Celebrating God’s design for marriage and family at CAC’s Loving Families Carnival 2023

Celebrating Gods design for marriage and family at CACs Loving Families Carnival 2023
(Top and right) Parents and children having a go at various game booths (Bottom) Presentation of love gift to Methodist Welfare Services

The Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) May Day event has traditionally been a platform for special topical discussions and training, but this year, May Day took on a different purpose. When CAC President, Rev Dr Goh Nai Lat called for a meeting with the chairpersons of CAC Boards to discuss an all-of-CAC response to the changes in the law last year, it was clear that the family had to be at the centre of CAC’s response. It was decided that the annual May Day event would be the ideal platform to articulate this response and a fun, family carnival would be held.

The carnival, called Loving Families or 爱家倍, was to be a celebration of the family, by the family. Held on 1 May 2023 at Geylang Methodist School (Secondary), it was attended by 2,000 people from CAC’s 17 churches.

A united CAC effort

The Loving Families Carnival took a little over four months to organise and was a joint effort involving multiple CAC Boards and churches. The organising committee was chaired by Col (Ret) Quek Koh Eng, while Dr David Ang, who is the CAC Board of Family Life chairperson, played a key role in the committee.

Col Quek was heartened that every Board executed their roles and responsibilities expeditiously. “Involving all the chairpersons of the Boards in organising this major event was a good move,” as it showed the commitment of each Board in supporting the event and building strong families.

Photobooth by Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church
Photobooth by Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church

President Goh thanked the CAC churches for helping to make the carnival a success. In particular, he thanked Sengkang Methodist Church for ensuring that the event was inclusive to those with special needs. President Goh exhorted churches to value their family life ministries because of the key role that families play in continuing the legacy of our faith.

Safeguarding the family unit

Beyond organising a fun-filled family event, Col Quek highlighted the deep concern to help safeguard families in response to the “challenges and pressure faced by our families today”.

“There have been many webinars, seminars and talks highlighting the importance of family conducted over the years, but the CAC Executive Board wanted to make a stand and announce a renewed focus on the family and its importance in the days ahead for the spiritual and moral well-being of our Christian families and churches,” Col Quek said.

Celebrating Gods design for marriage and family at CACs Loving Families Carnival 2023B
(Left) Hot Dog stall by Holy Covenant Methodist Church (Right) Nasi Lemak stall by Geylang Chinese Methodist Church

“Families are the bedrock of society,” echoed Dr Ang. “When this foundation is established and well taken care of, what grows and comes out from it will be healthy and positive. As love, faith, and godliness permeate a home, it will spread laterally and generationally.” He encouraged parents to continue to set aside time to have fun with their children, because doing so aids in strengthening a child’s self-image and creates “emotionally and relationally strong adults”.

Moving forward, CAC hopes to see churches introduce more activities to encourage family bonding and bring attention to the importance of family life.

Celebrating Gods design for marriage and family at CACs Loving Families Carnival 2023C
(Left) Reciting the CAC Family Life Pledge at the Closing Service (Right) Performance by CAC Got Talent winner, Ci Xian & Family from Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church

For more photos and videos from the carnival day, head to CAC’s Facebook (@cac.singapore) or Instagram (@cactogether)

Dr Benjamin Leong is the chairperson of the CAC Board of Laity and member of Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church. Additional reporting by the CAC Communications Team. / Photos by Joshua Khoo and Kong Kum Cheong