News plays a very important role in modern society. It keeps us informed about the changing events of our time. It updates us not only about our own community and country, but also the whole world. It discusses the latest social, economic, political, and cultural developments. It continually increases our knowledge regarding every aspect of life. The importance of news has grown increasingly as a result of greater literacy. Education sharpens our curiosity about events in distant lands, which are brought nearer each day by the mass media. The world today is indeed a global village.
Very few people truly have independent thinking. Many form opinions from the news supplied to them by the media. Most have no time to research the truth of what is being reported. As such, newspapers exert a profound influence on society, often guiding and molding public opinions. When stories are presented inaccurately, they can cause misconception. But when they are communicated truthfully and objectively, they can promote goodwill, understanding and progress among peoples.
Personally, I am very excited about the launch of the inaugural issue of City News Weekly. With weekly attendances averaging 27,086 and a membership of more than 60,000 in the region, it is imperative for members of the City Harvest family to stay connected to one another and the overall vision. We need to be updated of the happenings in our various departments and services. The place of agreement is the place of power. Especially for a ministry that champions the cultural mandate, we need to be informed of the workings of the Holy Spirit in the marketplace.
With this clearly in mind, I hope that CNW will fulfill the following fourfold purpose:
1. Christian Perspective. CNW should seek to offer readers with news involving events and stories that are not usually mentioned in our daily newspapers. Reading commentaries from both sides—secular and spiritual—will challenge us to think deeply and differently on issues.
When the Indian Ocean Tsunami hit in 2004, CHC and its affiliate churches were among the first to send medical relief teams to Banda Aceh. In 2009, when Typhoon Morakot devastated many parts of Taiwan, our local affiliates toiled tirelessly day and night to rescue hundreds of lives. When the 25-year-old civil war in Sri Lanka finally came to an end last May, our church members joined hands with humanitarian organizations, like CityCare and Crisis Relief Singapore, and made many trips to Vavuniya to provide medical and emotional aids to the thousands displaced by the conflict. It was the same when the 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked Haiti and claimed almost 200,000 lives. That very day, CityCare immediately mobilized doctors, nurses and experienced disaster-relief volunteers to travel to Port-au-Prince to help the survivors.
Whenever we hear of calamities and disasters such as floods and earthquakes around the globe, many often wonder, “Where is God in all this?” By reporting from a Christian perspective, CNW should offer answers, restore faith, and bring comfort and hope in such turbulent times. The stories of unsung heroes who have made a difference among the poor and hurting should be told.
2. Communication. Week after week, we have members and visitors walking through our doors, attending our worship services, and walking out again without getting connected to the church or being acquainted with our spirit and values. Through the pages of CNW, people should be able to get a macro view of what CHC and other churches are doing, and how their members are making an impact in the marketplace.
Unbeknown to many, City Harvest Social Services Association has community activities that go on practically every single day of the year. I hope that stories of their multifaceted charitable works among the marginalized in society will be covered.
The section on missions will feature reports of missions work overseas. New exciting churches are sprouting all over Asia and other parts of the world. For the average Christian, it is simply too hard to keep track of the happenings around them. The CNW team will work with news correspondents in these churches to bring us the latest reports worldwide, keeping us informed and connected.
3. Celebration. In an increasingly cynical world, our congregations desire to be the place where “dreams are achieved and success is celebrated.” We do believe in the power of the “word of our testimony.” As CNW profiles personalities who have achieved their dreams in their respective schools, businesses and industries, I pray that it will inspire its readers to think bigger and see further.
4. Creative Expression. As we live by the call of the cultural mandate, it is fitting for this publication to provide a platform for Christians to express the creativity that God has placed within each one of us. Popular culture is that platform for creativity to flow and flourish. It is my desire to see followers of Christ making a difference in music, TV, films, theater, fashion, modeling, sports, art and journalism.
With this inaugural issue, may City News Weekly become a tool and channel of inspiration to bring every Christian one step closer in achieving their destiny in Christ.