Methodist Church

WFCMC commits to ‘inward experience and outward practice’

6th Mission Conference of the World Federation of Chinese Methodist Churches

TAIPEI – “ The harvest is plentiful, but alas where are the harvesters?” In response to God’s call to reach out to the 1.5 billion Chinese people across the globe, the World Federation of Chinese Methodist Churches (WFCMC) has been organising Mission Conferences every five years to encourage members to reply “Here I am, send me”.

The 6th Mission Conference was held at the Chien Tan Youth Activity Centre, Taipei, Taiwan, from June 21 to 25 this year. ere were about 800 delegates from 14 annual conferences, from several countries including Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. e Rev Dr David C. Wu represented the World Methodist Evangelism of the World Methodist Council.

Led by the Chinese Annual Conference (CAC) President Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung, a team of 98 Singaporean delegates consisting of CAC Pastors and members attended the Conference.

The theme of the Conference was “Inward Experience, Outward Practice”. e Rev Su Chii Ann, President of the Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference, opened the conference with his sermon titled “God’s People: Into and Out of the World”.

Over the next few days, different perspectives on the topic were discussed. The Rev Dr Tie King Tai, Principal of the Methodist eological School in Sibu, spoke about “Wesleyan Traditions on Inward Experience and Outward Practice”; Prof Dr Lo Lung Kwong, Director of Divinity School of Chung Chi College in Hong Kong, shared about “Chinese Cultural Traditions on Inward Experience and Outward Practice”; and the Rev Dr Chong spoke on “Contemporary Contextualisation of Inward Experience and Outward Practice”.

These keynote sessions were followed by Bible study sessions on biblical characters. e Rev Dr Hii Kong Hock from Sabah shared from Paul’s life, the Rev Pong Kwan Wah from Taiwan spoke about Peter, and the Rev Dr Justin Tan from Australia led the study on Job.

In the afternoons, participants chose to attend some of the 28 available workshops, dealing with various issues and current reports in missions. Workshop speakers from Singapore included the Rev Dr Chong, the Rev Khoo Cheng Hoot, the Rev Dr Niam Kai Huey, the Rev Dr Wilfred Ho and the Rev Philip Lim.

The evenings were filled with reports from various WFCMC committees and the mission fields. Four missionaries shared inspiring stories from their life experiences and ministries, moving many to tears and praise.

A highlight of the conference was the welcome banquet for the delegates on the evening of June 22. ey were warmly welcomed by Taiwanese Bishop John C. T. Lin and Mr Tseng Yung-Chuan, Secretary-General to the Taiwanese President. A short introduction of the Methodist Church in Taiwan was given by the Rev Pong, after which an “international night” began for the delegates to present cultural items.

The Singaporean delegates wore a variety of national costumes to present their multi-cultural heritage. They sang a classic song in Malay, English and Mandarin. As they descended the stage, they handed out orchid flowers to members of the audience, winning applause for this unexpected gesture.

The closing ceremony on June 25 was led by the Rev Ling Heu Uh, President of the Sabah Provisional Annual Conference. Bishop Lin, the new Chairman-elect of WFCMC, preached a sermon entitled “Discipleship-oriented Mission”. He was then installed as Chairman and led the congregation in reading a statement which spelt out the three key commitments of the 6th WFCMC Mission Conference. They are:

1. To work in synergy and take up the mission to reach out to Chinese people everywhere – through planting churches, serving our neighbours, evangelising the world, and building the church.

2. To focus on disciple-making in pastoral ministry – through character-building, encouraging family harmony, bringing up godly children, equipping believers, empowering leaders, and integrating life and faith.

3. To uphold the historical tradition of Methodism in developing inward experience and outward practice – through persisting in intimate communion with God, and keeping the commandment of loving God and neighbours through spiritual piety and discipline.

Tan Wee Pin is the Chief Editor of CAC News.


Ghana President cited impact of Methodism

ACCRA (Ghana) – Ghana is mourning the death of its President, Professor John Evans Atta Mills, who died on July 24.

President Mills, 68, had been a Methodist, and he was present when the Methodist Church of Ghana celebrated 50 years of autonomy from the British Methodist Church in 2011 at Accra Sports Stadium.

In a Ghana TV newscast at the time, he described the church’s impact on his life.

“I am the biggest beneficiary of the Methodist Church’s autonomy because I owe my education to the Methodist Church and my childhood training that was given me by the Methodist Church,” he said.

“ … Since the church and state have a common agenda, there is a need for us to get closer and see what we can do in order to build a better Ghana.”

He died at a military hospital, but official details on the cause of death have not been released.

He had served as President since 2009, and was succeeded by Vice-President John Mahama. – United Methodist News Service.


Call for Christian and Muslim cooperation for a peaceful Syria

LAKE JUNALUSKA (North Carolina, US) – The World Council of Churches (WCC) has expressed appreciation for an appeal from the primate of the Antiochian Greek Orthodox Church, who has called upon all Syrians to “work together in order to achieve peace and stability in Syria”.

In his message, Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch and All the East, said that “countless numbers of Christians and Muslims are victims of the violence; the hospitals are full with injuries, and the pain is endless”.

“Syrians, in spite of their religious backgrounds, have the right to live in their country with pride and dignity,” he added.

The WCC’s Acting General Secretary Georges Lemopoulos shared the spirit of the call expressed by the primate, saying:

“In critical times like these, we join churches in Syria in prayers for peace. We join our voices in the appeal from Patriarch Ignatius, in which he urged the United Nations and the international community to support Syrians in their struggles for justice.” – First Friday Letter, World Methodist Council.


Prayer in preparation for Malaysia’s 50th year

KOTA KINABALU (Sabah) – In preparation for Malaysia celebrating its 50th year in 2013, the Malaysia National Prayer Network (MNPN) is organising a Prayer Convocation from Dec 3 to 5, 2012.

The theme for the event is “Jubilee and Beyond: A disciple-making church”. is is the third consecutive year that MNPN has organised this prayer meeting.

The aim of the prayer convocation is to prepare and mobilise Christians in Malaysia to rise up and pray for their nation in its 50th year and beyond.

It will be held at Glory Christian Centre, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

There will be a concurrent prayer track at the same venue named “Ignite!” for children aged seven to 12 on Dec 4 and 5, to be led by Brendon and Cathie Clancy, itinerant ministers from Australia – Connection, a fortnightly English station of the Chinese Methodist Message, Sarawak, Malaysia.