National Day Thanksgiving Service 2016
Live in a Studied Way, Christians Urged
By Mr Edmond Chua, Pastoral Admin Officer of St Andrew’s Cathedral
Life, as designed by God, is not meant to be led in a mindless manner, but with a deep and significant sense of calling.
Such was the exhortation to Christians of different denominations and stations in life during the National Day Thanksgiving Service organised by the National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) in the week following the anniversary celebrations of the republic.
To the hundreds of attendees gathered at the New Sanctuary of the St. Andrew’s Cathedral, a landmark and historic parish of the Anglican Church in Singapore, the speaker, senior Presbyterian minister Steven Gan, had posed a simple yet profound question: “What is your purpose in life? What do you want people to remember about you when you are gone?”
Far from hearing a motivational speech – the Right Reverend Dr. Gan tied his homily in to the idea of a God-given direction in life for each believer – participants were made fully aware of the spiritual nature of the encouragement by the worshipful atmosphere facilitated by praise groups and prayer leaders who were also representatives of the Anglican, Methodist, Lutheran, Assemblies of God, Evangelical Free Churches and The Salvation Army.
As such, the event was itself a picture and reflection of that which the preacher desired to see in the lives of his listeners.
Much like the hard-won religious and ethnic harmony amid diversity the city-state boasts that has impressed many a visitor, the inter-denominational form of the service was no mere accident of history but the fruit of a sober realisation on the part of church leaders of different stripes that unity is for the greater good.
The noble aspirations of bearing testimony to Scripture on issues of contemporary interest and fostering a sense of togetherness among Protestant churches toward ministry and service gathered churches in the formation of the Malayan Christian Council in January 1948. Today, the body is known as the NCCS, a self-described voluntary fellowship of churches embracing all denominations and church traditions, including independent churches.
After citing the inspirational examples of Christians from different epochs all of whom served the Lord’s purposes during their lifetimes, the Rt Rev. Dr Gan, who is synod moderator of the Presbyterian Church in Singapore, brought his sermon to a close with another point of consideration: “What will people say of the Christian church in Singapore 100 years from now?”
With continued participation in purposive platforms like the NCCS and the National Day Thanksgiving Service, and such self-examination and conscientiousness in religious piety as was exhorted at the event, churches and Christians stand themselves in good stead to pursue God’s direction in their own lives.
Photos courtesy of Mr Simon Ng and Mr Vincent Nghai
Items & Worshippers
Interfaith Eidul Fitri Tea Reception on 27 July 2016
The Mufti and leadership of MUIS and Harmony Centre welcomed the representatives from the 10 major faiths in Singapore to the Eidul Fitri Tea Reception held at the An Nahdhah Mosque in Bishan on 27 July 2016. This was in celebration of the blessings of Ramadan, a month that Muslims all over the world reflect on their spiritual wellbeing and seeking forgiveness from Merciful God. It is also a month for empathizing with the needy and the less fortunate in society.
Dr Mohamed Fatris Bakaram, Mufti of Singapore gave an opening speech and called upon Singapore religious leaders to rise up in solidarity to counter the propaganda and divisive message of extremist groups and individuals. He called for our vigilance against those who abuse religion for their own violent and supremacist conduct and whose aim is to tear the social fabric of our multi-religious and multi-cultural society. Read here for full text.
After a presentation of highlights of the past achievements and future plans for the Harmony Centre by Ms Liyana Rosli, Manager of the Harmony Centre, invited guests were treated to a generous spread of food during the reception.
Guests were also informed that Ustaz Mohd Ali Atan had returned to Head the Harmony Centre after his two year stint as a diplomat in Saudi Arabia. Appreciation was expressed to Ustaz Mohd Fazalee Jaafar, who was leaving Harmony Centre to take up a new appointment as the new President of the Syariah Court in Singapore.
It was another occasion when faith leaders could reinforce friendships and strengthen religious harmony among different faith groups.
Photos courtesy of Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis)
HKBPS celebrates 70th Anniversary
Huria Kristen Batak Protestant (HKBP) Singapore celebrated its 70th Anniversary in the Sanctuary of the Tamil Methodist Church on 24 July 2016.
The HKBP has 26 districts within its church organization and HKBP Singapore (a member of NCCS) is part of District 20 Kepri.
The Anniversary Service and Celebration was attended by Bishop of HKBP from Indonesia, Rev. Willem T.P. Simarmata, MA, pastors from the HKBP District of Kepri (Riau Islands), Rev. Frederick Lee, Secretary of the Lutheran Church in Singapore and Elder Richard Chong, Executive Secretary of NCCS.
Rev. Donda Simanjunatak, Resort Pastor of HKBP, and Ms Nora Samosir, Secretary of the organizing Committee of the 70th Anniversary Service and Celebrations, hosted guests from NCCS and LCS at the event.
God be praised for His faithfulness to HKBP!
Organised by : Taoist Federation (Singapore)
Date : Sunday, 24 April 2016
Time : 9:00 a.m. – 3.00 p.m.
Venue: Kovan Hub (206, Hougang Street 21, Singapore 530206)
Taoist Federation (Singapore) is the organizer and host for the Harmony Games 2016 (HG). NCCS and the various faith groups were invited to participate in this year’s HG which seeks to engage the young and old from various faith groups to bond and interact with one another. This event is supported by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCCY).
The theme for this year’s HG is “Let the recollections begin”. Participants were invited to take part in traditional “kampung” games and sample traditional food of the 4 main races in Singapore. There were also many games available for younger children which encouraged family fun and bonding. Residents around the vicinity of Kovan heartlands were welcome to join in the games as well. The Guest of Honour was the Minister for MCCY, Ms Grace Fu Hai Yien.
Nominations & Elections for 2016-2018 Office Bearers
1. President Bishop Rennis Solomon
Mohanrajkumar s/o Ponniah
2. 1st Vice President Bishop Dr Wee Boon Hup
3. Vice President Bishop Terry Kee Buck Hwa
4. Vice President Rt Rev Dr Steven Gan
5. Treasurer Mr Chan Fook Kay
The other members for the Executive Committee nominated for the term 2016-2018 and recommended for GC appointment are
- General Secretary Rev Dr Ngoei Foong Nghian
- Member Rev Dominic Yeo
- Member Rev Dr Chua Chung Kai
- Member Colonel Lyndon Buckingham
- Member Mr Daniel Chan
GC Meeting, 21 Jan 2016
Science and The Christian Faith (Monday 4 January 2016)