This year, which marks our 33rd anniversary, is a significant one for our church. 2021 will go down in our history as the year in which we relocated from CCKBC to Henderson. The current renovation work at Henderson has been enjoying good progress, thanks to the dedicated efforts of bro Keng Chay and his team. Barring any unexpected circumstances, the renovation is expected to be completed in about four months’ time. Our staff in the office have already begun to do some amount of packing in preparation for the move. While a sense of expectation for something new and fresh ahead hovers, there is also the sense of the soon-to-be past. This leads to a desire to do some stock-taking on what we have done over the past two decades at CCKBC; things that matter to our Lord and His work. What do we bring with us to Henderson?
To me, one of our most enduring works must be the initiation and development of our Covenant Group or CG. Deceptively simple to set up, it has however taken us a good part of the past two decades — about 15 years — to arrive at where we are today. Presently we are at a slightly more than 60% participation rate among members. I would like to credit Ps Daniel for his dogged perseverance in working at this worthwhile pursuit. It is worthwhile because most of us know that the CG, if practiced as designed, serves as a microcosm of the church at large. It ensures that no member is left behind both spiritually and physically. Above all, it allows the teaching of the Word to cascade down to each member in a practical way amid active discussions, comprehension, constant fellowship, and mutual encouragement. At the church level, this ensures coordination and integration, so that discipleship is not reduced to just preaching and teaching alone. Ps Daniel has passed on the active lead of the CG to Ps Luwin who has been focusing on further training and equipping of the leaders. In highlighting our CG, I hope all of us appreciate the long and arduous journey it has taken, and will invite members who are still not in a CG to sign up for one. It is an “enduring” work we have assembled because most CG members joined us when CCKBC was established. Now, these brothers and sisters are fully integrated and enjoined with us as one body, to move on to Henderson.
Also, on the eve of our move, the Lord has prepared and provided Elder Chow Meng and Deacon Jia Yi to our Session. They are new and younger blood, in tandem with our new beginning at Henderson, and bring the hope of fresher vigour and renewed vision. May their faithfulness to serve signal and encourage more young members to enter the service of leadership in Session.
As they begin their new season, mine is drawing to a close. I started serving God and the church not long after I was converted in the late 60s. I had no experience at all when I started serving in the Session. There was a call from the leaders of the church and a few of us responded. The thought then was to simply respond to serve in any area needed, for God and His Kingdom. This was notwithstanding that we were just starting out on our own careers and families. Looking back, however, it has been a source of joy and contentment, because the years spent were never lost in the sight of the Lord. If you are one of the younger ones addressed here, will you heed the call? Elder Elgin responded to my request for a contribution to this article and he aptly wrote:
“In my editorial dated 27 June 2021, I mentioned the test of the leadership transition that took place before the mantle of godly leadership was passed from Elijah to Elisha. In writing the editorial, I was reminded that God, and not Elijah, is the One who initiated the leadership transition. The choice of godly candidates and timing were also His. Just as Elisha had to learn the ropes of godly leadership under Elijah, we are thankful that God has given us a younger generation of leaders under the NLE programme who are willing to be equipped for church leadership under the close teaching and guidance of the current church leaders. In God’s wisdom and timing, our transition and move to a new place of worship and ministry in Henderson early next year will be a watershed in Hermon’s journey of faith. My prayer is that the Lord will convict and raise a younger generation of godly leaders in the coming months and years to lead Hermon in the next lap of our faith journey and to extend His Kingdom for His glory. Amen”.
Due to the constraint of space, let me just mention one more item before I sign off. Our Development Fund (DF) will reach a healthy state next year in January. This will be after we have received our settlement sum from Hebron as part of our agreement to end the partnership at CCKBC, and repaid all outstanding loans extended to us by members, friends and fellow BP churches. We are very grateful for these loans as well as the outright giving from members and friends. The same healthy state cannot be said of our General Fund (GF) which appears to have been affected by our overwhelming response to achieve the Development Fund’s target over the past months. Other reasons could be the restrictions on in-person worship as well as the uncertain economic situation and its direct threat to the job security of members and friends. We understand all these issues and have decided on the need to communicate to you all the details of our financial situation. Accordingly, Dn Pak Choon, our Treasurer, will be sharing the details next week on July 18 during our worship service. One possible immediate action would be to channel our giving from the DF to the GF. In this regard, Dn Pak Choon will be proposing and introducing a pledge system in which members will be able to pledge a fixed sum to the GF after prayerfully seeking the Lord, and doing so in faith and trust in His provision.
– Eld Peter Seah