29TH SESSION OF CHINESE ANNUAL CONFERENCE: NOV 16-19, 2004
THE Rev Khoo Cheng Hoot, Presi-dent of the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC), has urged CAC churches to stay focused in three ways in the new quadrennium.
In his Presidential Address on the opening day of the 29th Session of the CAC Conference on Nov 16, held at Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church, he called on the churches to:
STAY REL-EVANT in a fast-chang-ing society;
STAY CON-NECTED through com-mon goals, covenantal relationships and sharing of resources; and
STAY IN THE LORD to meet the challenges and reach out to the lost.
The Rev Khoo was re-elected Presi-dent on the third ballot on the first day of the conference session, which began with an early morning Holy Communion Service.
Bishop Dr Robert Solomon adminis-tered the Holy Communion. He was as-sisted by Bishop Emeritus Wong Kiam Thau; the Rev Khoo; the Rev James Nagulan, the newly-elected President of Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference; the Rev Dr Isaac Lim, President of Trinity Annual Conference; the Rev Dr Daniel Lee Kok Pheng, City-East District Super-intendent; and the Rev Chua Ooi Suah, City-West District Superintendent. The Rev Ho Yu Choy, Pastor-in-Charge of Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church, was the worship leader.
In his address before the election, the Rev Khoo told the conference: “We are facing a fast-changing society. Therefore, we must change in order to remain relevant. Faith in God can move mountains. The call of God must be obeyed if you want the power of God to work through you and the church.
“We have a responsibility to reach out to the Chinese population and immigrants,” he said, adding that while English is the main working language, Hokkien is an effective dialect to use in evangelising the Chinese in Singapore.”
Reminding the delegates that “we are a connected church”, he said: “We need to keep ourselves connected internally and yet be relevant in a changing world.
“As a conference, besides having a vision, the people have to take ownership of our conference. The process begins with pastors; pastors train their lay leaders, and the leaders then train the people.”
On the third point, he said: “Stay in the Lord. As the word was given to Joshua to cross the Jordan River and enter the Prom-ised Land – ‘Take courage and be strong’ – so let us move on as a conference with the same faith into the new quadrennium.”
The Rev Khoo’s seven-page address also highlighted some breakthroughs in the 2000-2004 quadrennium and dealt with plans and programmes for the new quadrennium.
The CAC now has 14 new preachers and 10 new elders, and there are more Local Ministry Staff in the local churches It is expecting 10 new graduates from Trinity Theological College in May 2005. With their addition, the CAC should have at least one pastor for each language or dialect group, and the ratio of pastors and church members will be about one to 200.
Churches have seen positive growth with the net growth in membership, after the removal of “lost members”, being slightly more than 2 per cent.
The Rev Khoo said: “We are also build-ing up relations between the local churches and the conference. Pastor-Parish Relations and Staff Committee dialogues and other sessions have brought about better under-standing among one another.”
Through the joint effort of the World Federation of Chinese Methodist Churches, of which the CAC is a found-ing member, more books on Methodism in the Chinese language have been printed. In addition, one has been translated into the Indonesian language and another into the Myanmar language.
Among future plans, Kum Yan Canton- ese Methodist Church is raising funds to rebuild its sanctuary in 2005, and Geylang Chinese Methodist Church has committed itself to building a chapel in Geylang Methodist Secondary School in 2006.
The guest speaker for the morning devo-tions throughout the four-day conference session was the Rev Dr Ezra Kok, Principal of Seminari Teoloji Malaysia, in Seremban.
The Rev David Liew Chuan Jih, Pastor-in-Charge of Hinghwa Methodist Church, was appointed the new City-East District Superin-tendent. He replaces the Rev Dr Daniel Lee Kok Pheng, who has been appointed Pastor-in-Charge of Bukit Panjang Methodist Church. The Rev Dr Lee, who had been the Pastor-in-Charge of Charis Methodist Church for the last nine years, replaces the Rev Tan-Yeo Lay Suan, who will be on sabbatical.
A newly-ordained Elder, the Rev Erick Tan Eng Ghee, was appointed the new Pastor-in-Charge of Chris Methodist Church to replace the Rev Dr Lee.
The Rev Chua Ooi Suah, Associate Pastor of Sengkang Methodist Church, was re-appointed the City-West District Superin-tendent.
Mr Goh Say Pin, Lay Leader of Geylang Chinese Methodist Church, was re-elected the Conference Lay Leader.
The conference session ended with a Service for the Installation of the Conference President and the Ordination of three Deacons and an Elder on Nov 19. The Rev See Ping Eik, Pastor-in-Charge of Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church, was the worship leader. Bishop Dr Robert Solomon gave the sermon entitled “Being A Pastor”, which was inter-preted by the Rev Goh Nai Lat, Director of The DISCIPLE Agency.
Following the installation of the Rev Khoo as President by Bishop Dr Solomon, Pastors Louis Chai Shung Chee, Chin Yan Chong and Susan Lim Bee Yong were ordained as Deacons, and the Rev Erick Tan Eng Ghee was ordained as Elder.
CAC PICTURES BY PHILIP LAM OF GEYLANG CHINESE METHODIST CHURCH
Lectures to help lay leaders better appreciate theology
TRINITY Theological College is launching the annual Earnest Lau Professorship Lectures which aim to bring theology to the level that pastors and informed lay leaders could appreciate.
The first annual lecture entitled “Rediscovering the Catechumenate: How to Help New Converts Discover their Real Christian Identity” will be held at TTC, Upper Bukit Timah Road, on Jan 19, 2005 at 8 pm.
The speaker will be the Rev Dr Simon Chan, Earnest Lau Professor of Systematic Theology at TTC.
The focus of the lecture is on the relationship between theology and some aspects of church life and pastoral practice so that Christians can be encouraged to think through pastoral issues theologically and formulate theologically informed responses rather than merely resort to pragmatic solutions.
Among other issues, the lecture will answer the question “How is the church to help Christians develop a stronger church identity?”
Those interested in attending can call Ms Crystal Chan at 6761-3616 or email email@example.com