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Carmel@50: What’s Next?

Carmel@50 is our collective endeavor, with God’s help, to grow our church to the next level, as we head towards our 50th Anniversary in 2017. The following is a recap and a progress report of Carmel@50 thus far:

  • 1 Jan 2014, ACM: Presented to members for first time
  • Jan to Apr 2014: Visited all CGs for dialogue/ feedback
  • 25 May 2014: Official endorsement by church at 47th Anniversary Service; members made commitment using pledge cards
  • 19 June 2014: Two key decisions taken at Session meeting: (a) to concentrate on 4 out of the 10 focus-areas for rest of this year; (b) to organizeAction-Group meetings for each of them
  • 8 July 2014: Pastors’ Retreat to brainstorm these 4 areas: (a) better integration of newcomers; (b) enhancing prayer life; (c) pathway of discipleship;
  • 23 & 30 Aug 2014: Members invited for Action-Group Meetings to discuss proposals and contribute new ideas for each of the above key areas
  • Sep 2014: Working on brochure (for these 4 areas) to set out how we intend to move forward/ how members can participate
  • By Nov 2014: Brochure ready for presentation to members. It will spell out the specifics of what you can expect and how you can help in each area, until 2017.

Looking Back at our AG Meetings

We thank the 92 persons who had attended our AG meetings (on 23 and 30 August). Your valued feedback and suggestions had been noted, and we will do our best to incorporate them as much as possible. To give you a flavor of what transpired, let me share highlights from one of the AG meetings that brainstormed on PRAYER.

Elder Peng Kee came into the meeting with the following proposals:

  1. Encourage all worshippers to start by examining their own prayer life. Take time to connect with God in prayer, especially every morning and night
  2. Encourage them to pray with their spouses and families regularly. Some may want to do it daily, others two or three times a week
  3. Tap IT to share prayer requests quickly so that members can intercede for others on an ongoing basis
  4. Feature testimonies of answered prayers in the Weekly and at our services
  5. Re-introduce the quarterly “Prayer and Praise” service every 5th Wed (extended prayer by leaders for members who seek prayers)

At the good discussion that follows, some useful feedback was offered, including:

1. The use of IT (eg, WhatApp) is a great idea. Prayer chat-groups can easily be formed among circles of friends. There can be a cascading effect with vast increase of praying
members over time.
2. Church office can support by pushing out prayer requests before the Wed prayer meeting to those who cannot come, but want to pray where they are.
3. Church website should have a column where members can share answered prayers. Book reviews on prayer to be shared. This will be an encouragement to many.
4. Good to encourage members to come early, be still, and pray. We should encourage members to continue coming forward for prayer after service.
5. We should also come out with some yardsticks to measure the progress of Carmel as a praying church.
6. Seek to impart ADT to members: A – Awareness of need to pray; D – Discipline to start praying; T – Trust as relationship develops between God and members when our
prayer life strengthens.
7. The idea of prayer and fasting during Passion Week is good.
8. Regarding quarterly Prayer & Praise Services, we should consider holding it on other
days besides Wednesday.
9. There should be more teaching including workshops on Prayer.

As you can see from the above, we had a very constructive time during the AG meeting. In the midst of all this we are reminded that it is not about doing things or adding more
programs. Our higher purpose is to cultivate closeness to God and transforming our attitudes towards prayer. Please continue to pray for the core team who are finalizing all the ideas and feedback. When their final version is ready, it will be presented to the church so that you can join us to make Carmel a praying church!

Pastor Daniel Chua.

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