To Give Is To Gain
In his President’s Address at the 43rd Session of the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC), the Rev Dr Goh Nai Lat touched on the sacrifices to be made for true discipleship in the Kingdom of God.
Crafting his message around the Mandarin phrase, “舍得”, meaning “to give up”, the Rev Dr Goh separated the words “舍” (on its own, the character means “to forsake”) from “得” (“to gain”). This gave a deeper meaning to the phrase of giving up—illustrating the idea that we gain (得) only when we are willing to give up（舍）.
The Rev Dr Goh then asked if Christians today were ready to forsake what is precious to them, in following Jesus. He challenged us with Jesus’ call to deny ourselves and take up our cross daily (Matt 16:24). “May it be that we will all be found as willing givers,” exhorted the Rev Dr Goh.
A push towards central pooling
At the 43rd session of the Chinese Annual Conference, the Conference also approved the setting-up of central pooling for CAC. This initiative was developed by a Central Pooling Taskforce appointed by the CAC Executive Board in January 2018. The taskforce was led by CAC Vice President, and included representation from the CAC President, District Superintendents, Lay Leaders, as well as representation from the Board of Finance.
During the session, a ballot was taken among the delegates of the local churches. The motion was passed with 95% support to introduce central pooling with effect from 1 Aug 2019. More significantly, work will also commence to review how CAC can be transformed. (see sidebar for more details)
The Methodist Church in Singapore (MCS) Restructuring Taskforce
The Conference was also briefed on the deliberations of the MCS Restructuring Taskforce. The petition to restructure MCS was raised in 2016 as the present structure of operating with three separate ACs was seen as cumbersome and inefficient, with much duplication of efforts.
The Rev Dr Goh voiced CAC’s concern that even as we consider the streamlining of duplicated ministries, we pay special attention to the continued promotion of non-English ministries and to ensure the importance of preserving the rich heritage of many of CAC’s local dialect services. CAC Board of Laity also resolved to support the MCS Structural Review through consultations and participation in workgroups.
Re-election of Vice-President
Mr Guan Yeow Kwang was re-elected unanimously as CAC’s Vice-President. He will serve until 2020.
Elder and Deacon Ordination
The session witnessed the ordination of the Rev Patrick Chen, the Rev Simon Cheo and the Rev Peace Choi as Elders. The Rev Stephanie Oh was ordained as a Deacon.
Central Pooling to be introduced in 2019
With effect from 1 Aug 2019, CAC will be introducing Central Pooling, where all CAC HQ and pastoral expenses will be shared by all 17 CAC churches. Sharing will be based on the membership of each church. To provide relief and minimise the financial disruption, a transition period of two-plus-one years and a cap on the cost to be paid by the local church will be set. More details will be released by CAC over the next few months.
A CAC Transformation Task Force (CTTF) will be appointed by the end of January 2019. The CTTF will look at developing and implementing strategic initiatives to support the continual growth of CAC’s local churches and position the CAC to effectively expand God’s Kingdom. It will specifically look at the following five major work streams:
- church growth and discipleship.
- pastoral and lay leadership development.
- organisational effectiveness (including admin resourcing & shared services).
- school Ministry and church kindergarten strategies.
- raising the profile of CAC & its churches through CACTogether.
CAC APPOINTMENTS FOR 2019
Jason Woo is Methodist Message’s Editorial Executive. When not working on the latest articles, he enjoys long jogs and cuddling up with his cats along with a good book.
Photos courtesy of the Chinese Annual Conference