26 November 2017
One of the things I love about the Church Calendar is that it marks out the year not by the weather or the different sales that come our way, but in terms of God’s great acts of love to save us from sin and bring us home to Himself—from the birth of Christ, to His life, death and resurrection, and His coming again to be King forever.
Very soon, next Sunday in fact, we are going to start a brand new Church Year with the season of Advent. We will remember how dark, broken and empty our lives were when we were far away from God. Against that backdrop, we will recapture each week God’s light breaking through to give us hope—the hope of Love, Joy and Peace.
This year, Rev Martin has prepared a wonderful Advent sermon series around those three wonderful words—Love, Joy and Peace—and the cry of all the saints, “Come, Jesus, Come!”.
That’s why I am writing this Pre-Advent Pastoral Letter, to encourage you to make this Advent and Christmas not just a season of busyness, festivities and consumption, but one of spiritual growth. Not just for yourself, but also your family—children and grandchildren together.
How can we do that?
Weekly Family Advent Devotions. Set apart an evening a week from 3 Dec through to Christmas Day, with your family, children and even grandchildren. Pastor Wendy has lovingly prepared for you a Family Advent Devotional Booklet (ready on 3 Dec). You will find instructions to create your own family Advent Wreath. You will have a weekly devotional Scripture reading, a prayer and a specially-chosen Christmas carol that the whole family can sing together. With just 10 minutes a week in Advent, you will be amazed how God draws your family together, and how your children and grandchildren will catch the Love, Joy and Peace of Jesus. This is Faith in Family at work!
Spend Time with a Friend (or five friends!). Christmas is about God sharing life with us as an innocent baby. The miracle of God sharing human life began nine months before Jesus was born. In the same way, we can use Advent to catch up with a friend even before Christmas. Share a cup of coffee, share a memorable moment, share a laugh or shed a tear—whatever, just share each other. Show that you care. Because God cares. And take the opportunity to invite your friend to our Christmas Eve Service starting 10pm ending past midnight, to receive the Love, Joy and Peace of Jesus. Because you care.
Help Advance His Kingdom. Christ will come again when all the world has heard the Gospel of His salvation (Matt 24:13). We can hasten that day by building bridges to the unsaved. How? In Advent, start praying daily for friends who don’t know Jesus yet. Pray for our Mission Trip to Cambodia (7-12 Dec). Make a donation to the Hope Anglican Centre (a.k.a. Svay Rieng Education Centre) for educational, medical and community outreach in the name of Christ. Plan for a mission trip in 2018 (check dates with Sonny Yap or the church office).
Have a very blessed and fruitful ADVENT 2017!
– Pastor Tak Meng
17 November 2017
by Vicar Wong Tak Meng
Today, the Church remembers Hilda of Whitby (c. 614-680), the princess who became a refugee, who became a mother of faith, the advocate for education, the encourager of young shepherd-poet Caedmon, the carer of the sick and needy, the promoter of harmony and the founder of communities of the faithful until her final breath.
16 October 2017
Church members aged 13 years and above are asked to please participate in this initiative. It will help your church to plan programmes that will be more meaningful for you, better serve your family life needs, and provide life stage-specific discipleship and pastoral care.
It is simple:
Visit: www.wholelife.sg/inventory > Click: Take The Whole Life Inventory > Enter Access Code: shc
All responses are anonymous.
26 September 2017
Almost four years to the day when Ps David Lee came to us, he will be leaving St Hilda’s to shepherd the flock in another parish in October.
On September 24 Sunday, during combined service, Ps David Lee, Veron and children Ally and Clara quietly and movingly sang the Aaronic blessing over the church before leaving “where our hearts will always be”.
The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you,
and be gracious unto you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you
and give you his peace.
In return, St Hilda’s warriors for Christ gave them a rousing send off with an uplifting and heartfelt army chant to bless their going (See Video).
As one church member noted: “Clergy who are assigned to St Hilda’s come with fear and trepidation. Such is our fearsome reputation, deserved or not. But they will soon discover that when they give us their heart, we return it a thousand times more.”
Praise God. The Lord be always with you Ps David, Veron, Ally and Clara!
25 July 2017
On 9 August 2017, from 9am to 12.30 pm, singles, married couples with or without children and seniors are invited to join in a symposium organised by St hilda’s Church.
To be held in Bethel Hall, the symposium will help participants strengthen relationships between husbands and wives, as well as parents and children.
By building God-rooted and God-centred families, we can stem the tide of the devil’s assaults on our families.
You will receive fresh insights into the state of families in Singapore and the need for a holistic approach to live out our faith grounded at home.
Speakers are St Hilda’s Vicar Wong Tuck Meng, and Pastors Ben and Dinah Lee, from Focus on the Family.
Register at the church office on 41 Ceylon Road, Singapore 429630.
18 Jun 2017
Church Camp, June 2017, Kuala Lumpur.
When Brother David Soh announced early in the year that Church Camp was going to be in the heart of KL, heart beats shot up. S H O P P I N G!
E A T I N G! YAY YAY YAY!
Little did our 200 members from St Hilda’s English and Chinese congregations, who signed up, know they were in for something even bigger and better!
In a carefully prepared programme, the Lord used Vicar Tak Meng to bring home to camp participants the message: Walk deeper in the river of life, yield to Me as you would clay in the potter’s hands, and fulfil My destiny for your lives!
In his opening remarks for the camp, vicar said that this year we would focus on spiritual formation. The teaching was spirit-filled and the camp fellowship palpably close.
Church teacher David Chan said in wonder: ”Looking at the programme content, vicar must have spent at least half a year praying and preparing for it.”
No matter. It was also a time for St Hilda’s to warmly welcome in-coming Pastor Martin Jungnickel and his wife Jo Anne. The pastor proved to be a good sport in more ways than one. Wife Jo Anne came away as a caring and friendly person.
There were many touching camp moments and testimonials.
Sister Patricia Chew was among the first to share. She said she saw a vision of purple orchids when vicar shared about waiting upon the LORD. She felt that it meant that the LORD was going to show His blueprint for St Hilda’s.
