Category : Singapore

(CT) 7 Lessons from Singapore’s Churches for When the Coronavirus Reaches Yours

The COVID-19 virus has spread from Asia to Europe and North America rapidly over the past week, bringing with it a level of panic and angst—everywhere from the supermarket to the stock market to the local church—not seen in recent times. The global tally is now more than 125,000 infected and more than 4,600 dead.

Churches in Singapore, which Billy Graham affirmed as the “Antioch of Asia,” have already weathered the anxiety now sweeping the world. On February 7, the nation-state’s government raised its national risk assessment level from Yellow to Orange, indicating “moderate disruption” to daily life—and in particular to large gatherings of people.

March 7 marked the one-month anniversary of Singapore—which has seen 166 cases but zero deaths—going Orange. This means that for the past month, local churches—which account for about 1 in 5 Singaporeans—have been forced into an extended period of self-examination, reflection, and action.

The process has not been straightforward, with a senior pastor afflicted with the coronavirus (and subsequently discharged), entire denominations suspending services, church-based preschools closing, and very public online disputes—in a nation that strictly enforces religious harmony—on how the situation is being handled by church leaders.

To help churches in the United States, Italy, Brazil, and other countries now facing decisions that churches in China, Korea, and Singapore have been grappling with for weeks, here are seven lessons the Singaporean church has learned over the past month…

Read it all.

Posted in Health & Medicine, Parish Ministry, Singapore

Bishop Rennis S Ponniah writes his diocese about their Christian Witness amidst the outbreak of the Coronavirus

OUR WITNESS IN A TIME OF ADVERSITY

Together with our nation, we are facing a time of adversity because of the coronavirus. How should Christians respond?

I. Firstly, we are to PROCLAIM CHRIST’S LORDSHIP
1. We are to find strength in God’s word and in the fellowship of God’s people to believe that the Lord our God is on the throne.

2. The good times and the hard times are all in His hands.

3. God is not the source of the coronavirus but He can harness it to serve His saving purposes. God weeps with those who suffer because of the outbreak. But He is also sovereign over the pestilence and He can use it to reveal who He is – that He is a God who protects, heals and delivers. Because God is love.

4. He is our Covenant-keeping God who promises to take His people through every crisis and accomplish His purpose. Our lives are in His hands.

5. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has made Him the Lord of the nations. Jesus Christ is Lord over Singapore. He is Lord over our Deanery countries. We must proclaim it in our prayers and in our times of worshipping together. Christ is sovereign over this outbreak. He is turning the nation God-ward, and He is building the values and social cohesion of the nation.

6. Let us therefore proclaim Christ’s Lordship over our nation and let us trust Him to work out His good and saving purposes.

II. Secondly, we are to PRAY FOR GOD’S MERCY…

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, - Anglican: Primary Source, Health & Medicine, Singapore

(CC) Philip Jenkins–Megachurches in Singapore

Over the past three years, a major church scandal has unfolded in the island state of Singa­pore (literally, the “Lion City”). The target of investigation is the mighty City Harvest mega­church, which claims more than 20,000 adherents. Found­ing pastor Kong Hee has been accused of diverting at least $20 million to support his wife’s pop music career. Several other church leaders have been implicated in alleged cover-ups.

At first sight such a scandal might seem unremarkable. Sadly, clergy on all continents sometimes fail to live up to their principles, and churches often lack accountability.

What is astonishing is the existence of megachurches in Singapore, and their enormous popularity. This fact challenges much of what we commonly think we know about the nature of Chris­tianity outside its traditional Euro-American heartlands. It also raises basic questions about the process of secularization….

Most of the usual explanations for Christian expansion in Asia fall flat in the case of Singapore.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, * Religion News & Commentary, Asia, Evangelicals, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Singapore, Theology, Urban/City Life and Issues

(Reuters) Singapore's megachurches move to export the propserity gospel

“God is here, God is here,” croons Singapore church official Sun Ho as she struts across a neon-lit stage and thousands of people in the congregation pump their hands and sing along.

Kong Hee, the church’s founding pastor and Sun Ho’s husband, then takes the stage. In keeping with the electrifying mood, he invites his followers to speak “in tongues” and a pulsing murmur echoes through the auditorium of 8,000 people.

During the service, ushers hand out envelopes for donations, which consume at least a tenth of the salaries of most church members, going to fund different ministries, mission trips and special events.

Welcome to one of Asia’s most profitable churches: Singapore’s City Harvest.

Read it all.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Singapore, Theology

(AP) Singapore church told to pay over adultery firing

Singapore’s government has ordered a prominent church to pay compensation to a former employee who was fired for alleged adultery, officials said last week.

The Faith Community Baptist Church has reportedly said it will abide by the order and pay the woman about $5,500 in salary and maternity benefits, but it insisted it was correct to dismiss her.

The woman, who handled administrative responsibilities for the church, filed a complaint to Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower after she was fired last September.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Religion & Culture, Singapore, Theology

Rennis Ponniah the new Anglican Bishop of Singapore.

Concurrently the vicar of St John’s-St Margaret’s Church in Dover Avenue, he will succeed Bishop John Chew, who steps down in October after 12 years at the helm.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Anglican Provinces, Asia, Singapore, The Anglican Church in South East Asia

A Reminder of the Full Program Schedule for the Anglican South to South Encounter starting tomorrow

Check it out and you can find many other resources at [url=http://anglicanprayer.wordpress.com/2010/04/14/roundup-of-south-to-south-resources/]Lent & Beyond[/url].

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * International News & Commentary, Asia, Global South Churches & Primates, Global South to South Encounter 4 in Singapore April 2010, Singapore