Teachers new and old recommit their vocation at the Teachers’ Christian Fellowship Dedication Service.
|CN PHOTO: Poh Yang Zheng|
“Are you searching for lost donkeys?” was the curious question posed by senior educator Winston Hodge to the group he spoke to, of more than 70 teachers gathered at the Teachers’ Christian Fellowship Dedication Service, held on Jan. 30.
TCF is a fellowship that exists to encourage Christian teachers, enable them to relate their faith to education, get to know other Christian teachers, and help them formulate a biblical perspective towards educational issues. This year marked the first dedication service since 2006, when TCF took a break.
Hodge, who has been involved with education in Singapore for the last 30 years, drew his question from the Bible passage 1 Samuel 9 where Saul is absorbed in the ordinary task of searching for his father’s lost donkeys, oblivious that God has already ordained him to be king.
Speaking at the Anglo Chinese School (Primary) Drama Theatre, Hodge’s point to his audience was that, “in the midst of all the demands of our personal and professional lives, we must never, never lose sight that we have been already anointed to serve God and His purposes.”
Hodge further asserted that God’s purposes for educators are in line with the Teachers’ Vision launched by the Ministry of Education in 2009 of leading, caring and inspiring.
Quoting John 13:1-18, he illustrated how Jesus, the Master Teacher, exemplified these three attributes through the act of washing His disciples’ feet.
Mirroring his message was TCF chairperson, Lucy Toh, who works at MOE’s headquarters. Her hope for Christian teachers in the year ahead was that they would know the love of Christ more. “The closer we stay to Him, the more we can achieve for Him,” she said.
Love was put into action in the service during a time of prayer which began with representative teacher Esther Tok-Lee from Geylang Methodist School (Primary) praying for parentsand caregivers to become pillars of strength for students. She also prayed for strong home-school partnerships between teachers and parents.
A representative parent, Dawn Tan- Yip prayed for teachers to be able to respond with love to parents and the students’ various caregivers, as well as to reflect Christ in their every interaction with colleagues and students.
The teachers gathered also took time to rededicate themselves to the Lord’s service by reflecting on and reciting in unity a teachers’ pledge for Christian educators as well as a dedication prayer.
Hodge’s message resonated with teachers-to-be from the National Institute of Education Christian Union.
Teacher-in-training, Tan Soh Hi, said, “One of the points he made was about realizing that God has a purpose for us. I think sometimes as beginning teachers we are not aware of that and are quite fixed on the small things.”
Members of NIECU presented two songs during the service, “Jesus Is Lord” and “There Is A Hope”.
The tradition of holding an annual dedication service began in 1983 but ceased in 2006. This year, the tradition was rekindled as part of TCF’s overall objective of encouraging and building up Christians who serve in the field of education.