The vision, Patricia continued, also had several messages which shared a similar theme:
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”
2 Corinthians 4:7
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”
The vision fitted in well with vicar’s camp teaching: Like a lump of clay we must learn to yield to the LORD and let the Him purposefully and patiently mould us. Then wait for Him to send the Holy Spirit to form each one of us into the likeness of Christ, to empower us to be His witnesses to expand His kingdom!
Participants felt this camp was one of the best they had attended. They came away on fire.
23 Apr 2017
At this meeting in which 21 per cent of the church’s Electoral Roll members participated, St Hilda’s continued to refresh its leadership.
More new young members stepped up to help bring the church forward. The 2017-2018 Parochial Church Council now comprise:
Samuel Ratnam, Vicars Warden
Chan Mun Seng, People’s Warden
Daniel Koh Hock seng, Synod Representative
David Soh Eng Hock, Synod Representative
Iris Chua Hui Hua, Synod Representative
Shirley Tan Soh Kwee, Synod Representative
Sheena Seng Mei Hui, Lay Representative, Secretary
Alice Mia Joo, Lay Representative, Treasurer
John Teo Cheng Lock, Lay Representative
Leng Yaw Owe, Lay Representative
David Tow, Lay Representative
Kevin Cheong Teng Hwee, Lay Representative
Michael Ho Soon Chye, Lay Representative
Khoo See Kiang, Lay Representative
This team of lay leaders will support Vicar Ven. Wong Tak Meng and Pastor Wong Ngian Koy (Chinese).
May the Lord’s hand be upon each PCC team member, guiding them to serve the Church according to His plans doe us! Amen.
9 Apr 2017
St Hilda’s Church’s Annual General Meeting will be held on Sunday 23 April 2017 at 12 noon at Bethel Hall.
There will be one combined English Service at Bethel at 9am that morning, and the Mandarin Service will start at 9.30am
Church members on the Electoral Roll are encouraged to participate in the AGM. Church members may check whether their names are on the Electoral Rolls posted both in Bethel Hall and the Sanctuary. Non-ER members of the church may also attend as observers. All who plan to attend should register with the Admin Office and indicate if they need lunch as well.
This year 8 Lay Representatives are up for nomination and election. Also to be nominated are 4 Synod Representatives and the People’s Warden.
All glory to God.
20 November 2016
Gathered on the lawn
A carpet of brown and auburn leaves
That turns what once was a green space
Into a hue of distinguishing colours
That arrest the eyes and not soothe them
Where did the time go?
Weren’t the leaves a luscious green?
But have now they degraded to a rustic brown
Bleak and lifeless
Gathered in a heap of desolation
Time has progressed
Nature has evolved
Things may appear to seem at their tethering end
Yet nature isn’t linear
And so is the cycle of life
Which every man and woman has to endure
There would be Seasons when we would be sprightly
With a spring in our steps
But as time progresses
We enter into another dimension
of the cycle of life
Where vulnerability and fragility are definitions to our lives
And we may fall like these autumn leaves
And remain in a frigid cold ground
But as the cycle ensues
What may appear as an end
Will soon feed the next seeds of a new generation
As the wisdom of these fallen leaves seep into the thawed ground
They stir new life into existence
And the cycle continues
– A Poem by Ian Poulier
13 November 2016
Greetings, my dear pastors, brothers and sisters in St Hilda’s Church!
I am writing this note at Wheaton College Library, after sharing lunch and taking a walk with Rev Gregory Whitaker and his delightful four daughters in the wooded garden behind their rented house in West Chicago.
Once again, as I have done many times the past two months of my sabbatical, I marvel at the way that God has created the trees – oak, maple, pine – and how they withstand seasons of draught and cold, to continue growing and bearing fruit, season after season.
That is the vision God has given me for myself, and for St Hilda’s Church. We will get on in years, but we are called to keep growing – our roots reaching deeper, our trunk standing stronger, our bark getting thicker, our leaves longing for the sun’s rays, our branches more generously stretched out to the birds of the air. I believe God wants us to be like that tree, rooted in God, healthy, robust, serving God with joy and abundance.
As we celebrate our 82nd Anniversary, may Jeremiah 17:7-8 be our desire and prayer:
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose trust is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
Please join me in prayer, as I spend the rest of my sabbatical in November and December seeking the Lord for our life and ministry ahead, to be “a tree planted by water” that “does not cease to bear fruit”!
Blessed 82nd Anniversary!
Ven Wong Tak Meng
Vicar (on sabbatical)
11 November 2016
Bishop Chiu Ban It went home to the Lord on, 9 Nov 2016, 3.10 pm London time. His wife Bek Neo, and children Michael, Veronica and Cheng were at his bedside. Bp Chiu was the 4th Vicar of St Hilda’s Church from 1952-1955. He became the first Malayan-born Bishop of the Diocese of Singapore and Malaya in 1966. During his time as Bishop the Diocese experienced the touch of the Holy Spirit through the charismatic renewal. The St Hilda’s Family fondly remembers Bp Chiu and his tremendous contribution to St Hilda’s and the Diocese. We would like to extend our deepest condolences to Bp Chiu’s family during this time of bereavement. Bp Chiu has fought the good fight, he has finished the race, he has kept the faith. May his soul rests in peace in the arms of His Master our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 November 2016
On Friday 21 Oct, about 70 church members gathered in Bethel Hall for a Healing Service.
The evening was reverent, worshipful and caring. More than 60 percent of participants asked to be prayed for. Not just for physical healing, but spiritual as well.
The evening was a follow-up on sessions held earlier this year in May when Ps Peter Troung led hundreds in healing prayers.
Healing Services are being planned for once every two months from January next year.
These services will dovetail with a little known small prayer group that meets regularly on every third Sunday from 9am to 9.45am at the Care Lounge, Vicarage. The group prays for people who are known not to be well and those who have requested special prayers. All are welcome to join.
May God continue to manifest His glory during our Healing Services!
