July 7, 2024

Report on the Installation of the Session in Gethsemane BPC, Pangasinan

Written by:
Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy

Report by Pr Kelvin Lim

“It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

The LORD our God is faithful! He has established a witness for Himself in Pangasinan, the Philippines. For the last decade, the faith of the saints there has been strengthened by the preaching and teaching of His infallible and inerrant Word through the labour of Rev. Donald dela Cruz.

The 10th Anniversary Thanksgiving Service of Gethsemane B-P Church, Pangasinan, was held at the function hall of Trish Hotel. More than 90 people came to witness the LORD’s faithfulness in sustaining this Gospel work for 10 years! The joy of the people could be seen from the smiles on their faces. They rejoiced heartily with songs of thanksgiving in worship of the LORD. The church choir also presented a hymn to the glory of God.

Rev. Reggor Galarpe, pastor of Gethsemane B-P Church, Cebu, was the Lord’s messenger for this blessed occasion. He exhorted the congregation from Acts 6:1-7 on the topic, “The Church and Its Deacons”. Next, he installed the elected deacons (Bro. Jumar Balicao and Bro. Kyt Bince) in their office, and thus inaugurated the Church Session. After which, there was an infant baptism. Pastor Donald baptised baby Daniel, the son of Dn Kyt and Sis. Charlene. The service ended with a benediction.

After the service, buffet lunch was served. The people continued to fellowship one with another, praising God for His goodness unto all. Indeed, it is a blessing to witness the bond of the brethren. “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1). 

As for me, I am very thankful unto the LORD just to be there. I am grateful for the hospitality of Pastor Donald and Dn Kyt. Dn Kyt picked me up from the airport on my arrival and bought me dinner before sending me to the hotel, while Pastor Donald hosted me for lunch before sending me to the airport for my departure. During my stay in the hotel, I was glad for the company of Rev. Reggor. We talked into the morning like we used to when we first met 24 years ago. We recollected the goodness of the LORD, and encouraged each other to press on in the work of the Gospel. Finally, I was surprised to see Bro. Jordan and Bro. Julius—they came specifically to rejoice with the brethren on this blessed occasion! This reminded me of what the psalmist said, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD” (Psalm 122:1). All glory be unto the LORD our God!

Report on Combined Youth Conference 2024

Report by Bro. Rayson Tan and Bro. Titus Ho

This year’s CYC took place from 18th to 21st June, with its theme (in the form of a question), “Ready to Reap What You Sow?”, taken from 2 Corinthians 9:6 – “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.”

Morning Theme Messages

During this four-day conference, youths from our church (Gethsemane BPC) and fellow Bible-Presbyterian churches (Blessed Hope, Calvary Pandan, Calvary Tengah, True Life, Truth), along with other invited friends from non-BP churches, came together to study the Word of God. We thank God for His wisdom and grace upon Pastor Koshy & Rev. Samuel Joseph, as they preached 7 theme messages that challenged the youths to reflect on the type of “seeds” sown in their lives thus far. Are they sowing seeds of worldliness, or are they sowing things of spiritual and eternal value?

Message 1 introduced the theme question, expounding on 2 Corinthians 9:6 and highlighting the principle of “proportional reaping”, with the exhortation on always abounding in the work of the Lord. 

Message 2 (based on Hosea 10:1-2) emphasised the importance of being Christ-centred in our service. Using Israel’s unfruitfulness attributed to their lack of commitment to the LORD, we were warned to have the right focus when serving the Lord.

Message 3 reminded us, through Proverbs 22:8, on the potential youthful bad decisions that lead to negative consequences. As even small compromises can grow into significant issues, hence Galatians 5:9 stresses the need for wisdom in our decisions and actions. 

Message 4 exhorted us, from Romans 12:11, to maintain a sense of fervency and passion in serving the Lord, which comes when we remember the Gospel and what Christ has done for us on the cross.

