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All 2020 May Vicar Writes

31 May 2020 | Vicar Writes

What will AGM 2020 be like?

By Terry Wong

It is going virtual and this we know.

Of a regular community of 3000+ worshippers, we have between 160 - 275 attending our AGM every year. Some may think that this is not too bad given how most AGM attendances generally are.

Can we respond differently to the coming one? Going online should make it easier for everyone to participate out of the comfort of your home. Your participation allows you to:

  • Get an overview of how our funds are spent or how we are giving to external ministry and mission needs.
  • Hear how we have to adjust our expenditure in the midst of economic downturn. You can ask questions and give us feedback before the AGM and for substantial matters, we can address them on the website for all to read.
  • Hear the Vicar give an important address on the shape of life and ministry in the Cathedral during this season.
  • Hear the Vicar’s Warden give a perspective “from the pew”, as a lay leader and a member of the congregation.
  • Help elect the Parochial Church Council (PCC); of which four members will be elected as Synod representatives to serve in the new Diocesan Synod which will then work closely with our with our Bishop- Designate Titus Chung. As SAC is the Mother Church for the Diocese and her six deaneries, the strength of the clergy and lay leadership will be crucial. In fact, what happens here does have implications for the witness and role of the Church in our wider society.
  • Help the church observe good governance as your voting and approval protect the life of the Church and ensure that key decisions are not just left to a few individuals. You are helping the church to abide by the laws of the land and “fulfil all righteousness.”

And to do all these, we hope to keep the virtual AGM well within an hour! In part, this is possible because much of the AGM work is done before the virtual AGM itself.

If you are an electoral member, please do get engaged in the AGM process. Your participation will signal your love and commitment to the Lord’s work in our vineyard.

24 May 2020 | Vicar Writes

The Online Season…Still

By Terry Wong

Even as we prepare for early June’s “unease easing of restrictions”, we are already planning ahead on how church life can be lived out during this Covid19 season which could go deep into 2021. June’s easing of restriction for private worship for a group of no more than five from the same household should best be seen as allowance for the household to pray in a sacred religious space. Gatherings “between households” are still not permitted and we have yet to hear from the authorities if these private worship gatherings can be facilitated by clergy or pastors.

What we should continue to do is to build up our online communication, worship and ministries. Traditional means like using the phone should continue as well. Connect and Ministry Groups are already actively engaging in online meetings and I want to encourage you to join one if you are not connected to any.

We are actively preparing to run our next DCBS courses online in July. The same goes for our Marriage Preparation Course, and our Baptism/ Confirmation and Anglicanism Courses. We are also working on new tools to allow for interactive discipleship and learning groups. We will be surprised how effective it can be to learn online together. I will venture to say that for some areas, online facilities can be even more effective.

The Cathedral SG Live Radio App has been useful for daily prayers during set times and we will continue to expand on this tool. We are now considering how additional morning slots can be added. Our Youtube channel will contain a repository of all our past Online Services which you can go back to from time to time. We will also post to the channel all previous videos of key events in our community life.

All audio sermons and podcasts can be accessed too via our website or our app. Please listen to them again and like a “living Word”, past sermons can speak afresh. Our website will contain sermons from a few years ago.

Note that we have started preparing for our AGM on the 28th of June at 1 pm. Virtual, of course. More information will be released soon.

16 May 2020 | Vicar Writes

An Overflow of Many Expressions of Thanks to God

By Terry Wong

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 2 Cor 9:12

Our Finance and Assets Committee met on Wednesday evening. We were encouraged to note that for the period of January to April, the Cathedral is not facing a deficit. The income (from tithing, pledges and offerings) received was able to meet the expenses incurred during this period. These expenses include missions giving to other churches and ministries, here and overseas.

This is certainly a point of praise that the whole SAC community can rejoice together in. Your love for the Lord and the work of His church is “overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.”

I should pause to thank the Lord for each of you for the commitment to the Church and her ministry all these years. These go beyond your money to other resources as well, such as your talents, time and energy. You are giving your best, and these include missions and community work. In this season, this is being tested more than ever and the SAC community is passing with many flying colours.

Your positive participation in the “barebone” online worship life has been very heartening. Many of you also gave encouraging or helpful feedback, which further enthuse the teams working hard behind them.

Connect and Ministry groups are also taking the initiative to gather regularly online to encourage each other. The post-Service Zoom chat groups are also fun and encouraging to be a part of. It is always good to get to know new people or simply, just getting to know each other better.

Much is happening and I am not informed on everything. However, the Lord sees and He is glorified. As we continue to live for an audience of One, His Body will be encouraged and built up.

We are all missing the physical gatherings and meet ups. Till we are able to, let’s continue to seek first His rule and purpose for our lives (or “kingdom” in Matthew 6:33).

In so doing, His body will be edified.

10 May 2020 | Vicar Writes

Missing My Mother

By Terry Wong

“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’” Proverbs 31:28–29
She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family...” Proverbs 31:15

Can mothers live forever? If only. My own mother went home to the Lord ten years ago. Till today, my heart still aches when I think of how much I miss her. While I still have many around me who love me deeply and vice versa, my mother is simply irreplaceable. She is one more reason why I long for the day of eternal reunion in Christ.

I wrote this poem with the afore-said title in memory of her a few years back. I dedicate this to all the mothers out there.

Rising before the sun
Walking the markets
Wetting her feet
Seeking out the fresh
Plucking, choosing, haggling
The bagged produce
Straining at her fingers
She made her way home

The taps trickled
The leaves rinsed
The lesong rhythmed
The knife chopped
The pot boiled
Ever so softly
For her children were still
In their rooms,
in their dreams

The air came to life
Wafting smells
Of pounded herbs
Of tossed sauces
Her children stirred
Scented dreams
Come true

3 May 2020 | Vicar Writes

Spare Some Time and Energy

By Terry Wong

Do you know that interesting and inspiring “hope” stories are being released on a daily basis HERE. This may be the way to go to encourage our community to share their stories and experiences.

This is how stories from our community can help. They acquaint us with another SAC member whom we may not even have met before in person. We hear about their ministry experience (such as the 289 work in Batam). We hear from a senior on how to cope while living within four walls. We receive gems of wisdom on how to live during this season. A mother chimes in on what we can do with our children being with us 24/7. A brother speaks about us being an aroma for Christ in a season where some have lost their sense of smell through Covid19. A doctor shared on the challenges she faced as a healthcare worker. We get to hear from those who were travelling and found themselves caught in no man’s land due to the lockdowns.

Have you read them? Have you shared yours? Why not? If writing is not your forte, we have a team who can help. Just send in your story as is.

Whether in writing, video or audio (Cathedral SG Live), we have established multiple forums for community communication to carry your contribution.

Is there a song you want to sing and share? Are you inspired to write a poem? Others are able to give helpful talks, from teaching the bible to tips on home cooking. How about creating some webinars? We already have thousands of viewers in our YouTube channel. Perhaps there is something you can contribute to make a difference in somebody’s life?

You are saying, “Vicar, I need time and energy!” As someone once said, “love = time + energy.” Perhaps a little love – for the Lord, the Gospel or His people - can be your source of motivation?

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Read the stories of #Hope: