Issue No. 03 Feb 2013
Chinese New Year Announcement


BGST will be closed for Chinese New Year 2013 on the following dates:

  • 9 - 12 February, Saturday - Tuesday

We will resume normal operating hours on 13 February, Wednesday.

Editor's Article (Dr Lai Pak Wah)

Mid Jan 2001. One night, after a routine stay at the hospital, my father’s lungs failed suddenly and he was admitted into the Intensive Care Unit –side effects of prolonged chemotherapy. There he would stay in a semi-comatose state until April 3, 2001, when he went home to the Lord. Dad’s death was a life changing experience for me. It not only underscored the fragility of life but compelled me to ask serious questions, such as “what is the meaning of life?”; “how should I make use of my God-given life so that I will not regret when my time comes?” My questioning catalysed a chain of events over the next decade – quitting work at Singapore Polytechnic, theological studies at Regent College and Durham, and finally to a life of teaching again at BGST. So my students, the fact that I can be your history teacher is in no small way indebted to my father’s death!

31 Jan 2013. I received news of the passing of a church mate and a brother well loved by so many at our church: BG (Dr) Lim Meng Kin. Visiting the family at the wake, I discovered that, like my father, Meng Kin’s lungs too succumbed under the toils of chemotherapy. Likewise, he would struggle for his life for 2 whole months, before passing on to our Lord. But this was not all I found out about Meng Kin. Later, in the Monday newspapers, I read that he was a “Hotel collapse hero,” who personally climbed into tunnels to pull out survivors trapped under the collapsed Hotel New World (1986). Later in 1997, he was also involved in the 1991 storming of hijacked Singapore Airlines flight SQ117. Well respected by his SAF colleagues, he was also highly regarded by his peers at NUS (where he was later, Associate Professor at the School of Public Health). The Sunday vigil, a church mate remarked, overran to way past 10 pm because so many friends and family wanted to say their tributes to him! This clearly confirms what Meng Kin used to tell his sons about his life: “that by the time he reached 50, he was very blessed and contented because he had achieved what he set out to do. … Everything else for him was a bonus” (Straits Times, Feb 4, 2013).

Perhaps it was its parallels with my father’s death – they both died in their early 60s. Perhaps, it was how my heart warmed when I read about Meng Kin’s legacy. Meng Kin’s passing once again set me thinking: “What legacy do I want to leave in this life?” And more importantly, “how should I live – what habits to develop, what vices to abandon, in order to be faithful to these remaining years that God has for me?

We live in an anesthetised society, where we use pain-killers to hold all signs of death at bay – from aspirins for our backaches to Quantitative Easing (well, printing money!) to coup with a floundering consuming economy. Yet, contrary to popular opinion, taking death (of all sorts) seriously is actually beneficial for our spiritual health. The monastic fathers knew this well and spent all their waking moments reflecting on it – this helped them to focus on the love and judgment of God, and to repent of their sins daily. Abraham, notes Søren Kierkegaard in his Fear and Trembling, likewise discovered the true nature of faith (as an “infinite resignation” to God) only when he had to deal with the prospect of the death of his beloved Isaac (at his own hands)!

The same may for said to us. I would like to suggest two ways in which we can reflect on death in our lives. Firstly, are we so bogged down by problems at work that we cannot even sleep? Consider this: would this still be a ‘problem’ that we regret at our deathbed? If not, is it worth losing sleep over it then? In short, death has a way of bring focus and clarity to our lives. Secondly, at this moment, we may be encountering death (literal or spiritual) in our lives. This could be the death of a family member, or the death of our career, or just we losing interest in what we do! The net result is similar – we feel lost and dismayed, checkmated, not knowing how to live meaningfully in the days ahead. What then shall we do? The Chinese has a saying: “In times of lack, we must change; with change, new possibilities, new life, new directions arise; with these, we can endure in the long term” (穷则变,变则通,通则久). In other words, ‘death’ can present opportunities for positive changes, if only we have eyes to see and ears to hear them. We Christians should be especially sanguine about this, since we have a heavenly Father who is ever willing to lead and guide us in His will. This being the case, we need to remind ourselves and each another that in days of despair, keeping on hoping and discerning– for God is with us. With death comes new life elsewhere. And it is my prayer for all of us, that as we keep death in mind, we may recognize the new opportunities that God is bringing into our lives. And in this way then, may we make our way to the new Canaan that God has in store for us. Amen.

Chapel News

The next chapel worship service is on 13 February 2013, led by Dr Lai Pak Wah. The speaker will be Mr Chan Kum Soon who is one of our Adjunct Lecturers. Kum Soon will be teaching a course on Worship Design & Worship Leading, commencing on 20 Apr 2013. All are welcome.

Following that on the chapel service of 20 February 2013, we will be having a worship service led by Dr Philip Satterthwaite. We welcome your participation.

Lift Servicing for March 2013

Please be informed that the Lift No. 4 leading to the main entrance of BGST will be undergoing servicing on 5 Mar 2013. Kindly make use of cargo lift no. 6 at the back of the building. We apologize for the inconvenience caused.

Upcoming February Courses

CO260, 1.5 Credits

Adjunct Lecturer : Mr William Teo
Venue : BGST, Clarus Centre
Dates : Feb 13, 20, 27 Mar 13, 20, 27 (Wednesdays)
Time : 7:15 – 10:00pm
Fees : $225 (for credit); $157.50 (by audit)
Addiction grows in a manner both complex and mystifying. The course examines how addiction develops and its multiple impact on those who succumb to a lifestyle of addiction. The major component of the course will focus on developing competent counsellors to work with addicts. At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Know why individuals become addicts
  2. Understand the basic process and types of addiction
  3. Conceptualize the different models of addiction
  4. Profile addicts and to administer appropriate treatment

To view course description, please visit the webpage at http://bgst.edu.sg/media/files/courses/CO260-13.pdf.

