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Con n ec<br />

Issue # 01 | Febr uar y 2019<br />

Ther efor e, if anyone is in Chr ist, he is a new cr eation; the<br />

old has passed away, and see, the new has com e! - 2 Cor 5:17


Contents<br />

2 Edit orial Greet ings<br />

3 From t he Bishop's Desk<br />

6 The Light er Side<br />

7 Our New Bishop<br />

9 Church Praise Minist ry<br />

11 God is Light<br />

13 A New Year. A New You<br />

15 Asians and Aboriginals<br />

.<br />

This picture: Sunrise. Wikimedia Commons.


Gr eetings!<br />

This edition mar ks the bir th of <strong>Connect</strong>. Dur ing the CMCA Annual<br />

Confer ence in November 2018, a gr oup of English-speaking<br />

pastor s w er e asked to facilitate this bir th.<br />

Why another publication? We already have the Methodist New s.<br />

This publication is not to be a r ival to the Methodist News because<br />

it seeks to r each a differ ent tar get r eader ship. With the launch of<br />

the English Ministr y Task For ce fr om the Annual Confer ence, the<br />

Boar d has r ecognized that English-speaking ministr y was<br />

gr ow ing, and that it needed special appr oaches, including a<br />

differ ent new s publication.<br />

<strong>Connect</strong> is, ther efor e, an embodiment of that hope to better<br />

minister to the English-speaking congr egation. The ar ticles in this<br />

publication have been tailor ed to addr ess the needs of the<br />

English-speaking, cr oss-cultur al congr egation of the CMCA. The<br />

publication has been, and w ill continue to be, designed in such a<br />

way that it becomes not only attr active, but also r elatable and<br />

edifying, to this r eader ship.<br />

In some sense, this fir st edition is a tr ial-and-er r or type of w or k.<br />

So, if you have any inputs, feedbacks, or if you have any ideas<br />

r egar ding w hat type of ar ticles you want to r ead (or even w r ite!),<br />

please contact us. You can find our emails on the back cover.<br />

In Chr ist,<br />

Editor in Chief<br />

Publication: Boar d of Liter atur e of the<br />

Chinese Methodist Chur ch of Austr alia<br />

Super visor : Bishop Dr. Alber t Wong<br />

Advisor s: Rev. P. Y. Liik & Rev. P. H. Lam<br />

Chief Editor : Ps. Ricky Njoto<br />

Editor ial Team:<br />

Rev. Peter Yong<br />

Rev. Sean Kong<br />

Ps. Ivan Low<br />

Jun Gan<br />

Lucas Shar ley<br />

Amos Wong


Fr om the Bishop's Desk<br />

Bishop Rev. Dr. Albert Wong<br />

Building a Church Aft er God's Own Heart<br />

Christians today hold different views on the church. Many<br />

Christians like to attend churches that have lots of people,<br />

worshipping in beautiful and grand church buildings<br />

which are fully equipped. Some Christians choose to<br />

attend churches with lots of activities, above par praise<br />

and worship teams, as well as full of warmth and love. As we come<br />

to build the church of God, we cannot just follow human opinions;<br />

we must return to the Bible, to study the teachings of Jesus, the<br />

model of the early church and the teachings of the apostles, in<br />

order to build a church after God?s own heart.<br />

What kind of church is a church after God?s own heart? I want to<br />

share the following five aspects for us to reflect together.<br />

1. A Church That Pursues Unit y in One Spirit<br />

The desire of Jesus is for Christians to pursue unity. According to<br />

John chapter 17, in His final parting prayer, the Lord Jesus pleaded<br />

with the Father specifically for the unity of the disciples and for the<br />

unity of the church through the age: ?And I am no longer in the<br />

world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy<br />

Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that<br />

they may be one, even as we are one. ? I do not ask for these only,


The Lord's Supper is often used to indicate church unity<br />

Gerard de Lairesse, The Institution of the Eucharist, 1664-1665<br />

Wikimedia Commons<br />

but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they do not ask for these only, but also<br />

for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one? .? (John 17:11, 20-21a).<br />

