Jubilee! That triggers celebration, liberation, debt cancellation, and much more. The celebration is a culmination of a recollection of the past 50 years of God’s favour and blessings, and an anticipation of more yet to come. The liberation is not just from sin, but from bondage of all sorts. Financial freedom gets a special mention in the Bible.
For The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS), our nation’s Jubilee coincides with our own 130th anniversary. Our theme is ‘Moving Forward in Service’.
The MCS from its early beginnings has been involved in service to the various people that were already here and those who came to make this island our home. From founding schools and homes for girls and boys, helping those suffering from opium addiction, and establishing churches that provided ministry and community to immigrants from India, China, and Indonesia, we are inextricable from the nation that we now call Singapore.
Jubilee looks to the future too. As we have demonstrated the love of God through the many services that we have rendered to the people in the past, we seek to do more of the same.
Methodist Welfare Services will launch a programme to help some people we know to ‘Get Out Of Debt’ (‘GOOD’), a theme definitely relevant to our biblical understanding of Jubilee.
Aldersgate SG 2015 will be an opportunity to plumb deeper into our Wesleyan roots. The theme this year will be ‘Seeking the Welfare of our City’. It has been said by some that the 17th century revivals (in which the Methodists were in the forefront) prevented England from experiencing a bloody revolution similar to what France endured. Though this claim has been disputed by others, the ministry of John and Charles Wesley nevertheless left a significant imprint in British society.
We will have three speakers instead of our regular one to address the welfare of our city from the perspective of their countries: Bishop Emeritus Dr Robert Solomon (whom we all know), the Rev Asiri Perera (President-designate of the Methodist Church, Sri Lanka) and Mr Anthony Row (General Secretary of the Methodist Church in Malaysia).
We will round up the celebration with a Celebration of Praise and Thanksgiving in November.
The above are only events organised at the MCS level. I have heard that local churches as well as Annual Conferences and agencies are planning celebrations at their levels.
I invite you to come join in our own Methodist celebrations, even as you participate in other SG50 events organised by other civic organisations. Let our presence as salt and light make Singapore’s Jubilee a joyous celebration of our past as well as a faith-filled anticipation of our hopeful future.
The Rev Dr Wee Boon Hup
The Methodist Church in Singapore