My Journal this Week
If I were to keep a daily journal, last week’s could have read like this:
29th Sept Fri: Canon James Wong’s 78th Birthday Dinner Celebration
It wasn’t easy to cancel other events to be at this but I am glad we did. It was remarkable to hear Canon Wong share again about his journey into the renewal, though he had to do it seated down. It was moving and brought into remembrance again the fervour of the church in those years. Many in the room were impacted by James’ leadership and ministry. Two missionaries also shared and encouraged us to move the Church beyond her traditional and institutional walls. As I was leaving for home, a text message came in about Jessica Sim-Khoo’s critical condition. She was warded at TTSH. As I was nearby, I detoured to pay her a visit. Aged 85, she was having multiple organ failure. She returned to the Lord the next day.
30th Sept Sat: Much of today was spent on sermon preparation. I said the opening words of welcome at the inaugural Myanmar Christian Conference held in the Nave. There are a few Myanmar congregations meeting in Singapore, and for the first time, they gathered together. It is an important sign of unity, and SAC and her Myanmar Congregation are more than happy to encourage this initiative.
1st Oct Sun: I was happy to preach again from Psalm 73 at the 8 am Service. A deep and multi-layered Psalm, it was my privilege to unpack it for the congregation. The 11.15 am Confirmation Service had 40 over candidates with Bishop himself preaching and administering. Some candidates were visibly moved and ministered to during the prayer time.
2nd Oct Mon: We have to send Mama back to PJ. It became a day trip because we could not leave the evening before. As always, a trip down memory lane to my hometown was restful and refreshing. We visited my three-week old grand-nephew and had a good time catching up with my PJ family. The KL-style wanton mee noodles, Penang Char Kuay Teow and (amazing) Satay Kajang reminded me that some foods are still best up-country. I have to say I am still stumped as to why SG still cannot get their satay right even with the “club” status here. The 4-5 hours on the road allowed us to catch up on previous talks, such as the insightful teaching on Anglicanism by Ephraim Radner when he was here in SAC in April.
3rd Oct Tues: The retired Revd Howard Peskett gave a talk on pastoral leadership at our morning Clergy Meeting. He reminded us that Christian leadership is less about a strongman-solo approach. It should be marked by fellowship, partnership, teamwork and a sense of indebtedness to those who have served with us. This keeps us “needful of the minds of others.” This quality of serving with the community will ensure a strong parish where many have a sense of ownership and participation in her life and direction. I enjoyed some catch-up time over lunch with a peer clergy friend. Even with age and experience, ministry doesn’t seem to get easier. We ended up praying together. I felt led to pray that we may “let go” and cease trying to control our circumstances. The church and ministry belong to Him and we must always minister from this basis.
Journaling is indeed an important discipline if we want to grow. Pausing to reflect helps one to turn life events into rich lessons.