God is not man, that he should lie,
or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Has he said, and will he not do it?
Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
Balaam’s second oracle to Balak in Numbers 23:19
Much has happened in 2016 and one may wonder how that was possible. I think one reason was that we did not start anything new but we simply renewed or continued the vision.
The Welcome Centre was already wonderfully located and had in her, all the ministry intentions. We continue to realise these ministry intentions with the addition of the new cafe. We already had cell groups for many years, which were “re-Connected” last year. The new eleven:30 Service helps us to continue to do something which we have been doing for many years: starting a new Service to broaden our ministry reach. Cathedral had run Alpha for many years. We merely sought to renew that vision of an integrated and on-going evangelistic and community-integration ministry. Coming in at the right time, the new Alpha film series also gave this ministry a new start.
Cathedral Biblical Studies? A roaring start indeed but it felt déjà vu, and reminded us of the good DLT2 years. Rightly so, as the regular and systematic teaching of the Bible should not be ‘fashion-ised’. We have made a commitment that this programme should outlast many Vicars!
The Courier was resurrected in Holy Week after a two-year hiatus, with a new “body” (design). Few questioned the need for a magazine as that was resolved long ago. The weekly bulletin and website were all given a fresh look. Even the idea of a weekly Vicar Writes is not new to Cathedral. We are starting weekday lunchtime talks at the Cafe. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
The renovation works at the NT toilets, West House and Nave were of course something we had wanted to do for some time. Minuted for some years, they were finally actioned.
We are planning for a new canopy (see photo of artist impression) over the amphitheatre and koi pond area. This will simply extend the vision of the beautiful amphitheatre, which was built to support community interactions and events. Looking further ahead, why do we need more underground spaces? We think of offices, meeting rooms, new worship halls, counselling facilities, heritage displays and so on. Nothing new but more of the same! We also need to connect with our surrounding civic district and we anticipate new underground links to NAG, the new Funan Centre and so on, extending the east city underground link to the west. Is this ‘need to connect’ new? Right from the days of old, when Cathedral was fenceless, our grounds were always ‘porous’ and naturally connected to the rest of society (food for thought in regards to the foreigners using our grounds on Sunday). We are seeking to do something underground which we have all along been doing at the surface.
And so, we continue to preach, teach, baptise, confirm, disciple and so on. We keep keeping on. It never ends and rightly so, till He comes again. There is no end point to church work. We may renew the wineskins but we never abandon our Gospel calling.
As Balaam reminds us, God does not change His mind. What He said, he will do. What He promised, He will fulfil. Let’s continue to be prayerful and pray constantly: “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”