The division in the church will definitely bring shame to the name of the Lord, cause stumble among our<br />

brothers and sisters, and destroy the work of the church. Only a church in unity can prosper the gospel,<br />

develop ministry, and honour the name of the Lord. In Ephesians 4:1-6, Paul reminded believers to<br />

maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. He taught us to do so ?with all humility and<br />

gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in<br />

the bond of peace.? It is my hope that believers of the Methodist Church will do their best to keep the<br />

unity in the Lord.<br />

2. A Church That Prays Toget her in One Spirit<br />

It is also the will of Jesus for the Christians to pray together in one spirit. In Matt. 18:19, Jesus told us the<br />

promise of praying together. Jesus said: ?Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything<br />

they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.? Here, we are reminded of the importance for<br />

believers to pray together as a body. After Jesus ascended into heaven, the first time the believers<br />

gathered together was in a prayer meeting where everyone prayed in one spirit and it brought about the<br />

coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. From the records of Acts, we see that the early church put a great<br />

emphasis on prayer. Thus, at that time, God performed many miraculous signs and wonders through the<br />

apostles, and the ministry of the church continued to expand. It is my hope that believers of the<br />

Methodist Church will value prayer and be involved in praying in one spirit.


3. A Church That Nurt ures Disciples<br />

For Christians to nurture disciples is the command<br />

of Jesus. The great commission that Jesus gave,<br />

before his ascension into heaven, is for his<br />

disciples to ?go and make disciples of all nations.?<br />

One of the purposes of the church is to proclaim<br />

the gospel and nurture disciples, so that they can,<br />

in turn, witness for our Lord Jesus on earth and<br />

produce many more disciples. The believers of the<br />

early church truly experienced ?the Lord adding to<br />

their number day by day, those who were being<br />

saved.? The believers at that time must have been<br />

very active in sharing the gospel of Jesus with<br />

others. When the Lord gave them those who had<br />

been saved, the apostles nurtured those new<br />

believers to enable them to ?devote themselves to<br />

the apostles?teaching.? In Colossians 2:6-7, Paul<br />

also taught us, that after believers received Christ<br />

Jesus the Lord, they still need to be ?rooted and<br />

built up in him and established in the faith, just as<br />

you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.? It is<br />

my hope that the believers of the Methodist<br />

Church not only attend Discipleship classes, but<br />

also lead others to believe in Jesus, and nurture<br />

the new believers to grow in Christ.<br />

4. A Church That Lives Out t he Love of God<br />

For Christians, to live out the love of God is also a<br />

command of Jesus. Jesus told us: ?This is my<br />

commandment, that you love one another as I<br />

have loved you.? (Jn 15:12). The Apostle Peter also<br />

told us to ?make every effort to add to your faith,<br />

godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection,<br />

and brotherly affection with love.? (2 Pet 1:5, 7).<br />

Paul taught us that love was the norm for all<br />

Christian behaviour. In Rom 13:9-10, he stresses<br />

that love does no wrong to a neighbour; love<br />

enables people to benefit themselves.<br />

Furthermore, ?You shall love your neighbour as<br />

yourself? is the essence of the commandment. A<br />

famous quote of the founder of the Methodist<br />

Church, John Wesley, says: ?Do all the good you<br />

can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you<br />

can, in all the places you can, at all the times you<br />

can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you<br />

can.? It is my hope that our Methodist Church will<br />

live out the love of God and be concerned with our<br />

neighbours in our community.<br />

5. A Church That Act ively Involves in Global<br />

Missions<br />

Christians should not only care about, and<br />

participate in, the ministries of their own churches,<br />

but God also wants us to spread the salvation of<br />

His love for the world to the ends of the earth.<br />

Jesus, before he was taken up into heaven, had<br />

promised that his disciples would receive power<br />

when the Holy Spirit came upon them, and also<br />

told them, ?You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem<br />

and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the<br />

earth.? (Acts 1:8). God?s wish is that all nations and<br />

all people in the world will share in His kingdom.<br />

Facing such a large field of harvest, how can we sit<br />

still and ignore it? Beside sending out a few<br />

short-term mission teams overseas, it is my hope<br />

that we have our own missionaries from our<br />

Methodist Church to serve in overseas missions.<br />

Conclusion<br />

In conclusion, I hope that the pastors as well as<br />

brothers and sisters of CMCA are willing to rely on<br />

God?s help and strength, strive to pursue unity in<br />

the Lord, spend time to pray together in one spirit,<br />

focus on nurturing disciples to produce godly<br />

children, actively live out the love of God in the<br />

community, as well as actively participate in the<br />

work of global missions. Only when we are in the<br />

Lord, then, we can bear more fruit for God, ?for<br />

apart from me you can do nothing.?


