Bishop Dr Chong Chin Chung –was elected Bishop of The Methodist Church in Singapore in 2016.
He served as President of the Chinese Annual Conference from 2008 to 2016.
Over the last 25 years, more and more Methodist local conferences have been observing Lent, the 46 days before Easter. The Lent season does not include the six Sundays that fall in this period as churches generally regard Sunday to be the day for commemorating and celebrating the resurrection of the Lord. When we take away these six days from the 46 we get the 40 days of Lent. However, different regions and denominations still observe Lent of varying durations. This is mainly dependent on whether Sundays, Saturdays and the Passion Week are to be included in the Lent period.
Regardless, churches originally used Lent as a time to prepare believers who were to be baptised during Easter by gathering the baptism candidates together to fast, pray, reflect, confess their sins, read the Bible and spiritual literature, and meditate. The focus of their thoughts during the period of Lent was on Christ’s experiences after he was baptised by John the Baptist in the Jordan River, his fasting in the wilderness, and victory over the devil’s temptations as recorded in the Bible.
One very meaningful form of spiritual discipline during Lent is abstinence or self-control. This is applied to our daily meals, or entertainment and leisure activities. We may consider restraining ourselves or suspending the activities altogether to remind us that we need to change, be transformed and be renewed, and to focus on the imitation of Christ, to be more like Christ.
For details, please refer to announcements on the MCS 135 celebrations in Methodist Message and your church bulletins.