The most significant event in the year 2019 for CERC in Singapore was certainly the acceptance of the call as the minister-on-loan (MOL) by Rev. Jonathan Mahtani on November 3, 2019. After many ‘unsuccessful’ MOL calls by the Grandville PRC (the calling church) in the past two years since Rev. Andrew Lanning took up the call at Byron Center PRC, our Jehovah God has finally answered our prayers in providing us with another undershepherd! Thanks be to God for His gracious provision! We are very excited at the prospect of having Rev. J. Mahtani and his wife Keri and family come to Singapore in the near future. We will remember the needs of Cornerstone PRC who has graciously given up their minister for our sakes. It is our prayer that God will greatly bless the ministry of Rev. Mahtani in our midst as he takes up the work in January 2020, the Lord willing. At the point of writing this report, we are still awaiting the approval for the application of the employment pass for Rev. Mahtani. The employment pass has to be approved by our government before we could ‘employ’ Rev. Mahtani to serve in CERC.
CERC is very thankful to God for the work of the PRCA Committee of Contact in arranging pulpit supply while we were without a minister for the past two years or so. We thank God for the PRC ministers (and their respective consistories) and professors who willingly ministered God’s Word and sacraments to us. In particular, we are deeply grateful to Emeritus Rev. A. denHartog and his wife Sherry for their help over the past many months. They have sacrificially given up the time they could have spent with their loved ones in the USA to minister to our needs. Rev. denHartog, despite his age, served diligently in our midst like a full time pastor: preaching the Word and administering the sacraments, teaching catechism and membership classes, counseling and visiting the sick/indigent, conducting funeral and wake services, officiating a wedding service, speaking in church and youth camps, lecturing at the Reformation Day Conference, and even attending our Session meetings. His labor of love is greatly appreciated.
Our Jehovah God continues to bless our church through His Word and sacraments. The Lord is pleased to add to our church several covenant children and adults over the past years through baptisms and confession of faith. This year alone, we witnessed the births of six babies in our midst. We now have 186 members, of whom 41 are non-communicant members. Of these non-communicant members, 23 of them are under six years of age! We thank God for His covenant faithfulness.
Presently, two sons of our congregation are studying in the Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary: Josiah Tan and Marcus Wee. In October 2019, Brother Tan was granted the license to speak a word of edification in the churches. Do continue to pray for the grace of God for these brothers as they study for the ministry.
Year 2019 marked yet another milestone in our ecclesiastical relationship development with other churches. CERC and the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines (PRCP) have formally established a sister-church relationship with one another. CERC immediately enjoyed the benefits of the new ecclesiastical relationship with Rev. Leovino Trinidad of Maranatha Protestant Reformed Church of Valenzuela City preaching for us and administering the Lord’s Supper in early September.
Our missionary pastor, Rev. Emmanuel Singh, continues to labor faithfully in Kolkata, India. The Fellowship was officially recognized by the Indian government as the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of India, CERCI on April 1, 2019. On September 15, 2019, two elders from CERC assisted Rev. Singh in the baptisms, confession of faith, and infant baptisms of nine brethren in CERCI. CERCI is presently working towards institution as a church. This will took place, the Lord willing, in the near future when the training of their potential elders/deacons is complete.