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From TMC Jalan Song English Congregation to a Local Conference – Tabuan Trinity Methodist Church (Tabuan TMC)

“Simon, is it not ‘suicide’, to start an English-speaking congregation within a busy Chinese Methodist Church & worse still at an odd hour, 5:00 p.m.?” my good church friend jokingly enquired.

That was how this TMC Jalan Song began in 2016. The inaugural English-speaking worship service used the Sanctuary of the Chinese Chin Daw Methodist church at Jalan Song on 3rd January 2016. Chin Daw church Pastors & LCEC graciously agreed to share their premises and facilities with the group from TMC for our 5:00 p.m. English Worship Service and Sunday School.

From then on the rest is history. The weekly attendances consistently remained at 150-200 and Sunday School children from 20-30 weekly. Various ministries came into being in stages as more people became committed. All glory and praise to our Almighty God.

On 28th November 2017, TMC Jalan Song was formally renamed Tabuan Trinity Methodist Church with 111 members and another 80 worshippers yet to formally become members. A Constituting Church Conference was conducted by Rev. Dr Lau Hui Ming, the District Superintendent of Kuching West District, to formally declare the birth of Tabuan TMC together with the formation of the first LCEC 2018-2019.

This significant milestone comes at the end of a two-year journey of faith, made possible through God’s Grace and provision and the dedication and co-operation of many parties and church members. We encountered various challenges during the journey. Due to a lack of available physical space at Chin Daw church, we had to rent a first floor shop space opposite Chin Daw as our general office, Pastor’s office, fellowship hall & classroom for our ministries & Thursday night Prayer Meeting. Despite the incident of the office being broken into by thieves, we pressed on.

Milestones and Highlights
Nov 2015: TMC Pro-tem Committee Commissioned to start TMC Jalan Song (TMCJS) @ Chin Daw Methodist Church (Chinese).
3 Jan 2016: Inaugural 5pm Sunday English Worship Service
10 Jan 2016: Sunday School started
Feb 2016: Membership & Discipleship team recruited to assist due to increasing size of congregation.
3 April 2016: TMCJS Office commissioned. To accommodate all other ministries’ activities & prayer meeting.
7 April 2016: 1st Thursday Prayer Meeting began (1st and 3rd week every month)
14 August 2016: 1st Baptism & Confirmation (4 adult Baptisms, 8 confirmations & 1 child baptism)
10 Sept 2016: A formal TMCJS Committee was commissioned (Chairpersons for 12 full Ministries + 5 committee members each); Pro-tem Committee decommis- sioned.
26 March 2017: Youth Ministry – Jalan Song Youth launched. Ten Youths registered. Johnnie Ngu & Amelia Ngu appointed as Youth Coordinators.
June 2017: Progression to Full Church by TMCJS Committee
1. June – September 2017: Mem- bership recruitment, Confirmation & Transfer
2. 19 September 2017: Application to TMC Local Conference for TMCJS to become a full church; approval given
3. 14 October, 2017: Approval by District Conference for full Church, with proposed name as Tabuan Trinity Methodist Church to be under West District Kuching for 2 years.
4. End October 2017: SCAC Exec-utive Board approved the above.
5. 22nd November 2017: Approval granted at 42nd SCAC.
6. 28 November 2017: Constituting Church Conference & Local Conference – First TTMC LCEC (2018-2019) was formed
7. 3 Dec 2017: Worship Service at TMC, Ellis Rd, celebrating & commissioning the membership transfer for a new congregation (Tabuan TMC).
8. Rev. Poh C S became our first Pastor in Charge of TTMC

Our new Premises/ Our new Church / TTMC at Tabuan Laru
Due to the need for more space for ministries and expansion of future church services, TMC confirmed and approved the purchase of 2 double-storey shop lots at Tabuan Laru. Renovation work is expected to begin in April 2018 and venue ready for our first Worship Service by August. Even so, are still short of funds for the purchase & renovation.

With God’s help and the support of the congregation, we pray that the various LCEC committees led by Rev. Poh Chin Sing, the first pastor of Tabuan TMC, will be the salt and light in the Tabuan Community. The very reason why we changed the name from TMC Jalan Song to Tabuan TMC is to remind us that we are reaching out and serving the people, including the students from nearby schools, international school, technical colleges and student campus in Tabuan (There are at least 8 Tabuan residential areas with schools and technical schools. Jalan Song is a small part of Tabuan Heights.).

This new local English-speaking Methodist Church is planted here with a mission in this large harvest field of the Tabuan area. May Tabuan TMC members go forth “to be and to make disciples of Christ.”

Reflection
1. It is also a time of thanksgiving for TMC as it is their long-term vision to plant more English- speaking Churches (apart from numerous BM-speaking congregations) in anticipation of an English District Conference later when the timing is right.

2. It is also a time for English and Chinese-speaking congregations to work together for Kingdom growth. It is a good testimony when churches with people from different cultures are able to move together and pool their resources to glorify His name.

3. Meanwhile, Tabuan TMC will continue its 5:00 p.m. English Worship service & Sunday School, as our extension of English worship service at Chin Daw Methodist Church. TTMC will continue the blessing of close cooperation in Kingdom work between English & Chinese-speaking Methodist churches here. We share the use of some common facilities to save costs and still are able to achieve the goal of reaching out and extending God’s Kingdom.

To God Be All the Glory.

Simon WCK & Betty WYN
Trinity Methodist Church, Kuching
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