Sermon Series #2 (28 March – 13 June) What We Believe – The Apostles’ Creed

Synopsis:
The Apostles’ Creed is a declaration of faith recognized by all branches of true Christianity. For 2,000 years the Apostles’ Creed has served as a succinct statement of the irreducible minimum of the Christian faith. It is the common heritage of the true Christian church. It offers a broad survey of Christian doctrine that focuses all on God as the object of our faith, and what he has done for believers. In this declaration of beliefs, the God the Christian church believes in is sharply distinguished from all others. The authority of these statements of belief embodied in the Apostles’ Creed lies entirely on the Word, that is the Bible, and not on any personal or private interpretations. It follows then that a person who professes to be a Christian must therefore subscribe or believe in everything stated in this creed, at the very least, as a start of what the Christian must believe. Since what we believe about God guides our behaviour, let us therefore grasp and apply these truths so that we may truly live, with full conviction, as we ought.

DateTopicSpeaker
28 MarchI believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.  Dr Marty Foord (ETCA – Evangelical Theological College of Asia )
4 April (Easter Sunday)  I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,  Elder Ernest Chew
11 Aprilwho was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,  Deacon Jason Sin
18 Aprilsuffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead.  Elder Melville Szto
25 AprilOn the third day he rose again;Elder Jimmy Tan
2 Mayhe ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father,  Kenneth Wong (Bethesda Ang Mo Kio)
9 MayMOTHER’S DAY  (Open Topic)Joseph Chean (Youth With A Mission)
16 May and he will come to judge the living and the dead.  Bishop Emeritus Dr Robert Solomon
30 MayI believe in the Holy Spirit,  Elder Caleb Chua Soon Boon
6 Junethe holy catholic Church, the communion of saints,  Elder Daryl Liu
13 Junethe forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.  Dr Lai Pak Wah (BGST)

Baptism & Membership Class #1/2021 (2, 9, 16 and 23 March) with Baptism on Easter Sunday, 4 April

Baptism is a public proclamation of our faith, that we will follow Jesus as Lord, having believed in Him as the One who died for our sins to be reconciled to God.
Come attend the 4 online baptism classes to prepare yourself & clarify your convictions as we learn more about how to grow & serve together in this BFEC community.
The classes will be conducted on Google Meet, Tue nights 8 – 9.30pm
Membership Transfer: You only need to attend 2 sessions on 16 and 23 March.
Application form for Baptism/Membership Transfer:bfec.sg/baptism or bfec.sg/transfer
Email completed form to seowcheng@bfec.org.sg, and attach with one recent photo by 28 Feb.

Let us pray for our under-shepherds serving in 2021

As we embark on the new year in 2021, let us remember to pray for our under-shepherds (Elders, Deacons, Local Pastoral & Operations Staff, Missionaries, Ministry ICs, Cell Group Leaders, Sunday School Teachers and Helpers, Youth Service leaders) serving in different ministries in BFEC.
May they be “strong and courageous” as they serve in the strength of our Lord.

Thanksgiving / Consecration Sunday 3 Jan 2021

“Conquerors in God’s Wisdom and Courage”

After an arduous 40-years’ journey from Egypt and slavery, Israel had just lost Moses – a great and compassionate leader. Joshua who was commissioned to take over Moses’ mantle had very big shoes to fill. But God charges Joshua obedience to His word and to be strong and courageous to lead Israel to conquer the promised land. The one who promised is faithful and will fulfil His word.

Are there areas of our lives, God wants us to conquer by obedience to His word and being courageous for Him?
Come and hear our Chairman Elder Alex exhorts us as we ponder our church theme for 2021!

Church Theme Verse for 2021:

“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:8-9 (NIV)

2020 Year-End Sermon Series

Eccl 3:1, 2 – “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens…”
For most of 2020, we lived in the shadow of COVID-19. Governments and individuals have both been sorely challenged by the pain of disruption. While some may have flourished in the hiddenness of lockdown, most find themselves pining for things to return to the way they were.
Like it or not, 2020 has also surfaced pastoral issues that can no longer be ignored. For many, these have already become personal: challenges in emotional and mental health, finances, digital addiction, being neighbourly to the dislocated and disadvantaged.
The writer to the Ecclesiastes would be sympathetic. He provokes dialogue and reflection at every turn as he observes the pain and pointlessness of the inequalities or inevitabilities pervading his world. But if asked today, he would probably say even COVID-19 is nothing new “under the sun”. And ultimately, he would firmly point us back to revere God, apart from whom nothing can make sense, let alone be enjoyed.
Taking heed, instead of merely wishing 2020 away, why not set our gaze God-ward and seize the opportunity to form Christ-like convictions for lasting change in our walk and witness?
Drawing inspiration from Ecclesiastes 3, we picked eight of the 14 contrasting dyads to spark reflection, discern the times and so see Christ clearly in our midst and overcome.

DateTopicSpeaker
22 NovA Time To HealDr Tan Soo-Inn (GraceWorks)
29 NovA Time To UprootRev Dr Lewis Wrinkler (EAST)
6 DecA Time To DiePs David Wong (Zion Bishan BP Church)
13 DecA Time To BuildBro Kenneth Wong (Bethesda Ang Mo Kio)
20 DecA Time To MendBro Benny Ho (Faith Community Church in Perth, Australia)
25 Dec (Christmas)A Time  For PeaceDr Freddy Boey (Covenant Evangelical Free Church)
27 DecA Time To LoveDr Tan Lai Yong
31 Dec (Watchnight)A Time To Be SilentBishop Emeritus Dr Robert Solomon

BFEC 2020 Church-wide Series: A New Song

As the global pandemic rages on, many remain fearful and disoriented by the prospect of mounting infections, job losses, social misery and political unrest. We are told these are part of the new normal.

As Christians, how are we coping? What do we trust in and hope for in a time such as this? The book of Psalms teaches God’s people to call and even cry out to Him, for true hope and assurance are found in the Lord alone.

It is thus timely that in this year’s BFEC Churchwide journey, we will explore a selection of psalms that give voice to our hopes and fears, and focus our hearts and minds where they ought – on God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, our only hope in life and death.

So join us on this journey as we pray and sing the Psalms together unto the Lord, for He is good and his steadfast love endures forever! In Christ, indeed, God has given us a new song!

DatePsalm and TitleSpeaker
4 OctPsalm 1 (Wisdom Psalm): No Two Ways About It  Deacon Jason Sin
11 OctPsalm 2 (Royal/Messianic psalm): Exalted One of God  Elder Jimmy Tan
18 OctPsalm 29 (Hymn of Worship): Whom will You Worship?  Elder Jonathan Cho
25 OctPsalm 32 (Penitential Psalm): Seeking the Blessedness of God’s Forgiveness  Elder Melville Szto
1 NovPsalm 85 (Corporate Lament): O Lord, How Long!  Elder Ernest Chew
8 NovPsalm 91 (Wisdom Psalm): Nesting in the Shelter of the Most High  Elder Caleb Chua Soon Boon
15 NovPsalm 103 (Hymn of praise/ thanksgiving): Giving Praise to His Unfailing Steadfast Love  Deacon Vincent Lim

PASTORAL NOTE ON COVID-19 FROM THE CHURCH COUNCIL (UPDATE 20 March 2020)

QUESTION 1: What if I or my family members are issued a Stay Home Notice (SHN), Quarantine Order (QO) or Leave of Absence (LOA)?

Being away from church but still connected

If you have directly received a QO or SHN from MOH ( MOH | News Highlights) OR if you fall under the LOA category of MOE pertaining to returning staff and students, (Press Releases), you must adhere to the relevant measures stipulated.

If you are a family member (not issued with any of these), you are not required to practice LOA. However, you may choose to do so as an additional precaution.

If you were not issued any SHN from the authorities but have recently returned from any country, we ask that you consider a 14-day self-imposed LOA.

When you are not attending church services, we encourage you to join us via live stream: bfec.org.sg/sermons

Who to inform first?

