Bishop Philip Lok’s Farewell Message

Bishop Philip Lok Farewell_editedDear Friends,

Greetings in the Name of our Lord.

Today is my last day in the LCM Bishop’s Office. After two weeks of packing and of goodbyes, I’m glad that the day for me to leave has finally arrived. The book of Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is a time for everything. For me, this is the right time to do a ‘reset’ in my relationship with my family, with my co-workers, and with friends in the congregations and from around the world. But most of all, this is the opportune time to be renewed and refreshed, for what the Lord will call me to do in the coming years.

On this last day in office, I would like to express my deep appreciation to all who have lovingly supported my ministry in the last 8 years as the LCM bishop. It was your words of encouragement, and constant prayers that kept me going in this very special but challenging call. While it is undeniable that there were many difficult and disappointing situations, yet I’m always grateful for the good times we had. The significant events, the meaningful conversations and the laughter we shared, will be forever remembered. Also, thank you for bearing with all my failings, and if I had caused offence to you while in office, I humbly plea for your forgiveness.

In the next 3 months, I will take on a journey of discernment. Apart for giving my body and spirit some rest, I will also be seeking God’s guidance in what to do in the next chapter of my ministry. At this crucial life-intersection, I do earnestly seek your prayers and counsel.

8 years ago, I stepped into this office with a deep sense of trepidation. I felt extremely inadequate to fulfill the duties of this sacred call. But a colleague encouraged me with these words – “God doesn’t make mistakes.” With those 4 words, I moved forward in faith, and resting each day on His faithfulness. (If there were any mistake made, it was solely due to my own sinfulness and shortcomings.) As I leave the office today, I do have one farewell wish. And that is for the Father to whisper, “I didn’t make a mistake.”

Signing Off with Much Love,
Philip Lok

PS. Now, with a bit more time to spare, I will undertake a special task which many of you have requested me to do previously – start a Facebook account! Hope to see you on Facebook soon 

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What A Year It’s Been! – Emily’s Farewell

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Today, we bid Emily farewell after a wonderful year with us as BLC’s pastoral intern. 😦

She preached a wonderful sermon from her heart – her final one with us, before she returns to the US (at least until the Lord next brings her our way). Based on this week’s Lectionary Gospel lesson, centered on The Lord’s Prayer, she reflects on relationships and trust as the key takeaways from her experiences with us and the basis of the prayer Jesus taught.


Emily’s farewell sermon to BLC (long video)

We then shared a short video for her…


Our farewell video for Emily
(Music: Jauh Tapi Ikhlas, by Zainal Abidin)

…and presented her with two tokens: 1) A Malaysian recipes book and 2) a handmade woven bag (by Bess Anne!). Then we prayed for her together.

Emily's BagEmily’s Bag by Bess Anne – representing many of her experiences here with us

And now, we release her back to the ELCA and into God’s calling for her, wherever that may take her and Zach, covered with our thoughts, prayers and fond memories. 

Thanks for everything Emily! We’ll see you again, soon and Lord willing. And stay in touch – you’ll always have a room here with us in The Father’s House!!!

Journey’s Mercies Joyce and Rama!

Today, with heavy hearts, we bid farewell and travel mercies to Joyce and Rama as they embark on a new chapter of their lives in Europe. Rama has contributed greatly to our community as Treasurer (especially since no one else wanted to take up the role!) and Building Renovation Chairperson while Joyce has always been faithful in many things around the church, including: as an usher, decorating the altar, preparing great banners and managing hospitality – even when those who were originally scheduled were unable to make it.

We will miss them both – their faithfulness, hospitality, smiles and wisdom. But we wish them well and pray that the Lord will return them to our community soon.

Journey’s mercies until we meet again Joyce and Rama!

Sayonara さよなら Masaki!

Today, it is with heavy hearts that we bid farewell to Masaki – who has been with us for six years.

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Masaki has been especially influential with all the children of the church, being a Sunday School Teacher. Their heartfelt well-wishes and farewells to Masaki were especially touching today.

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Her infectious joy, passion for food and steadfast friendship will be especially missed by her LiFE Group as well.

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We bid her a fond farewell – thanking God for the great years she got spend with her, but also releasing her back to Japan to continue the good work that the Lord has started in the world through her.

Sayonara Masaki – and blessings for the journey ahead!

Masaki’s farewell speech to BLC: