Happenings, News

ETAC to focus on three targets


    Structural renewal      Stronger relationship with God      Stronger push for missions and outreach

EMMANUEL Annual Tamil Conference (ETAC) continues to focus on three goals in the coming year: a systematic structural renewal, a stronger relationship with God through discipleship, and a stronger relationship within its churches in missions and outreach.

Declaring this in his President’s Review at the 28th Session of ETAC, the Rev Dr Vinson Samuel said: “It is my sincere belief that our churches and Conference can balance ministry around these three areas and do everything to the best of our abilities.

“We can respond effectively to the needs of a changing world by being rooted in three ministries. The working theme for the coming year, ‘Strengthened to Serve’ reflects their importance.”

The three ministries are:
Worship Ministry that proclaims the story of salvation and brings fellowship between believers around the table, who will love and serve the Lord;
Discipleship/Nurture Ministry that helps with the spiritual formation of people, for example, discipleship, training and programmes;
Outreach and Witness Ministry that reaches beyond the walls of churches into the community by meeting the needs of individuals, families and groups.

The Rev Dr Samuel said the church must be prepared to meet the challenges and changes around it, not by changing biblical principles or compromising the Gospel, but by changing the methods, structures and strategies.

“Change is essential if churches and its ministries are to minister effectively. We must hold on to our principles, and yet find new methods for a changing world.

“Our churches should not lose focus on the sense of purpose and direction, and should be aware of what is going on in the real world and how that can impact us on a day-to-day basis.

“We need to step out as worthwhile individuals adequately equipped to serve the community.”

The Rev Khoo Cheng Hoot, President of the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC), was the guest speaker at the Opening Service of the Session.

He urged ETAC members to “save yourselves and also save people who hear you”, which was the central theme of his message. To do this, he said, required “perseverance and watching over our lives”.

“We come to conference, we come together to grow, to support or extend the Kingdom in a connectional relationship.”

He said that as far as the Methodist Church was concerned, if others were saved and church members themselves were lost, the Methodist Church would not have grown to what it was today, 300 years after its founding.

And if church members were saved and others were not, the Methodist Church would not have grown to be a sizeable church, and continued to grow.

He thanked ETAC members for the faithful service they have given to the Methodist Church, and concluded with these words: “May the Tamil people be saved.”

The service closed with the Holy Communion, which was administered by Bishop Dr Robert Solomon and assisted by The Rev Dr Samuel, the Rev Khoo and the Rev Dr Isaac Lim, President of Trinity Annual Conference.

The Rev James Nagulan, Pastor of Pasir Panjang Tamil Methodist Church, making a point on the second day of the ETAC session. – Methodist Message picture.