Sunday, March 26, 2006

Goodbye to ARPC at 25 Adam Road

Today, we bid goodbye to Adam Road Presbyterian Centre at 25 Adam Road at the 11.15am service, the last service to be held in the existing building.

There was a slide presentation, a visual display of funky retro hairstyles and tight jeans the numerical growth of the ARPC congregation from the handful who could fit easily and comfortably into a room in a house to the more than 1,000 we have now overcrowding the multipurpose hall (and hence, the need to upgrade the existing building).

Kevin and Jenn spoke of how they came to know God in this building and how they grew in knowledge of Christ and also in girth.

Michael Lee told of how, when he was at Prinsep Street Presbyterian Church, he had to come to inspect 25 Adam Road after receiving a call from the Ministry of Environment complaining of mosquitoes breeding in the place. The lallang was up to his waist and he had to hack his way through using skills picked up in his army days.

After his sermon, Chris Chia mused that he loved many things in his life: he loved his wife, he loved his children, he loved his mother. And he also loved the congregation. He said he was a great honour for him to have the opportunity to pastor us.

We sang about the wonder of knowing God and the faithfulness of God and there was a bit of tearing and sniffling amongst those present. Even though the church has and will always be made up of people, not of buildings, many were nostalgic about the place where they had grown to understand God and themselves as sinners in need of his mercy, where they had made friends who would walk their Christian lives with them, where they had grappled with the Bible and relationships with each other, where they'd met their spouses. Others were touched by the faithfulness of God providing a place for them to meet together, for preserving them, for growing them even though at times, they didn't know what they were doing.

Goodbye, 25 Adam Road. But God has promised that his grace, his love, his mercy and his preservation will follow those who continue to trust in him, wherever they are.

Great is Thy Faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Refrain:
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Refrain

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Refrain
Copyright © 1923 Hope Publishing Company

* Island blogs about the last service at 25 Adam Road as well, Sern Khoon takes one last look at the present building and Shing reminisces in Sydney.

* Photos thanks to F

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