Photo: This is an interesting photo which maps where our members are staying (red dots). The Church is the blue dot.
MPCC is a curiosity.
Firstly, she is not located in Marine Parade. When we explain to our friends, we say she is in the Joo Chiat area. And to be more precise, on Tembeling Road, which elicits the usual response, “Where is this Trembling Road?” “Er…it is parallel to Joo Chiat Road.”
Or we may say, “It is opposite Haigh Girl’s School.” Now, our guest has to figure out which side of the school our church is located. After all, each side is the length of a football field or more, rung by one-way streets. Thankfully today, GPS is a nifty solution: just type 100…
Then we have those who pass by, walking, running or pedalling. They could be coming from both directions. If driving, only one.
Some pause to stare at our building. Is this some kind of Christian organization or private society? After all, we are a “Centre.” And architectural-wise, it does look like some kind of walk-up apartment or office building. Maybe the cross is a give-away, but perched right up there, one has to gaze upwards to notice.
Except for those moments when we hang up some banners which says “All are welcome” or indicate our Service times, those walking past may not be sure what MPCC is about. If they are looking for a church, there are indeed many obvious churches nearby which actually call themselves a “Church.” We should call a spade a spade, right? (“No, Vicar, we should be creative and call it a shovel.”)
How about a lately-moved-here Anglican who has upgraded to a fancy Nonya heritage house and now looking for a parish nearby? If he does not check the Net, MPCC does not look like an Anglican church either by name or looks. Neither Saint nor Apostle, we are named after a residential GRC a few miles away, where a Cabinet Minister fumbling words were meme-ed many times over, “We have a plan, er…an East Coast plan.” And so he walked further. Huffing and puffing, he ended up in St Hilda’s Church which both look and sound thoroughly Anglican, with real wooden pews and kneelers thrown in.
This write-up is almost sounding like a satire and maybe it is. Stacked against these odds, MPCC did shine her light and made her presence felt through the years. It “salted” Haig Road School in those years when it was a lot easier to share Christ to students. She used to send “prayer walkers” to walk the streets of Joo Chiat when she was a lot seedier.
I can recall a challenging message by the late Joseph Chean who spoke on how we may light up our area. “Why are you here?” he asked. You can hear it again at this link: https://youtu.be/gflsffORIzY?t=2201
Now, in 2024, as we seek to “let our light shine,” how may we make our presence felt in our neighbourhood? How can we let those passing by know that we are a church and that they can walk into our Services if they wish too? What are the needs of our community? Apart from Services, what can we offer to meet the needs of our neighbourhood?
What is the Lord saying to us today? What insights or wisdom can we seek from each other and the Lord?
These are the questions which we will seek to understand and act upon in 2024. Pray with us. May our light shine brightly for Christ.