Celebrating the Lord's Supper
Last Sunday, 16 August 2020, around 40 of us gathered physically for the first time since March to celebrate the Lord's Supper, and to thank God for His grace and faithfulness to GBC the last 61 years.
Although we could not physically gather as a church to celebrate as we would usually do, we are thankful that a gathering of 50 people is now allowed. This 61st Thanksgiving Sunday thus marked the first Sunday that the church is offering the Lord's Supper every Sunday on site for a limited gathering of 50 people. (Register for this Sunday's service here.)
Before entering the church premise, the staff ensured that we comply with all safe-management measures by requiring us to:
1. Register entry via the SafeEntry app.
2. Show email confirming our registration or quote the registration number.
3. Check our temperature.
(It goes without saying that we must wear our masks at all times.)
(L-R) Soh Choo registering her entry via SafeEntry; Carrie scanning the QR code of the registration email; Pei Fen checking temperature.
Once these were completed, we proceeded to Fellowship Hall on Level 3 via the stairs as the lifts were reserved for the elderly, people with disabilities or families with young children. It was good morning exercise! The service was screened live and among the ~40 present, five were first-time visitors to GBC who have been watching our services online! We were very encouraged by their presence, reminding us that we have a faithful God who continues to draw people to Him and His church whatever the circumstances.
The tables in the Fellowship Hall were placed far apart, with tapes on each table to demarcate safe physical distances.
During the time for praise and adoration, although we were not allowed to sing, it did not prevent us from giving praise as we stood up and hummed along in our hearts. The atmosphere was unusually quiet but it did not dampen the joy we have in being able to just gather as a body to give heartfelt honour and praise to God. We also knew that many were singing and worshipping together with us as a body of Christ in their own homes.
Only the worship and AV team were allowed in the sanctuary on Level 4. The church also made sure that there's no co-mingling between the worship and AV team on Level 4 and those who attended the screening of the service on Level 3.
As there's no online Sunday school after service, Elder Chuan-Xin shared a short video message on 1 Peter 2:4-5 for the children. Using lego blocks, he explained what a cornerstone is and how God builds His spiritual house with Jesus as the cornerstone. This message was expanded by Pastor Eugene in his sermon as he reminded us that we are living stones in Christ by God's grace, and he exhorted us to keep coming to the Living Stone (the Cornerstone) and renew our commitment to one another since we are joined together by God. He added that as a spiritual house and a holy priesthood being built up by God, we ought to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, by proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ and portraying the beauty of Jesus Christ.
You can watch the service here:
When the service ended, Pauline and Siew Ting, both wearing face shields and gloves, went around to each table to distribute individually-packed and factory-sealed packages of the Lord's Supper elements.
Pastor Oliver then led us in a time of self-examination and prayer before we removed our masks and partook of the bread and wine.
As no mingling was allowed after service, we proceeded to leave the church immediately after the Lord's Supper. Safe management measures also require different entry and exit points, so we exited via Staircase B or D except for the elderly, people with disabilities or families with young children who were allowed to take the lift.
Exiting via Staircase B. Not sure where the exits are? Fret not, Marck, our building management staff, will direct you.
2020 has been an unusual year and it was in this unusual climate that we celebrated 61 years of God's grace and faithfulness to GBC. Nonetheless, we have a faithful God who is always merciful, gracious and abounding in steadfast love. Let us therefore press on in faith and continually "with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
We certainly look forward to the day when we can come together physically as a church and lift up our voices to praise and honour Him. To Him belong glory and dominion forever and ever!