COVID-19 Updates | Service Livestream (22 Jan) | Register for Worship (22/23 Jan)

Watchnight Service 2021

2021watchnight-header

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the current restrictions allowed us to hold our annual Watchnight service in 2021. It was held both in-person and livestreamed, and many GBC worshippers gathered together in the sanctuary or in homes to reflect on the past year.

The theme of the service was, "Waiting for the Fulfilment of God’s Promised Hope", and the testimonies, songs of praise and discussion questions helped all who attended reflect on how they have been waiting this year. 

Praising God Together

Elder Lup Meng led us in a time of praise and adoration. The song "Come Praise and Glorify Our God" calls us to praise our Trinitarian God. Indeed, we have a God who is worthy of our praise and hope. The hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness" was also an apt song to sing at the close of the year. The opening verses especially, remind us that we have a God who is our Father and "there is no shadow of turning with thee". Our circumstances may change and the year may bring new challenges but God is still the same. Sang together, it encouraged us to reflect on God's steadfast provision in a year that was marked by changes and ups and downs.

Thanking God Together

Different ministries also shared their thanksgiving items for 2021. Our youth, young adults, women, outreach and Equip ministries shared the ways that God has been at work. 

  • The women's ministry thanked God for the different women's groups and discipling relationships that meet to study God's word and care for one another in the week. God has provided new leaders and women with different gifts and experiences who are willing to disciple others, and in doing so, work with the men to build up the church. 
  • Our Christian education team thanked God for providing faithful teachers to teach the various classes. God has also put a desire in the hearts of our church to attend these classes to learn with fellow Christians, leading to conversations and building of relationships. These are things to be thankful for. 
  • The youth ministry was thankful for the ability to continue the ministry even though parts of it had to be run over Zoom. They were also recently able to safely and successfully hold their annual youth camp. God also provided new youths and leaders for the ministry. 
  • Our young adults (YAs) were thankful for the growth of the YAs as they studied the word faithfully and learnt to love one another in their small groups. God has also provided the YAs leaders with the strength to care for and love their members. The ministry was also thankful they had a chance to study the Word together in May to September under the Adulting series.
  • The outreach ministry thanked God for the various outreach opportunities to the guest workers and also via the tuition ministry. There are also many personal evangelism efforts by our church members that God has provided for. 
Sharing Our Lives Together

2021watchnight-jocelynOne of the marks of our annual watchnight service is the sharing of testimonies by different church members. This year was no exception. Jocelyn, one of our members, also shared her reflections on the year. She articulated her restlessness and her struggle with waiting, emotions that many could possibly resonate with. Through this experience, she learnt more about the patience of God. 

Gerald and Jo Keow also shared how the church mattered to them in the year, as well as their hopes for 2022. Currently, they are leading a CG and Gerald has been an Elder Associate since April this year. Gerald reflects on how the pastors, elders and deacons have worked tirelessly behind the scenes and grappling with the impact of COVID on the church. They have had to deal with more than just the prevailing government regulations, but have had to consider the spiritual impact this long-drawn pandemic has on the spiritual health of the members. He sees the heart that the leadership has for the members and realised the importance for us as members to also partner and work alongside the leaders.

2021watchnight-geraldandjo

Gerald also shared on the impact of participating in worship via YouTube and livestream. He articulated the common struggle that many faced—to focus and not be distracted while watching service on the same device we use for other purposes such as watching Netflix. He encouraged us to rethink how we worship together, as there could be a subtle erosion on the heart, soul, mind and strength and how we use our whole bodies to love and worship God. 

Jo Keow shared some of the hopes they have for the church. They pray that restrictions would lift, and more of church life can resume. They also pray that God will work in our hearts that we will desire, treasure and seize every opportunity to fellowship with one another physically. May we be able to bear upon and bear with one another, and also exercise love, grace and forbearance with one another.

Living Together as God's People 

2021watchnight-CXElder Chuan-Xin preached a short message from Rom 15:4-9a. This is a passage that focuses on how we are to build one another up in love, Scripture gives us instructions and shows us how we can do so. At the same time, Rom 15:5-7 also reminds us that this is possible only because God empowers us through the Spirit.  

In line with the idea that we are God's gathered church, Pastor Eugene also shared some aspirations that the ECL has for the church. These eight aspirations are listed on our website. This will be a focus for 2022, and for the years beyond. It will certainly take more than a year to become a church described in these aspirations, and it will not happen only by our own efforts. Only God can give the growth. 

Praying Together 

2021watchnight-groupsIn recent years, one unique feature of our watchnight service is the chance to break up into groups to discuss and pray with other members. This year, the groups broke up to reflect on the year, and also to pray for the church. In a time when gathering is not to be taken for granted, the chance to do so at the end of the year was really a special and precious one. Gathering, sharing and praying with other Christians helped to remind us that we are not alone, but that God has called us together, to be His people and church in this world. 

The closing song, "Almost Home" reminds us to press on and persevere because this place is not our home. This is our encouragement at the close of one year, and the start of the next.