9 October 2016
Today, Bishop John Tan confirmed 23 brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ. He gave them their first Holy Communion. In his exhortation to the church, Bishop Tan reminded us that the Lord’s first miracle has more meaning to it than turning water into wine. There is a deeper spiritual teaching. Not only do we see Christ use show His glory and use His power to change the physical make-up of water into wine, He also has the power to change our lives into something better. He can transform our lives! This is the message that we are apt to miss because the physical change of water to wine is visually more exciting. But His power to touch our lives when we need it is the bigger message.
17 July 2016
Story by Jeremy Sng
St Hilda’s Church is a church family. Everyone is a familiar face – someone somewhere you have seen in church, but can never quite place.
Kyle Koh has been a familiar face for as long as I can remember. I have seen Kyle, 16, around our church for many years but never had the opportunity to actually have a conversation with him.
For those of you who do not know, Kyle is Danny and Serena Koh’s son. Danny and Serena met in St Hilda’s Church a great many years ago (okay, it was not that looong ago) and have three children. Kyle is the eldest, followed by Isabel and Jadyn.
Kyle started drawing back when he was in kindergarten. He started with, in his words, “boyish-sorts of drawings – such as explosions, planes, tanks”.
At that time he did not think those drawings were artistic. He refers to them now as “just doodles”. He simply drew anything that came to mind.
He credits his parents with spotting early his artistic talent – “God’s gift to him”. Kyle has since blossomed into the mature artist we see today.
Kyle’s art is at a different level now. He has crossed over from the minor leagues to the major leagues.
Kyle says his “artworks are inspired by God”, whom he deems to be “the Creator and the ultimate artist”.
Art has been a passion for Kyle. He has never been diverted from it, like some boys who tend to hop from one hobby to another, from drawing to video games to sports, and back again.
Kyle says he never really had any other hobby. By his estimates, he spends an hour or two daily drawing.
Putting this into perspective: As Kyle draws for an hour and a half daily, over the past 10 years, that is about 4,000 hours of practice!
Kyle has amassed a portfolio of some 200 artworks and he has not given any indication that he is slowing down. He is currently designing the logo for the St Hilda’s New Day Ministry, and has received requests from Church members for sketches of the Church.
What is next for Kyle?
This young man is open to wherever God leads him. For now he is considering a course at the Laselle College of the Arts.
We will be looking forward to seeing Kyle’s work in St Hilda’s printed material, or maybe even on our walls.
Who knows, he may even play a part in designing our 100th Anniversary logo!
9 June 2016
About 160 church members, families and friends participated in this year’s church camp in Johor Bahru. Pastor Daniel Koh spoke on Amazing Grace. And it was amazing how grace filled the camp. Participants were agreed this was one of the best camps yet – not only for the message and fellowship but for the hotel rooms, facilities and makan-makan!
May 1 2016
The Meeting Place enjoyed its second module of physio therapy on May 26.
Physio therapists from East Coast Pratitioners came by to help members assess their propensity to fall and taught them various exercises to help them strengthen their limbs. Members were also taught how to recover from falls.
April 1 2016
The Meeting Place will be launched on 12 April to provide a place and time of fellowship for our retirees, seniors and even our still young members in Church. Pre-believers are also welcome. Except for June and December, this tea time fellowship will be held every second and fourth Tuesdays of the month from 2.00 pm till 5.00 pm. Most times, thematic teas will be served alongside worship, devotion, talks, board games, bingo, arts and craft, sing-alongs, film shows, etc. Do come and have a time of fun and worship in Daniel Hall!
Good Friday and Easter are just round the corner. How much there is to look forward to! They remind us that the Lord died for us. They remind us that he defeated death when He rose again to save us from our sins. How great is His love for us!
By the grace of God, I returned yesterday from a fruitful Provincial Synod gathering in Kuala Lumpur. Catching up on news in Singapore, I am led to write pastorally to the Anglican flock entrusted to me as Diocesan Bishop – a responsibility I share with the bishops, priests and deaconesses who serve alongside me.
The public discussion in the media concerning the coming Madonna concert in Singapore surfaces
a) the need for Christians to walk in the light of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus, and also
b) the role of the Church as a faithful witness to the society she is part of. Let me address these briefly in turn.
WALK IN THE LIGHT
We make our choices in the light of holy Scripture and with the strength of the Holy Spirit. Should Christians go to the Madonna concert?
Having come to Jesus Christ for forgiveness of our sins and newness of life, we are to choose to walk in the light and to shun the darkness:
“… God is light; in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practise the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:5-7)
As Christians, we are to avoid everything that darkens and defiles our hearts and minds, and that ultimately breaks our fellowship or close communion with God and even with each other. What language, values and images will one expose oneself to at the Madonna concert? What impact will it leave on the attendee’s heart and imagination?
Secondly, the choice is framed for Christians in terms of love for God the Father as against love for “the world”. By “the world” is meant the world organised and opposed to God’s intentions and God’s ways for man: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.” (1 John 2: 15-16 ESV).
We are to exercise our choices in a way that decisively shows that our love for God is greater than our love for what “the world” craves for.
Thirdly, our choices and the conduct that follows affects the witness of Christians before a watching world. How will non-Christians understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the lifestyle it calls us to if Christians find “no problem” with attending such a concert? The power of the Cross sets us free to “flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with all those who call on the Lord from a pure heart”. (2 Tim 2:22; cf Rom 12:1-2). Will attending the concert convey a Christian’s commitment to the beautiful and holy life Christ Jesus has redeemed us for?
In light of the above, I agree with the biblical exhortation Archbishop William Goh gave to the flock under his care (Straits Times, 23 Feb 2016 and 24 Feb 2016) and his call to them to make their choice on whether to attend the concert with “an informed conscience”. I would like also to call upon each one of you as members of Christ’s one body to encourage “one another daily that none may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness”. (Heb 3:13).
BEARING WITNESS IN THE SOCIETY
Not only are Christians to order and shape their own lives in the light and pattern of Christ, we are to bear witness to that light in the society we are part of. This includes our responsible participation as a Church in the public square of ideas, discussions and decisions in our society.
