Missions Consultation Roundtable (Nov 2014) in Singapore: We give thanks to God!

posted 30.11.2014

By the grace of God, we have just concluded our Missions Consultation Roundtable, MCR, (11 to 14 November 2014) held in St. Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore. This is the fourth MCR since the first which was held in May 2001. We have carried the same theme of ‘That They May Know and Confess Jesus as Saviour and Lord.‘ This MCR was also a response to the call by the Fourth Anglican South to South Encounter (Singapore, 19 to 23 April 2010) which called for a Decade of Mission and Networking 'in expanding mission sending capacity to enhance networking among Global South Provinces.'

Attendance, Participation and Networking

We thank God for the record attendance of more than 150 participants from Anglican ecclesial structures and missions organisations. Half of the participants were friends from Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Egypt, Myanmar, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, South Korea, United Kingdom and United States. The rest were from the Church of the Province of South East Asia, the Diocese of Singapore, including church and ministry leaders from the six deaneries of Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam.

The Consultation was opened by our Provincial Archbishop Bolly Lapok, and Bishop Rennis Ponniah who shared with the participants on our diocesan commitment to the Great Commission under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ, our Warrior King and Eternal Priest (Psalm 110). Three other Provincial Archbishops also participated at the Roundtable. They were Archbishop Anis Mouneer of Jerusalem and the Middle East, Archbishop Stephen Than Oo of the Province of Myanmar, and Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).

The Roundtable was a time of networking and sharing, anchored firmly on the worship of God with Morning Prayer on the first two mornings of the Consultation, and culminating with Holy Communion on the final morning. We thank God for Dean Samy Shehata of Egypt and Archbishop Foley Beach for bringing us the Word of God for the Morning Prayers, and Archbishop Mouneer for preaching on 'All Over the World the Spirit is Moving' at the closing Holy Communion service.

The Consultation highlighted three important biblical foundations of our missiology - Contextual Evangelism, Incarnational Discipleship and Indigenous Worship. There were also two forums - 'Roles and Challenges of Mission Agencies Today' (facilitated by Stewart Wicker of SAMS, Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders) and 'Mobilising the Church for Mission' (facilitated by Rev Canon Daryl Fenton of ACNA). These two forums helped us to see issues from the perspective of those who have answered our Macedonian call to help proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God in South East Asia. They were most useful.

There were also workshops to acquaint and update the participants on the latest developments in the six deaneries of Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam. ACROSS (Anglican Crisis Relief Outreach & Support, Singapore) also presented a workshop to acquaint participants on our Diocesan response to natural crises and disasters.

This report would be incomplete if I fail to mention the two homilies on the first and final night of the Consultation. On the first night, Bishop Ng Moon Hing of West Malaysia spoke stirringly on 'What Time is It?' - a clear call to the urgency to proclaim the Gospel. On the final night, Archbishop Stephen Than Oo shared on 'Come Holy Spirit, We Need You' - a call for those gathered to serve God in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

Finally, this Consultation was one with adequate time for networking and side meetings - 'official meetings and real meetings!'

There was much buzz over the meals in the dining rooms, and spaces and corners all over the Cathedral, as established friendships were renewed and new friendships forged, all in the bond of the fellowship of Christ, that together we may serve the true and living God, to the glory of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Conclusion: 'Thanks be to God!'

We have been planting churches in the deaneries over the past two decades. In this matter, we have received much solidarity, help and encouragement from the other three dioceses in our Province, as well as like-minded fellow Anglicans from the wider Communion. The present count of 10,000 Anglicans in the deaneries is the result of our combined effort in seed-sowing and watering, led and made fruitful by the Spirit of God. We thank God and praise His glorious name for the duty and the joy of serving His will and purpose. We pray that the Lord Jesus' prophetic words recorded in Matthew 24:14 will be fulfilled in our lifetime. Maranatha!

Finally we thank all participants of this 'That They May Know and Confess Jesus as Saviour and Lord (IV)' Missions Consultation Roundtable. It is your contributions that have made this MCR a success. We also want to thank all who have prayed for us as we met in God's name. 'We thank our God in all our remembrance of you ... because of your partnership in the Gospel.' (Philippians 1:3-5)

The Rt. Revd Kuan Kim Seng
Director of Missions
Diocese of Singapore
17 November 2014