Vicar Writes

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4 January 2020 | Vicar Writes

Why I Write

By Terry Wong

It has been another year of weekly writing. I think I have not skipped a beat except for some weeks where it was appropriate for another person’s message to be printed, such as some of Bishop’s special messages.

The idea of a Vicar’s Write was seeded years ago through my friendship with the late Bishop Albert Vun, who was serving as a Vicar then. “Just write something, Terry, so that the flock can hear your heart. Even if you do not feel inspired to share a special message, just tell them what you did for the week.” I started to do that and it has since become a weekly habit.

Not everyone likes to write (even if they do want to communicate) and I have realised that writing, like other areas such as speaking, drawing or calculating, may come easily for some while others may have to work hard at it.

It is more than just a piece of writing (and I am sure there are many better writers in SAC); it is an expression of a pastoral relationship and in my case, that being of a Vicar of course. This became more needful in the Cathedral as I do not attend every Service and this is one way of keeping in touch with the flock. Even for the Services I attend, I do not always have a chance to share with the congregation. It was very different in my previous parish where they got to hear me weekly, either through the sermon or notices.

Sometimes certain aspects of the vision of the church need to be shared. There are weeks when I feel very inspired to say something, perhaps even prophetic as a word in season. Other times, it is an expression of some pastoral concerns or just a routine sharing of life in the church. In doing so, it should be obvious that I am also trying to foster a sense of unity of vision and strengthen our community bonds. Every Vicar needs to play the role of being the “focus of unity” for a Parish and this space allows me to do that.

If for some weeks I simply shared about personal details about the week that has passed, I trust that you will not see it as a form of personal indulgence or blogging. Like personal illustrations in a sermon, life speaks to life. This space can also be a substrate for God’s Word to speak on the issues of our day. From time to time I have seeded them for us to reflect on, perhaps some new perspective or a better way of looking at issues. How we think matters and indeed our Bible is full of ancient proverbial wisdom (not just in the Wisdom books). The truth can set us free (John 8:32) and our minds need to be renewed and transformed (Romans 12:2).

And of course, through the ages, pastors and church leaders had always written regularly, even if not weekly. We have the Bible before us because men of old had written. The Church has an incalculable wealth of great writings and books because men and women have disciplined themselves to reflect and put their thoughts into words, whether etched in stones, inked in parchments or typed on screens. Way into the future, researchers will be glad for this weekly account of life in the Cathedral. In fact, you can walk down memory lane by just a quick reading of the weekly message posted on our website.

I am an avid reader and perhaps this is one reason why I write. Reading has been an amazing source of growth for me since I became a Christian at 13 and I hope this habit, if not already acquired, will be in your resolution list for 2020.

May 2020 be another year of growth into Christlikeness and maturing in wisdom for each of you.