Friday, June 15, 2007

welcomes! =) and SCF stuff...

ah, i forgot to do the 'welcoming all the new readers' thing in the last post! sorry. =P

so anyway, better late than never. a big fat WELCOME to lingfong, lisa, joshua, nienie, emmy, chara, and juvin!!! =)

i'll be going off soon to visit Sri Cahaya's School Christian Fellowship (SCF). not speaking, just visiting. i used to speak about once a month here, but since one of the committee member's church has stepped in to help, they haven't invited me back. so yesterday, i invited myself.

it's great that churches want to get involved in this schools's work ministry. i mean, definitely SU doesn't have enough workers to adequately support every SCF. so the more help there is, the better. but there are some concerns, because SCF is an interdenominational ministry, and when churches come in to help, they inevitably bring their own denominational bias and doctrine with them. this is something to be watchful for.

of course, you could say that we SU workers also each come from a church and each have our own denominational bias. but at least we are conscious of the inter-d nature of schools' work, and will take extra care to make sure that christians of all creeds and colours will not be offended or confused by what goes on in the SCF. church workers may not have that paradigm.

note: this is not meant to disparage the church or church workers who're helping out in Sri Garden or any other school. it is just an observation of a possible pitfall in school's work ministry.

so anyway, i'm going back to Sri Garden today and i hope that the SCF has not become a mini-church or a church YF. this is a struggling SCF, apparently it's been opened and closed a few times in the past years. so do pray that they will grow and gain momentum, that christian students will rise up to be committed to and involved in the SCF, that the school will be blessed with a strong christian presence. and that the precious inter-d balance will be maintained, even though it's now primarily supported by a single church.

got to go liao. tata! =)

p.s. i'm back from the SCF liao. =) it seems to be going alright, except that the students are involved in so many activities that the SCF is often on high (or not there?) on their priority list. please pray for the teachers and church workers invloved in the work also, for energy, love, and wisdom to do it well.

p.p.s i can't go home tonight cos i have to study Pastoral Leadership.
boohoohoo! =(

7 comments:

Nicholas said...

From what i understand of the Sri garden student body.... Best of luck.

Charis said...

This is a constant struggle for our post-grad CF as well - how not to turn into a church youth group. I would be curious to hear your thoughts on how SCF should be different from MYF.

Also, how to address the denominational differences? Do you just sweep them under the carpet? Or do something else?

(Obviously I have some - not very settled - opinions on this but want to see what you think first.)

siehjin said...

Nicholas:

hi, and welcome to my blog! i went to check out yours, and i found the visual DNA thing really cool, so i got one for my blog. thanks! =)

what have u heard about the Sri Garden student body? they seem incredibly busy with all kinds of activities, and from talking to teachers i note that some of them may tend to be rich, spoilt brats, but those i've met don't seem too bad to me. =)

siehjin said...

charis:

aiyo, such deep questions... haha =)

how should a cf be different from an myf? well, it's inter-d whereas myf has a distinctively methodist identity. i'm not really sure exactly how that works out in practical terms tho =P

how to address denominational differences? i think it's best to give balanced teaching about the views of each denomination, stressing on the fact that these are minor disagreements and that we actually agree on the important majority of stuff, and leave it at that. students benefit from knowing that their denominations' way of thinking and doing stuff isn't the only way, and gain a bigger picture of the Church - perhaps a more Kingdom perspective.

i'm shooting from the hip here - i thought for about 5 minutes before typing this =P and i'm aware that there may be problems still. but i tend to think that, problems or no problems, it's better to be open than candid than to sweep things under the carpet and make certain topics taboo.

what are your (probably more developed) thoughts?

Charis said...

jin,

let me put the question another way. if you are a student, why should you join your scf? isn't myf 'enough'? i mean ideally you are being formed in the faith there and being trained to be a responsible and hopefully not very quarrelsome adult member of the church and all that. what is the point of scf? is the only difference location and some watering down of doctrines to a lowest common denominator? (again, obviously i think there is a point...not trying to disparage your work at all - in fact i think it's great that you're with su. just want to see what you think. and i like asking disturbing questions. :-P)

and yes i guess the other part of the question is how do the differences between myf and scf work out in practical terms. (and that is the part i don't have an answer to otherwise i wouldn't be asking these questions. :-P)

charis.

siehjin said...

students should join their school cf 'cos they'll never hv a chance to be in school again... they only have 5-7 years of secondary school, and they'll never have the same kind of opportunities for friendship-building and evangelism that they will in these years.

there are thousands of kids in the schools who will never set foot in a church yf. but if the school has a cf, it brings the Kingdom of God that much closer to them (best case scenario...).

so that's the 1st reason for the existence of cfs, and for christian students to be involved in them. the school is a vast mission field, which church youth groups and pastors can't or won't minister in. the cf is a christian community right there, in the midst of the people who most need to see it close-up.

and the second has to do with the inter-d nature of the cf. it is good for christian youth (as i mentioned before) to see beyond their little corner of christendom. i think it makes for more mature, balanced, open-minded christians who know that Jesus' command to love one another wasn't limited to methodists (or baptists, or lutherans, or whatever) only.

what about those thoughts of yours? still holding your cards close to your chest, i see. =)

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