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Announcements

ST ANDREW’S HALL LOCAL HOSTING PROGRAMME (LHP) — BRIEFING BY VICAR

Date: 29 Jan (Sat)
Time: 2pm
Venue: Ascension Hall (Level 3)

Together with the Chaplaincy Team, the St Andrew’s Hall Local Hosting Programme (LHP) brings together Saints of St Andrew’s Hall (hostelites) with gracious and hospitable Singaporean families who have come forward to welcome them to Singapore.
LHP seeks to offer these Saints of SAH an enriching and memorable experience of Singapore life and culture; a better understanding of how Singaporeans live, work and play — a “home away from home”. It also aims to provide them with a network of friends in Singapore, and promote cross-cultural understanding and mutual learning between them and their Local Host family.
Come for a briefing by Vicar on Sat 29 Jan and see how you can be part of this ministry!

TAKING CONCRETE ACTION

Dear COA Family,

Our sermon series in Nehemiah this week focuses on the importance of taking concrete action. I would like to summarise God’s word to us through three questions:

1. When is it necessary to take steps of faith?

May I suggest that this is a regular and consistent way of life for us as Christians!

Like a parent seeing a baby first learning to walk, God is delighted when we attempt to obey him in faith, however frail or unsteady our steps may seem! The simple act of trying to live by faith each day is already indicative of our commitment to grow in our walk with God towards maturity.

2. How can we take steps of faith?

First, by obeying God’s commands in our lives, no matter how minor or insignificant our acts of obedience may seem or whether others can see our actions or not. This is otherwise known as integrity of heart.

Proverbs 11:3 says: “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the unfaithful are destroyed by their duplicity.”

Integrity in our actions are the fundamental steps of faith we take to please God as God sees all that we do – even our deeds done in secret.

Second, by serving others in love. The Apostle John writes, “If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:17-18)

Concrete actions to provide for the needs of others are demonstrations of true love. When we love in this manner, we are truly living out the love of God!

3. What are the rewards of steps of faith?

Ultimately, all that we do will work for us a reward in the coming age. Jesus continually emphasised the importance of working for our heavenly recompense throughout the Gospels. He even assured us that the simplest acts we do will neither be forgotten nor overlooked by the Father.

“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” (Matthew 10:42)

For me, this would be the simple action each day of visiting someone to pray for him and encourage him with God’s word. And I know that God’s promises will be able to build the faith of those who hear!

May we all be encouraged to take active steps this week to please God and bless others!

Have a blessed week ahead,

Rev Ian

COA MEN’S PRAYER MEETING

Calling all men! Our Monthly Prayer Meeting will be held on every first Saturday of the month. All are welcome.

Come join us for our inaugural Prayer Meeting:
Date: 5 Feb (Sat)
Time: 7:30am-8:30am
Venue: Ascension Hall, Level 3

SAJS SAINTS’ HAVEN VOLUNTEERS APPEAL

Saints’ Haven is a ministry that reaches out to SAJS students during recess. It seeks to provide students with a safe environment in which to play board games, watch movies, or just hang out with their friends and COA chaplaincy staff and volunteers. In guiding these students how to play games and spending time with them, volunteers play an important part in role modelling and mentoring them in TRUE and WISE actions and supporting them with a listening ear and prayers.
We thank God for the resumption of Saints’ Haven from 20 Jan (Thu). Currently, Saints’ Haven runs weekly on Tue and Thu, from 9.25am to 10.55am. Come and volunteer your time, and let your presence be an encouragement to the students!
Contact Ps Barnabas for more details.

GOD AS OUR HEAVENLY FATHER

Dear Church Family,

One of the things I observed about my 8-year-old son is that he has no hesitation in approaching me to ask for what he wants. Whether it is something he wants or activity he wants me to accompany him in, he freely speaks his mind.

As I reflected on this, I realized that I am actually happy that he relates to me in such a way. Of course, some of his requests are not suitable or selfish and self-centered in nature. I have to then take the time to say no and explain the reasons for not granting or delaying his requests. But I am happy that he approaches me freely.

Why is this so?

It is because I know that I am his father, and it is both my privilege and joy to provide for him all that he needs. And I am glad that he recognizes me as his father and turns to me whenever he needs something.

It is the same with our heavenly Father as well.

God is pleased when we come to him as little children to ask of him for what we need and depend on him for our provisions. This is because this is what a father does – care, provide and protect his children.

Jesus says the same thing to us in Matthew 7:11 …
“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

Let us then, in this season of seeking God in prayer, be bold and confident in seeking our Father in heaven for grace to help in time of need. For we know that he is truly our heavenly Father who takes care of us!

God bless,
Rev Ian

A LIFESTYLE OF PRAYER

Beloved COA family,

Prayer is a strange thing.

Like breathing, it should come naturally to us as God’s children. After all, when we relate to with fathers on earth, it is simply talking to them freely and even asking for something we need. Little children don’t hold back when approaching their fathers. I know that mine don’t!

In the same way, Jesus tells us to call on God and relate to Him as our Father in heaven in the Lord’s Prayer. (See Matthew 6:9-13) This means that we can come to God freely when we need!

Yet prayer is also hard work.

Just try praying for just 15 minutes each day. You will invariably find your mind flooded with other thoughts, concerns and distractions. It is difficult to concentrate on praying for God’s will to be done in yours and other people’s lives when your life is so busy and your schedules are packed to the brim!

Which is why we need to discipline ourselves to pray.

Set aside a fixed, quiet time to seek God when you will be least distracted by others. If possible, turn off your cell phone and use physical bibles when referring to Scripture verses so that you are not tempted to reply to a message!

Sometimes, it may be very difficult to do so alone. Pray then with your spouse, family member or a good friend or colleague at work. It is always easier to pray when praying with others. This is why we as Anglicans come together for Morning Prayer each day on zoom (see Diocesan announcements). It helps when we can listen to each other and encourage each other.

Lastly, don’t neglect the regular, short bursts of prayers at different times of the day to God. This can happen during meal times, before you sleep, or when you are about to step into a very important meeting. Such prayers help remind us of God’s presence with us at all times and help us centre on God.

May you have a fruitful time praying and develop a fruitful lifestyle of prayer!

Rev Ian