FAQ : Organisation
- How is the Methodist Church in Singapore organised? Answer
- What is meant by connectionalism? Answer
- How is property held in the Methodist Church? Answer
- What is the meaning of the MCS emblem? Answer
Q: How is The Methodist Church in Singapore organised?
A: The Methodist Church in Singapore, which consists of 46 local congregations, is organised in conferences: general conference, annual conferences, district and local conferences.
The General Conference "which meets every 4 years, is the highest decision-making body of the MCS, led by the elected Bishop and an equal number of elected representatives (both clergy and laity) from each of the three Annual Conferences." For day-to-day matters between sessions of the General Conference, the powers of the General Conference are to be found in the General Conference Executive Council (GCEC) "The GCEC also receives reports from the Finance and Administration Council that oversees the funds and properties of the Methodist Church." — The People Called Methodist, 37
The General Conference is the only body that speaks officially for the church. "No person, no paper, no organisation has the authority to speak officially for The Methodist Church, this right having been reserved exclusively to the General Conference under the Constitution." — The Book of Discipline 2014, 210
There are three annual conferences:
- Chinese Annual Conference
- Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference
- Trinity Annual Conference
Local churches are organised by conference. "A local conference shall consist of one or more churches which are organised under, and subject to, the Discipline of The Methodist Church, and to which a minister is or may be duly appointed as pastor in charge." —The Book of Discipline 2014, 105
Q What is meant by connectionalism?
A: Following is a helpful quote from the book, The People Called Methodists: The Heritage, Life and Mission of The Methodist Church in Singapore.
One of our great Methodist distinctions is the affirmation that we are interconnected. This is rooted in the biblical image of the church as the body of Christ, inspired and gifted by the Holy Spirit. "Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it" (1 Corinthians 12.27). The word that describes interconnection is 'Connectionalism'. In the Methodist Church this can be seen at many levels with a global vision and local thrust. These connections are even built into the organisation of the church.
First, the General Conference, as the one representative body that speaks officially for Methodist doctrine, polity and practice, and symbolises the connection for all Methodists in Singapore. Thus, an individual member of any local Methodist Church is a member of the total Methodist Connection. The three Annual Conferences in connection with each other under the General Conference, form The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS).
Secondly, the Annual Conferences constitute the connection between local churches through their Local Conferences.
Thirdly, the Local Church is a connectional society of persons who have professed their faith in Christ.
— The People Called Methodist p. 35
Q How is property held in the Methodist church?
A: All title deeds of local churches are held by the Secretary of the Trustees of the Methodist Church in Singapore. "A concrete expression of the Methodist connection can be found in the way Methodist property is owned. No one individual or body within the MCS owns the church's property, but is held in trust for the whole connection. 'All real property, shares, bonds and other registrable property of the General, Annual, District and Local Conferences, agencies, institutions, or organisations of The Methodist Church in Singapore shall be held in trust by the Secretary of the Trustees...'"
— The People Called Methodist, p 35, quoting from The Book of Discipline, 401.
Q What is the meaning of the MCS emblem?
A: The logo of The Methodist Church in Singapore logo focuses on a Spirit empowered loving and caring community growing qualitatively and numerically by God's grace.
Concept of the logo is twofold:
Firstly, a pair of stylised abstract graphic uplifted hands forming the letter `M' (Methodist) in the shape of a heart, signifying loving and caring. The centre of focus is the Cross of Calvary . (Cross colour: Pantone Blue 286 C).
Secondly, the red flame speaks of the gift of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2:3) and the 'tongues of fire' suggests that the church is energised by the Holy Spirit. The merging of the two images therefore suggests the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (tongues of fire) in a loving and caring church (Flame colour: Pantone Warm Red C). --Methodist Message, August 1998
This logo is the property of The Methodist Church in Singapore, and its use should follow strictly the precise design and colour specifications. Commercial use requires specific authorisation by the Council on Communications.