THE LIGHTER SIDE OF THE BULLETIN<br />

Bible<br />

Tr ivia<br />

Tim e<br />

Q: What kind of man was Boaz before he married?<br />

A: Ruthless<br />

Q: What do they call pastors in Germany?<br />

A: German Shepherds<br />

Su n d ay School Stor i es<br />

In Sunday School, they were teaching how God<br />

created everything, including human beings.<br />

Little Johnny seemed especially intent when they<br />

told him how Eve was created out of one of<br />

Adam?s ribs.<br />

Later in the week, his mother noticed him lying<br />

down as though he were ill, and said ?Johnny,<br />

what is the matter??<br />

Little Johnny responded, ?I have a pain in my<br />

side. I think I am going to have a wife!?<br />

Q: Which bible character had no parents?<br />

A: Joshua, son of Nun


CONNECTIONAL NEWS<br />

Get to Know<br />

Our New Bishop<br />

"Before the election, I prayed to God:<br />

?If you, God, would like to use me in this role, I will submit to<br />

Your will, though I know it is not an easy task.?<br />

After the election I asked for His grace, wisdom and strength<br />

to empower me to lead as the episcopal head of CMCA."<br />

- Bishop Albert Wong


J<br />

ust like that, the<br />

Almighty God puts in<br />

place his servant, Rev.<br />

Dr. Albert (Ing Seng)<br />

Wong, as the fourth<br />

Bishop of the Chinese Methodist<br />

Church in Australia. Praise be to<br />

God for his gracious providence<br />

of leadership for the next 4<br />

years!<br />

And it gets even better! The<br />

newly elected Bishop started his<br />

brief acceptance speech in<br />

English! (Not a few ears perked<br />

up in pleasant surprise, as<br />

people who know Bishop Wong<br />

know that Mandarin is his<br />

primary language).<br />

In his own words, Bishop Wong<br />

humbly shared what?s in his<br />

heart:<br />

?Though I am not fluent in<br />

English, I tried to open my<br />

acceptance speech in English to<br />

give myself a breakthrough in<br />

the hope of connecting with the<br />

English-speaking pastors and<br />

church leaders.?<br />

Obviously, this is not about<br />

diminishing the Mandarin<br />

speaking group by any means.<br />

Rather, it?s an indication that the<br />

Bishop is willing to go beyond<br />

his ?comfort zone? in his<br />

episcopal role. Thank you, Lord,<br />

for the refreshing breath of<br />

fresh air.<br />

This is a long time in coming, as<br />

God has prepared and shaped<br />

Bishop Wong over the course of<br />

his life, including 23 years in<br />

ministry. Hailing from Sibu<br />

(Malaysia), Bishop studied<br />

From L to R: Angie, Bishop, Esther<br />

Chemical Engineering in the<br />

University of Malaya in the early<br />

80?s. After working 3 years in<br />

Brunei, Bishop gave it all up to<br />

prepare himself for full-time<br />

ministry by enrolling at China<br />

Evangelical Seminary, Taipei.<br />

Bishop Wong began his pastoral<br />

ministry in 1991 at Goodwood<br />

Methodist Church, Adelaide<br />

(incidentally, it was also at<br />

Goodwood that Bishop<br />

was consecrated,<br />

followed by his very<br />

first sermon as Bishop<br />

a week later).<br />

However, the next<br />

year, Bishop was called<br />

back to Miri (Malaysia)<br />

because of the needs<br />

of his grandparents<br />

(who brought him up).<br />

Yet, he didn?t turn his<br />

back on God?s calling,<br />

for in the next 6 years,<br />

he pastored at Miri Gospel<br />

Chapel, where his duties also<br />

included taking charge of<br />

Short-term Mission Training<br />

Centre and Night Bible Classes<br />

there. The Centre had 15<br />

trainees undergoing equipping<br />

through an intensive regiment of<br />

Bible studies and carrying out<br />

ministries like street evangelism,<br />

home visitation, disciple-making<br />

and secondary school student<br />

ministry.<br />

After Miri came 4 years of<br />

further equipping as Bishop<br />

earned Master of Theology<br />

(Biola, USA) and Doctor of<br />

Ministry (Logos Evangelical<br />

Seminary, USA). In 2002, Bishop<br />

returned to CMCA itinerant<br />

ministry pastoring<br />

Carlton, Camberwell<br />

and Monash<br />

churches. Since<br />

then, in addition<br />

to his pastoral<br />

duties, he?s served<br />

in diverse<br />

roles as District<br />

Superintendent,<br />

LAMM Principal,<br />

and various Boards<br />

of Annual<br />

Conference.<br />

Family-wise, Bishop & wife,<br />

Esther, met each other through<br />

a combined MYF gathering (woohoo<br />

MYF!), and they have been<br />

married since 1985. Among<br />

Esther?s virtues, Bishop<br />

especially appreciates her<br />

commitment to serve God<br />

wholeheartedly, and placing her<br />

family above herself. ?Those,<br />

Bishop during adult baptism<br />

plus her great cooking. Who can<br />

ask for more??, Bishop muses.<br />

Bishop & Esther have a<br />

daughter, Angie, who?s<br />