In Singapore, our Diocese is part of a registered umbrella organisation of Protestant Churches called the National Council of Churches in Singapore (NCCS). When NCCS learnt of the coming Madonna concert, we made direct representation to Media Development Authority (MDA) to convey our grave concerns about the content of Madonna concerts and its profane use of religious symbols. We were assured in writing that MDA has made clear its terms for allowing the concert to ensure that anything offensive to what is sacred (like the item “Holy Water”) or is religiously insensitive is removed from the content of the coming show in Singapore.
As NCCS leaders, we have also conveyed in private to the authorities who govern and oversee the public space our question on the wisdom of allowing such shows in Singapore in a mass event setting. On the one hand is artistic license and popular appeal. But on the other is an artiste who has chosen to brazenly embody and stridently promote self-indulgent and antinomian (against moral law) values which, in our view, are contrary to the well-being and future of our nation.
In making known our views in appropriate ways at the level of public discourse, we are not forcing our views on others but conveying our faith-based values as fellow-citizens in an intermediary organisation to the national conversation of what is best for Singapore. In taking a position on the Madonna concert, the Church can be cast as being moralistic or arrogantly prescriptive for everybody else. That is not our intention or motivation. The Church is not simply anti-this or anti-that. Rather, we have a God-given role to bear witness to the values that make for life… values that under-gird peoples’ choices.
Finally, life is about choices… choices made by a society, a family and an individual. This is true also for Madonna. The spirit of Christians and of the Church is not to condemn but to invite, admonish and encourage one another, both as fellow-believers and fellow human beings, to make the right decisions for man’s well-being and for the glory of God.
As hot-button issues continue to surface in every society and every age, pray that the Church and the Christian within her fold will be enabled by the Holy Spirit to take a clear, biblical position, to be bold and humble in posture and to be invitational and winsome in witness to the world that God so loved and continues to love (Jn 3:16). We make clear our position, we live our lives authentically and we pray fervently (2 Cor 10:3-5; Eph 6:10-18) so that God’s life-giving reign will be known in the Church and in the nations.
To God be the glory in your life and mine, and in our life together as people redeemed by His grace in Christ Jesus.
We have just published a 24-page mini-book on St Hilda’s Church. It is a snapshot of what our church is, our members, our services and our ministries. This will be used primarily to welcome our guests and first-time visitors. You may also obtain copies of it from our office to invite friends to St Hilda’s or to our special services.
Ninety-four children attended this year’s Church Christmas Party on December 19!
Better yet, our children from Kids For Christ (KFC) and Victory Kids helped to register and usher our guests when they arrived at Bethel Hall! They also helped to be greeters and helpers throughout the event! So young and already serving the Lord so diligently!
The party delighted both young and old!
Allan and Michelle led in singing the theme song and KFC helper
Mada led the singalong. There was also a short lesson on Christmas after a hilarious performance by ventriloquist Joseph Then, from Chapel of Christ the Redeemer. There were also games, craftwork and foodcraft during makan time in both Manna House and Daniel Room!
18 December 2015
For four exhilarating, fun-filled, spirit-filled, prayerful, exhausting and yet refreshing mid-December days, 38 youths spent time together, with themselves, and with God!
Said Queenie,15, a newcomer to this year’s St Hilda’s Church youth camp – Refuel 15: “I want to thank God for this camp. I came back to God and got to know him more. Thanks to all the leaders and pastors for the touching messages. I want to thank everyone in this camp for accepting me for who I am and welcoming me in this church. Already missing the praise and worship. I love you all!”
Besides the teaching, the praying and the worshipping, our youths had a beach day at Sentosa with their peers from Chapel of Christ the Redeemer. The Lord held back the rain on the beach where they were having their games, while it poured over the rest of the island!
Xuan Ying, 16, another first time camper exclaimed: ”Youth Camp was off the charts!”
Said Youth Pastor Calvin Tan: “We thank God for the 16-year-olds who took up the challenge to plan the games even though it was their ‘O’ Levels! They showed tremendous maturity and resolve!
“Even the younger youths from aged 13 stepped up to play in the band. They did very well. They overcame their initial nervousness and insecurities and served God. God has indeed given us great talents!”
During camp, two friends gave their lives to the Lord.
Perhaps the last word from another 16 year-old first timer, Louisa, summarise the camp: “My first church camp ever and I definitely loved it. During the altar calls I felt God’s presence overwhelming me. My relationship with Him became strong. I hope to grow closer to Christ quickly. Thank you Games Com for the games. Camp was really fun!”
Sunday, 14 November 2015
Story by Jeremy Sng
Photos by Linda Chee
The Neighbourhood Blessing last year was – so I heard – a sultry, sweltering affair. I recall seeing photos of smiling church members in their red t-shirts, with beads of sweat on their foreheads as a reminder of the stifling conditions. Everyone was happy, of course, but it was so very warm and humid.
Two weeks ago my cell leader told us about the Neighbourhood Blessing to take place on 14 November. On hearing this, I checked my calendar, hoping to have had something scheduled during that time.
It’s embarrassing to admit this, but I didn’t want to spend a weekend afternoon walking around a housing estate when I could be at home resting, or doing whatever I didn’t have the chance to do during the work week. It’s selfish isn’t it? To say that “weekends are for myself!” and to seek excuses just so that I can spend the weekend the way I want to!
In that way, my mind was already made up – I’ll find an excuse, and I won’t go. Yet, despite this plan, I found myself agreeing to go when I was asked again. And I am glad I did.
It was heartening to see everyone in Bethel Hall (St Hilda’s worship hall), assembled for the briefing. All of us knew each other, and there was a strong sense of familiarity among us red-shirted individuals. We were a group of persons with the same goal of sharing gifts with those who live around our church.
There were church members of all ages – those who have barely started schooling, those who have barely started working, and those who had stopped working many years ago. We had great weather – sunshine, haze-free skies, and a breeze which signalled the onset of evening.
My cell was tasked with 36 homes along Marshall Road and Ceylon Road, and a bonus was that my girlfriend, Dannelia, who attends another church, joined us for the occasion.
