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Workshops to feature local worship

Aldersgate 2005 ‘Methodist Worship in Context’ seminar

CAN Methodists maintain the old forms of worship and still be relevant? The upcoming seminar, “Methodist Worship in Context” on May 27 and 28, 2005, promises to be a great opportunity for exploring how our Methodist tradition is still relevant in the contemporary context. As part of the seminar, knowledgeable pastors and church workers will lead workshops on practical topics for those planning and participating in worship.

These workshops will supplement a set of four lectures by two scholars in Methodist worship, the Rev Dr Geoffrey Wainwright and the Rev Dr Karen Westerfield Tucker. Currently teaching in top American seminaries, they will discuss topics relating to the liturgical forms and evangelical freedom which Methodists have inherited from John Wesley.

Participants in the two-day seminar, to be held at Sophia Blackmore Hall, 6th floor, Methodist Centre, may sign up for two workshop sessions when they register. Early-bird registration, until April 18, is $35, including lunches and tea breaks for the two days. Regular registration is $50. Groups of 10 or more are also entitled to a special fee of $35 each.

These programmes are part of the week-long Aldersgate Convention 2005, which begins with the Aldersgate Service at Faith Methodist Church/Queenstown Chinese Methodist Church on May 24 at 7.45 pm. The other events are the evening talks by the Rev Dr William Abraham, another Methodist scholar, on May 25, 26 and 26 at Barker Road Methodist Church at 7.45 pm each evening, and the Aldersgate Hymn Festival at Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church (TA2 Sanctuary) on May 28 at 7.45 pm.

The seminar will feature two sessions on the sacraments. The Rev Malcolm Tan, Pastor-in-Charge of Barker Road Methodist Church, will lead a workshop on Baptism, which explores the place of baptism in Methodist worship. The Rev Dr Lorna Khoo, Pastor-in-Charge of Living Hope Methodist Church, will lead a workshop to explore issues regarding the celebration of the Holy Communion.

Three other workshops will consider services related to the family life cycle and other special times. A workshop on Weddings, led by the Rev Ebinezar Mohan, Pastor of Jurong Tamil Methodist Church, will help participants to reflect on the theological and cultural values of the Singaporean wedding services. He will first present a typical wedding as celebrated in churches of the Emmanuel Tamil Annual Conference, and then discuss weddings throughout The Methodist Church in Singapore.

The Rev Chong Chin Chung, Pastor-in-Charge of Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church, will lead a workshop on Funerals by first presenting the Chinese funeral. The Rev Dr Vinson Samuel, Pastor-in-Charge of Tamil Methodist Church at Short Street, will lead a workshop on Special Services.

The workshop on Music in Worship will be led by Mr Jusuf Kam, a Pastoral Team Member (Worship and Music Ministry) at Wesley Methodist Church. Since Charles Wesley, Methodists are known for singing their theology. This workshop will explore how the artful use of music may continue to enhance our prayers, our expressions of faith and our praise to God.

Bishop Dr Robert Solomon will present a workshop on the Word in Worship. The workshop will examine the importance of the Word of God in Worship and how it helps to preserve the biblical, historical and theological integrity of Christian worship. It will consider the many points in the worship service (including the sermon) into which the Word of God can be woven effectively.

The Rev Kenneth Huang, Pastor-in-Charge of Living Waters Methodist Church, will lead a workshop on Intergenerational Worship. He will present a model in which the church is enriched by having a worship service where all congregation members, from the youngest to the oldest, worship God together and by also deliberately creating opportunities for the younger and the older members to learn from each other, and to serve side by side.

A workshop on Action/Drama will be led by the Rev George Martzen, Minister attached to the Bishop’s Office. He will examine the range of verbal and non-verbal communication that takes place in worship and discuss how a renewed attention to worship posture, gestures and other non-verbal communication may strengthen our worship in context.

The Rev Niam Kai Huey, Pastor of Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church, will lead a workshop on Prayer, Psalms and Worship, which will focus on the resources for prayer, especially the Psalms in our worship services.

The Rev Dr Yu Chin Cheak, lecturer at Trinity Theological College, will lead a workshop on Worship as Spiritual Formation, which will explore and seek to reclaim from our Christian heritage the role of worship as spiritual formation.

Two other workshops, yet to be confirmed, are Contemporary Worship and The Sunday Service.

The Rev George Martzen is Minister attached to the Bishop’s Office.