Give thanks for the combined FES-GCF Staff Conference which took place on 5 and 6 May. While we initially had hoped it was an opportunity for the entire staff team to meet together after a whole year apart, we...

This month, as part of the leadership transitions for many of our Christian Fellowships (CFs), we asked some incoming and outgoing student leaders to share their thoughts on taking up leadership positions. Here are four student leaders and a brief...

FES and GCF had a combined Staff Conference on 5 and 6 May at The Rice in Orchard Central. There was almost a sense of déjà vu as COVID restrictions kept increasing that week leading to the start of Phase 2 all over again. This meant that we had to keep modifying the programme and logistics of the conference to keep in line with the daily change of restrictions. Most crucially, it also meant that we could not have all our staff meet together as a whole group and had to settle for a hybrid conference instead. In any case, the staff managed to accomplish the most important objective for this conference – that is to be familiar with the new plans and priorities as laid out in Fellowship 2030. In Fellowship 2030, we have three immediate priorities for the next three years: Digital Ministry, Wellbeing Ministry, and Graduates Ministry. I will find a better way to share more about these priorities and their implications for our fellowship soon, but allow me to at least begin by reflecting on the most urgent and important one for this year: Digital Ministry.

The priority of Digital Ministry is not simply about digitising our resources or making FES go online. More crucially, digital ministry involves understanding the impact that rapid digitalisation has made upon everyone who has now entered the digital space, forced or unforced. It involves recognising, adapting, and expanding our ministry and pedagogical approaches to embrace both the physical, digital, and even hybrid spaces.

One critical aspect of this priority is to acknowledge and explore how relationships take place now in the digital age. Stephen and Mary Lowe write In Ecologies of Faith in a Digital Age (IVP, 2018), that “social networks and relationships developed with others lend itself to whole-person development.” Specifically, we are called to pay more attention to the social networks and relationships that social media technology has allowed us to facilitate rather than the technology itself. It is a shift away from discussing the limitations of social media to exploring its capacity to enable and enlarge the social networks and relationships of the digitally connected. More importantly, Lowe and Lowe focus on three things that make for a strong social network:

    1. Interconnection: a network of people with a diversity of interests, backgrounds, and experiences.
    2. Interactivity: a network where there is reciprocity in the relationships, giving rise to an affirmation of relational activity.
    3. Mutual influence: a network where there is a chance for people to mutually affect and transform one another.

In this sense, part of what it means for FES to develop its Digital Ministry is to consider how our students and leaders build their social networks and relationships in this digital age, online and offline. Is there a healthy diversity in their network? Are they receiving reciprocity and affirmation in their relationships? Does their network allow for mutual influence? These are the relational questions to now consider as we have seen students spend the past year making friends primarily through the digital medium and being comfortable with it.

Digitialisation has affected lifestyle, work, and ministries for a long time. However, what is unique about this COVID situation is the speed at which many of us have been forced to adopt it and to adapt to it whether we like it or not. It is this rapid digitalisation within a year that has propelled us to look into what it means to do Digital Ministry and to consider its implications for the present and the future.

How has this period of rapid digitalisation affected you? I would like to leverage this diverse and interconnected social network of FES to learn more about its impact on you and be enriched by this community. Please share your experiences, comments, and insights with me at jeremiah@fellowship.sg. Please also continue to pray with us as we go through yet another round of campus and meeting restrictions in this critical period where many CFs have just changed their leadership and trying to prepare for the new academic year ahead.

Blessings,

Jeremiah Goh General Secretary

 

