Vicar Writes

Vicar Writes


7 May 2017 | Vicar Writes

Post AGM and Pre-Camp Reflections

By Terry Wong

There was some unusual amount of passion expressed at the last AGM. Better passion than indifference, I suppose. However, for future AGMs, we will implement protocols to ensure good order. We will also organise more “Meet the PCC or Vicar” sessions so that there is opportunity for questions, clarification and feedback. I will continue to use Vicar Writes to communicate, and trust that this will be one helpful channel. We welcome the new PCC. They will work at implementing various processes to strengthen the running of the church ministry and mission.  

The ministry in SAC is varied and often complex, and even if we have different opinions on how things should be done, we need to trust that those entrusted with decision-making would have properly consulted and prayed through. This trust is important. 

I recall being involved in the new building project at St James’ Church a few years ago. The new facilities have given three times the space compared to the old facilities. The membership has doubled 4 years after the project has completed, and today she is the 4th largest parish. She is still growing on a weekly basis. I can still recall, earlier on, how a dear couple decided to leave SJC because they did not believe in the building project, despite the fact that an overwhelming majority supported it. 

If the church is forced to conform to the views of every individual, as you can imagine, so much will be lost. I call this the LCD effect, where the church sinks to the “lowest common denominator.” We are familiar with the phrase “common sense” but we often use it to mean that someone is illogical if he does not have it. But the original meaning is simply that of a common versus an individual approach to what is right. In this day and age, we need to recover biblical group-think, community wisdom and trust less in the independent individual’s capacity to arrive to what is right and more importantly, never lose sight of the Lord who leads, guides and directs our paths. 

As I look back at my church experience  and spiritual formation, Church Camps have always been important milestones. I will share why and intertwine it with this coming biennial SAC Family Camp.

There is something special about sitting under the ministry of the Word in a focused way for a few days. Akin to a Conference, it allows for a more systematic and focused way of spiritual learning, reflection and nourishment. To this end, we are privileged to have Chua Wee Hian, his equally gifted son, Andrew Chua and Andrew’s son, Ben Chua with us. It is a family in action and connecting with the various age groups, especially at the workshops which are grouped around our seasons in life. Wee Hian himself is both a man of the Word and Spirit, and there is a special message that the Lord has laid in his heart for SAC. 

Is SAC your home? Can it be? We sometimes think that when people make decisions about settling in a church, they look at the facilities, music and preaching. To a degree, perhaps so. But one huge factor is - are we friends and family? Here is where Camps, more than anything else, have helped gather worshippers to grow in a community.  This is why we call it a “Family Camp”. It is a camp for the SAC family!

Would you like to know more SAC folks and make new friends? It is not easy, given the many Services we have. A camp is precious opportunity to get to know others and often, a few good friendships can have huge consequences for the years to come. I can still recall the conversations I had with members when I attended all the congregational Camps last year. 

Do you care about the vision and calling given to SAC? Again, Camps is a good time to grasp that better in order that you may know how to meaningfully and effectively contribute. I have met many members who are saying: “Don’t just feed us. Let us participate!” A camp can help a worshipper to find his or her place of meaningful service.

A time out for the family - church camps have a balance of what is spiritual and fun which is very meaningful for families. And this includes multi-gen groups ranging from grandparents to children. With the motto “there is something for everyone”, the Camp is planned with the whole family in mind. It is a joy to see families gathered together and camp time is always memorable.