We will be having our 34th ACM this Sunday. Lest this ACM becomes a routine meeting to some of us, I’d like to share three important reasons why an ACM, and especially this coming one, is relevant and important to every responsible Hermonite, and one meeting that they should endeavour to attend to the best of their abilities.
1. This ACM is an occasion for thanksgiving in our present situation. At the time of this writing, we are still waiting for URA to grant us the approval for the use of Henderson as a religious place. While we wait, let’s not forget what the Lord has already done for us thus far. In the face of this uncertainty, we are reminded to trust God and give thanks to him. Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 exhorts us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” When we come together, giving thanks to God as a church, we are showing our gratitude for what He has done for us thus far, and this places us squarely in His will. It is also an expression of our faith and belief that the present situation we are in now is actually better than our past although, it may not appear to be so at this time.
There are many instances of God’s people giving thanks especially in the face of uncertainties . Just to name a few:
Daniel continued to pray and give thanks to God despite the risk of being eaten by the lions.
“He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously (Daniel 6:10)”.
From Daniel, we learn that we should continue to show our gratitude to God no matter what challenges we face.
Paul gave thanks in the middle of the storm.
“And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat (Acts 27:35)”.
From Paul, we learn that we show our gratitude to God, not after, but even in the midst of the storm.
Jesus gave thanks before there was enough food for the five thousand.
“Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also, the fish, as much as they wanted (John 6:11)”.
Like Jesus, we can offer our gratitude to God even before He supplies our need.
2. This ACM is an opportunity for us to show our support and thanks to our leaders. God’s word tells that us that
“every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17)
and this includes our leaders. Stepping down from Session this year are Elder Peter Seah, Elder Elgin Chan, Dn Lee Pang Wee and Dn James Quek. We want to thank each of them and their families for their labour of love in Hermon for so many years. They have faithfully served the Lord and have borne witness to us that God is able to use imperfect men, which we all are, in a wonderfully perfect way. We have all been blessed by their love and care in many different ways and at different times. Paul exhorts us
“to respect those who labour among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).
Let us therefore show our appreciation and thanks to them for all that they have done with our presence at the ACM.
At this coming ACM, we will also be announcing the results of the electronic voting process. In Matthew 9:36, we read,
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
This verse shows us God’s heart for his people as sheep who need to be cared for and protected by shepherds. Then, in Matthew 9:37-38, He tells the disciples to pray to the Lord for shepherds for them. We thank God for providing us with leaders who are willing to be re-elected to continue serving in the Session for another term. These are Ps Daniel Tan, Dn Lee Pak Choon, Dn Mike Fong, Dn David Oh and Dns Malar Thomas. Choosing to be re-elected, despite knowing the demands on their energies and time, is an act of sacrificial love for Hermon. Likewise, our presence at the ACM is a visible demonstration of our endeavour to love and support them as they labour for the Lord for another three years.
3. The ACM is an occasion for Hermonites to stand together in unity, in one spirit, with one mind, striving side by side for the faith of the Gospel (Philippians 1:27). At the ACM, key concerns such as financial budgets and statements, annual reporting for the Commissioner of Charities and the various ministries are presented and passed. Appointment of external and internal auditors are carried out and the results of the Session election announced. Key updates on decisions to be made or progress of projects such Project Ebenezer are presented at the meeting. These are matters that relate to the whole church and any decisions or actions taken will have an impact on every member in Hermon for another year. Because of the nature of the ACM, the Registry of Societies requires that we meet the quorum at the start of the meeting before we can proceed with the agenda. More crucially, Scripture reminds us that we are all a part of the body of Christ. A weak quorum would imply that key decisions or actions taken may not have the support of the majority, and risks the possibility of disharmony at some point in time. It could also lead to miscommunications or misunderstanding because information is not heard first-hand. Hence, the need to have a strong quorum is not just for regulation’s sake, but more importantly, for the sake of the unity of the church.
Let me end with the words of
Mark 12:17: “Jesus said to them, ‘Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God’s.'
As members of Hermon, we have an obligation to make it a point to attend the ACM, where the Lord’s business is being presented, and decisions and actions are being deliberated. In doing so, we are also obeying Paul’s exhortation in
Galatians 6:2, to “bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
— Elder Sim Chow Meng