Singapore minister makes a spiritual journey

Translate Page

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? Support the ministry of UM News! 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-SUBSCRIPTION
Judicial Council
The Book of Discipline contains the rules that guide The United Methodist Church. The Judicial Council — the denomination’s top court — faces multiple questions related to how to interpret Disciplinary provisions about General Conference. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Church court deals with General Conference delay

Three United Methodist annual conferences, including one in Africa, have asked the denomination’s highest court to rule on the ramifications of General Conference’s third postponement since the onset of COVID. The Judicial Council also faces more questions about church disaffiliations.
Faith Stories
Donald Reasoner (front), then coordinator of language interpretation services for The United Methodist Church’s Board of Global Ministries, is welcomed to the Icolo e Bengo United Methodist Church in Luanda, Angola, site of the 2006 West Angola Annual Conference. Reasoner, the son of missionary parents, has spent more than 30 years providing interpretation and translation for the denomination. To Reasoner’s right is Kathy L. Gilbert, a writer for UM News, now retired. File photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

A ministry of interpretation

The son of missionary parents, Donald Reasoner honed his communication skills by translating and interpreting for English-speaking visitors to Brazil.
General Church
With some congregations considering leaving The United Methodist Church or just wondering about its future, Ask The UMC offers a series of questions and answers to help clear up some common misperceptions or misinformation around disaffiliation. Graphic by Laurens Glass, United Methodist Communications.

Ask The UMC: Is The United Methodist Church really... ? (Part 5)

Do we have to choose between The UMC and the GMC? What happens if an elected delegate disaffiliates?