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

 

Dear church family

The recent Thailand Tham Luang cave rescue of the 12 boys and their football coach had captured the attention of the world. There was great relief when they were found after being lost for 10 days. There was even greater joy when they were successfully rescued by a team of courageous divers with significant help from hundreds of support workers and concerned citizens. We thank God for his mercy for this dramatic rescue. I would like to share three reflection responses in my heart and mind.

Firstly, I asked myself how I would have felt or responded if my son had been among those boys who were initially lost and fully trapped. At those painful moments, nothing else about my son (such as his studies, grades, health, future, etc) would matter anymore to me, if only I may see him again, give him a good hug and have the joy of loving him and watching him grow up. We need to treasure our family and love them unconditionally.

Secondly, I find myself praying for the boys’ salvation in Jesus Christ, hoping that there would be a Christian amongst the boys who would share the good news of Jesus Christ at such a critical time when they were facing a situation of “life and death” when trapped so deep in the cave system. We need to be urgent in our evangelism and be committed in missions.

Thirdly, I admired and respected the deep courage and selfless sacrifice of the team of divers. They took great risks and experienced difficult struggles to rescue a group of people whom they do not know personally. Two thousand over years ago, Jesus Christ told his disciples, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). Thereafter, Jesus walked the way of the cross and sacrificed his life as a ransom for many. Praise be to God for such a great spiritual rescue.

 

Maranatha

Pastor John

Dear church family

World Cup soccer fever has gripped the world in the past 3 weeks. The whole nation of Argentina mourned when Lionel Messi and his countrymen crashed out in defeat. The victorious England team brought great joy to their country when they (finally) won their penalty shootout against Colombia. In some countries, football is like a religion which draws millions of faithful “worshippers” of their beloved team. Some citizens have been reported to die of a heart attack while watching the game due to the pressure, anxiety and perhaps huge gambling losses. The late Bill Shankly, a successful manager of Liverpool Football Club in the 1960s & 70s, once said wittily: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.”

In the first century, someone also spoke about a very important matter concerning life and death. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  What matter on earth could be more important than being rescued from eternal death?  What matter could be more urgent than to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who have never heard? Much as we like to hear about the love and mercy of God, we must also remember the holiness and judgment of God. Only in Jesus Christ will there be forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life.

At the One Choice Encounter camp in Vietnam last week, I encouraged the Vietnamese youths and young adults of both Anglican churches to share the gospel with their families, friends, colleagues, neighbours, etc. The apostle Paul told the Ephesian church elders in Acts 20:24 – “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”  Only one life to live, let us make that one significant choice to live our life purposefully for the glory of God.

 

Maranatha

Pastor John

Dear church family

 Youth Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of July in Singapore. The children and youths are very happy, because the next day will be a school holiday, resulting in a long weekend and a wonderful time of rest and play. Our youths face many challenges in their growing years, such as the pressure of education, the pleasure of social media, the diversity of temptations, the rise of secularism, the shifting of values etc. There is a gradual increasing number of youths struggling with mental illness, depression, pornography, materialism, etc.

As God’s people in community together, it is important to come alongside the youths in our church in their discipleship journey. Let me suggest some practical ways.

  1. PRAY: Remember the youths in fervent prayer at our personal devotions and corporate prayer times. May they have the fear of the Lord and committed love for Jesus.
  1. ENCOURAGE: Youths need lots of encouragement and guidance as they grow in their Christian faith and Christlike character, and as they cope with struggles in life.
  1. MODEL: As we live and model the life of committed discipleship, it is a wonderful example and exemplary encouragement to the youths.
  1. DISCIPLE: Make time to disciple a group of youths to help them grow in their discipleship journey and also train them to disciple others.

Singapore Youth for Christ has this motto when reaching out to youths for Jesus: “If we do not win their hearts (for Christ) today, they will break our hearts tomorrow.”

