The 1st Service 2 Day-1 Night retreat was carefully planned to span over the long Hari Raya Puasa weekend (25-26th June 2017) so as to allow members of our 1st Service to spend a restful fellowship time in quaint Changi.
In this excerpt, Siok shares on the highlights of the retreat. Participants Elizabeth, Ps Dhamodharan, Cathy, Peng Chye, Hilda, Amy, and Edwin and Mabel reflect upon how the retreat had impacted them.
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Before our church members headed to Changi for the retreat, there was a huge thunderstorm in the early afternoon. Graciously, the skies cleared by mid-afternoon as 28 adults and 9 children checked into their rooms at the Village Hotel Changi.
The program began on the Event Lawn of the Civil Service Club where youngsters Joel Chan, Caleb and Dillon Soon excitedly led us in the “Passing the Message” game and the “Biblical Numbers” quiz.
After the game and quiz, some went for a stroll along the Changi Boardwalk. Others sat around enjoying the sunset. Soon after, the fires were started in the BBQ pits and the aroma of sizzling satay, sambal fish and black pepper chicken chops soon filled the air.
Seven more members joined us for the BBQ dinner. Danny Soon and Jeffrey Ng graciously grilled the steaks that Georgia Teng had prepared. The ladies, led by Jessie, brought a salad of healthy greens. After dinner, the youth had an impromptu game of football on the Event Lawn.
On the following day, Rev Dr Jeffrey Truscott led a teaching session on “Remember Your Baptism”. We sung hymns about baptism and after the group discussions, we had the Affirmation of Baptism service.
The retreat ended with fellowship over a lunch buffet spread of local and international delights at the Saltwater Café.
And how did this retreat impact our participants? Here is what some of our participants had to share!
Apart from enjoying the scenery, food and fellowship, the most meaningful takeaway is what I learned during the session led by Dr Jeff Truscott. Baptism is a commitment to God. In the process, we are a new creation – we are to be Christ-like from that moment onwards. However, because of our sinful nature, this process of becoming like Him is a continuous one. We are all the time struggling between our old self and the new creation. Consequently, the church rituals, fellowship within our cell groups, and retreats such as this one are necessary to help us in this journey. In Dr. Truscott’s words, “… in reality we must be born again every day. Baptism is for life!”
It was a wonderful experience to be part of this retreat. It was clear that a lot of time and hard work were contributed to make it so successful. Thank you Dr Jeff for the reminder of our baptism – to keep us grounded and remember its meaning: not only in our Sunday services but also in our daily duties as God’s children.
Ang Peng Chye
I had a clearer understanding of the Confirmation Class that it was an affirmation of one’s decision to “live out” one’s baptism by participating in the life and mission of the church. This is the first time I made the sign of a cross to remind me of Christ and my baptism. I am indeed motivated to do this daily. The food (at lunch) was sumptuous and I enjoyed the fellowship we had.
Relaxing, excellent hotel stay… good fellowship, delicious BBQ and buffet. Last but not least, the spiritual nourishment provided by Dr Jeff Truscott is just perfect to round off the day.
I found the retreat to be a perfect balance of relaxation, fun, Bible Study and reflection. The duration was just right – not too short nor too long. I enjoyed Changi Village’s “Old Singapore” atmosphere, the delicious food, the seaview and breeze plus wonderful company.
I enjoyed the retreat and the session by Dr. Jeffrey Truscott was a wonderful recap of my baptism event. The sharing and discussions were helpful as it opened up everyone’s thoughts and provided a way to encourage each other. The lunch was a good time to draw closer to others in talking and sharing.
Edwin and Mabel Raj
The proximity of the venue, the duration of the retreat, the topic of discussion, and the food and games were fabulous. We should have this type of retreat every year! Thanks to all the organizers.