2020年对学生自主的校园基督徒学生福音团契肯定不是容易的一年。但,若是不以成效或人数来估量,这刚过去的一年对这批学生来说却是一个超然的经历。 曾经一度,校园团契的干事无法踏进校园见到学生,虽说是可以在zoom聚会,但真正在疫情中站稳,坚韧不摇动的是这群大专学生! 线上空间的同行 在疫情里没有线上的空间是不可能的。在大家疫情当中疫起同行的当儿不单是技术上的考量,而是团契生活的深化。以往大家能够面对面团契,却在诸般限制的时候谈团契肯定不是空中楼阁。而是把基督耶稣的话活在当下的处境;面对还未信主的朋友,已经被zoom疲劳轰炸,累得半死的,我们陪着他们多走一公里!在主内的肢体,我们更以线上灵修和祷告会彼此扶持,反而不觉疲累! 这些实际的线上聚会在整整的一年使到大家的谨慎与战兢中稳步向前,也使校园团契生活在主爱中,不是在数据中,担心聚会的人数,归属感或参与感。因为爱的创意已经超越了这一切。2020年初联合理工校园的联谊营筹委还在寻找营会地点,最终转去线上虽有失望,但下一刻大家见证的是创意爆发,整个虚拟(virtual)营会一点都不虚,盛载着满满的爱(见图),继续到10月的联合理工研经营. 心灵空间的同行 只是把实体聚会虚拟化满足不了弟兄姐妹的心灵,在聚会中参入团契的真义,圣经的真理把大家的心灵交织在一起。原以为是在校园相遇,却是预备一群同奔天路的客旅。联合理工研经营的时候,这张图片表达学生愿意在不舒适的环境中领受神的话,学习体验神的话语给我们今天的应用。可能《活灵活现》正好用来形容这些莘莘学子的心态。 其实来到10月底的华文组50周年大家庭聚会,最大的失落就是整个大家庭居然要上线!这样的事放在2019年构思时来说,简直可以说是:匪夷所思!但大家庭聚会却明明在这种光景中聚会了3个小时。大家庭的程度居然横跨了整个地球;来自各角落的华文组校友都一起在线上了!我们一起见证了大家庭聚会在天父上帝长阔高深的爱中居然可以如此之大!这次的大家庭聚会主题为:傳,以这样的方式,启示我们FES华文组大家庭,这一傳何止千里,可达万里...

NUS VCF: Christianity Awareness Week From 29 March to 1 April, NUS Varsity Christian Fellowship (VCF) held an art exhibition to communicate the message of joy, hope, and the good news in NUS. The organising committee wanted to bless the school...


MELT 2021: Continuing Under COVID

From 9 January to 17 March 2021, the combined polytechnic Missions Exposure Leadership Training (MELT) worked yet again under the heavy influence of COVID-19. Typically MELT involves an overseas trip to a partnering student movement so that our young poly leaders get hands-on interaction with locals and mission work. We heavily modified MELT in 2020 as it was affected by the closing of national borders. We modified MELT again this year as even having overnight camps for our youths below 18 years proved challenging. Yet, leadership training still went on. Here is Josephine Surya, a Year 1 Biomedical Science student from Singapore Polytechnic, reflecting on her MELT experience:

“I decided to join MELT without much hesitation as I had felt God open the door for ministry to me through this programme. And rightfully so, I was able to grow spiritually and develop my leadership skills in student ministry. Since it was my first time participating in such a programme, I was initially nervous – worried that I lacked many qualities and attributes. But I was reminded that God looks at the heart over one’s capabilities and strengths. I also felt grateful that God has provided me with an excellent team of brothers and sisters in Christ who are my age and share a profound passion for serving God’s kingdom. Although we came from various denominations and backgrounds, we were still able to work in tandem with one another, allowing me to expand my worldview on Christianity. Through MELT, I learnt what it means to truly trust God and not lean on my own understanding. I learnt to tread on God’s path with humility and servanthood in uplifting His kingship. The experience was truly a blessing in my life and I constantly thank God for providing me this platform to serve His kingdom.”

在TP校园团契的感想 我之所以写这篇文章,是因为我在淡马锡校园团契这三年所给于我的一切。今天在我即将毕业离开这校园的时候,我很想,把这三年的一些点滴,借我笔写出来。 首先我之所以加入团契,是因为我一位教会朋友鼓励我和介绍了它。我对这个机会很开放,因为我愿意让上帝带领我成为祂的门徒。 直到今天,我仍然清晰地记得我参加第一次聚会时的情景:那天,每个人都热情的欢迎我。当时,我是唯一的新成员。我很喜欢那次的聚会,那天我们就休闲的谈谈分享,很高兴这样开始认识了每一个人。 多年来,淡马锡校园团契的温暖和关怀一直没有改变。每个人之间的联系是独特并且宝贵的。我们会在团契聚会、会议之外也一起吃饭,更加深对彼此的认识。 淡马锡校园团契是一个我可以自我成长并在上帝里成长的地方。它向我展示了团契的概念,以及即使毕业后也能继续的团契。我不仅从他人的分享和服事中受益,而且通过有机会领导团契而得到成长。 我希望在未来的几年中,淡马锡校园团契仍能延续讲更多生命的故事。   罗琦英 淡马锡理工学前教育研究系 应毕生 ...

MELT 2021: Continuing Under COVID From 9 January to 17 March 2021, the combined polytechnic Missions Exposure Leadership Training (MELT) worked yet again under the heavy influence of COVID-19. Typically MELT involves an overseas trip to a partnering student movement so...

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