On a personal note, what was unusual but nevertheless welcome was that Dannelia did most of the talking, while I dutifully handed her umbrellas to give out. I was more than happy to be the accessory to the spokeswoman, and also more than happy to stay silent when she conversed in her superior Mandarin.
The residents were welcoming and accommodating.
This being my first Neighbourhood Blessing, I was surprised when residents were generally open to hearing us out. In the 23 years I’ve been attending St. Hilda’s, I’ve never once walked around our church to look at the houses, and the people in them.
Giving something to the residents was a pleasant experience, as you feel you get to know someone new every house you visit. We even encountered someone who was busy inspecting her newly constructed home with (I presume) the contractor who had built it. She and her husband had not moved in yet, but were warm to us when we approached them, and took some time out of the inspection to speak to us.
Such neighbourliness is the pith of Neighbourhood Blessing, and I would gladly do the same again next year.
Of course, the story which has to be shared: a resident even returned the blessing to Allison, one of our church workers. Now, this blessing wasn’t any simple token gesture. What Allison received was a tin of cookies. Not just any tin of cookies, but one from the renowned Jenny Bakery from Hong Kong, with a branch in Singapore where people queue two hours just for those famed Jenny cookies. In Hong Kong, the queue can be as long as four hours!
The tin of cookies was shared among all of us at the debriefing in Bethel Hall (it was a very large tin), and they were buttery, crumbly, memorable morsels of goodness to cap a happy occasion of fellowship and sharing after the Neighbourhood Blessing.
Let us set a wider net next year, a larger area of coverage. To do so, we’ll need more church members to join us for the blessing.
Rest assured, I’ll provide the cookies.
11 October 2015
Last Sunday, on October 11, Bishop John Tan presided over the Confirmation of 18 new believers and church members. Praise our most high Lord!
Saturate our church with the presence of God at a time of worship and prayer on Tuesday, 6 October 8pm in the Joshua Hall
4 September 2015
We had 70 guests who came for the Alpha Introductory Dinner, 20 more than the target which we had set. Glory be to God!
The course is for anyone who is curious about the Christian faith, and is designed to encourage discussions among participants. Registration forms are available at the Info Desk.
10 August 2015
Renovation of the main parts of the church, for this phase, is almost complete. When we return to St Hilda’s Church on Sunday, August 30, to resume services there, we will find a completely refreshed Bethel Hall and Joshua Hall. At the same time, there will be more breathing space for our nursery and kindergarten.
Work on rectifying defects and touching up have commenced. Testing of newly installed equipment has also begun. Additionally, the church is being concurrently cleaned. Thank you for your patience and understanding and for continuing to be a part of the church family.
We praise and thank the Lord for watching over us and over the safe renovation of our Ceylon Road premises. All glory to Him alone.
This phase of renovation has focussed on refreshing Bethel Hall, Joshua Room and the kindergarten and nursery. The next phase, on a much smaller scale, is planned for November and December. It will refresh the area where our admin offices are presently.
As services draw to a close at St Hilda’s Primary School, the Marshalls would like to thank you for your patience, understanding and co-operation.
The bigger space at the primary school has made parking easier, but your thoughtful attitude has made marshalling a breeze.
Two Sundays from today, on 30 August, we will happily be back at our Ceylon Road premises – with its more limited parking lots.
To help your Marshalls serve you better, please remember the following:
Thank you. May the lord bless you and continue keep you safe.
All asbestos ceiling boards, scheduled for removal under Phase 1, have been safely taken down. Tests for asbestos particles have all passed the Ministry of Manpower’s strict standards.
Hence internal works and interior décor works have commenced. Going forward, all M&E testing and testing of new equipment to be installed in Bethel and Joshua Halls will take place between 15 August and 23 August. After this, all renovated areas will be cleaned and tidied up between 24 August and 29 August.
E1, E2 and E3 services will resume in 41 Ceylon Road on Sunday, 30 August, 2015, as planned.
In the meantime, Mandarin and Hokkien services will resume on Sunday, 19 July in the Lower Sanctuary. Car parking will be limited to the open field and only one toilet is available for use. No meals and refreshments will be served as Manna House and Daniel Room will not be ready till early August at the earliest.
We thank God that repairs and renovation works are being completed safely, as scheduled. We thank you for your prayers, patience and understanding.
We will continue to update you as we progress. Please look out for updates in our Sunday Bulletins, Website and Facebook.
And I told them of the hand of my God which had been upon me for good, and also of the words which the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. Nehemiah 2:18
Thank you and God bless.
Pastor Wong Tak Meng
A total of 153 church members came together and listened to the Word at Hotel Istana, KL, last week, from June 17th to the 20th. Having joy in the Lord means not just being in a personal relationship with Him, but also being an indispensable part of God’s people. This was clearly evident in the prayer sessions and in the joy of worship and sharing during the camp.
26 April 2015
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ
It is with a heavy heart that we inform you of the unexpected demise of Rev Albany To, who was the vicar of St Hilda’s Church from 1968 to 1972. He returned to the Lord on Friday, 17 April, in his home in Maryland, USA, after a brief illness.
Rev Albany was a trained engineer who oversaw the extension of the church that now includes Bethel Hall. He was also a talented musician who introduced electric guitars and bongo drums to enliven church worship. The jovial vicar formed the locally famous Hildasingers who went on to perform on national television. The Hildasingers team included Sheila Buckland, Lily Tow and their soundman Leslie Peters.
During the preparation of St Hilda’s 80th Anniversary book last year, Rev Albany was most helpful in providing valuable information on the history and development of the church around his time.
Hongkong-born Rev Albany was Chaplain of St Andrew’s Cathedral from November 1965 before he was posted to St Hilda’s Church in February 1968. He left in January 1972 to start a church in the Chinatown of Los Angeles, USA.
We will always remember Rev Albany To for his contribution to St Hilda’s Church. His love for music and passion for the Lord had greatly refreshed our worship services. We pray that his spirit may rest in peace in the presence of our Lord. Our thoughts and prayers are with his widow, Pat and their family.
