This is an excerpt of the Vicar’s Address
Please read through the substantial Annual Report to get a good sense
of the life and ministry in SAC for 2019.
We have been closed since the 19th of March. This is a historical first in more than 150 years of our history. We have been encouraged by the resilience of the SAC community in their commitment to the Lord, to the Church, to one another and to ministry and financial giving. We have experienced the effectiveness of our weekly online Services and weekday Sermons. Many of you have given good and helpful feedback. We have gotten to know our clergy and deaconesses better. Most of the Services have good community participation and have become acquainted with brothers and sisters from other Services. We have found a new appreciation of the hymns and songs sung by our choirs and worship teams.
The initiative to get our community to share their stories is a brilliant one. Many personal stories were submitted by individuals in our Community. One can say, that our Courier Magazine is taking a different shape.
The Cathedral SG Live app has also been a great blessing as a conduit for our sermons, podcasts, and other resources. Daily at noon, many have been gathering for prayers. If you have been listening to our radio, you will find that the content is getting better all the time.
Worship is more than just singing or listening to sermons. It is also about “works” and serving. Because we have not been using the Holy Communion liturgy, we are missing this benediction, “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord. In the name of Christ. Amen.” We want to thank those who have opened a way for us to serve our foreign workers, rough sleepers, and seniors, especially those who are housebound.
I should also mention that many members have been serving on the frontlines – healthcare, social, security, politics – and in the words of St Paul in Ephesians, we pastors have been equipping you for ministry out there by being diligent in the priestly work of facilitating prayer and worship.
Phase 2 is here and gradually, we are reopening, beginning obviously with areas like Holy Communion, capped at 50 for each Service. As we restart, we also need to think of how we are running our weekend Services. Timings, service length, and people density will obviously have to change. Density is related to space and we may have to enhance our facilities to improve social hygiene and church-going experience overall. We need to facilitate people's movement. Our toilet facilities will need improvement. We need to think about serving young families, children, and seniors. While we may freeze our Phase 2 building project, we can focus on restoration works and enhancements of our facilities.
The new PCC and sub-committees will have their work cut out for them for this AGM year. Please pray for us. I am mentioning these needs because we value your ideas and participation. There are many gifts and resources in our SAC community and we want to hear from you.
The Greek root word for church is “ekklesia” which means the assembly of called out people. Down through the ages, the Church has faced all kinds of persecutions and challenges to prevent Christians from coming together, to “dechurch” the Church. We can say after a few months of COVID-19, and this is true throughout Singapore, the Church is still the Church, more than ever and the Cathedral community will emerge from this AGM year even stronger together.
Absence has made the heart grow fonder: I will quote St Paul from Phil 1:3: “I thank my God for every remembrance of you.” I will end my address with a music video which best expresses all our feelings during this season.