Henderson update

Since our last Communications Day, project Ebenezer continues to enjoy smooth progress according to schedule. At this time, our plan to have our first worship service at Henderson on 2 Jan 2022 is on track. Ps Luwin will be sharing a brief update today during our worship service. In his sharing will be a listing of the chronology of key events leading to the present status:

In Oct 2020, we signed the Option to Purchase

Dec 2020, we signed the Sales and Purchase Agreement

April 2021, we received our title deed

May 2021, we appointed the main contractor, Motivo

June 2021, renovation commenced

Oct 2021, renovation scheduled for completion

Yesterday an onsite tour of the facility was conducted for our Session members including Gerizim’s. Ps Daniel led us in an opening prayer and Ps Luwin delivered a short devotion. This was followed by a walk-about conducted by Keng Chay (Project Director) who, together with his wonderful team, is instrumental in getting us to where we are. The various contractors were invited to join us. There was a meaningful moment when Keng Chay presented food vouchers to the workers as our gesture of appreciation for their timely execution of the project. We also wanted them to know that in the process of their work, they were helping us to construct a place of worship. We had prayed for each

and every workman’s safety and health at work and the Lord has granted us our request thus far. There have been zero safety or health incidents throughout the work in the midst of the raging pandemic. There has also been no disruption to work due to a shortage of labour. We have enjoyed prompt and hassle-free approvals of the necessary permits for the project. One remaining permit and the most critical one will be URA’s approval for limited and non-exclusive use of the property for religious purposes. May the Lord’s hand be upon us as we put in our application.

Soon, all of us will be able to view a video recording of the facility, and an actual site tour will be planned at the end of next month. It has been a gratifying journey for all of us in this project in spite of the fact that all this has taken place during these challenging times.

Now, I would like to provide an update on our sister church, Gerizim, which will be moving together with us to Henderson. We have been informed that 80% of their members have indicated their willingness to come along. While Hermon will worship at 9.30am and 2pm, our Session discussed and formally agreed to allocate 11.30am for them to conduct their worship. As the morning period is a much sought-after time slot for worshippers, this is a very thoughtful gesture extended to Gerizim by our leaders as well as each and every one of us. In so doing, our leaders and members have demonstrated the grace and generosity expected as fellow disciples of Christ. For our gesture, Gerizim has expressed their appreciation. On the use all other facilities like rooms during weekdays and Saturdays, it has been agreed that three reviews will be done in 2022 to determine the final arrangement so that the use of the whole facility can be maximised. Let us continue to cultivate our good brotherly relationship with Gerizim. Let us consider their interests and needs and take care of them as brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us also pray for the possibility of a merger between our two churches when the conditions and time are ripe, so that we can establish a bilingual church to serve the community. Our next step is to look at drafting and signing tenancy agreements with the Dew of Hermon, the company we set up to purchase and legally own the unit.

There will be a time for ceaseless praise and thanksgiving when we finally set foot on Henderson, and much time to recount the goodness of our Lord. A few months back at our church’s prayer meeting on 23 June, we recalled our 33 years of history, which produced our second and third generations. We made four or five moves to different places before finally landing on a more permanent place at CCKBC in 1994. Our congregation grew from about 80 in size to more than 300 members at present count. Now, after close to 30 years, it’s time to move again and, coincidentally, to the place where we were part of the roots that spawned the various “mountain” BP churches today. May a new generation of leaders take us further on.
While the current pandemic has caused much pain and hardship to many people, it did benefit us. We purchased Henderson at a good price when great uncertainties in the initial period caused property prices to be depressed. The pandemic has also transformed many aspects of our lives and made virtual meetings and online worship services acceptable practices when they would have been awkward and unfamiliar before. While online worship is never a substitute for in-person worship, it nevertheless gives us some leverage and options operating in space- and regulation-constrained premises managed by the URA.
Finally, on behalf of the Session, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude and thanks to each of you for your various contributions and encouragement throughout the past months. May the Lord help us to settle down quickly at the new place as we look forward with eager expectation to serve Him in the community and beyond.

– Eld Peter Seah