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Retired Pastors Ministry – A Beginning
By Rev. Dr Lee Chong Kau
Dec 2014

The newly formed Retired Pastors Ministry Committee organized their inaugural gathering and dinner on 18th November 2014, Tuesday afternoon at 5:30pm, at Spring Court Restaurant. Together with our retired coworkers, the Synod and the Presbyteries’ leaders gathered to dialogue and discuss the goals and plans of the Retired Pastors Ministry.

Present that day were Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Stephen Tan, Rev. Kenny Yeo, Rev. and Mrs. Teo Yee Hock, Rev. and Mrs. Chiam Cheng Kiat, Rev. Tan Cheng Peow, Rev. Luke Thurai etc. Rt. Rev. Leow Kee Fatt, Vice Moderator of the Chinese Presbytery Rev. Lim Chong Guan, (Chinese Presbytery Moderator Rev. Chau Soo Keong due to a recent knee operation was not able to attend), Moderator of English Presbytery Rev. Yap Wai Keong, Synod executive Director Elder Wong Pock Yeen and Synod General Secretary (Designate) Rev. Tan Cheng Huat were also present to support and encourage. All members of the committee were present.

The gathering began with a happy and relaxed atmosphere. The committee chairman Rev. Dr. Lee Chong Kau welcomed everyone and led all to sing 3 traditional hymns. Rev. Dr. Stephen Tan led in opening prayer. Rev. Dr. Lee in his brief address shared the committee’s vision and goals and pointed out that our retired pastors should retire with dignity and be encouraged to continue contributing to the church. They also need care and concern.

Synod Moderator Rt. Rev. Leow Kee Fatt was invited to share on the committee’s plans and goals. Firstly, he pointed out that the pastor as leader of the church, might face certain dilemma as to where to go upon retirement? He then pointed out that churches should harness the gifts and talents of our retired co-workers. He recommended: (1) Establish a retired co-workers fellowship and issue membership card; (2) Encourage co-workers to care for one another, and to strive for medical insurance benefits; (3) Keep a record of retired co-workers specialty, so that congregations and the Synod can retrieve these when needed. (4) Open our doors, allow retired elders to participate. (5) To consider the future Presbyterian HUB, Serene Garden or a local church to hold their regular activities.

Rev. Dr. Stephen Tan pointed out that due to the Presbyterian polity, co-workers’ relationship with the Synod would stray further on retirement, and so will lose a sense of belonging. He felt that co-workers’ experiences, feelings, needs and circumstances were varied, therefore the organization and plans had to be flexible. He also emphasized the importance of a database of retired co-workers, harnessing this precious human resource.

Rev. Tan Cheng Huat expressed that co-workers on retirement are able to also contribute their gifts and talents to help the church. Churches should cherish the precious human resources of the retired coworkers. Retired co-workers can mentor the younger co-workers and even serve as the interim moderators etc. Rev. Yap Wai Keong recommended that we encourage retired co-workers to write and publish their memoirs, local church history, devotionals and research papers. Rev. Thurai pointed out: when coworkers retire their health might deteriorate and need help. They might become lonely. We need to plan to care for them. Rev. Dr. Stephen recommended that we organize volunteers to care for them.

At the end of the gathering, on behalf of the Committee, Rev. Dr. Lee expressed appreciation for all retired co-workers for attending the inaugural meeting and the Synod and Presbyteries’ leaders for their support. He appealed to the Synod and all the congregations to care for the retired pastors.

Members of the Retired Co-workers Ministry Committee
Chairman: Rev. Dr. Lee Chong Kau,
Secretary: Rev. Abel Lee,
Members: Rev. Sin Fei Fong, Elder Lee Kwang Chai, Sister Lim Hai Yen



 
 




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