under-going nursing internship<br />

and looking for a nursing job.<br />

?Angie is caring and loving. She<br />

[also] serves in the worship<br />

team? ? Ahhh... words of proud<br />

parents.<br />

- Rev. Pet er Yong<br />

Peter serves as a minister at<br />

Goodwood Chinese Methodist<br />

Church in Adelaide


LOCAL NEWS<br />

Sherwood Methodist<br />

Church Praise Ministry


" As a r esult [of the chur ch pr aise ministr y], people fr om<br />

differ ent denominations as well as non-Chr istians joined<br />

together to sing God?s pr aises. "<br />

- Bob Organ<br />

T<br />

he Praise Group at CMCA Sherwood<br />

was formed several years ago when a<br />

concerned couple in the fellowship had<br />

a desire to provide more involvement<br />

within the fellowship because in today's<br />

society there are so many non-Christian activities<br />

competing to capture our time, hearts and minds.<br />

The fortnightly informal meetings proved very<br />

popular as members from all ages came together<br />

to praise our Lord.<br />

The group<br />

included very<br />

capable singers as<br />

well as those of us<br />

who love to praise<br />

? not always in<br />

tune, but<br />

following<br />

Scriptures?edict to<br />

?make a joyful<br />

noise.? It provides<br />

a casual<br />

opportunity for<br />

members to open<br />

up to each other<br />

and share our<br />

Lorem<br />

daily lives. These<br />

meetings were initially held in the fellowship hall<br />

but are now held every second Friday night in a<br />

church member?s home.<br />

During the second year of the meetings, a brother<br />

was hospitalised with a very serious condition<br />

which required an extended stay. As Christmas<br />

approached, the founding couple realised that our<br />

brother was missing fellowship, so some members<br />

of the group began visiting and singing with him<br />

and his family members, with music being<br />

supplied by one of the group?s founders.<br />

Very soon, other inpatients were invited to join<br />

with this brother and his family to sing carols when<br />

he was well enough to leave his room for a lounge<br />

area. Out of this simple sharing of carols, a<br />

ministry of regular praising in the hospital began.<br />

Further longer periods in recuperation facilities<br />

were required for the healing process of this<br />

brother. Other patients were always asked to join<br />

in the praise sessions. As a result, people from<br />

different denominations as well as non-Christians<br />

joined together to sing God?s praises. Some of the<br />

residents were starving for Christian fellowship<br />

and wanted more visits by the praise team. Some<br />

inpatients even led the singing with their beautiful<br />

voices. In one facility, staff members sometimes<br />

joined for brief periods as their duties allowed.<br />

Another brother was also hospitalised with a<br />

condition that required a very long stay. So, praise<br />

sessions were organised for him at his hospital<br />

too. When he eventually moved into a long-term<br />

care facility, the praise group continued to praise<br />

with him and his fellow residents. These visits are<br />

still continuing.<br />

After a while, the hospital-visiting group settled<br />

into being mainly older Christians. During the<br />

visits, members of other fellowships and<br />

denominations occasionally joined with CMCA<br />

Sherwood to praise in the care facilities. However,<br />

during 2018, many youths swelled the groups<br />

numbers, revitalising the praise sessions with their<br />

enthusiasm, instrument skills, and beautiful voices.<br />

The group now ranges from mid-teens to<br />

octogenarians with everyone being blessed by the<br />

opportunity to bring God?s love to the care facility<br />

through praise.<br />

2018 culminated with a carol singing event on the<br />

last Sunday before Christmas day, with the facility<br />

management giving permission for the use of a<br />

large common area that saw more residents of the<br />

care facility able to join in with nearly 30 members<br />

from CMCA Sherwood singing many of the joyful<br />

carols not only known and loved by Christians in<br />

the care facility, but even known by those who had<br />

no faith. It was so encouraging to see the frowns<br />

on some patients?faces turn to beautiful smiles as<br />

they sang carols and opened up to chat with<br />

church members.<br />

Hospital visits are now held the first Sunday of<br />

each month.<br />

- Bob Organ<br />

Bob serves as a liturgist and member of the PPRC at<br />

Sherwood MC


Wikimedia Commons<br />

"One day, he will<br />

dr ag us into the<br />

light, cr ack open<br />

our hear ts like an<br />

egg, and find either<br />

the light of Jesus or<br />

mor e dar kness."<br />

- Lucas Sharley<br />

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consetetur sadipscing elitr.<br />

