About Service Camps and Foreigners on our Grounds

About Service Camps and Foreigners on our Grounds

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15 April 2018 | Vicar Writes

About Service Camps and Foreigners on our Grounds

By Terry Wong

Service Camps
We have four very interesting Camps coming up, each with unique features. While arranged for specific congregations in the Services, those from other Services can also join in.

The information on the Camp organised by the 8 am and 11.15 am Services has only been released last week, and I would like to weigh in with some insights. The team has chosen to meet locally this year to allow for those who are not able to stay overnight to join in. It is both a Camp and a Conference. We have two gifted speakers: Bishop Raphael Samuel and Dr James Harding, but room will also be given for feedback and discussions on how the life and ministry of both congregations can grow. We hope to work closer with a core group of lay leaders to mobilise the congregations’ participation. I will be present in all the Camps, though for some, I am only able to do so partially.

Townhall on 25 March
The last Town Hall meeting, entitled, “Blessings and Boundaries”, was very helpful. We discussed the matter regarding foreigners who meet on the Cathedral grounds every Sunday. Leaders from the Myanmar Worship Service (MWS) also joined in and contributed positively.

“Blessings” refer to the fact that God is bringing migrant workers (especially of Burmese descent) into our midst. How can St Andrew’s be a welcoming church and be God’s blessing to these sojourners? “Boundaries” refer to practical realities related to the use of space and facilities, the cleanliness of our premises, the security on our grounds and crowd management.

Here are some of the points of our discussion:

  • The situation on our grounds presents SAC with a good opportunity for missional outreach. It was noted that there are about 500 foreign workers who gather on our grounds every Sunday.
  • The MWS has done well in reaching them for Christ. At least 20% of the 150-strong MWS congregation are people who were formerly non-worshippers gathered on our grounds.
  • MWS leaders, together with a few non-Burmese SAC members, offer English lessons every Sunday, and there are other regular programmes offering pastoral care and counselling to domestic helpers, and to share with them the gospel of Christ. More volunteers are needed to help with this work.
  • The recent Watoto children’s concert held during the MWS saw an attendance of about 600. Also, the medical outreach conducted in October last year, served more than 150 people. Going forward, SAC’s Missions Department will work with MWS to organise these outreach events with greater regularity.
  • As our restrooms are limited in number, on Sundays, the use of these facilities is restricted to worshippers. Others who gather on our grounds are advised to refrain from using these restrooms. MWS leaders have been directing non-worshippers to available restroom facilities around the Cathedral.
  • In order to curb and discourage ill behaviour (smoking, consumption of alcohol and drunkenness, spitting and littering etc ) on our grounds, MWS leaders assist the professional security personnel and our staff to patrol the grounds, to befriend those who picnic on our grounds, to encourage responsible use of our premises as well as to invite them to the MWS. SAC’s Missions Department will look for more volunteers to help with this work.

If you are able to help in any of the above, please contact Adeline Hee at missions@cathedral.org.sg