Message 5 warned of ungodly men and false teachings that should invoke vigilance in us to conscientiously guard ourselves. Galatians 6:7-10 urges us to be continually discerning “sowers” of sound doctrine, that we may remain steadfast even in this sinful world. 

Message 6 taught us, from Matthew 9:32-38, to resonate with the burden of being an effective soul-witness for Christ, through the talents He has uniquely bestowed upon us. The spirit to serve isn’t dictated by one’s proficiency of talents, but a humble attitude to learn and serve for God’s glory. 

Message 7 warned us, from 2 Corinthians 9:6-11, to eradicate a legalistic thinking when doing the Lord’s service, for it is by faith that we render our spiritual gifts for the Lord’s service. 

Afternoon Activities

Together with the messages being expounded in the morning sessions, each day’s afternoon segment was correspondingly filled with a time of discussion and activity. The youths were allocated groups, that were facilitated by an adult leader and a mature youth. Through this, the youths had a chance to recount each day’s theme messages to be applied accordingly in their lives.

Day 1 - Ice-Breaker Activity

During the afternoon of CYC Day 1, we thank God for an enriching ice-breaker session, where the youths went around to interact, via a questionnaire that request information (specifically related to each youth) on key characteristics of church ministries and even the CYC committee.

Day 2 - Forum Sharing by Full-Time Ministers & Workers

During Day 2’s afternoon session, a selected panel of full-time ministers and church workers were invited to share the Lord’s calling for them to serve full-time. This forum gave the youths insights on the careful preparation when it comes to such service of the Lord. One biblical admonition from Romans 12:1-2 stood out – “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Truly, may the youths continue to be consecrated Christians in the various callings of life that our Lord has placed them in, be it in school, work, or at home.

Day 3 - Recording Activity

On Day 3, the CYC attendees had the opportunity to witness the Lord’s work done through the productions of Bible Witness Media Ministry for BWTV. Through this brief hands-on exposure, the youths (alongside their voices and musical talents) were able to produce an item within each group itself through a song / skit! Thank God for the initiative of the group leaders that was complemented with the spontaneous ideas of the respective teams, allowing them to effectively record their presentations within a short span of practice!

Day 4 - Final Day of Conference

To reiterate the truths learnt over the past 4 days of CYC, the youths came together again to record the theme song, “Have You Counted the Cost?”. Through the technical help rendered by the Bible Witness Media Team, a couple of musically-inclined youths were able to (within short notice) arrange the music for the hymn, and conduct the singing for recording purposes. With much meditation and hope, we sang this hymn of consecration as our prayer for the years ahead.

Following that was a time of “guided” testimony (with the help of prompt-questions). The conclusion segment of the CYC was led by Pr Joshua Yong, who gave an exposition (from Ecclesiastes 11), on the essence of seizing every opportunity to serve the Lord. At the end of our lives, it’s not about the secular benefits we have accumulated that would grant us happiness, but the ultimate fulfilment that comes from knowing that we have given our best to the Lord’s work.

Indeed, all glory and praise be unto the Lord for the blessed 4 days of the Combined Youth Conference held at our Gethsemane Media Centre. With Gethsemane being the host church for CYC this year, there were also many opportunities for our youths to serve in. Be it ushering & welcoming, preparation & serving of refreshments, management of the AV, even the daily post-clean-up sessions, it was a joy to see the youths’ fervency in service and active application of what they have learned. Clearly, we have seen much evidence of the Lord’s grace and providence even in the preparation and execution of the CYC. We pray that all of us will continue to serve and sow bountifully for Him. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58).

Gethsemane Bible-Presbyterian Church adheres to the system of faith commonly known as the “Reformed Faith” as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms.
Our Worship Address
SingPost Centre
Level 5 Auditorium
10 Eunos Road 8, Singapore 408600
(next to Paya Lebar MRT station)
Our mailing address
Gethsemane Media Centre
33 Ubi Crescent
Singapore 408584
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