Can we actually know what God is like?<br />

In my church, we have a special reading about knowing<br />

God. It?s a set of verses that describe what God is like:<br />

God is light, God is love, God is power. But, words<br />

without understanding are just sounds. The reading<br />

only means something to us if it is connected to ideas about God. In<br />

this article, I?ll be giving summaries of what the words from the<br />

reading say about God; beginning with light.<br />

1 John 1:5 ? ?God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all.?<br />

What does John mean when he says God is light?<br />

Images are useful for talking about God. They avoid narrow<br />

meanings. John could have written, ?God is entirely good and is<br />

never influenced by evil.? That sentence is precise. It can only mean<br />

one thing. But, the image of light means many things. Goodness,<br />

purity, sight, understanding, safety, and judgment. John?s use of<br />

imagery lets him say a lot in a short letter.<br />

If images mean many things all at once, how do we know which?<br />

What stops us from twisting an image or taking it the wrong way?<br />

The rest of the Bible stops us. We read every part of the Bible with<br />

the rest of the Bible in the background. John describing God as light<br />

isn?t a phrase sitting alone that we can capture and turn to our own<br />

purposes. It is plugged into how the Bible uses the idea of light<br />

everywhere else. I listed several meanings for God is light, and all of<br />

them come from the Bible.<br />

Genesis 1, for example. The first thing God says is ?Let there be<br />

light,? and there is light. God sees that the light is good and<br />

separates it from the darkness. Genesis teaches that light comes<br />

from God, and it is good, and it is divided from darkness. Light and


BIBLE & THEOLOGY<br />

God is Light<br />

"Let there be light!" - Genesis 1:3<br />

darkness are used as symbols for good and evil all<br />

through the Bible. When John says God is light, he<br />

means God is good.<br />

Or have a look at John 1:9. ?The true light, which<br />

enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.? If<br />

you read the chapter, you see that the true light is<br />

Jesus, and it?s associated with entering the world<br />

and giving light to everyone. Light spreads light.<br />

That is its nature. Jesus spreads light in a world<br />

that needs it ? a world of darkness. ?God is light<br />

and in him there is no darkness? teaches us that<br />

God has sent his light into the world. And we need<br />

it. Unlike God, there is plenty of darkness in us.<br />

But, light isn?t always a happy thing. Jesus uses it in<br />

Luke 8:17 to describe God?s knowledge. God is light<br />

because nothing is hidden from him. He does not<br />

have the darkness of ignorance or forgetting.<br />

Repeating that ?God is light? reminds us that God<br />

knows all of us; actions, words, thoughts, and<br />

feelings. We may forget all the little bad things<br />

we?ve done, but God won?t. One day he will drag us<br />

into the light, crack open our hearts like an egg,<br />

and find either the light of Jesus or more darkness.<br />

God is light. He is goodness, and radiance, and<br />

knowledge. And so much more.<br />

- Lucas Sharley<br />

Lucas serves as the youth pastor at Eight Mile<br />

Plains Methodist, in Brisbane.


