The Women’s Society of Christian Service (WSCS) of The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) has the mission to know Christ and make Him known. The WSCS ministry is a sisterhood bonded in love to encourage and build one another towards a deeper relationship with Christ.
In Singapore, the WSCS is organised as follows:
Apart from our main annual observances—a Thanksgiving Service, WSCS Sunday, Week of Prayer and Self Denial, and World Federation Day—our numerous programmes focus on four areas: Missions, Witness and Evangelism, Outreach and Social Concerns, and Discipleship and Nurture.
ETAC WSCS ladies minister in Nepal, Myanmar, India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. We started a tailoring project in the Trinity Tamil Methodist Community, Medan, where we purchased sewing machines and engaged trainers to conduct classes for women from needy families to equip them to be more self-reliant. Praise God that during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Medan Tamil ministry has been sewing masks for the community.
For the past nine years, TRAC WSCS ladies have been going to the Philippines and working with Oikos Helping Hand (OHH) to minister to the poor in the slums and dumpsites of Metro Manila. OHH’s ministry impacts about 600 families, including children in a learning centre, widows, and children with cancer. Mission trips to Vietnam, Nepal and Cambodia have also been made.
Since 2018, CAC WSCS has supported two girls from Sophia’s Home in Nepal as they train to be nurses. CAC WSCS’s outreach to East Asia has been challenging in recent years.
Witness & Evangelism: We seek ways to help women in their witness and outreach to the community, including evangelistic programmes for non-Christian family members and friends.
TRAC WSCS premiered the first VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) Conference for women in 2017. Since then, VUCA Conferences have attracted hundreds of participants each year. The one-day conference covers wide-ranging issues of interest to friends and loved ones, and has proven to be a wonderful platform for outreach. Regretfully, the 2020 edition of VUCA “Power in this VUCA World” has been put on hold.
TRAC WSCS organised a trip to Sky Mirror in Malaysia in 2019. Named Frenfare 2, the ladies travelled with at least one pre-believing friend or relative, who heard the gospel presented in a non-threatening way. Dolly Chia of Agape MC shared the gospel with the tour guides and led one of them to Christ. Her testimony is posted in TRAC WSCS’s Facebook page.
ETAC WSCS sisters used their Friends Fellowship event in 2019 to reach out to pre-believing friends. They not only testified of the reality of Christ in their lives, but also shared how to receive Him and remain in His strength.
To address lack of confidence in evangelising, particularly to close family members and friends, CAC WSCS held a Caring Evangelism Course over eight sessions last year. It was attended by 28 members. It is our prayer that all may put what they learnt into practice.
Outreach & Social Concerns: We serve the community in partnership with the local church and promote participation of Methodist women in other Christian women’s organisations
At the local church level, WSCS visits shut-in seniors and befriends hospice and nursing home residents. CAC WSCS ladies visit MWS Bethany Nursing Home every month and St John’s Home for Elderly Persons every week. ETAC WSCS ladies spend time with children at the Chen Su Lan Methodist Children’s Home, sharing Bible stories, and leading sing-alongs and art & craft sessions. TRAC WSCS partners sisters-in-Christ in the Ministry@D’Well.
To show appreciation to pastors’ wives and lady pastors, TRAC WSCS, together with CAC and ETAC sisters, organised Sayang Sayang in 2018 and 2019. This was a blessed time of fellowship, fun and food. Due to the COVID-19 Circuit Breaker, TRAC WSCS sent a “Sayang Sayang meal” to pastors and their families in May 2020.
Discipleship & Nurture: We encourage women to deepen their spiritual life through spiritual disciplines including prayer and Bible study.
A unique WSCS tradition is the Week of Prayer and Self Denial (WPSD) held every September. At the end of a week of prayer and fasting, we give the money saved to the PSD Fund for the poor and needy in our mission fields.
CAC ladies held the first single women’s retreat in 2019 at the Montfort Centre. Based on the theme “Companion in Life Journey”, participants learned about reflection, spiritual journals and painting, meditation and prayer, deepening our understanding of God as our companion.
