5 June 2016 | Vicar Writes Keeping you updated By Terry Wong The Nidaros Cathedral Boys’ Choir Concert raised about $20,000 for CITY Community Services. Sacred music was sung that evening, and when our choir joined them for the Hallelujah Chorus finale, that was a very moving experience. The whole cathedral reverberated with the words of the hymn “To God be the glory” and that was a reminder that we are not just a concert audience but a congregation gathered to worship God. Apart from fund-raising, an event like this is also an expression of our desire to “give back” to the city. The programme booklet was superbly designed and also explained Cathedral’s place as a place of culture and music. We hope to periodically use the Cathedral to host cultural or musical events. I want to take this opportunity to thank Patricia Aw, Vivien Chen and various staff who have worked to ensure the success of this event. The current Alpha Course has just come to an end. What a ride it has been! About 30 have either signed up for the next baptism Course or channeled to Connect Groups. The ambience at the amphitheater is fantastic in the evening. The food cooked by the ladies is “home-warming.” The leaders and helpers at the Course are loving and friendly. I think this is what church needs to be towards an enquiring world! The next one is starting in July. Begin to pray and think about who you can invite. In early July, we will have the commissioning of all our Connect Group Leaders. This will be done by Services, led by the Service Pastor. The Connect Group offers a rich opportunity to experience community, friendships and grow in your faith. If you have yet to join one, approach the Service Pastors or staff. In the planning of our sermon series, we are guided by the church calendar and lectionary from Advent to Trinity Sunday. For the period of July to September, being Ordinary time, Service Pastors will plan special preaching emphases for each of their Services. In October, we will plan together again and give some focus to Community Services and in November, to cross-cultural Missions work. In Christian Education, we have been intentional in slowing down in 2016 to take a breather and ask all the necessary questions for what is needed in the new season. I read deeply, as most of you are aware and I am a firm believer in the need for systematic and good education. By default, the world dictates what we learn and obviously, an agenda on hot button issues are now being constantly pushed through. Think of the wide and ubiquitous influence of BBC radio and now increasingly, TED. Undoubtedly, the media had always played a role in shaping private and public opinions, for better or worse. We have to think strategically, going beyond organising adhoc courses and to consider a more systematic and multi-platform approach, including a better use of online media. As for youths, we are keen to be intentional and create prime space for them to connect with each other and to serve and even lead. Some are passionate and bold lions in their schools and quiet passive Siamese cats when they come to church. This should not be. If they are not passionate about God in the Cathedral, either they will drop out of their faith eventually or join another church when they are able. I think we all agree that a vibrant youth community is needed in SAC. Stay tuned as some exciting developments are being prayerfully planned. Our Children Ministry leaders are also hard at work at finding ways to grow our ministry to children. Some have made official visits to other churches to learn best practices or simply, be inspired. We have church grown kids and those we are reaching through our Community Services. When and how can the twain meet? Pray tell. Or maybe not. We are prayerfully seeking for fresh ideas. Pray with us.