PRACTICAL THEOLOGY<br />

A New Year.<br />

A New You.<br />

I<br />

t is now the second<br />

month of the year; I<br />

believe it?s a fitting time<br />

for us to pause and<br />

reflect on how we?ve<br />

been keeping up with our ?new<br />

year?s resolutions.? Are you still<br />

on track or have you given up<br />

hope? Perhaps, you have never<br />

believed in making new year<br />

resolutions. Well? you?re not<br />

alone.<br />

In 2018, a survey that was<br />

conducted in America found that<br />

the three most common<br />

resolutions made were:<br />

1. to eat healthier;<br />

2. to exercise more;<br />

3. to save more.<br />

Sounds familiar? A third of the<br />

participants responded that they<br />

had not bothered making any<br />

resolutions at all ? probably the<br />

more realistic option, given that<br />

statistically, 88% ended up failing<br />

miserably!<br />

All of us desire to better<br />

ourselves, don?t we? That?s why<br />

new year resolutions are such a<br />

big hit. A new year symbolises a<br />

new beginning. We approach<br />

each year with a steely<br />

determination to make the year<br />

count. However, when December<br />

greets us, we find ourselves<br />

disappointed once again at our<br />

progress.<br />

So, why are we so enthusiastic<br />

about making resolutions yet<br />

"But, her e's the r eality: simply<br />

telling our selves to have mor e<br />

per sever ance isn't going to cut<br />

it.<br />

- Jun Gan<br />

Wikimedia Commons


"Let's come<br />

befor e God...<br />

and invite the<br />

Holy Spir it to<br />

begin the<br />

beautiful<br />

sanctification<br />

pr ocess in us."<br />

- Jun Gan<br />

imgur<br />

struggle to keep up with it?<br />

Numerous studies have<br />

investigated this phenomenon<br />

and, not surprisingly, it often<br />

boils down to the lack of<br />

perseverance. But, here?s the<br />

reality: simply telling ourselves<br />

to have more perseverance isn?t<br />

going to cut it. We need a<br />

paradigm shift, hence the title ?<br />

?A New Year. A New You.?<br />

We?ve heard it said that ?life is a<br />

marathon, not a sprint.? We<br />

frequently treat resolutions as a<br />

sprint. Thus, it?s not surprising<br />

that we get exhausted halfway<br />

through, especially when ?life?<br />

takes over. So, how can we set<br />

ourselves up for victory and not<br />

failure?<br />

I?d like to propose three simple<br />

steps that would hopefully help<br />

move us along.<br />

1. Ask: ?Why??<br />

We may have great goals, but<br />

unless we have the conviction to<br />

do something differently and<br />

understand why we need to<br />

change, we are likely to fall back<br />

into old habits. Reflect by asking<br />

yourself: Why is this goal<br />

important to me? (and be<br />

honest). Internalising the ?why?<br />

can often help us to persevere<br />

when we are tempted to give up.<br />

2. Be account able.<br />

An accountability partner plays a<br />

crucial role in helping us move<br />

forward when we are stumbling<br />

along the way. They check in on<br />

us, challenge us, support us and<br />

strengthen us when life gets<br />

tough. Being vulnerable and<br />

transparent is never easy, but<br />

the reward is priceless.<br />

3. Invit e t he Holy Spirit t o<br />

sanct ify us int o His likeness.<br />

Goals are great, but it is easy to<br />

miss the bigger picture. In the<br />

midst of achieving our<br />

well-intentioned goals, we often<br />

neglect our own growth as a<br />

person. Let?s come before God,<br />

be it through prayers, fasting, or<br />

simply waiting on the Lord, and<br />

ask God to reveal to us areas in<br />

our lives where we need a<br />

desperate growth or a<br />

makeover. Then, invite the Holy<br />

Spirit to begin the beautiful<br />

sanctification process in us so<br />

that our heart?s condition<br />

remains in check, and that we<br />

may grow to become a more<br />

accurate reflection of God?s love<br />

to a broken world.<br />

Let?s take on the remaining of<br />

2019 with the confidence that as<br />

we partner with God and<br />

humbly yield to the Potter?s<br />

hands, He will renew us from<br />

the inside out day by day with<br />

the promise of 2 Corinthians<br />

5:17: ?Therefore, if anyone is in<br />

Christ, the new creation has<br />

come: the old has gone, the new<br />

is here.?<br />

Happy New You!<br />

- Jun Gan<br />

Jun is married to Ps. Ivan Low.<br />

Together, they minister at<br />

Immanuel Methodist Church,<br />

Perth.