St Hilda’s Church is putting together a condolences package of cards and letters to comfort the bereaved family. Members, especially those who know him, may wish to express your thoughts and fond memories on cards that we are providing at the info desk after service today. You may also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or write letters or cards of your own that you can pass to the church office by Thursday 30 April 2015.
19 April 2015
AGMs always seem to mark the beginning of a new year for any church. On 19 April, at St Hilda’s AGM, its annual accounts were explained, the budget for a new year approved, and the church came together to worship the Lord and to commune with Him.
This year’s AGM also saw the appointment and election of a new slate of church leaders – a new Vicar’s Warden (Sam Ratnam, who is also a Synod Representative), a People’s Warden (Chan Mun Seng), a Synod Representative (Colin Chee), eight Lay Representatives (David Tow, Linette Wong, Iris Chua, Quek Seow Chim, John Teo, Yew Bok Chin, Dan Ong, and Ian Poulier. And previously elected Synod Representatives Daniel Koh and David Soh.
Altogether, 164 Electoral roll members participated in the AGM. They comprise 27% of total ER members.
May the Lord imbue our new Parochial Church Council members with His grace and His peace. May they go forward in His armour and with His blessings!
10 April 2015
Easter Service on Sunday, April 5, was memorable.
Natural-born actors from St Hilda’s Church bravely took to the stage. They played out the story of Christ and His resurrection on Bethel Hall’s stage. They were in turns funny, tender, poignant, hilarious, musical and somber. Their performances were inspiring.
Easter is important for Christians. This is because without the Lord’s resurrection, we do not have a leg to stand on.
Christianity is anchored on the belief that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, was buried and rose on the third day, to come again. The resurrection is vindication of Jesus Christ’s divinity. It is proof of His triumph over sin and death.
Praise the Lord!!!
Christ has died.
Christ is risen.
Christ will come again!
Lent 2015 has been a season of mixed emotions. Ash Wednesday this year happened to fall on the traditional Eve of Chinese New Year where families gathered for reunion dinner, the first of many feasts following. Today, we enter into Holy Week sharing the sadness of our nation as our Founding Father Lee Kuan Yew is laid to rest. May we anchor our hopes and aspirations on our Eternal Heavenly Father, even while we share the joys and grief of life on earth.
We will begin our Holy Week services on Tuesday and Wednesday 8pm with Biblical Meditations led by the Rev Drew Schmotzer, an Anglican priest on sabbatical in Singapore. Maundy Thursday Holy Communion with Feet Washing follows, as well as Good Friday Meditations on the Way of the Cross. I encourage all of us to take the extra time to journey more closely with Christ this week. On Easter Day, we hope you and your friends who are not yet believers will be touched by the Special Skit, Music and Message entitled “Finding Jesus” at the 10am service.
Today, we announce the Annual General Meeting (AGM) to be held on 19 April 2015. I will be sharing the plans the Lord has laid on my heart to grow St Hilda’s Church into a vibrant witnessing community to prepare for His return. Please prayerfully consider whom the Lord is calling to serve with me in the Parish Church Council (PCC) to continue growing our Church in the coming year.
I would like to sincerely thank Sister Iris Chua for serving with me as Vicar’s Warden for the last two terms. I have accepted her request to let someone else take her place so that she can devote her energy to other areas of ministry. I am happy to tell you that Brother Samuel Ratnam, after prayer discernment, has agreed to be appointed Vicar’s Warden at the coming AGM.
I believe it would please the Lord greatly for us to announce on 12 April, the Sunday before the AGM, the names of the candidates for PCC elections, so that we can take time to pray for them and for ourselves before the AGM. I would appreciate it greatly if you would kindly submit all Nomination Forms to the Vicar’s Office by Wednesday 8 April so that we can pray over them on Sunday.
On our 81st year, I believe the Lord is calling St Hilda’s Church to attention, to walk the Way of the Cross with Him. As we lift Him up high in our daily lives and witness, Jesus will draw all people to Himself to receive His precious gift of salvation, to experience the miracle of His resurrection in our own lives.
To God be the glory!
Pastor Tak Meng
29 March 2015
8pm at the Sanctuary
Holy Week Meditation 1
Speaker: Rev Drew Schmotzer
Rev. Drew was ordained a deacon in 2007 and a priest in 2008. He received his Masters of Divinity from Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry, USA in 2008 and is currently working on a Masters in Early African Christianity. Besides serving in various church positions in Ohio and Pittsburgh, he has taught at the Alexandria School of Theology. Last year he was appointed the Priest-in-Charge of the English Speaking Congregations at All Saints Cathedral, Cairo. He is also Chaplain to Archbishop Mouneer Anis, who is the Diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa, and the Primate of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East
8pm at the Sanctuary
Holy Week Meditation 2
Speaker: Rev Drew Schmotzer
8pm at Bethel Hall
Holy Communion and foot washing service
12-3pm at Bethel Hall
8am at the Sanctuary
10am at Bethel Hall
The 10am is an evangelistic service with a special presentation on the story of Easter. Please bring your family members and friends who are pre-believers.
In a twinkling of the eye, St Hilda’s Church has emerged from the exhilarating year-long celebration of our 80th Anniversary in 2014. As we begin the New Year, my thoughts are drawn once again to the amazing story of the two Olive Trees planted at the entrance of our church on 15 Feb 2014 during the Service of Institution and Induction of the Vicar.
You may recall that these trees, belonging to our gardener, were left overs from his other projects. They were taking up space in our garden nursery, seemingly without purpose. By God’s grace, they have found their purpose, as a fitting reminder of God’s faithfulness.
I would like to share with you three lessons I have received while reflecting on Zechariah 4:1-14, the passage that I would like to entitle “Zechariah’s Vision of the Two Olive Trees and the Golden Lampstand”.
The first lesson is the Importance of Unity. The two olive trees in the vision symbolize Joshua the high priest and Zerubabbel the governor – the ordained and the lay leaders we might say – who stand before the Lord (v.14), anointed to restore Israel after the exile. This is a lesson that the pastors and the leaders of St Hilda’s Church must always stand together before God so that his life can abundantly fuel the lamps of our ministries. Psalm 133 extols “how good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity”; like fragrant oil and refreshing dew, “the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.”