 

Maranatha

Pastor John

Dear church family

When we were young curious children, we may ask some questions as we observed the world around us. For example, how is it possible for a big heavy plane to fly in the air. Or we may wonder how can it be that a huge metal ship can float on the waters. As we study science and the environment, we begin to learn and understand the physical world better. We may ask, “How did life on earth begin?” or “Who created this world?”

When we grew older, we start to ask more important questions about life. There are three common questions.

Firstly, about our Identity – “Who am I?”.

Secondly, about our Purpose in life – “Why was I born? Why am I here on earth?”.

Thirdly, about our Destiny – “Where am I going when I die?”.

The Bible provides the answers to these three important questions in life.

  • Who am I?” – We are loved and created in the image of God. When we believe in Jesus Christ our Saviour, we become the children of God.
  • What is my purpose in life?” – We worship and glorify God and enjoy God’s love, and to share the good news of Jesus Christ.
  • Where am I going when I die?” –  We have an eternal home in heaven in the presence of our loving Abba Father.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son (Jesus Christ), that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

 

In Christ

Pastor John

Dear church family

We warmly welcome our young friends from Vietnam at our Sunday English service today. They are in Singapore from 15 to 25 June for the Abba English Camp for the purposes of learning English and enjoying Singapore culture and hospitality. Appreciative grateful thanks to many church members who are serving as planning committee members (led by Yun Jing), homestay host families, group leaders, outing chaperons, logistics helpers, English lesson teachers and facilitators. Let us pray for a meaningful camp experience for our Vietnamese guests and may all the camp leaders & helpers be strengthened and encouraged in the Lord.

This past week has been exciting and historic when two well-known political leaders of USA and North Korea met in Singapore on a mission to discuss about world peace and stability. A joint statement was issued and things seem to look good on the surface. How will the promises and events turn out in the near future? Only time will tell. Besides this tension at the Korean Peninsula, there are many other places in the world with ongoing conflicts, political struggles and ethnic & religious tensions. When will peace come upon these troubled areas?

This pursuit of peace in the world reminds me of one very important matter of the need for every person to have peace with God, which is a matter of life and death. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 5:1  “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” Thanks be to God because of the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, we have peace with God, reconciled to God and enjoy this loving relationship with our Abba Father.

Do you have this peace with God in your heart today?

 

Maranatha

Pastor John

Dear church family

All praise to Almighty God for a fruitful, “fellowship-ful” and Spirit-filled church retreat. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Canon Yee Ching Wah preached biblically & relevantly and the Holy Spirit ministered deeply in many hearts. We rejoiced greatly in the “I want to believe in Jesus” decision of Mrs Christal Paul’s mother. We were encouraged to see the work of the Holy Spirit in touching repentant and revived hearts to respond to the Lord at the prayer ministry after each teaching session. We were edified and strengthened in the Lord when retreat participants prayed for one another, some in tears and others with joy.  And we had great fun and games together.

Our grateful appreciative thanks to the church retreat committee, ably led by Gabriel Paul and Kevin Lee, and to all those who helped and served in the various areas of ministry. Your labour for the Lord has been a blessing to the church community. We also thank those who gave generously to help those with financial needs and many others who contributed in kind such as food and sponsorship of message recordings. You can access the recordings and sermon outlines at this weblink address  http://sjcp.org.sg/downloadpage/church-retreat-2018/

Strengthened in the Lord, we are excitedly preparing for the arrival of the Vietnamese students to Singapore on 15 June (till 25 June) for the Abba English Camp for the purposes of learning English, enjoying Singapore culture and experiencing the love and grace of God. Grateful thanks to many church members who are serving as planning committee members (led by Yun Jing), homestay host families, group leaders, outing chaperons, logistics helpers, English lesson teachers & facilitators. I invite church members to drop by the campsite if your schedule allows. Please contact Fu Man or Patrick for info.

I call upon the whole church to be in fervent prayer for the salvation of these Vietnamese students and their families. Please see the prayer requests at the Intercession segment below. On behalf of the deanery of Vietnam, thank you everyone for your ministry partnership in the gospel.

All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.” Psalm 22:27

 

Maranatha

Pastor John