Staying True to Our Mission
“Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.” Hebrews 2:1 ESV
Drifting is a danger in our current situation. How can we keep our focus and fulfil our mission when we can no longer do things the usual way? Thank the Lord, BPCIS has continued to press on despite restraints and limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
POST-PANDEMIC WEBINAR. In place of our annual Retreat in Malaysia, our scheduled speaker Bishop Emeritus Robert Solomon addressed a 2-hour webinar on 14 July, speaking on “No Longer Business as Usual: Post-Pandemic World & Church”. Eighty-seven leaders from 11 BP churches attended. Bishop Solomon called for two things that must never be lost but be preserved at all cost in a post-pandemic church, namely, our reverence for the holiness of God and our affirmation of church as a community
ORDINATIONS OF MINISTERS. Despite restrictions, two ordination services were held. Deacon Wong Luwin (Mount Hermon) and Preacher Daniel Ho (Mount Gerizim, a Chinese church not yet a member of BPCIS) were ordained on 2 April, while Elder Wendell Chua (Zion Serangoon) was ordained on 23 August. In addition, Sim Chow Meng (Mount Hermon), Lin Hongsui and Reuben Ang (Zion Serangoon) were elected as elders and will be welcomed into the Presbytery as members with all BP ministers and elders. Meanwhile, the ordination process began on 19 August for Vernon Quek, ministry staff of Zion Bishan.
CHURCH PLANT AND TRANSPLANT. Mount Carmel lost its bid for the HDB Bukit Batok church site which went to Adam Road Presbyterian Church. The bid provided an opportunity for BPCIS churches to rally together with Mount Carmel by making available gifts and interest-free loans. Our attention and solidarity now turns to Mount Hermon which is purchasing a freehold unit at Henderson industrial estate. Transplanting the church from Choa Chu Kang (where it shares the building with Hebron BP Church) will bring it close to where Mount Hermon started, Telok Blangah in 1970’s.
NEW MEMBER CHURCH. Our Presbytery pastors meet every month. After “Zooming” for 3 months, we met physically for lunch on 5 August and formally welcomed Pastor Timothy Phua and Mount Horeb BP Church whose members had voted by an overwhelming majority to join BPCIS.
CHURCH KINDERGARTENS. Over the past few years, half of church kindergartens in Singapore have closed, including one of our own which ran for over 60 years. Last year, BPCIS came strongly behind an initiative, Christian Preschool Alliance, by making a significant financial contribution, and securing a place in the Board of Directors in the newly registered “Kingdomgarten Preschool Services” (KPS).
On 22 August, KPS organised an inaugural, virtual dedication service for Christian preschool teachers. Four hundred attended with Bishops and Moderator representing major denominations in Singapore. BPCIS participated with worship team from Shalom BP Church opening and our General Secretary closing with benediction. Let us pray that Christian kindergartens will come together to help one another as “kingdomgartens” to advance God’s Kingdom in Singapore and beyond.
ANNUAL PRESBYTERY MEETING. We meet for our annual gathering on 26 September, our ninth since the Presbytery started in October 2011, but our second AGM since we were registered with Registry of Societies. As before, we will have a guest speaker addressing a topic of current interest. We have invited Dr Calvin Chong of Singapore Bible College to speak on “Impact of the Digital World and the Church”. This topic chosen last year has taken on an urgent relevance with COVID-19 driving us into the digital world. Session, staff and leaders of member BPCIS churches are invited to join via Zoom.
FINALLY, A PASTORAL WORD.
Since “Circuit Breaker” ended and “Phase 2” marks a cautious return to the new normal, our BPCIS churches have started meeting again physically in congregations of not more than 50 worshippers. We understand that some are so used to worshipping via streamed or recorded services, that they are hesitant or disinclined to join these services. We hope it’s not because we have lapsed into a “culture of convenience” that we are neglecting to meet together (Hebrews 10.25). May we call on all to stay focused and not drift, remain faithful and not lapse, and keep vigilant through the challenges now and ahead. And again, from the writer to the Hebrews:
“Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.” Hebrews 10:35-36 ESV
Pastor David Wong
General Secretary, BPCIS