SOCIAL THEOLOGY<br />

Asians and Aboriginal<br />

Australians<br />

Wikimedia Commons<br />

Be honest, what impressions do you<br />

have of us, Aboriginals?<br />

That's what the young lady asked my<br />

wife. My wife hesitated for a while...<br />

She reluctantly replied that people had educated<br />

her to have a very negative perception towards<br />

Aboriginal people.<br />

I came from Malaysia to Perth about 12 years ago,<br />

and right from the beginning I?ve been warned as a<br />

student against Aboriginal people. My University<br />

was in a suburb reputed for its Aboriginal<br />

population, and also for its high crime rate. You?d<br />

hear first-hand stories of students?quarters being<br />

broken into, with laptops, cameras, cash, and other<br />

valuables stolen. The first suspects are usually the<br />

Aborigines, and as an international student, I<br />

avoided Aboriginals at all costs.<br />

Continuing the story of my wife?s encounter, which<br />

was in AIME - Australian Indigenous Mentoring<br />

Experience, in her university, the young lady<br />

shared that she?d never feel looked down upon<br />

while growing up among her own people. Only<br />

when she moved to a primary school of mixed<br />

races, she started feeling it. The glares, the gossips,<br />

the mockery, the bullying. That was the first time<br />

she started feeling ashamed of her identity.<br />

From my experience, people ? especially<br />

immigrants ? continue to regard the Australian<br />

Aboriginal people as a less-than-desirable bunch.<br />

Drug and alcohol addicts, dirty, smelly, rude,<br />

loud? they have many labels, but these seldom<br />

find their way into our everyday conversation,<br />

because these labels are racist. So, we ignore, look<br />

away, or worse, pretend they don?t exist. And so<br />

often our perspectives can influence other people?s<br />

perception as well, and this perpetuates the<br />

marginalization of the Aborigines.<br />

One of the invited speakers I was privileged to<br />

hear recently was a young lady named Brooke<br />

Prentis (you can google her). Brooke Prentis is<br />

from the Waka Waka people in Queensland and is<br />

a pastor, activist of indigenous rights, and<br />

spokesperson for the justice team in Common<br />

Grace, her organization. She has fought in law<br />

courts against the discrimination so often suffered<br />

by her people, e.g. when an innocent Indigenous<br />

teenager faces prejudice, or is given an unfairly<br />

severe prosecution.<br />

Brooke appeals to the Christian community to<br />

initiate Reconciliation between Indigenous and<br />

non-Indigenous Australians by forming<br />

friendships. 90% of Australians do not know an<br />

Indigenous Australian. And reconciliation cannot<br />

happen unless we become friends. Friends share<br />

joy and sorrow, listen when you?re angry, share<br />

laughter, and have fun together.<br />

The Bible has a lot to say about friendship. ?Two<br />

are better than one? (Eccl 4:9-10), ?a friend loves at


all times? (Pro 17:17), ?greater<br />

love has no man than this, that a<br />

man lay down his life for his<br />

friends? (Jn 15:13).<br />

Despite the horrendous things<br />

that have been done to them, the<br />

Aboriginals have already forgiven<br />

because they cannot continue to<br />

live in Australia if they have not.<br />

They are not looking for<br />

solutions. They are looking for<br />

love, and we who are called<br />

children of God are peacemakers<br />

(Matt 5:9). Let?s make peace and<br />

birth this friendship; the<br />

friendship that is meant to exist<br />

in the church, full of brothers and<br />

sisters whom we love, where we<br />

lay down our lives for each other.<br />

Below are some small actionable<br />

steps that we can take to reflect<br />

God?s love in our relationships<br />

with the Aboriginal people:<br />

- ?Like? the Common Grace<br />

page on Facebook and be<br />

informed of God?s work<br />

among that people.<br />

- See Aboriginal people as<br />

God?s beloved children, just<br />

like us.<br />

- Pray: Ask God to bring an<br />

Aboriginal friend into your<br />

life, so that we can show them<br />

the love of God and build<br />

mutual understanding.<br />

Wikimedia Commons<br />

- Ps. Ivan Low<br />

Ivan is married to Jun. Along<br />

with his wife, Ivan ministers at<br />

Immanuel Methodist Church,<br />

Perth.<br />

Did you know?<br />

73% of the Abor iginal people<br />

