CHORUS welcomes Rev. David Lee as our Associate Vicar, and shares more about this new addition to our COR family.
by Joel Lian
“Can I say I was predestined?” Rev. David Lee said with a laugh when asked why he’s remained Anglican since coming to faith at the age of 13. “I appreciate the beauty of our liturgy. They give words to our heartfelt worship so beautifully. The key is to internalise them so they are not words of rituals but our personal expressions of worship. Our emphasis on Scripture, Tradition and Reason provides a well- balanced anchor in our learning and deliberation; the spirit of “via media” or the “middleway” reflects an attitude of humility, moderation and our desire for unity in our community. All these are facets of the Anglican tradition that attract me.”
Rev. David’s quip on predestination rings true when one considers that he first made a commitment to follow Jesus in Anglican High School, despite having assured his parents that he would not become a Christian upon enrolling with the school. “Actually, I had already been searching and asking questions about life at a young age but had no opportunity to hear and understand the Christian faith until Anglican High”.
Indeed, God’s call on his life has remained persistent. At the age of 15, he felt a stirring to enter full-time ministry. Sixteen years later, the call came again when he and his wife, Veronica were actively serving in St. Andrew’s Community Chapel (SACC). “Amazingly at that time, Ven. Wong Tak Meng, who was our vicar, approached me to consider working in the church. It was a confirmation for us!”
From there, his path into the ministry took many more years, until it reached its high point at his ordination as deacon in November 2011. “Like David in 2 Kings 7:18, I was touched and grateful that God had looked upon me with favour and not forgotten about my calling,” says Rev David. “Ordination was a way of saying to God there is no turning back.”
Rev. David comes to us from St. Hilda’s Church, which was his first posting after being made priest in 2013 while serving at SACC. His move to COR is part of the leadership succession plan first announced by Bishop Kuan in April at the Annual General Meeting. Rev. David will take over as Vicar when Bishop Kuan retires next June.
So what does he hope to see in COR? Rev. David Lee says, “I believe God has founded each local church for a specific purpose. I hope we can re-envision what that mission will look like for the next 20 years. I believe we have a good heritage and DNA. I am excited to see how we can continue to build on that while staying relevant to our generation. I believe student ministry is one key aspect. Of course, I am new to COR and would like to take time to first know more about this new family.”
Meanwhile, COR members can learn more about him too. Rev. David has been married to Veronica for 14 years, and has two girls: Alethea, 13 and Clara, 11. In his free time, he likes to read, listen to music and chill out at home.
“I also like to do some gardening (if tending to 2 pots of plants is considered as gardening) and work on my old, beat up car,” he says. “Using and getting my hands dirty is a good way of connecting with God’s creation.”
When asked what was a low point in his ministry, Rev. David Lee replied, “Two years ago, I came to a point when I felt totally incapacitated. It was not any incident in particular, but the stress and toll of ministry in general brought me to my knees. I told God I couldn’t do what He has called me to do. I broke down and was completely humbled by the Lord. I guess we all need to bottom out. God is not interested in A&A (Addition and Alteration). He wants to do a reconstruction. And he can’t start on the new project until the old is demolished. We all need to be broken every now and then.”
May the Lord use Rev. David mightily in the reconstruction of lives in COR, and may he be blessed during his time with us. The CHORUS team wishes him a very warm welcome!
JOEL worships at Sunday Worship Service and is a core leader in Creative Arts Ministry.
This article first appeared in Issue 17, November 2017 CHORUS Magazine.