus was anointed as He prepared to go to the cross.
PMC first started ministering to the Peranakan community as the Geylang Straits Chinese Methodist Church at Geylang Methodist Church in 1932. It changed its name to Pentecost Methodist in 1965 when it relocated to Koon Seng Road to commemorate the first service at its new premises on Pentecost Sunday. Since 1994 PMC has been worshipping at Pasir Ris Drive 6.
Lim Yeen Fong, the Church Manager of Pentecost Methodist Church, has just resigned from her position to go abroad.
STORY: LIM YEEN FONG
PICTURES: WONG YEANG CHYN
Holiday with a mission
THE Methodist Missions Society (MMS) is organising a “Vacation With A Purpose” exploratory trip to China from Sept 9 to 17.
Aimed at combining vacation with exposure to mission works, the trip will cover MMS mission fields in Fujian province. Most of the in-house activities in the field will be carried out by MMS field staff.
The cost is $1,500 per person, and the trip will be limited to 20 people.
Those interested should contact the MMS office at tel: 6478-4818 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org and register by
Aug 18, 2006.