Thanksgiving Sunday Services 2014
As 2014, themed the year of greater glory for our church, came to a close, our church came together to give thanks to the Lord for all that He has done for us and through us.
Our Thanksgiving Sunday services on 28 December 2014 opened with an item featuring a beautiful medley of songs. Familiar favourites such as Great Is Thy Faithfulness and How Great Is Our God reminded our congregation that God is forever faithful and sovereign in their lives. This led to an uplifting time of praise and worship in God’s presence.
A video review followed after the Holy Communion, bringing a flood of fond memories as we remembered how God has blessed us throughout the year.
Among the highlights was the memorable dance by our Visual Arts dancers who took to LED light suits on Vision Sunday 2014, the powerful Resurrection Sunday animation of Jesus’ finished work on the cross, our Youth Day and National Day celebrations, the special Trinity Broadcasting Network recording service, and our very first Gift Of Love 2014 project where our members went in droves to buy and deliver essential items to the less privileged families. And who could forget the hilarious performances put up by our pastors for Senior Pastor Joseph Prince’s birthday!
One event stood out among the many great things God has done for the church. It was the word He gave to Pastor Prince on the first Sunday of the year when he declared that 2014 would to be a year of gross darkness for the world while the church would shine forth the glory of God in greater measure. (Isaiah 60:1-5)
As Pastor Prince took to the pulpit, he imparted a fresh revelation on these very verses, teaching that God’s radiance would be reflected on His people when they look to Jesus as their salvation.
After the sermon, as is an annual tradition for our church, Pastor Prince led the congregation in presenting their three prayer requests to the Lord. The service then ended with the congregation looking forward to the following week expecting a fresh direction from the Lord for 2015.
Christmas Celebrations 2014 — The Coming King
For thousands of years, the prophets spoke of His birth. In the little town of Bethlehem, the world would receive her much-anticipated King — Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.
On Sunday, 21 December 2014, our Christmas celebrations themed The Coming King opened with the classic hymn Tell Me The Story Of Jesus and ballerinas dancing gracefully against a backdrop of falling snow flakes. The congregation was then brought back in time to old Jerusalem where the wise men of the East, on a search for baby Jesus, encountered King Herod, who ordered a massacre of all baby boys under the age of two. Heart-wrenching scenes of mothers crying over their lost children brought the tragedy home, while a duet of a desolate mother and a young maiden happy and safe in our Lord Jesus pointed poignantly to God's loss of His only Son to bring us — His beloveds — faith hope and love.
So just as Jesus' birth was in a time of great oppression under King Herod's tyranny, we know that amid the world's chaos, we can lift up our heads and anticipate Jesus' return as The Coming King.
The musical ended on a uplifting note with the song Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, our King, the One who will bring us victory through the perilous times in the world today, through the end-time Bible prophecies unfolding before our very eyes.
Inspired and moved, worshippers jumped to their feet and broke into exuberant song, praising Jesus and celebrating Christmas with well-loved carols. This was followed by a time of Holy Communion and a special item by a group of singers and cute young kids ringing bells.
When Senior Pastor Joseph Prince came on stage, he continued worshipping Jesus. The sweet presence of the Lord was strong and many were raised their hands to testify that they were healed or touched where they stood.
Through his message, Pastor Prince reminded the congregation to hold dear to the truth of John 3:16. He also reminded them of God’s immeasurable love, such that He willingly gave up His Son, Jesus Christ — God’s best gift to mankind, and the only gift that keeps on giving.
“I have been following the church’s Facebook page and have seen glimpses of the rehearsal. I am so blessed to see the complete performance today and to hear the word shared by Pastor Prince. God’s love is truly beautiful and nothing can separate me from Him!” shared 41-year-old church member June Boey.
This celebrative mood could also be felt outside our theatre and meeting halls. The church's leaders, ushers and ambassadors welcomed congregation members to church with Christmas greetings, warm handshakes and candy cane treats. And over at Marina Bay Sands ballrooms, choir members decked out in bright red checked shirts spread festive cheer to our congregation with lively Christmas carols before and after the services. Our Chinese Ministry and Rock Kidz (children’s ministry) also had their share of fun — singing and dancing in the house of God. What a joyous way to celebrate the birth of Jesus!
