Features, Highlights

Walking to build foundations of wisdom

“TELL ME AND I FORGET, teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn,” goes a Chinese saying. How true. Indeed, education and the process of going to school is a journey, and like paths in a wooded forest that draw us in, every road that we choose to take leads us to new life-long learning experiences.

For many among the more than 3,000 young children, teenagers, youths and adults who participated in the sixth MethodistWalk on July 6, Saturday, it was a walk for charity as well as a walk of unity in one-ness of Body with all 15 of our Methodist schools and 22 of our 46 Methodist churches represented.

More significantly, this participation will contribute to building stronger educational foundations for close to 23,000 students in our schools today, equipping them for a future when, as Bishop Dr Wee Boon Hup emphasised in his opening devotion, “they will choose to live wisely, avoid being foolish, keep company with those who are wise and put into practice what they have learnt”.

For Ethan Mok, 17 years old and a J1 student at Anglo-Chinese Junior College, the day was one of great pride, as literally thousands walked the streets in T-shirts that carried his winning MethodistWalk 2013 design.

He said: “It feels cool and an honour see my design worn by all the walkers. was great that the Methodist Schools undation (MSF) organised this mpetition – it gave everyone a sense that ey’d a part to play in this event.”

Ethan’s inspiration for the design came from the Bible – the triangular shapes that seem to leap from the pages of the Bible represented feet, to signify that our paths, footsteps and ways must be governed by the wisdom that we draw from the Bible and the Holy Spirit.

Mr Albert Ng, MSF Chairman, said: “We are truly appreciative of the tremendous support that we have received from the schools, churches, individuals and corporations. We have raised approximately $1.22 million from this Walk, although we are not able to confirm the final tally yet at this point.

“This fund-raising event is an excellent opportunity for both students and church members to work together for the future of our schools. The next MethodistWalk will take place in 2015, and we would like to encourage smaller churches to pool together to sponsor the seventh MethodistWalk. It is also worthwhile for individual donors to know that direct donations are entitled to tax exemption as MSF has Institution of a Public Character (IPC) status.”

If not for the haze that engulfed Singapore just weeks before the Walk, there would have been a bigger turnout. Organising Chairman Mr M. Manoharan explained: “We were actually expecting a turnout of more than 5,500 walkers.

“But with the onset of the haze and possible concerns by the Ministry of Education, we contacted every school to request that they cut down on the number of students they were deploying for the event. This was to enable us to fit everyone into the Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) auditorium where the pre-event worship service was to be held.

“If the haze had persisted on the day of the Walk, everyone would have remained within the Auditorium, and a contingency programme would have been activated. As it turned out – and we truly give thanks to the Lord – we had a clear-weather day, and I believe everyone enjoyed the fresh air during their Walk.”

Methodist Schools Foundation

• Incorporated in 1997 as the Methodist Schools’ Building Endowment
Fund to help fund standard and non-standard facilities and items in Methodist schools.

• As of July 31, 2012, net assets were $17.6 million represented in a general fund and three endowment funds (which are restricted, with only the earnings disbursed)

a. Building Endowment Fund, for the building, repair and maintenance of
school buildings, and to buy educational equipment and aids

b. MSF-Chen Su Lan Endowment Fund, to benefit needy students in specific
Methodist schools

c. Financial Assistance Endowment Fund, for needy students from any Methodist school who require financial assistance

• Total disbursed so far exceeds $8 million

• Every dollar raised by each Methodist school for the MethodistWalk goes back to the respective schools.

• MSF has renewed its IPC status under the MOE and all donations will enjoy a 2.5 times tax deduction.

• To find out how you can support through giving and volunteering,
please contact Ms Annie Chng at 6478-4808, or email annie.chng@methodist.org.sg

“And we’re off!” Participants putting their best foot forward on the Walk.

Ethan Mok (left) receiving his prize from Guest-of-Honour, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, for his winning t-shirt design.
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Christina Stanley is the Editor of Methodist Message.