Dear family in Christ

Today we commemorate the annual diocese Education Sunday. This year’s focus is on the alma mater of our nine Anglican primary, secondary and college schools. Many had fond memories of meaningful fun activities, kind caring teachers and personal character growth. Some had returned to their alma mater as school teachers to continue this meaningful tradition and mission in educating future generations of students.

We are thankful to the Lord for guiding many graduates of St Margaret’s Secondary school to become members and friends of our church community. We thank God for their salvation in Jesus Christ, and also that of their families. We rejoice to see them growing in spiritual maturity and good character. We appreciate their love and heart for the Lord in serving Him in various areas of church ministry and also in local & overseas missions. We thank God for all of them for being God’s wonderful blessing and encouragement in our community.

For the past 26 years, St John’s Chapel has the joy and privilege of Education Mission chaplaincy work in this school. We thank the Lord for a committed chaplaincy team of church staff and volunteers as they serve God with a joyful purpose in sharing the good news of the gospel and in caring & helping the students. If you are able to serve in the chaplaincy ministry in the areas of music, befriending, tutoring and praying, please approach our lead chaplaincy staff, Florence Hou.

But Jesus called them to him, saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.”   Luke 18:16

 

Maranatha

Pastor John

The Diocese of Singapore

Pastoral Advisory on

Penal Code Section 377A

___________________________________________________________________

Recent media comments by prominent figures have reignited the call to repeal Penal Code Section 377A.  As you consider the matter, do note the following:

a.  It has been established by the Supreme Court in October 2014 that Section 377A is constitutional.

b.  Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in the Parliamentary Debate in Oct 2007 on Section 377A explained why the Government would retain Section    377A in the Penal Code but not enforce it. The Diocese, together with the National Council of Churches of Singapore, supports the Government’s carefully calibrated position on this.

c.  The evaluation of Section 377A goes beyond legal technicalities and pure logic. It is a boundary-stone marker for what Singapore society wants to hold as normative in its moral framework and in how people conduct themselves in the public square. 377A is a moral marker consonant with fostering strong families for the long-term well-being of our nation.

d.  The Government has stated that it will not repeal the law as long as mainstream society wants it to remain: “It is up to society to decide.”

It is heartening that the Government’s recent Penal Code Review did not recommend any change to Section 377A. As the Review is now open for public consultation until 30 September, before going to Parliament in November, it is timely for us to reaffirm that we want Section 377A to remain.

In the context of all the above factors, we would strongly encourage you to:

1.  Provide feedback to the Government by:

a.  Sending this simple message “I want 377A to remain” to REACH reach@reach.gov.sg, and

b.  Signing the petition at https://www.change.org/p/singaporegovernment-please-keep-penal-code-377a-in-singapore (please read carefully and be sure you are still on the correct petition before clicking “Sign this Petition”.)

2.  Remain respectful of persons with different views. Do not make disparaging remarks about anyone. Let your conduct be governed by love and “let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt” (Col 4:6).

3.  Pray fervently. Pray that the Church will learn and grow in its ministry to same-sex attracted persons. Pray for the shalom (Hebrew for total well-being) of Singapore: “… seek the welfare of the city” (Jer 29:7).

May the Lord bless and watch over Singapore from generation to generation!

 

Archdeacon Wong Tak Meng

On behalf of the Diocesan Senior Clergy Team

12 September 2018

Dear church family

One key distinguishing mark of the living church of Jesus Christ is to be a Koinonia Community. We have a common faith in Jesus, a common bond in Jesus and a common love for one another. We are called to build up and edify one another in the Body of Christ as we see the Return of the Lord drawing near.

The following “one another” actions and attitudes are expressions of true biblical koinonia:

  • Accept one another (Rom 15:7)
  • Be devoted to one another (Rom 12:10)
  • Be kind & compassionate to one another (Eph 4:32)
  • Bear one another’s burdens  (Gal 6:2)
  • Bear with one another in love (Eph 4:2)
  • Care for one another (1 Cor 12:25)
  • Comfort one another (2 Cor 13:11)
  • Do good to one another (1 Thess 5:15)
  • Encourage one another (1 Thess 5:11; Heb 3:13)
  • Forgive one another (Eph 4:32)
  • Honour one another (Rom 12:10)
  • Live in harmony with one another (Rom 12:16; 1 Pet 3:8)
  • Love one another (1 Pet 1:22; 1 John 3:11; 3:23; 4:7; 4:11-12)
  • Serve one another in love (Gal 5:13)

For the past two years, it has been such a joy and encouragement for me to see God’s people at St John’s Chapel edifying and encouraging one another in love. May we grow strong together as God’s Koinonia Faith Community.