The second lesson is the Calling to Evangelism. The golden olive oil flowing from the olive trees into the golden bowl was not meant to garnish a salad; it was to give light through the seven lamps along the edge of the bowl. As the people of God, we are that lampstand. We are meant to illuminate the space wherever we are placed. Our light is reflected off the inside of the golden bowl and projected beyond the edge of darkness. In the coming years, through performances, Alpha Course, home visits, coffee sessions, mango parties, etc., may we be the light to bring people into the light of Christ.
The third lesson is the Dependence upon the Holy Spirit. The message to Zechariah is clear: the challenge is great, but the beginning is small and the people are weak; how can the vision be accomplished? “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit”, says the LORD of hosts. He is “the LORD who commands mighty forces for His sovereign purposes”. He is “the Lord, the giver of life” (Nicene Creed), who will never leave us nor forsake us. Trusting in His protection, provision and powerful movement, we will see miracles to His praise and glory.
So, each time we enter the gates of our church, let us be reminded by the two Olive Trees – to be united in bringing the light to the world by the power of the Holy Spirit.
All glory be to God.
Pastor Tak Meng
4 January 2015, Second Sunday of Christmas
(A simple plaque has been installed on 1 Jan 2015 between the two Olive Trees on behalf of the whole church, by the leadership representing the English, Mandarin and Hokkien congregations, both young and old. The inscription is shown overleaf for your information.)
2 January 2015
On the morning of Thursday 1January 2015, the first day of the new year, Ven Wong Tak Meng, Ps David Lee and lay leaders (and their spouses) of St Hilda’s English, Mandarin and Hokkien congregations prayed for the unity of the clergy and laity of the Church, for it to be centred on the Holy Spirit, and to move forward in the spirit of evangelism. Under the blessing of an overcast sky, that threatened to open in rain earlier, members lit seven lamps of the menorah, praying (excerpts):
Leader: How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity.
All: It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes….
Leader: Arise, shine, for your light has come,
All: and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
Leader: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;
All: and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Zechariah 4:1-10 was read.
2 January 2015
27 December 2014
This Christmas was special. It was a homecoming for pre-believers and those St Hildans who left Church for one reason or other and yet who never really left us. Praise the Lord! St Hilda’s car parks in the open field and courtyard were filled to the brim – 57 and 80 respectively. Many more were parked elsewhere. Guests and church members came to honour God and were in high spirits – and how God was honoured! For His unfailing Love, His Faithfulness, and His amazing Grace!
26 November 2014
“Advent” is the beginning of the Church Year during which the church looks back to the first coming of Jesus Christ and looks forward to the second coming! It lasts for 4 Sundays ending on Christmas Eve.
We would like to introduce to you an Advent tradition which represents a spiritual journey as expressed through
• The Advent Wreath
• Candle Lighting; and
• Advent Devotions
1. Advent Wreath :
2. Candle Lighting :
3. Advent Devotion :
6 November 2014
The Video shows members of our Cantonese Comfort Ministry practising a Cantonese song accompanied by the er-hu and banjo. The song is being practised for a Diocesan dialect ministry fellowship on 14 November 2014. “The song is scripture sung to a melody from a traditional Cantonese opera!” said Linette Wong. St Hilda’s Cantonese group is led by Shirley Ho. There is also another dialect group – the Teochew Comfort Ministry, led by Magdalene Tan. Members of the two dialect groups are drawn from both St Hilda’s Chinese and English congregations. They sing in dialect at LoveCOPE’s day care centre, during church visitations as appropriate and at members’ wakes.
22 OCT 2014
Over 150 pages to savour
More than 370 images, many never seen before
Members’ stories and precious family photos
25 cm x 25 cm hardcover book with jacket
In full colour
Printed on high-grade art paper
Pages are thread-sewn to last ….
19 OCT 2014
We will be launching the book during the St Hilda’s 80th Anniversary Lunch on the 15th of November 2014. Watch this space for more details!
8 OCT 2014
From the start of 2013, Kids For Christ began steering towards a discipleship framework that included servanthood as one of its key pillars of Christian growth. With the partnership of LOVECOPE, we started training our young ones for their first mission into the individual homes of the elderly in Kampong Arang estate.
The goal of this long-term mission was for the children to reach out and love, as Christ did, the often forgotten segment of our society. In building bonds with each elderly that they were attached to, we pray that the Gospel of Christ will be received.
Each group of 4 or 5 children with an adult mentor brought gifts, performed worship songs, played traditional and modern games with their ‘adopted’ elderly and prayed for them. The first visit in September 2013 was followed by a Christmas visit in December 2013, a combined Easter Party in April 2014, and the latest home visit in August 2014.
God enabled all of us with skills, creativity, synergy and resources. For example, in some households, language was a barrier as the dialect speaking elderly could hardly be understood by the children. However, parent volunteers came alongside and acted as translators. Despite that, the visits were lively as the children showed their love with their songs, smiles and gentle touches.
Our Lord is opening our eyes and hearts through the outreach. Both the elderly and the children have grown to look forward to subsequent visits. May God’s Word in John 13: 14-15 continue to inspire us – “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
14 Sept 2014
On the 14th September St. Hilda’s Church opened its doors to residents living in and around Joo Chiat presenting them with a plethora of activities to engage and entice visitors.
From water soccer to Laser Tag and balloon houses to shoulder massages, there were activities that catered to the interests of people from all age groups. Not a single person was left out that day, as every man, woman and child was made welcome at the church.
At 9am in the morning, church members were already beginning to show up, well rested and with a glimmer of excitement in their eyes for the day to come. They came ready to pitch in to make Joy Fair as successful as it was.
Some arrived with huge pots and plastic bags full of home-made food like chicken curry and kueh lapis, and others came equipped with almost luminescent orange vests to direct traffic.
