Singapore minister makes a spiritual journey

Noel Goh traveled 36 hours by plane to be a delegate at the United Methodist General Conference, but he will not cast a single vote.

Goh, a Methodist minister in Singapore, is a prayer delegate. He’s one of about 250 volunteers who staff the prayer room on the third floor of the David Lawrence Convention Center.

The Western Pennsylvania Conference prayer ministry team put together the General Conference prayer room. It’s a quiet, peacefully decorated ballroom with several prayer stations and a prayer tent designed to be a sanctuary for any General Conference participant or visitor who seeks meditation and reflection.

With eyes tightly closed and head bowed, Goh prays with and for anyone who requests it. Prayer topics range from healing for a family member, to God’s will for the General Conference.

Goh, who is now on a sabbatical from the Singapore church, says it’s inspiring to see people from all over the world “coming here at different times with a heart for prayer, crying out to the Lord.”

The clergyman says he was called to be a prayer delegate at General Conference. “It’s like the Lord has made it possible to come here on my own and to be able to learn as well as contribute to what’s happening here,” he said.

Goh and the 250 other prayer delegates volunteer time to pray with people they’ve never met and may never see again. He says it’s a privilege to offer the opportunity for others to communicate with God.

“Prayer is like a cry,” said Goh. “Everyone cries, even a baby. It may be a cry of need or a cry of dependence on somebody bigger than us. When we’ve grown to a point where we think we are independent and we don’t need to cry or get help, that’s when we stop praying –– really praying.

*Riemland is a freelance producer and correspondent for United Methodist News Service.

News media contact: (412) 325-6080 during General Conference, April 27-May 7.
After May 10: (615) 742-5470.


Like what you're reading?  United Methodist Communications is celebrating 80 years of ministry! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community.  Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
General Church
Delegates from the Philippines and Southeast Asia sing during the 2019 United Methodist General Conference in St. Louis. Nearly 300 Filipino United Methodists joined a virtual conversation March 16 to talk about the Christmas Covenant and other plans for the future of The United Methodist Church. More webinars are planned for church members in Africa and Europe. File photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Restructuring legislation gets a hearing

The drafters of the Christmas Covenant are leading webinars in the Philippines, Africa and Europe about their proposal for changing the denomination’s global structure.
Judicial Council
Bishop Sally Dyck presides over a discussion of the church budget during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. After the 2020 General Conference was delayed, the board of the denomination’s finance agency asked the United Methodist Judicial Council for a declaratory decision on how to calculate the ongoing denominational budget and apportionment formula. File photo by Maile Bradfield, UM News.

New budget must wait for General Conference

The United Methodist Church’s finance agency lacks authority to set new guidelines despite postponement of church’s top legislative gathering.
General Conference
Jessica Vittorio. Photo courtesy of Jessica Vittorio

Closed-door meetings breed mistrust

Too often, important decisions at the church’s highest levels are being made in closed sessions that violate church rules about transparency, says one General Conference delegate.