Dear COA Family,
This is the concluding part of my address at the recent AGM. (Please check out the COA website for the previous parts.)
3. Life in our Communities
We are also partnering with our fellow SAV parishes to reach out to Potong Pasir and Bidadari. This is a continuation of the Bishop’s organisation of all of our churches into Area Groups. Together, we can be more effective than any one church doing it alone.
While we already have programs like the monthly Happy Saturday outreach to the elderly spearheaded by our Chinese Services, this year we will embark on our cooperation in a more intentional way. We will coordinate all of our individual parish outreach events in a common list. It will be accessible on all of our church websites. Members from each of our parishes will be able to bring friends to join any of the activities. We will also be having a combined SAV Family Day which is a community outreach event on 7 Oct (Sat) morning. More details will be given soon.
We focus on our community because of who we are. By Anglican understanding, we are a Parish rather than a Church. A church, strictly speaking, serves its members. A Parish, on the other hand, serves the geographical community it is situated in. It is like the England parishes of old where the church is at the heart of community life in the village. So we cannot ignore the needs of Potong Pasir and Bidadari where we are situated.
At the same time, we cannot ignore our outreach to our family and friends, the circle of influence that God has individually placed us in. You are the light of the world and you are to shine the light of Christ and share the hope of the Gospel with your friends. To help us with that, our services are open to all of you for bringing your friends. There are also special services like Easter, Ascension Day and Christmas that may be more suited. Also, we will be
embarking on an Alpha in July for 2 months. These help you to reach out to your friends. Please use them.
4. Life in Our Missions
At last year’s AGM, I spoke about the setting up of a BEAM committee to spearhead our overseas missions. There have been some delays to setting this up as we needed time to re-envision how to engage with our traditional mission fields of Thailand, Kalimantan and Medan. With this in mind, I hope to have the committee set up by this coming year. In fact, several of us have already been in discussion and ground work has been done in exploratory trips to our mission partners. I hope to bring you more details of this in future.
There are many things that I have touched on today but what is most important is our understanding of who we are as God’s people. We are not an organisation but a church. God’s life resides in us. All of us are individually members of the Body of Christ. Our Lord calls every one to step up to fulfil the Great Commission and utilise the gifts he has given to us to help the Body grow. Each one of us matters. May we realise this and respond by putting our hands to the plow together and have our hands on deck.