National Day Thanksgiving Service 2021

Worship @ NDTS 2021
The St Andrew’s Cathedral worship team led by Rev Christopher Chan

For the second year running—like many annual church events since early 2020—the National Day Thanksgiving Service of the National Council of Christian Churches (NCCS) was conducted with a limited live congregation and streamed online. The event, held at St Andrew’s Cathedral on the evening of 19 Aug 2021, had been planned before the latest easing of restrictions on religious gatherings.

Anglican Bishop Rt Rev Titus Chung, the NCCS President, delivered the sermon, “And to God what is God’s”. It was based on Mark 12:13–17, when the Pharisees and Herodians tried to trap Jesus by asking: “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” Jesus responded: “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

Bishop Chung reminded the congregation that the state has received its authority from God, and it will one day be held to account by God. We are thus to subject ourselves to the state’s authority because it has been put there by God. As citizens, we should have the mindset of positively engaging the world and working together with all parties—including the authorities—to build a peaceful and harmonious society for everyone, believers and non-believers alike, and seek the common good of the land.

“A case in point is the constructive conversation between NCCS and MCCY [the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth] in helping the churches and the state better manage the COVID-19 crisis. Another example is the ongoing dialogue between NCCS and MHA [the Ministry of Home Affairs] in addressing religious radicalism and engaging religious harmony in our city-state,” he explained.

The NCCS executive committee (ExCo) led in intercessory prayers for Singapore. Among other things, intercession was made for God’s help during this pandemic, for the nation’s leadership and for churches to be able to meet together again without restrictions soon. There was also thanksgiving for our nation as it celebrated its 56th birthday, and for the safety and freedom of worship we enjoy.

The COVID-19 pandemic loomed large over the service, apparent in how the NCCS ExCo members leading the service had to mask up when they were not speaking. The pulpit and microphone also had to be cleaned between speakers. Even so, as the St Andrew’s Cathedral worship team reminded everyone in their pre-recorded opening song, our God is faithful and we have never walked alone.

During the service, the NCCS book, Homosexuality, the Bible and the Church, edited by Rev Dr Keith Lai, Rev Terry Kee and Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian was launched. This collection of essays examines the topic of same-sex attraction from the perspective of biblical scholarship, theology, pastoral practice, science and the law. NCCS hopes that this book will help Christians understand what Scripture and the Church teach about homosexuality, so that they can wisely and better navigate the issues.

 To order, go to

Bishop Dr Gordon Wong leading
intercessory prayers
Bishop Titus Chung delivering the sermon

Sheri Goh is the Editor of Methodist Message. / All photos are screenshots of the live-streamed service on YouTube. Watch the recording at