Fang Fang: fangfang.tan@bfec.org.sg / 6449 7047

Shirley: Shirleysoo@bfec.org.sg / 6449 7215

If you have received QO, LOA or SHN from MOH/MOE, please inform your church leaders via sister Tan Fang Fang or Shirley Soo.

Please do this FIRST before even informing any other church or cell member. We understand it can be a confusing experience for you or your family. We will help you navigate by extending guidance and prayer, so as to provide pastoral care and reduce undue alarm in others.

Visit this link for more info: Things to know if you’ve been issued a Stay-Home Notice https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19/faqs

QUESTION 2: Given the call to practice social distancing (as a means to lower risk of transmission within our community), should cell groups continue to meet?

As long as we are not in Dorscon Red, there is no need for non-seniors to avoid meeting in small groups physically. While we have been clearly instructed to practice social distancing, we as a church must not forget our privilege to cultivate spiritual proximity. We must draw near to our Lord and stay abiding in Him. We are also to obey the scriptural injunction not to forsake regular fellowship.

At the present time, we urge cell groups, as far as practicable, not to stop gathering physically so long as adequate measures are put in place (e.g. sit apart, don’t extend meeting time, practice personal hygiene, etc).

Seniors, those unwell, or those on SHN, LOA, QO are encouraged, wherever possible, to be connected virtually to the group or each other (via Zoom, Google meet, Skype).

Cell leaders – Please consult your shepherd if you or your group has any query or concern.

QUESTION 3: With the current and anticipated spike in COVID-19 infection, will our church be making any revisions to the way we gather for worship services?

Government advisory to churches

In a recent meeting with church leaders, the Coordinating Minister advised against the blanket suspension of worship services. Only churches with contact with those infected need to suspend for disinfection. He added that it would serve little purpose in stopping the spread when the rest of society was still open. The main means of transmission is close contact with an infected person (through droplets picked up or via touching of surfaces).

MOH emphasizes the maintaining of safe distances and the limit of 250 per gathering in any social gathering (be it in church, at cell, when speaking with another in person).

Except for families, there must be a space of at least 1m between worshippers. We are also encouraged to reduce singing time (to reduce spreading of droplets) in favour of more public reading of the word.

In view of the above, and despite how other denominations/congregations may presently decide, we will prayerfully continue to participate in worship services in church each week for our usual services.

Option to meet as a cell on Sunday

From Sunday 29 March, while church services will continue, we will offer cells the opportunity to plan to gather in homes and join the church via live stream on Sunday.

Cells on steward-duty will still need to serve at the church service. Other cells that choose this option may choose to do this on every Sunday, on alternate weeks or on certain weeks each month.

To illustrate: If your cell wishes to meet this way, they can join in at 8am or 10am on Sunday, followed by a time of Bible Study discussion. So during this time, if your cell currently meets on a weeknight, you can opt to meet once like this on Sundays instead. Please discuss this with your cell leader. This is a suggestion and not mandatory.

If your cell chooses to gather this way, you will need to arrange for Lord’s Supper implements on your own (bread, juice, cups). For Offering, we encourage those meeting this way to give to the Lord regularly via cheque or the digital means (digital banking or paynow). Details to be provided.

If you would like to take the opportunity to be a part of a cell group now, please contact Shirley Soo (shirleysoo@bfec.org.sg) who will link you up with one of the cells that choose to meet this way.

Note: The Chinese Ministry service and Youth service will continue to gather as they do presently, with various internal safeguards already in place.

QUESTION 4: How about my children in KSS/JSS?

KSS/JSS will continue to meet in classes as they have been doing so. If your cell opts to worship at one of your member’s homes, you need to arrange within your cell for a time of devotion for the children present. To assist you, KSS and JSS will arrange for resources to be made available for your use. Please understand that this will take some time to arrange.

QUESTION 5: What if the situation comes when our church is told not to meet as a big group?

We pray that day does not come as it means we have had encountered an infection. In the event that the need does arise, we will live stream services during those Sundays. Further announcements will be given at such a time.

Church, let us continue to trust our Lord, do our part to practice good hygiene and social distancing while bearing in mind the privilege and need for spiritual proximity.

From the BFEC Church Council