Maranatha

Pastor John


Dear church family

My son was very excited to have the opportunity to cook a meal for his teachers in school last Wednesday. As the school chaplain, I attended St Margaret’s school Teachers’ Day Appreciation high tea last Thursday. This is the time of the year where we remember and appreciate those who teach and influence lives, not only those in the public sphere, but also in our church family.

1.   Teachers in our Children’s ministry

We want to appreciate and thank the many committed brothers and sisters who teach the Word of God to the children in our church faithfully and sacrificially. It is a vital and significant ministry in coming alongside the parents in building a strong faith foundation in the hearts of the children and in exemplifying wise godly values for daily living. We appreciate their labour and their love for the children.

2.   Those who teach God’s Word at the various church ministries

We thank the Lord for those who study the Word of God diligently and share it joyfully with those amongst whom they serve, be it their Cell members, chaplaincy ministry, BB boys, GB girls, youths, young adults, elderly, etc. It is a labour of love which will bear much fruit in growing the spiritual life of the listeners and proclaiming the name of Jesus Christ.

3.   Those who teach vocationally in the ‘Marketplace’

In our church family, we have quite a number of brothers and sisters who are teachers in heart, working and serving at various spheres and institutions such as childcare, pre-school, primary & secondary schools, tertiary institutions, special needs, etc. Let us remember them in prayer for God’s strength, purpose and wisdom in their teaching vocation as they influence and impact lives with the love of God and as they shine brightly for Jesus Christ in the marketplace.

 

Blessings in Christ

Pastor John

Dear church family

The vision and purpose for St John’s Chapel is “to be the people of God who sees the gracious salvation plan of the missionary God and be a missionary church of Spirit-filled committed disciples of Jesus Christ, always ready to take the gospel to the nations”. It is very encouraging to see the church community faithful in giving, loving in encouragement and fervent in prayer for missions and evangelism work both locally and overseas.

Let us uphold our church missionaries in prayer for God’s grace, strength and joy. Please give them a call or write an email to encourage them in their ministry.

  1. Ian and Alison – They serve purposefully under a missions agency, with Ian providing important IT development and support for the agency’s outreach to many unreached people groups. They work in partnership with the local church in reaching out to many displaced refugees in need of God’s love and practical support.
  1. Gerry and Ya Hui – They have served faithfully for the past 6 years at ChiangMai under the deanery of Thailand in church planting work through education and community services. Praise God for many Thai students and families who have heard the gospel and whose lives have been touched by the Lord.
  1. Deborah – She has been serving under Overseas Missionary Fellowship at Thailand since November 2017. Having completed her Thai language studies, Deborah is currently reaching out to the urban poor community at Bangkok with the gospel and practical support help.

“For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?  And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”    Romans 10:13-15

 

Maranatha

Pastor John

Dear church family

When my wife had her surgery last week, bishop Rennis and his wife sent us a note of prayerful encouragement with the Bible verse Psalm 16:8 “I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.” What an encouraging word from the Lord in the midst of challenging life circumstances.

Firstly, the Presence of God (“I have set the Lord always before me”). The psalmist King David was a man after God’s heart. As David remained faithful and obedient to God and loved the Lord his God with all his heart, he was comforted by God’s presence and he experienced the fullness of joy and the blessings of God.

Secondly, the Power of God (“because he is at my right hand”). As king of Israel, David faced many challenges. Because David set the Lord continually before him and he took refuge in the Lord, he received the counsel of God and experienced the power of God by his side helping him in the difficulties of his life and kingship.

Thirdly, the Peace of God (“I shall not be shaken”). Despite David’s many challenges and struggles, he was not shaken by them, but remained steady and secure. He had shalom peace and rest in God, trusting God and dwelling securely in the Lord.

As you go through challenges, struggles, heartaches and difficulties in your life, always keep the Lord continually before you, with childlike faith and whole-hearted obedience, and you will experience the presence, power and peace of our mighty loving Abba Father deep in your heart.

 

Shalom in Christ

Pastor John


Dear church family

It was such a great joy and encouragement to see so many church members and several invited guests gathering together at Cell Community Family Night on 3 August. We had great fellowship over dinner, praised God joyfully and enjoyed good laughter at the ice-breaker games. It was a delight to see the warm sharing and caring prayers for one another in cell groups. The vision and purpose for our Cell groups is “Building Lives, Winning Souls”. It is our prayer that our church will be a Koinonia Faith Community growing together in spiritual maturity and in Christ-likeness, and proclaiming the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. For those who are not in a Cell group at the moment, may I encourage you to be in community with a small group. Please have a chat with your congregation pastor or the pastoral staff.

It has been on my heart to build strong godly marriages and families in our church community. As part of the Marriage and Family Life ministry, we have gathered a team of 15 couples who have availed themselves to be marriage mentors. Marriage mentoring is the process of having a seasoned and experienced couple (not “perfect”) coming alongside a less experienced and younger couple to help guide and show the way for a committed marriage. The goal and purpose of marriage mentoring is to strengthen and build godly marriages. A strong marriage has great spiritual impact on the couple’s family life and on our church community life for both the current and future generations.

