Vicar Writes

Vicar Writes

ABOUT THE VICAR

Terry Wong Photo

Revd Canon Terry Wong is the Vicar of the Cathedral. He writes weekly for the weekend Service bulletins and the articles are posted on this site.

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All 2017 March Vicar Writes

26 March 2017

“Pick from among you…”

By Terry Wong

“And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6:2-4)

We have started the PCC nomination process earlier this year to make it easier for members to respond. PCC stands for “Parochial Church Council.” Chaired by the Vicar, this Board is the primary body endowed with the authority and responsibility over the affairs of

the church. She also represents the church in her dealings with external bodies.
The PCC is nominated and elected annually
in our AGM. The Vicar’s Warden is appointed by the Vicar whereas the People’s Warden is elected by the body. There are also four Synod reps elected, who serve for three years and participate in our Diocesan Synod body.  

Various sub committees are formed by the PCC to cover more specific needs of the church. Some of them include:

Finance and Assets Committee: This committee oversees the finances and assets of the Cathedral. This includes the external mission givings and related issues of financial governance. 

Building and Development Committee: This team oversees the development of our facilities and grounds to meet the ministry and community needs, may it be alterations or expansion.   

Heritage Committee: The team oversees the gathering and care of our historical archives and the development of our exhibits and tours. It will also help to liaise with the authorities and the public on matters of interest.  

Security Committee: This team oversees the security of our grounds and ensure continued and safe use for all. As the Cathedral is very open in her grounds and as a community, this team will also help to keep watch to ensure responsible behaviour of all concerned.   

Hospitality Committee: This team oversees the softer “people aspects” of our community, including providing drinks, hospitality, directional signs etc and ensure that the Cathedral can be a “home” for many. 

There are also other committees which are not listed here. They are all appointed by PCC, directly or indirectly. Most of them are chaired by a PCC member. In listing some of them here, you can also pray about serving in these sub-committees. We strive to find a balance, where there is a combination of paid staff team and active lay volunteers, all working hand in hand with the balance of responsibilities shifting according to the needs of the seasons. They will each contribute according to their training, experience and giftings. The Church is blessed with wonderful people  resources and this enables us to minister and function well in an ordered manner. The distribution of the decision making processes ensures an even-handedness and wisdom in the decisions we make.

To this end, I want to remind us to serve in the footsteps of the Lord, where there is inter-submission (i.e Ephesians 5:21), humility, graciousness and purity. In recognising His Body, we also seek to be a people of His presence, treasuring the guidance of the Spirit and the inspired wisdom of the Body of Christ, and prayerful in all we do. Having a strong Christian culture in our midst will ensure a community which can continue to grow with the least encumbrance of people politics, private agendas and self-interests.   

Let’s contine to strive side by side for the sake of the Gospel. (Philippians 1:27)

19 March 2017

the need to connect

By Terry Wong

In a modern society which is “connected” in so many ways, the irony is that there are many individuals who have been left isolated. With the advance of medical care, people are living longer. Those without adequate financial or family support often end up living their senior years on their own. Many are often excluded from the usual social networks, most of which are digital in part. Unless our efforts are intentional, many seniors will just be bypassed. This also includes minority groups who may be shut out due to language or lack of other forms of social connections. 

In the Cathedral, these needs can be more acute due to the higher percentage of seniors and foreigners in our midst. I often ponder with the  staff and PCC on what this may mean for the way we structure or prioritise our ministries. We are still examining how we can strengthen our pastoral ministry to our seniors and be better in coordinating our efforts. Our ministry to seniors needs as much energy and vision. It need not be just about senior care and engagement. Many can be challenged to serve, minister and give. I can think of our intercession ministry, Missions, Seniors Alpha etc.

This is also one of the reasons why we see the need to take our database of people information seriously. We intend to work towards a system of pastoral care which is more effective. I am aware that many, both staff and lay, are already serving from their hearts. An effective information ministry can help to improve our coordination and prioritise our efforts. 

We have been putting in effort to support our Myanmar Service, which in turn is already engaging with some of the needs of foreigners visiting our grounds every Sunday. The security personnel are also planning an effective role to ensure that there is order and propriety. The church should always welcome all and sundry. That said, the church grounds and activities on it should befit the message and image of His Church.  

The Cafe is now fully licensed. Seniors (above 60 years old) can benefit from a discount on what is already fair pricing of our beverages and food items. Do make full use of the cafe to invite friends. Use it as a place of meeting. Hang around and get to know members from other Services or congregations. Where people gather, there will be ministry. We are also actively looking into improving the acoustics. As always feedback is welcome and there is a box where you can drop your feedback in. You can also write in to cafe@cathedral.org.sg

I have met many young adults and youths in our various Services who seem unaware of their peers in the Cathedral family. Occasionally, it is good that we can all meet and be acquainted. There will be some good “home-cooked” food at the young people event this Friday. The speaker is very engaging and humorous. It will be fun and meaningful. Do sign up if you are in this age category.

5 March 2017

When Its Time To Close The Door

By Terry Wong

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matt 6:6

You may have close friends or colleagues who have experienced a broken marriage as a result of extra-marital affairs. One contributing reason for this is when a spouse develops intimacy with another person of the opposite sex. As a person spends less time at home, and more at work – coupled with work travels abroad - this can happen easily. What may begin innocently as a need to relate can develop into disastrous consequences.

There is an exclusive ‘twosome’ space in marriage, which should never be violated. It’s the intimacy between two persons – which started by ‘leaving and cleaving’ - which forms a foundational strength for a lasting and healthy marriage. When the ‘twosome’ space is intruded, the space is lost as there is no room for a third. 

Both the inability to be alone and toremain in a two-some commitment is also mirrored in our relationship with our Father. The passage in Matt 6:1-6 touches on the need for secrecy in giving and praying. Both giving (Christian service) and praying (Christian living) is in need of privacy and ‘twosomeness,’ away from the glare of the public and our intense need for recognition by our fellow-men. We need to treasure that intimate part of our relationship with God, which is both exclusive and intimate, and best conducted ‘behind closed doors.’ Jesus was not making a statement against public ministry or praying, something which he and his disciples did often. He was asking us to search the intent of our hearts, which is also reflected on whether we are able to practise our faith ‘in secret.’ Through that, we find we are more able to develop an ‘unhypocritical’ and ‘audience of One’ spirituality. Where we love God alone, and alone; to be wholly loved by Him. In fact, a life lived before God ‘behind closed doors’ is more able to shine consistently for him as a ‘city on a hill’ or ‘light in the bushel’, something which Jesus just taught in the preceding chapter.

Jesus touched on the insatiable needs within us to seek for men’s approval and affirmation. And in Singapore, where community interaction is intense, everyday passes by with that pressure. Whether in the home, workplace, classroom or event in the church, the quiet battle rages on. It can be an intense and constant struggle. I believe one can only wrestle with it by being alone with God. Jacob wrestling at the mud of Jabbok comes to mind. Or St Paul learning in his early days; how to be alone with God in the desert. Even our Lord Jesus needed those Gethsemane moments.

This Lent is a good time to start ‘closing the door’ again. Stop having “extra-spiritual affairs.” And may we continue to discover true Christian joy of walking closely with our Father day by day.

ABOUT THE VICAR

Terry Wong Photo

Revd Canon Terry Wong is the Vicar of the Cathedral. He writes weekly for the weekend Service bulletins and the articles are posted on this site.

Recent Vicar Writes

26 March “Pick from among you…”
19 March the need to connect
5 March When Its Time To Close The Door