ar e Chr istians.<br />

- Brooke Prentis


Our Churches<br />

AUSTRALIA EAST DISTRICT<br />

Eight Mile Plains Met hodist Church<br />

5 Levington Rd., Eight Mile Plains QLD 4113, Sunday<br />

Service: 9:00am (Mandarin/English)<br />

Wishart Preaching Point ,<br />

Cnr. Ham Rd & Wishart Rd, Wishart, QLD 4122, Sunday<br />

Service: 3:00pm (Mandarin)<br />

Sherwood Met hodist Church<br />

405 Oxley Rd, Sherwood, QLD 4075, Sunday Service:<br />

9:00am (Mandarin/English)<br />

Chinese Preaching Point<br />

11 Hamish Street, Calamvale, QLD 4116, Sunday<br />

Service: 10am (Mandarin)<br />

? ? ? ? ? ? Canberra ACT Preaching Ct r.<br />

Cnr. Launceston St. & Melrose Dr., Lyons ACT 2606,<br />

Sunday Service: 2:00pm (Mandarin)<br />

Carlt on Met hodist Church<br />

17 Planthurst Rd., Carlton, NSW 2218, Sunday Service:<br />

10:00am (Mandarin/English)<br />

Redeemer Met hodist Church<br />

46 Sorrell St., Parramatta, NSW 2150, Sunday Service:<br />

2:30pm (Mandarin/ English)<br />

AUSTRALIA SOUTH DISTRICT<br />

Goodwood Met hodist Church<br />

158-160 Goodwood Rd., Goodwood, SA 5034, Sunday<br />

Service: 10:30am (English/Mandarin)<br />

Holy Met hodist Church<br />

7 Churchill Road, Ovingham, SA 5082, Sunday Service:<br />

9:30am (Mandarin)<br />

Camberwell Met hodist Church<br />

58 Cooloongatta Rd., Camberwell, VIC 3124,<br />

Sunday Service: 8:30am/11:00am (Mandarin)<br />

11:00am/4:00pm (English)<br />

Wyndham Preaching Point<br />

200 Tarneit Road, Werribee, VIC 3030, Sunday Service:<br />

2:30pm (Mandarin)<br />

Wikimedia Commons


Cit y Light Met hodist Church<br />

717 Flinders St., Docklands, VIC<br />

3008, Sunday Service: 11:00am<br />

(Mandarin /English)<br />

Glory Met hodist Church<br />

1393 High Street, Wantirna South,<br />

VIC 3152, Sunday Service: 2:30pm<br />

(Mandarin)<br />

Monash Met hodist Church<br />

118-122 Wellington Rd., Clayton,<br />

VIC 3168, Sunday Service: 4:30pm<br />

(Mandarin)<br />

Prest on Met hodist Church<br />

101b Royal Pde, Reservoir, VIC<br />

3073, Sunday Service: 10:00am<br />

(Mandarin)<br />

Trinit y Met hodist Church<br />

157 Kidds Road, Doveton, VIC<br />

3177, Sunday Service: 9:00am<br />

(Mandarin) 11:00am (English)<br />

Casey Preaching Point<br />

426 Princess Highway, Narre<br />

Warren, VIC 3805, Sunday<br />

Service: 3:00pm (Mandarin)<br />

Fait h Met hodist Church<br />

56-58 Melville Street, Hobart TAS<br />

7000, Sunday Service: 9:30am<br />

(Mandarin)<br />

Praise Met hodist Church<br />

100 Invermay Rd., Invermay, TAS<br />

7248, Sunday Service: 10:00am<br />

(Mandarin)<br />

Nort h-West Preaching Point<br />

30-32 Madden st., Acton, TAS<br />

7320, Sunday Service: 2:00pm<br />

(Mandarin)<br />

AUSTRALIA WEST DISTRICT<br />

Hope Met hodist Church<br />

28-32 Nicol Rd, Parkwood 6147,<br />

WA, Sunday Service: 4:00pm<br />

(English)<br />

Kingsway Met hodist Church<br />

38-40 Kingsway, Nedlands, WA<br />

6009, Sunday Service: 9:00am<br />

(Mandarin) 11:15am (English)<br />

Gospel Met hodist Church<br />

62 Royal St. Kenwick, WA 6107,<br />

Sunday Service: 9:00am<br />

(Mandarin/ English)<br />

Calvary Met hodist Church<br />

4/41 Action Rd., Malaga, WA 6090,<br />

Sunday Service: 10:30am<br />

MISSION CONFERENCE<br />

Met hodist Church in PNG<br />

Lot 29-33, Section 171, Malolo<br />

Estate, 8 Miles, Port Moresby,<br />

NCD, Papua New Guinea<br />

Sunday Service: 9:30am<br />

(Mandarin)<br />

Vanimo Met hodist Preaching<br />

Cent re, Maka Camp<br />

Sunday Service: 7:30pm<br />

Kimbe Met hodist Preaching<br />

Cent re<br />

Sunday Service: 6:15pm<br />

Madang Met hodist Preaching<br />

Cent re<br />

Lot 3, Section 128 Modilon Road,<br />

Sunday Service: 7:30pm<br />

LAE Preaching Cent re<br />

Sunday Service: 2:30pm<br />

(Mandarin)<br />

Grace Met hodist Church<br />

3 Woodthorpe Drive, Willetton, SA<br />

6155, Sunday Service: 10:00am<br />

(English/Mandarin)<br />

Immanuel Met hodist Church<br />

33 Cloister Ave., Manning, WA<br />

6152, Sunday Service:<br />

8:30am/7pm (Mandarin) 11:00am<br />

(English)<br />

MISSION DISTRICT<br />

Solomon Islands Met hodist<br />

Church<br />

14, Capital Park, Honiara,<br />

Solomon Islands. Service: 2:00pm<br />

(Mandarin)


Contact us:<br />

m ethodistnews@cm ca.or g.au<br />

lam ph12@gm ail.com<br />

r ick ynjoto@gm ail.com<br />

<strong>Connect</strong> is a publication of the Chinese M ethodist Chur ch in Austr alia

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