In 2019 and 2020, TRAC WSCS organised devotion writing workshops during which we meditated on Scripture and wrote our reflections. These devotions were compiled into a booklet and shared with church members in celebration of WSCS Sunday/Mother’s Day.
God@Work is a marketplace ministry by Barker Road MC WSCS. Various activities to promote Christian growth and fellowship are held at five venues around the city for working ladies during lunch break.
WSCS Sunday is celebrated in church annually, typically on the third Sunday in May, and contributions collected are distributed to organisations ministering to women and children. This year, sermons were based on the 2020 WSCS sub-theme: “God’s Standards and Promises for our Living” (Isa 33:15–16).
In February 2020, two leadership events were held. The first was the inaugural Methodist Women Conference between ETAC WSCS (Singapore) and TAC Women (Malaysia). The conference, themed “Together We Serve”, provided a platform for Singapore and Malaysia women leaders to learn about ministry opportunities and challenges. The second event was when Singapore had the privilege of hosting the Asian Young Women’s Leadership Development Seminar 2020 by Wesley Foundation. Young women from MCS’s three Annual Conferences joined some 30 young women from nine other Asian countries to realise and hone their leadership skills.
National and international relations
GC WSCS was featured in the SG Cares Bicentennial Project by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY), “Celebrating Our Culture of Care”. The finale event at Our Tampines Club was the unveiling of the completed four-piece community mural by artists from Very Special Arts. These stories of care were contributed by individuals and groups who have demonstrated care for the community over the past 200 years.
One of the annual observances of GC WSCS is World Federation Day (WFD), a day celebrated annually by local communities around the world. This day serves to unite women in discussing and seeking actions to global crises. Last November, young ladies from our three Conferences collaborated to focus on two of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) adopted by United Nations member states. The chosen goals were “Responsible Consumption & Production” and “Climate Action”.
In International Relations, GC WSCS is affiliated to the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women (WFMUCW) and belongs to East Asia Area. Twenty-six ladies from our three Conferences attended its 11th East Asia Area Seminar in Hong Kong last year and experienced great fellowship with sisters from Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines and Taiwan.
In the Country Sharing session, GC WSCS President, Dr (Mrs) Teo Li Bee presented a video relating the 200 years (1819–2019) of Singapore’s development from a small island with no natural resources to the vibrant city state it is today. It also related the birth of MCS as well as the work of the women in the Church.
We thank God for the strong support given to us by Bishop Dr Chong Chin Chung, Conference presidents and church leaders. We invite ladies of all ages and backgrounds to join us. By God’s grace, the WSCS, a body of Spirit-filled women empowered by the Holy Spirit, will continue to embrace the journey He has charted for us—to restore, build and preserve—honouring the trust He has placed in us and keeping to the vision to know Christ and to make Him known.
Teo Li Bee is the President of the General Conference Women’s Society of Christian Service (GC WSCS), Teo Suet Ehr is the President of CAC WSCS, Kalaimathi Nagulan is the President of ETAC WSCS and Choo Lai Eng is the President of TRAC WSCS. / Photos courtesy of WSCS
1 “Overcomers in this VUCA world,” Methodist Message (June 2019), 21–22, https://message.methodist.org.sg/overcomers-in-this-vuca-world.
2 RAC WSCS Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/tracwscs.
3 “Saying ‘no’ to self and ‘yes’ to God,” Methodist Message (November 2019), 21, https://message.methodist.org.sg/saying-no-to-self-and-yes-to-god.
4 “We have chosen what is better,” Methodist Message (March 2020), 5, https://message.methodist.org.sg/we-have-chosen-what-is-better; “Our strength every morning,” Methodist Message (May 2020), https://message.methodist.org.sg/our-strength-every-morning.
5 “We have chosen what is better,” Methodist Message.
5 “What is my purpose?” Methodist Message (April 2020), 12, https://message.methodist.org.sg/what-is-my-purpose.