The Benjamin Generation Celebrates!
On Sunday, 6 July 2014, our church marked Youth Day with a service that featured many talents from The Zone, our youth ministry.
As members stepped into The Star Performing Arts Centre and Marina Bay Sands Ballrooms, they were greeted with rousing welcomes and even songs by youths holding placards. During the services, the youths helmed the kick-off announcement, praise and worship, and the special item which featured youths rapping, beat boxing, skateboarding, doing yo-yo stunts, dancing and singing.
The youths injected much vibrancy and vigour into the services with their talents and heart to serve. Their enthusiasm and energy rubbed off on the other members in the congregation, who were encouraged to believe that the Lord renews their youth and that they are part of the Benjamin Generation favoured by the Lord.
Even the Communion elements used on that day were aptly labelled with a sticker, Jesus Renews My Youth!
Who could forget the humorous video of Pastor Lawrence Lim and Pastor Gabriel Tan at the beach “taking the day off” from their Sunday duties because the youths were in charge that week? Or the bright neon graphics and lyrics that flashed across the LED screens during praise and worship?
A particularly moving moment was when the video testimony of Evita Widjaya, a youth from The Zone, was played. She shared about her miraculous healing from cancer — truly God wants His children to live in divine health.
Citing Bible examples of Joseph and Esther who gained favour in spite of their tough circumstances, the sermon by Senior Pastor Joseph Prince reiterated that God wants us to reign in every area of our lives through His grace and His gift of righteousness. (Romans 5:17)
And after the 4th service, many adults and youths stayed on to dance and sing for joy before the Lord during a time of extended praise and worship.
What a joyful and exuberant round-up to a glorious day!
Honouring Our Fathers
As a church, we celebrated our daddies on Sunday, 15 June 2014, which was also Father’s Day in Singapore.
The creative media team presented a heart-tugging item from the perspective of a wayward child, with strong, emotional lyrics that reflected a father’s immense heart of love for his offspring. The item closed with a recitation from 1 John 3:1 — “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God!” — driving home the assurance that our heavenly Father holds us in His strong hands, no matter what comes our way.
At the end of the service, Pastor Prince prayed blessings of long life, divine health, strength, rest, rejuvenation and provision over the fathers. He also declared that as they experience God’s love, they shall be free from fears and become His beacons of light.
The church also showed its appreciation for each father present through the gift of a mobile Bluetooth speaker, a useful gadget which they could use to listen to sermons or their favourite praise and worship songs.
Similar celebrations also took place at our Hokkien and Mandarin services that day.
Blessed Birthday Pastor Prince!
On Sunday, 11 May 2014, the church put together a special programme to celebrate Pastor Prince’s birthday in advance and to appreciate and honour him for faithfully preaching the unadulterated gospel of grace.
Praise and worship kicked off with a special video montage on the revelation of God’s grace in the body of Christ from generation to generation, and how it is still impacting His people today.
Amutha T. is one of the many whose life has been transformed by the gospel of grace. “I thank God for Pastor Prince. His ministry has blessed me tremendously. I used to be depressed and have thoughts of suicide. But today, I want to live for Jesus and I know He has the best in store for me!”
One of the programme highlights was the skit put up by our pastors, and Visual Arts and Worship servers. This in-house production was based on memorable incidents that Pastor Prince had encountered and shared over the pulpit, starting from the time when he was a young man loving the Word, to finally leaving his comfort zone to embark on his God-given calling to the growth of the church and the spread of the gospel of grace. These events showed how wave upon wave of God's grace was showered on our beloved senior pastor and the church.
This was followed by a song item and photo collage of Pastor Prince’s ministry and life over the years. The song’s meaningful lyrics brought into perspective how Jesus is more important than anything in the world today and how He is the focus of the ministry.
The celebration climaxed with a birthday song from the church, leaders and pastors after Pastor Prince’s wife Wendy and their two children, Jessica and Justin, joined him on stage. He also saw the congregation at Marina Bay Sands and Shine Auditorium waving their hands enthusiastically to express their love and appreciation via live camera feeds during the second service.
Pastor Prince gave thanks to the Lord for all that He has done in his life, and expressed his heartfelt appreciation to the congregation for their prayers and support down through the years.