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Bishop to TTC students: Share your faith

Bishop Dr Solomon answering a question from the floor. — MM picture.

INTER-RELIGIOUS relations should be about sharing our faith, not just proselytising, Bishop Dr Robert Solomon told a group of Methodist students at Trinity Theological College (TTC) recently.

Some 50 Methodist students at TTC gathered at the invitation of Bishop Dr Solomon on Oct 23, 2002, to hear from the Methodist Missions Society (MMS), discuss various concerns and enjoy fellowship.

In response to queries about current government proposals for interactions between different religions, Bishop Dr Solomon said: “It should not be about how different religions relate to each other, but about how people of different faiths relate to each other.”

He suggested that whenever there was a significant issue, Christians could discuss with people of other faiths, asking, “What does your faith teach you about this situation?”

This was the second tea fellowship the Bishop has held for Methodist students at TTC. In July, he hosted a tea fellowship for the first-year TTC students who are Methodists.

The afternoon tea began with a brief time of worship singing led by the Rev George Martzen, Minister Attached to the Bishop’s Office. In sharing one of Charles Wesley’s rarely sung hymns, “Our Earth We Now Lament to See”, he encouraged the students to share the peace of Christ in the midst of the current international troubles.

Also present briefly at the fellowship was the Rt Rev Dr Finley MacDonald, Moderator of the Church of Scotland, UK, who was introduced to the students by Bishop Dr Solomon. The Rt Rev Dr MacDonald had earlier met another group of students at TTC.

After a Powerpoint presentation on the current mission work in Thailand and Cambodia, the Rev Dr Clarence Lim, Methodist Missions Society Director, spoke briefly on the history and work of the MMS. He encouraged the students to consider either full-time mission work or volunteering. The MMS is currently involved with projects in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China and Nepal.

He said the MMS would like to develop relationships with other countries as well, including Laos, East Timor and Mongolia, but more personnel were needed. “That person might be you,” he added. Several missionaries also made their presentations.

Following the MMS presentation, Bishop Dr Solomon fielded various questions from students, including on ordination, the need for increased training in Methodism and the current national concerns about religious harmony. Students expressed interest in similar gatherings, including an extended retreat for Methodists who are studying at TTC.

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