There are three categories of marriage mentoring. One, preparing engaged couples or newly-weds for a lifelong marriage. Two, guiding couples to grow together in their marriage. Three, coming alongside couples struggling with their marriage. If you are open to have a marriage mentor or you may want to know more about marriage mentoring, the vicar and the pastors will be glad to chat with you.

 

Love in Christ

Pastor John


Dear church family

Thanks be to God that preparations for “Celebration of Hope 2019” (CoH) are in full swing. This strategic evangelistic outreach was borne out of a shared vision between the church leaders of the National Council of Churches of Singapore, Evangelical Fellowship of Singapore and Love-Singapore, “for the whole church in Singapore to proclaim the One Name of Jesus Christ that gives the world Solid Hope“. This vision is of personal evangelism on a mass scale, culminating in Gospel rallies at the 50,000 capacity National Stadium over three days, 17-19 May 2019.

In line with this vision, our diocesan Bishop Rennis had highlighted three things that are on the heart of our heavenly Father. Firstly, there is a need for Brokenness in Prayer – over the poverty of our own spiritual state, and that of our church and country. Secondly, there is a need for Oneness in the Body of Christ. Thirdly, we pray for Fruitfulness in the Harvest – of spiritual lives, for more workers for the mission field, and in righteousness as we proclaim the name of Jesus.

The CoH gospel rallies will cater to various groups of people to reflect the multi-cultural landscape of Christianity and the many people groups in Singapore. Different rallies are planned for the English-Speaking group, the Chinese-Speaking group, the Tamil-Speaking Group, Youths (aged 4-14) and their parents, and the Guest workers. Among the invited speakers are Revd Canon J. John, an evangelist from the UK who has spoken in churches and at events in 69 countries; and Pastor Kou Shao En (寇绍恩), a former TV host and Pastor of Christ House Church in Taiwan.

Let us start praying for family members, friends, colleagues and neighbours whom we can engage regularly and invite warmly to hear the good news of the gospel and the blessed hope we have in Jesus Christ. Let us keep this nation-wide evangelistic outreach in fervent prayer as we seek the welfare of our nation. Happy 53rd National Day.

 

Maranatha

Pastor John

Dear church family

We are very excited for the coming CELL COMMUNITY NIGHT this Friday, 3 August 2018. We will start with a community dinner from 6.30 pm onwards at the school canteen, followed by the programme at 7.30 pm at the Sanctuary (for English congregations) and at Patmos Hall (for Mandarin & dialect congregations).

I would like to encourage everyone in the Cell groups to come together for an evening of fellowship, sharing and encouragement. For new church visitors and also church members who are not in a Cell group yet, we welcome you warmly to join us.

The vision and purpose for the Cell is “Building Lives, Winning Souls”. It is my prayer that our church will be a Koinonia Faith Community growing together in spiritual maturity and in Christ-likeness.

May we be a people of the kingdom of God who are

  1. Delighting in the Word
  2. Depending on God in Prayer
  3. Deepening in Care for one another
  4. Declaring the Good News in Evangelism

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”   Hebrews 10:24-25

Maranatha

Pastor John


Dear church family

We spend about one third (or more) of our day at our work during our working years. Some of us experience deep struggles at work. Others are so busy at work and do not know how to rest well. Some find their work having no clear meaning or purpose, except to earn an income for daily sustenance or to support their family. Some people have been known to forge such a strong affiliation between their personal identity and their work, that when they finally retire, they feel so lost and without meaning in life.

God the Creator gave Adam work to do as a gardener in tilling the soil and caring for God’s creation. Gardening was the first work vocation on earth. (Gen 2:15 “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”)  Men and women are called to be stewards of God’s creation blessings. Work was ordained by God, even before the Fall of Man. After the Fall, work became toil and labour (Gen 3:17-19).

It is important to understand the theology of work and rest, so as to find meaning and purpose and to glorify God at our work. We have invited pastor Steven Tran, the Pastor and Elder of “St. Lucia English Church”, Brisbane Australia, to teach at two seminar workshops and to preach at two English services from 27 to 29 July. His teaching will focus on how our understanding of the gospel shapes our thoughts and attitudes towards work and rest.

27 July, Friday  7.30pm             –  “Gospel-Centred Work” Workshop 1

28 July, Saturday  1.00pm        –  “Gospel-Centred Work” Workshop 2

28 July, Saturday  4.30pm service  –  Three Times Found: The Surprising and Subversive Joy of the Father

29 July, Sunday  9am service      –  A Garden Home: How an archaic tent helps us long for our old future home

We welcome everyone to come and learn together about work and rest. This is also a good platform and opportunity for outreach. Feel free to invite your friends.

 

Blessings in Christ

Pastor John