Monday, 2 June 2008

weekend seminar on psalms at wesley methodist church melaka (2)

it was a good weekend seminar at wesley methodist church melaka. since coming to seremban 11 years ago, i have not been invited to wesley church melaka to preach or teach! (no need to ask why as the answers are obvious). so, it was a new experience for me as well as for the seminar participants. a week before the seminar began, the total number of people who signed up was 60 (in fact, we had about 65 persons in all when the seminar began). that was a good number considering the fact that i had never been to the church to preach or teach before. of course, people would had heard of the reb from the Berita STM. one lady commented that she read my comments in the malaysian methodist community forum but had imagined from the way people addressed or described me on the forum that i was an older person! sorry to have disappointed her!

during the psalms seminar, i decided to use brueggemann's schema of orientation-disorientation-reorientation to look at the psalms and it turned out to be a fruitful effort. the participants appreciated it as it was something which they could grasp and resonate with. of course, after teaching the seminar, i realize that there are some areas to improve on. the next time i use this approach in a psalms seminar, i will incorporate some of the efforts to overcome whatever shortcomings in the notes and teaching approach.

sunday service was also a new experience as i have never preached from the pulpit in the church. what was an interesting experience was that because it was also a holy communion service, the holy communion railings were locked in place so that when people leaned on it during the holy communion services, the railings would not accidently open. so, for the preacher to go up to the pulpit, i had to walked from the front pew where i was sitting to the side door to go outside of the church and walked back in another side door into the altar area where the pulpit was! as i went out, a (diabolical?) thought crossed my mind, 'what if the preacher walks out of the church but did not walk back in?' so, as i walked in the altar area, i joked to the pastor, rev thomas chin, 'what if i do not reappear in the altar area? how long would the church members take before they realize this and go outside to look for the missing preacher?' anyway, i didn't try it or else i probably would not be invited again to the pulpit.

i preached on psalm 90 entitled 'teach us to number our days'. i especially picked this psalm in the light of the psalms seminar the previous day. this was to give the participants an insight on how to dwell deeper into a psalm. in all, it was a good time. of course, with good nyonya food thrown in - lunch at makko, dinner of chicken rice balls (but the rice balls have shrunk so much!!!), sunday lunch in church with nyonya kuih thrown in and sunday tea of chendol ais at bukit rambai. that makes the melaka trip fully complete. now, did i miss anything else especially melakan food???

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