It quickly became apparent that this event meant a lot to each and every person there. Just by observing the way everyone was moving about fluidly, you could tell that everyone there had a role to play and they were well aware of what needed to be done. This event had obviously been planned out very well, that combined with everyone’s eagerness to help out made certain that Joy Fair would go off without a hitch.
After about an hour or so, just as Joy Fair was about to officially kick started, tantrums in the weather caused some of the game stations to temporarily close till the rain had stopped. However, this was but a minor inconvenience. By about 11 am, the church was already filling up fast.
People were flocking in and out, buying food, drinks and taking part in the many games. By midday, the Church was at full capacity, with people literally spilling out of every orifice. Every form of food and drink was selling out fast and every game booth had immense queues. Among the crowd stood both familiar and unfamiliar faces, more so of the latter.
Nonetheless, it seemed as though everyone was having a good time. The people involved in getting this event up and running had pulled it off flawlessly in a way that made these newcomers not only feel welcome to the church, but also put them in comfortable enough position that they actually wanted to be a part of all the festivities.
Indeed, the Lord was with us all that day! All glory to Him!
13 Sept 2014
You could see the joy in their eyes; you could hear the joy in their laughter; you could sense the joy in their hearts as they cooked and served; you could reach out and almost touch that palpable joy of a happy family coming together to welcome friends and strangers. Joy Fair Saturday Sept 13 manifested God’s love to its fullest! It was a carnival of food, games and welcome that reached out not only to our neighbours in Katong and Kampung Arang, but also to the goodness in each of us.
31 Aug 2014
St Hilda’s Kindergarten Sunday by Jeremy Sng
St Hilda’s Kindergarten Sunday is an annual affair which I remember since I attended the Kindergarten some 20 years ago. This special Sunday is meant to commemorate God’s blessing over our Kindergarten through the years, and is always a memorable time because the Kindergarten children and their parents -along with their teachers – will attend our service together with the main congregation. The highlight is when children take to the stage to perform, usually a song and dance. I recall rehearsing for this performance a long time ago, and how we always treated this time on stage in front of our parents as something of considerable import – making a mistake in front of so many people was unthinkable.
This year’s St Hilda’s Kindergarten Sunday was no different, and the children cheerfully put up a sterling performance as can be expected. To conclude the special Sunday, the children and teachers of the Kindergarten who were at the service gathered in front of the stage for a blessing and prayer by Vicar Wong.
22 Aug 2014
It was a sight to behold, entering the main hall of St. Hildas’ Church, being greeted by close to 300 members of the church dressed in maroon, overflowing with enthusiasm. The room was literally buzzing, people separated into their cell groups were chatting with the stray church leaders running around, making sure that everything they had planned out falls perfectly into place.
On this sunny Saturday afternoon, we were getting prepared to go forth into the neighborhood and spread the love of Christ to the residents in Katong. As part of our 80th Anniversary Celebration, we wanted to give out a simple gift pack to the residents to appreciate them for being our good neighbors.
After instructions had been given and prayers had been said, we set off. Looking at the flowing maroon figures exiting the hall, it was akin to a swarm of red-ants leaving their nest, spreading through the streets and all throughout the neighborhood. I should probably add that this particular Saturday was unbelievably hot, but the sweltering weather did little to slow down this mass of maroon from weaving their way to their designated areas. Men, women and children alike were marching energetically between houses with not so much as a single frown on their faces, ringing bells and knocking on doors, doing their very best to befriend everyone they met along the way.
While several of the residents were either not at home or far too shy to open their doors for long, there was the occasional chatty neighbor who was more than happy to engage us in a friendly conversation. Within an hour, most of the little red-ants – that is, our maroon-clothed church members – were heading back to the comfort of their air-conditioned church hall having completed their rounds.
What followed was a short debrief session, worship and time for individuals to share their experiences and what they thought of the event. During which meals were served and the overall fellowship further lifted the already lively mood in the room.
“It was a joy and pleasure because we are ambassadors for Christ and we want to share the love of Christ to those around us and I think that’s what we are called to do,” says Allison Chee. Thankfully, this will not be the last event of its kind as the church plans to continue doing more of these neighborhood blessings in the years to come. Through such engagement with the residents in Katong we hope to build up a strong relationship between the church and the community and to bring God’s blessings to Katong.
31 July 2014
Church member Mark Ang has produced a short video of our excellent Malam Ketawa evening earlier this year. If you are interested to own a copy, please place an order with Catherine Teo at 63443463 by 15 August, 2014. Each DVD costs $25. All proceeds will go to the Cambodian Mission. Demand for the DVD has been brisk. Just under 20 orders have already been processed. So hurry whilst stocks last!
13 July 2014
The week of 7 July was a very busy one for our Friends’ staff in Kampong Arang!
They had to prepare a special fund-raising lunch for St Hilda’s Community Services Centre. Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong was our gracious Guest-of-Honour. Mr Goh is also Member of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC.
Invited too were Mountbatten Member of Parliament Lim Biow Chuan and supporters of Lim Ngee Huat, a grassroots leader, who will be running 217 km across California’s desert and mountains to raise funds for Friends!
In the same week, Friends organized an appreciation lunch for over 200 Ang Sahs from St Hilda’s Church Church, including our children from Kids’ For Christ and their parents. The volunteers were treated to worship songs by our Filipino therapists, dance items from members of the Alishan tribe in Taiwan, and table games. The lunch was held at Ban Heng Pavilion Restaurant at
During the week our Church also celebrated with St Hilda’s Primary and Secondary Schools their 80th Anniversary Thanksgiving Dinner. The two schools had earlier this year adopted one of our 80th Anniversary theme songs and performed it during dinner. Bishop Rennis Ponniah, listening to it, also decided to perform it during the Diocesan Day of Prayer later this year ! Praise the Lord! (Watch this week’s video on Run. Produced by Mark Ang and recorded at Bethel Hall!)
10 July 2014
During church services on June 6, our 80th Anniversary Logo was launched in both English and Chinese. The logos will be appropriately used in all collaterals and publications relating to the anniversary programmes this year. The logo is designed by Church member Joe Khoo and his team at Amazine!