A pastoral note . . .

Greetings!May the Lord be your strength! May the Lord be your shield! May the Lord be your peace! By the grace of God, I thank you, members, friends and visitors who worship and fellowship with us over the last year. And with the deepest appreciation I’d also like to thank God for our Session and the leaders and contributors in, and to, all our ministries – all of your help in ways big and small helped made worship here in the Moriah (English and Mandarin) and Sembawang congregations joyful. I pray by God’s grace we can together all continue to abound in our love for the Lord and in our walk with Him. In the coming year, I have chosen the theme, God Chose You To Be Holy and Blameless (Eph 1:4) as a theme to guide the church in our walk and stewardship for the year. When God chose us He chose us with bracing power! Power to motivate and inspire us to walk in love, to walk as children of light, and to walk worthy of the Lord – a tall order! We need all His grace and power. If there was one event in the last year that in my mind brought forth these virtues, it was our response to the call to give for the relief of suffering for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan that devastated a large part of the Philippines and heaped misery and suffering upon thousands. I am very proud of your response. Our contributions were the second highest among the BP Churches. This is what I’m proud of and thankful to God for: - When I proposed the collection in our church, there was immediate and unanimous approval from our Session to go ahead. All encouraged me to proceed. - When I alerted the Singapore Council of Christian Churches there was immediate and unanimous agreement from the Executive Committee members to do a SCCC-wide collection. - A total of $142,597.15 was collected from most of the BP Churches and various individual contributors. As a way to show my appreciation of our stewardship, let me give up a general account of how the funds will be administered. - The SCCC is the administrator, and the funds will be disbursed in tranches. The first tranche of $30.000.00 had already been sent. - In mid-January, the SCCC President, Treasurer and an Executive Committee member, and an Elder from Zion Serangoon will, on their own accounts, travel to Philippine in mid-January. The purpose of their trip, sanctioned by the Committee, is to visit and see for themselves the devastation, and with the Philippine Council of Christian Churches, assess the needs of how and where the funds might be most effectively used according to sound biblical stewardship principles. To close, allow me to return to the new theme for this year. Paul say that, “God is able to make all grace abound toward you” (2Cor 9:8). Our praise is to the God who has blessed [graced] us with every spiritual blessing [gift], just as He has chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:3-4). May the Lord bless and keep you in 2014! Pastor Robert Chew