Happenings, News

Aldersgate Convention becoming international

WITH only weeks before Aldersgate Day, the Aldersgate Convention 2005 is taking on increasing international proportions, with growing interest from India to the Philippines.

Registration for the “Methodist Worship in Context” seminar has come from several pastors and leaders from India, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, as well as participants from other denominations. Several overseas bishops and presidents are also expected.

The Aldersgate Committee is pleased to be able to have three international experts in the fields of Wesleyan theology and worship, the Rev Dr Geoffrey Wainwright, the Rev Dr Karen Westerfield Tucker and the Rev Dr William Abraham.

All the three scholars are currently teaching in top American seminaries. They will discuss topics relating to the liturgical forms and evangelical freedom which Methodists have inherited from John Wesley.

Registration continues for the two day seminar, to be held at Sophia Blackmore Hall, 6th floor, Methodist Centre, on May 27 and 28, which will include workshops by Methodist pastors and church leaders, as well as lectures by the Rev Dr Wainwright and the Rev Dr Tucker. The seminar is open to lay worship leaders, church musicians and pastors.

The convention begins with the Aldersgate Service on May 24, 2005. To be held be at the joint premises of Faith Methodist Church and Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church from 7.45 pm to 9.45 pm with refreshments following, the service will be a celebration of the 120th Anniversary of The Methodist Church in Singapore.

Bishop Dr Robert Solomon will preach the sermon, “What do you see?” based on the text preached by Bishop J. M. Thoburn in 1885, Zechariah 4:1-14. Featured musicians include The Voices of Praise and Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ Primary School Angklung Choir.

On the following three nights, May 25-27, the Rev Dr Abraham will speak at Barker Road Methodist Church on the topic of “Faith and Reason: Wesleyan Perspectives”.

The week of celebrations will conclude with the Aldersgate Hymn Festival, to be presented by the Methodist School of Music, at Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church (TA2) at Wishart Road, off Telok Blangah Road, on May 28 at 7.45 pm.

The Hymn Festival will feature a 70-strong choir under the baton of a professional conductor, Ms Wong Lai Foon, who is a member of the renowned Westminster Choir and has performed with major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

Also in attendance will be a professional brass ensemble, a first for an Aldersgate Hymn Festival, which will resound with Charles Wesley’s favourites as well as newer hymns. A few will be presented with innovative Asian music setting.

There are also plans to assemble a Children’s Choir. All in all, singing Methodists, young and old, should find the evening ending on a high note.