Consumed by Christ
a word from Rev Dr Christopher Chia, EP Moderator
Dear EP churches,
I pray and hope that this pas- toral letter finds you well. God calls us to “rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
1. We must praise God for a most blessed 2021 EP Holy Week celebration of our Easter Convention & Good Friday. The singing, sermons and Services of all three days were woven together beautifully by God’s Spirit to proclaim the gospel, exalt Jesus and glorify God. Bishop Gordon Wong’s messages were uplifting, challenging, creative and winsome, touching all ages. The Q&A session after the night talks was a nice new touch to help people understand the theme of the Easter Convention - “Psalms 22 & 23 and the Cross”. We want to thank Rev Lee Kien Seng, the Convention Committee and the participating churches (Hope Presbyterian, Covenant Presbyterian & Prinsep Street Presbyterian churches). Their tireless labor blessed all who participated online and onsite, Many were also very ministered by the singers. They chose such apt and suitable songs which fed our souls. ARPC truly enjoyed working so much with our sisters EP churches. The successful completion of this year’s EC is a wonderful platform and timely moment to kick- start our “EP Futures Roadmap Conversations” around our theme of “Consumed by Christ” and to celebrate our Synod’s 140th anniversary.
2. Our theme for 2021 is “Consumed by Christ”. Our mainline Protestant churches face many challenges - fewer conversions, weak discipleship, fewer weddings, falling birthrates, shrinking Sunday school, restless youth, missing demographics of the 20s-30s age group, aging congregations and shifting morality about sexuality, amongst others. In that light, we have responsibly and excitedly em- barked on our EP Futures Roadmap - presented and decided on at our EP AGM in 2020 - to meet these many challenges. If this pandemic has revealed a game-changing lesson for us, it might be this: We must distinguish between salvation presumed and salvation affirmed. Jesus condemned the presumption of the pharisees. He affirmed the confession of sinners. Many Christians and churches may have found our presumed salvation shaken to the core by COVID-19. Our prayer life may have gone into coma. Our Godliness may have been shot to bits. Our love for God and one another decimated. As physical church shut down, physical fellowship dried up and cabin fever sins shot up - all the basics of our presumed Christian life fell off. Thus, our prayerful theme and vision is to help our churches be “Consumed by Christ!” We start by helping our pastors, elders and deacons take our personal walk and holiness with God seriously. Only then, can we be used by Jesus to be his humble vessels and catalysts in proclaiming Christ, loving our families, maturing his church and glorifying God in our 21st century EP churches.
Our EP exists to serve and mature our churches. We begin with our humble prayers for our Pastors, Elders & Deacons (PED) Training plans for 2021! Please see flyer below. Please pray and join us to make our lives count for Christ our Lord. Amen.
Your brother & servant,