AT THE ASCENSION!
Last Sunday I had the opportunity to celebrate the eucharist and preach at the Church Of The Ascension.
The first service was traditional and based on the Alternative Service Book which appeared in the 80's. This prayer book formed the basis for the South East Asian prayer book. Most of the folk were senior members of the church. I'm getting into the swing of preaching in English. In Bolivia I'm more animated and inductive in my sermons. In Singapore I'm sober and sound more cognitive.
The highlight was to sing the eucharistic prayers with responses from the congregation. I can't remember the last time I did this. I was a little nervous at first but the congregation was used to the chants. It was a satisfying experience.
The second service was contemporary. The worship leader, Dennis was an old friend. There was no Eucharist and so I had more time to preach. We had a short time of ministry during the service. Young people, mainly youth formed the bulk of the congregation. This is a blessing because newer churches tend to draw the youth. The more established historic churches, like the Church of the Ascension are therefore challenged to provide exciting programmes for the young.
We've managed to keep our young people because of the network of relationships, a youth leader replied when I asked him for the reasons as to the relatively large contingent of young people in the second service.
After the service, I had lunch with some of the members of the Church at a Food Court. I tried the Korean food and my new found friends, David and Phillip went for the local fare. Our conversation covered a wide range of subjects from men's ministry to some of the trends in the Singapore church.