The first church camp since the COVID-19 pandemic has just passed. Camp Reconnect aimed to be the ‘best camp ever’, focussing on bringing the members of Bethesda Chapel back to a state of full connectedness, not just within the church, but with God’s purpose for us as individuals and as a church. It was a bold endeavour, and one whose success criteria is not always evident, nor definitive.

One of the sermons that stood out to me was the idea of Christian fellowship, particularly about living and loving one another, as stated in John 13:34-35 and 1 Thessalonians 3:12. In these verses, we are commanded to ‘Love one another’, just as Christ has loved us. Speaker Kenneth Wong exhorted us to be intentional about fellowship, as cursory greetings alone will not result in true fellowship. He spoke of the ‘ABC’s of why people join a church: they feel Accepted, a sense of Belonging, and they feel Cared for.

Perhaps because we are so comfortable in our family church, we sometimes do not take the time to think carefully about what we say to others. Society has changed. We must be  more careful in our speech if we do not wish to turn someone away. For instance, in the distant past, it was socially acceptable to comment on someone’s weight or appearance. However, as society has progressed, we now understand that such comments can have negative ramifications on a person’s self-image and growth as we do not know what others are going through.

Hence, for members to feel the ABCs, we need to be sensitive and tactful. Indeed, even as we go about our lives and congregate in church on Sundays, let us endeavour to be intentional in our conversations and actively seek to establish true fellowship.

Deacon Amos Ghui