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Welcome One Another

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The past two years have seen many changes in the Welcome Ministry as the team adapts to evolving safe management requirements as well as learns how to better welcome and connect an increasing number of visitors to our church in spite of the pandemic.

We are thankful how God has brought many to come to worship at GBC and how He has sustained the ministry in many ways such as providing members (and staff) who step up to serve when there's a need, giving both the team and the congregants patience as we adapt to changing processes, and most of all, giving us the joy to be able serve one another by welcoming one another to church.

We interview four members serving in various roles on how serving in this ministry has been an encouragement to them and we pray that everyone in GBC, not just the Welcome Ministry, will reach out to, welcome and extend hospitality to one another just as Christ has welcomed us into a gospel community.  

REGINE CHUA

How long have you been attending GBC?

I started worshipping at GBC in Sep 1997 and was baptised on Easter Sunday, 1998. I was with GBC for ten years before I left Singapore for work overseas in 2008. During my home leave, I attended GBC a few times. I retired 6 years ago but only came back to Singapore in 2019. That was when I returned to GBC for worship. In total, I have been a member of GBC for 25 years. 

What led you to join the Welcome Ministry and what is your role?

On a morning tea after Sunday service in 2019, I caught up with George, my ex-care group member. He told me about their need for more ushers so that was how and when I joined the team. 

When I was working in the Philippines, I had been serving as an usher for 6 years. Through volunteering, it helped me in fostering my faith and I also had the opportunity to witness the growth of the church where more than 90% of church workers are volunteers. In addition, I enjoy seeing the smiles and hearing the happy voices of the people when I welcome them to church. To me, it is like one welcomes a guest to their home. I am, therefore, honoured to be able to serve as an usher at GBC.  

Before COVID, I was ushering in the sanctuary, guiding people to their seats and coordinating the passing of bags for tithes and offering. However, the physical service was interrupted due to COVID. When GBC was able to resume in-person service, Elder Caleb who oversees the Welcome Ministry, held a Zoom meeting with the ushers to update us on how the Welcome Ministry’s roles would need to be changed for the purpose of compliance to safe management measures.  

As such, I was assigned to a new role which requires me to ensure that every person attending service has registered for service via Eventbrite. Before the worshippers are allowed to go to the sanctuary for service, they would need to pass through the ground floor area outside the lift lobby of GBC. I would be stationed there to confirm they have registered for service via Eventbrite so that I can let them through to another member taking care of Safe-Entry checks. My task is also to greet the worshippers, address them by their first name if possible, and welcome them to GBC. 

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Regine welcoming Evelyn and Hon Lin. 

How have you seen God at work?

During COVID, many volunteers brave the virus to go to church to help. Though I was not involved, I could see the hard work and time spent by the leaders of the various volunteer groups in developing new processes, procedures, and plans to brief the volunteers to ensure the safety and orderly flow of the people including the Sunday school kids going in and out of church. Only through the love of God, can these people selflessly volunteer.

Welcome service is indeed an amazing role as I get to meet lots of people. Now, I could only see their smiling eyes. I look forward to the day when the masks are taken down and to see both their smiling eyes and faces when I greet and welcome them warmly to church.

RYAN ANG

How long have you been attending GBC?

I have been attending GBC for a year now and have been serving in the Welcome Ministry for over half a year—it has been glorious getting to see the wonderful faces from all age groups and backgrounds coming to worship our good and gracious God!

What led you to join the Welcome Ministry and what is your role?

I joined the Welcome Ministry because there was a need at that time, and also because I felt that one of the best ways for me to love the church is to take out some of my time every week to serve in some manner. Prior to the latest relaxation of measures, I was usually at the front giving out stickers to people. I have had such a wonderful time doing that as it enabled me to say “hi” to every person who came through the front door of the church—every person who is created in the image of God, who is another person for me to love and show warmth to. It has been such a joyous privilege for me.

welcome-ministry-4The stickers that are no longer required when zoning was removed, yay! We know a few of you have kept some in various colours as mementos!

How have you seen God at work?

I have seen God at work through witnessing the way the welcome team members warmly welcome people to GBC, as well as the patience and kindness people have shown me when I was slow in dispensing the stickers. Above all, I have seen God at work most notably in the time of prayer we have right before the start of serving every week. God has been so good—truly truly He is indeed Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.

YAP HUI MIN

How long have you been attending GBC?

I started attending GBC in 2020 and I joined the welcome team in March 2021.

What led you to join the Welcome Ministry and what is your role?

After tuning into service online for over a year, I was eager to come back to church and connect with people in-person. There was a call for ushers and so Joanna and I volunteered together.

Having served for a year now, I’ve 'graduated' from scanning Eventbrite QR codes in the carpark to welcoming everyone to service in the sanctuary and showing you to your seats. It’s a joy to serve the regulars and welcome new faces to church!

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A warm smile to welcome everyone to service!

How have you seen God at work?

I thank God for His protection over the church and am encouraged to see members coming back and bringing new friends to worship! With the further easing of safe management measures, I’m looking forward to welcoming more of you back soon.

SHAUN RAJ

How long have you been attending GBC?

I joined GBC in 1989 and was baptised by Dr Poulson a year later.

What led you to join the ministry and what is your role? 

A well-dressed, slim gentleman in long sleeves and tie stood in the shade by the culvert of the entrance of GBC, gesturing me to a parking space. This was the very first time I drove into GBC in Feb ’89, early on a Sunday morning. The members had not arrived as it was still early (even those days they came in thick and fast and at the last minute!), the gentleman came up and welcomed me introducing himself as Michael Wee and Chair of the Board, he was warm and friendly and we talked a while in particular about the car I drove, and when the members started to arrive, Michael handed me to Yap Kim Meng who walked me up the three flights of stairs to the sanctuary. During this time Kim Meng engaged me in conversation and managed to provide me with a brief of the Church’s history, CGs, his family and work. He spoke clear and fast, he mentioned he was in the SAF, somehow, I concluded he had to be a fighter pilot! He sat me next to Fock Siew Tong who casually chatted me up about golfing in Australia. 

I felt at home at Grace Baptist from Day One. This first visit is etched in my memory made by the people serving in the Welcome Ministry then, exhibiting a humble spirit in their warm welcome, and kindness and friendly hospitality with a servant's heart. This led me to join the Welcome Ministry in the early nineties when GBC started our second English Service in the afternoon, the ministry was led by Allan Kow then. And now again, when there’s a need for the Saturday Service during the pandemic.

Not much has changed in the ministry’s protocols except for the refreshing presence of our sisters in service too! Typically, upon arrival at church, after the necessary briefs if any, I lead my team firstly by praying for the worshippers, we who serve, the sermon and the speaker for the afternoon. For the little time left before being hurried off to our respective stations, we try to touch base at a personal level with one another. 

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Shaun leading the team in a time of prayer.

How have you seen God at work?

Straight off since day one of my attending GBC and subsequently serving Him here allowed me to foster many good relationships with brothers and sisters in Christ over the years. Connecting with them on a personal level brings me to show care and concern for this extended family, and I have received more from them! This is unique because God is at work to mould each one of us to His image if we allow Him to. For me, the nicest way to start is by serving at church! Anyone can fit into our Welcome Ministry, members are widely differing in demographics from young adults to grandparents.  

So come join us, there will always be room for more in the Welcome Ministry!

You can contact Siang Teck or Sze Gar if you would like to be part of the ministry.