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Dear COA Family,

Praise God that after two years of restrictions, we are finally allowed to have everyone coming together for on-site services!

It has been a long and trying journey for us as a church and I believe that we have all learnt not to take the freedom that we enjoy for granted. They include:
* being able to gather and fellowship with each other without the restriction of numbers,
* being able to give our praises to God in church with our voices and instruments, and
* being able to come for church services regardless of vaccination status.

These are all blessings from God to cherish and thank him for!

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong shared at the relaxation of measures last Friday that there are valuable lessons to be learnt from this pandemic “for which we have paid dearly” and which should not go to waste.

We need, for example, to always be mentally prepared for adverse events which may happen in the future. Medical facilities, knowledge and a new approach to healthcare need to be put in place before the next pandemic strikes. And, finally, trust needs to be maintained between the government and citizens for us to work together to tackle future crises.

One thing that has impressed me much through this episode is the government’s willingness to implement measures decisively at the appropriate time.

For example, when the virus was first spreading rapidly, the government declared a month-long Circuit Breaker on 7 Apr 2020. Subsequently, when the RNA vaccine became available, they procured enough shots to vaccinate the entire population. And as the virulence of the virus began to abate, they announced that measures would be relaxed so that we could look to rebuild our community life.

It is therefore always important to do the right things at the right time.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 tells us: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

As I shared at our AGM last Sunday, I believe now is the right time to rouse ourselves from rest and lethargy to devoting ourselves fully to God’s ministry.

There are many opportunities to serve and needs to be met. Our ministries, in particular Children’s Ministry, need volunteers. Our Chaplaincy to SAJS, Ascension Kindergarten and LSP (Ascension) requires people to help. Our cell groups need leaders to step up to care for others. And, most importantly, our family and friends need to know the saving knowledge and power of Christ.

One of the Apostle Paul’s instructions to Timothy is this: “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.” (2 Timothy 4:2)

Let us, in all that we do this week, be prepared to be God’s instrument of blessing to others.

For now is the right time to decisively do God’s work.

Revd Ian