CS101/ECF503, 3 Credits [Required course for Grad Dip CS, MCS & MDiv]

[To replace The Christian Spirit TS251]
Adjunct Lecturer : Mr Chong Ser Choon
Venue : Telok Ayer Chinese Methodist Church
Dates : Feb 19, 26, Mar 5, 12, 19, 26, Apr 2, 9, 16, 30, May 7, 14 (Tuesdays)
Time : 7:15 – 10pm
Fees : $450 (for credit); $315 (by audit)
This is an introductory course to provide a broad understanding to Christian Spirituality. The undergirding conviction and thrust of this course is that to be a Christian is to grow to more Christlike. The course aims to be both academic and practical. Besides lectures, students will be in small groups for both class discussions and spiritual formation practicum throughout the course. They will be writing weekly journals, and meeting with the lecturer for personal spiritual conversations. There will be in-depth discussions dealing with how can we grow deeper in our spiritual life in a busy world e.g. finding the rhythm between work and rest, cultivating the spiritual disciplines to keep one's spiritual life vibrant.

To view course description, please visit the webpage at http://www.bgst.edu.sg/media/files/courses/CS101-ECF503-13.pdf

ECF502, 3 Credits
Adjunct Lecturers :
Dr Ng Peh Cheng & Rev Tan Cheng Huat
Venue : BGST, Clarus Centre
Dates : Feb 26, Mar 5, 12, 19, 26, Apr 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 (Tuesdays)
Time : 7:15 – 10:15pm
Fees : $450 (for credit); $315 (by audit)
This course examines the research on the developmental psychology and spiritual formation of children from birth to twelve years old. The integration will be of interest to both parents and church educators in the faith development of children. Teaching and structuring models of children’s ministry in the church will be discussed.

To view course description, please visit the webpage at http://bgst.edu.sg/media/files/courses/ECF502-13.pdf.

Upcoming Intensive Courses in June 2013

MM258, 3 Credits
Adjunct Lecturer : Mr Benjamin Pwee
Venue : To Be Confirmed
Dates : Jun 3, 4, 6, 24, 25, 27
              Jun 1 & 29 (NOTE: Sat 9:30am - 12:30pm, followed by 1:30 - 4:30pm)
Time : 7:15 – 10:00pm
Fees : $450 (for credit); $315 (by audit)

More details about the course will be given in due time.

MM259, 3 Credits

Adjunct Lecturer : Dr Toh See Kiat
Venue : To Be Confirmed
Dates : Jun 10, 11, 13, 17, 18, 20
              Jun 15 & 22 (NOTE: Sat 9:30am - 12:30pm, followed by 1:30 - 4:30pm)
Time : 7:15 – 10:00pm
Fees : $450 (for credit); $315 (by audit)

More details about the course will be given in due time.

Change of Course Dates

CE/ME231, 1.5 Credits
Adjunct Lecturer :
Dr Sng Bee Bee
Venue : BGST, Clarus Centre
Dates : Mar 22 (Fri), 23 (Sat) [Day Class]
Time : 9:30 am – 12:30 pm, follow by 1:30 – 6:00 pm
Fees : $225 (for credit); $157.50 (by audit)
What is God’s will and calling in my teaching profession? How can I discern his hands at work in the midst of pressure and problems in schools? God has designed a special purpose for work and that includes the teaching profession. The Bible tells us of the original purpose of work and education. Jesus is the Great Teacher and the perfect model of effective teaching methods. This course will cover the theology of work and education and how to share the gospel in restrictive educational environments. This course has a dual objective:

  1. to help Christian teachers understand the biblical basis of teaching and reaching out to students in the local context
  2. understand the place of education in overseas missions.

To view course description, please visit the webpage at http://bgst.edu.sg/media/files/courses/CE-ME231-13.pdf.

AT235, 1.5 Credits

Adjunct Lecturer : Mr Chan Kum Soon
Venue : BGST, Clarus Centre
Dates : Apr 20, 27, May 4, 11, 18 (Saturdays)
Time : 12:30 – 3:30 pm
Fees : $225 (for credit); $157.50 (for audit)
This course is design for aspiring worship leaders as well as worship leaders who wants a deeper grasp of what it takes to be an effective worship leader. “Man’s chief aim is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever” (Westminster Shorter Catechism). The key question for worship leaders, therefore, is “Did worship really occur? Did the assembly have an encounter with the Triune God week after week? What exactly is worship all about, much less leading others to an encounter with God? As worship leaders, do we pander to the narcissistic culture within and without the church by adopting worldly methods in worship leadership? What exactly is the role of the worship leader in corporate worship?

To view course description, please visit the webpage at http://www.bgst.edu.sg/media/files/courses/at235-13.pdf.

If you would like to have an overview of the courses we will be offering in Semester 2 of Academic Year 2012-2013, please visit our webpage at http://bgst.edu.sg/media/files/courses/2012-2013-sem2.pdf

For course inquiries, please email us at inquiry@bgst.edu.sg
37 Jalan Pemimpin, #06-05 Block B, Clarus Centre, S(577177).
Tel: 6227-6815 Fax: 6255-3686 Email: inquiry@bgst.edu.sg
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