43rd SCAC: Highlights

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Meet the New Lay
Leaders SCAC
Lay Leader SCAC: Dr Wong Sung Ging (Emmanuel MC, Bintulu), 1st Associate Lay Leader SCAC: Hii Ru Wei (Chin Daw MC, Kuching), 2nd Associate Lay Leader SCAC: Wong Hie Ching (Masland MC, Sibu South) & 3rd Associate Lay Leader SCAC: Dr Simon Wong Ching King (Tabuan Trinity MC, Kuching).

Two New District
Superintendents
Two District Superintendents stepped down after serving for six full years, namely Rev Chieng Leh Hii (Sibu West) and Rev Tiong Chung Tiing (Sibu North). Starting from 2019, the District Superintendents of Sibu West and Sibu North fall on the shoulders of Rev Ting Gin Gin and Rev Yii Kah Ching respectively.

City Mall MPC Promoted
City Mall Methodist Preaching Centre (CMMPC) in Kuching West District was upgraded to full church status and was named as City Mall Methodist Church. CMMPC had started its first meeting in April 2014 and has now regular worshippers reaching 61 with 45 confirmed adult memberships. Two shop lots were purchased for use as the church building.

Betong MPC Upgraded
Sing Eng MC from Sri Aman extended their evangelistic work to Betong in 1996. Three years later, they started Sunday Service in a particular family. Now there are 57 confirmed members with 39 of them active. Two Sunday services have been conducted since 2017 with an average attendance of 45-60. Meanwhile, there are about 20-30 children attending Sunday school.

Being approved and blessed to be promoted to full church status, Betong Methodist Preaching Centre will be “Betong Methodist Church” effective January 2019.

Agape Grace MPC
Upgraded
Agape Grace Methodist Preaching Centre Miri has a total of 69 confirmed adult members. The average attendance for Sunday Service and Sunday School are 81 and 25 respectively. The average attendance for Prayer Meeting is 14. The average weekly offering is around RM4,000 (Jan-Sept). Their proposal to be upgraded to full church status was accepted and blessed at the Annual Conference. It is named as Agape Grace Methodist Church (AGMC).

Hong Ang MC & Teo Guan MC Merged
Though historic, the whole structure of the wooden building of Hong Ang MC is in a poor condition and unsafe for church activities. In the preparation process of reconstruction, the plan somehow failed to meet the legal standard for church construction. Due to the urgency to settle on an alternative plan, the District Superintendent Rev Chieng Leh Hii called for the LCEC of Hong Ang MC and Teo Guan MC to consider merging the two.

The LCEC of both churches voted in favour of this motion:
1) The two churches are within 5-7 minutes walking distance.
2) Both congregations number 25 in average, are far from fulfilling the
required number of members.
3) Both churches face shortage of man power.
4) The offerings received are also very limited.
5) The number of youths in Teo Guan MC is dropping; merging will bring
about better bonding and healthier fellowship among the youths.
6) The Sunday school of Teo Guan has been suspended; merging helps to avoid generation gap.
7) The consolidation will not only help overcome the dilemma faced by the two churches, but also further enhance each other with a hope of igniting the fire of revival.

The merging of Hong Ang MC and Teo Guan MC were cheerfully approved at the Annual Conference. After merging, the new name for the new entity is “Teo Guan Hong Ang MC”.

112,791 in the Book of Life
Yet worship attendance of only 40,507

There are currently 112,791 baptized believers in the Book of Life of SCAC. However, according to statistics, only 32,372 of them attended Sunday Worship and there were 8,135 Sunday school goers in July 2018. The total attendance figure of 40,507 represents only 35.91% of total number of the baptized.

The Sunday Worship attendance shows a drop of 1,383 compared to the statistics of the same period last year of 33,755. Meanwhile, the Sunday school students’ attendance also indicates a slight decrease of 174 compared to 8,309 in 2017.

So where are the rest of the members?

One may suggest that short listing the figure of only the month of July out of 12 months may not be an accurate way of looking at it, although it is feasible in Statistics to take any single month’s figure.

One of the reasons for low attendances is that some parents pay more attention to their children’s education. They prefer to send their children to tuition schools on Sunday rather than the Sunday worship service or Sunday school.

Another possible reason is that some members may have moved out of Sarawak, but they retain their membership with the church hence causing the gap in figures.

To date SCAC has 105 churches (including 6 English-speaking churches and 1 BM church) and 27 preaching centres (including 3 English preaching centres and 2 BM preaching centres). Among them, there are 123 Chinese worship congregations, 11 English worship congregations and 27 BM worship congregations.

Currently SCAC has 174 pastors, 1 President, 16 attachment pastors and 15 retired pastors. There are 38 overseas missionaries and 4 local missionaries.

What is I-STMS?
Today certain sectors of people are working among the indigenous people in the interior trying to convert them to another religion. Do you see the crisis among the indigenous people?

The purposes of setting up I-STMS are:
1. To get in contact with the indigenous people of Sarawak;
2. To strengthen their faith;
3. To equip them in facing the challenges of conversion;
4. To encourage them to go into full time ministry.

Through I-STMS, we will:
1. Train, equip, and mobilize these graduates into disciple making
among the indigenous people.
2. Guide them through 10 weeks of classroom instruction and 3 or 6
months of longhouse or church work.
3. Communal life (students need to stay in the seminary and to attend the morning and evening prayer meetings).

Who are eligible to apply for I-STMS?
1. Those who have the assurance of salvation, baptized church members (priority given to those who serve in the church).
2. SPM graduates with at least 4 credits or higher.
3. Age 25 years and above (SPM or STPM), healthy and no mental
health problems.
4. Have a loving soul, hardworking, independent and teachable.
5. Formal support from the church pastor.

Have you ever thought of dedicating at least one year of your life for that? For details, please contact Rev. Wong Kee Sing 019-839-5060.

Launching of the handbook “The churches under Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference of Methodist Church”

On the afternoon of November 28, 2018, the Board of Archives & History launched the handbook “The churches under Sarawak Chinese Annual Conference of Methodist Church”. President Rev. Tie officiated the launching ceremony.

Wong Kwong Toh, a church member, sponsored the publication and Steven Ling, a member of Board of Archives & History, helped in compilation and editing the handbook.

The handbook is a collection of the brief history and current information of the various churches under SCAC. It took 3 years to compile the handbook. It is in Chinese with English translation and can serve as a bridge to connect to the public.

This handbook will be distributed to all pastors and churches. Interested parties can buy it from the office of Chinese Methodist Message or the Methodist Book Room at the price of RM 30.00 per copy.

Compiled by April 
Translated by KT Chew
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