Vicar Writes

Vicar Writes


24 September 2017 | Vicar Writes

Building Bridges

By Terry Wong

On the weekend of 14th-15th October, we will be celebrating Diocesan Healthcare Sunday and our Anglican Community Services Sunday (SACS/SAMH) in our Services. The Church and Christians have always been closely involved in medical work, whether as a career or in missions work. In many parts of the world, medical care is a lucrative business. We will always need to remind medical personnel of their call to help society. Those who are Christians need to do their part to reflect on the love and healing heart of God. We are also working closely with our Myanmar congregation to offer basic free health check on our grounds for foreign workers.       

From 17-21 Oct, we will also be hosting the Diocesan Missions Conference and Roundtable Consultation. How can we share in the work of the Gospel and help the Church in each country to grow and be established? What will be the role of the Cathedral as “Mother Church” in this? I should add this - and I am willing to be challenged on the veracity of this observation: there are more Christians who want to serve overseas than there are churches and organisations who are able to send them. Now, I am not talking about money or the often perceived notion that churches are not willing to support these workers financially. It is about whether individuals are able to contribute cross-culturally, their preparedness, maturity and so on. Linked to that is also whether churches or organisations are able to provide the support necessary for a ministry worker to function effectively in a foreign culture for the longterm. 

I was at the LoveSingapore Concert on 8th August. When the altar call was given to serve in Missions, hundreds queued to be prayed for. While it was encouraging to note the willingness to serve, many thoughts filled my mind as to whether we have done sufficient leadership work to build bridges that can help the individuals serve in another culture. This is an important challenge for the Cathedral to consider: the importance of missions bridge-building work. Zeal without wisdom is not going to help very much.

The Roundtable Consultation will be about, quoting Revd Chris Royers, doing missions Anglicanly. It is about revisiting our primal call as a Church to spread the news. And we can start by being faithful to our Anglican inheritance of the Bible, worship and a polity that encourage worship in the vernacular. The Anglican Communion has grown tremendously in the last century. When an Anglican missionary moves into a new society, while he or she may be individual-focused in ministry, the ultimate goal is to raise a local and on-going Anglican presence. It is about missions bridge-building work. 

A good and lasting bridge needs two strong and established anchors, one on each end. May we work hard at building these two ends. One on our end in SAC and the other in another culture. The Anglican way allows for this and it will need us to be faithful to our calling.

Adding to the above, November is our Missions Month, with the theme “Diffusing the Light.” We will share with you the details in due course. 

I hope to see many of you participating in the coming events. Come and help us build bridges.