Graduates in Cohort Groups
Some young graduates who were part of the Christian Fellowship (CF) during their student days, have been meeting in cohort groups since graduating. Let’s hear from some of these groups about what it has been like for them.
NUS VCF graduates
We started as a group when we were in our third year in NUS. Heeding our VCF seniors’ advice, Yee Wei rallied our batch to pray alongside each other. So, we met weekly to share life and pray. And the rest is history?
Well, not quite. Our intention when starting out was to journey through transitions from Year 3 to our final year. As Yee Wei expressed, “it provided stability and accountability amid the changes and a space to struggle with challenges”. It took about one semester to reach this point. Essential ingredients were time and intentional vulnerability, both of which were hard to give at times. Now I recall these meet-ups fondly. It was one stable thing amid the uncertainties I faced while serving in the VCF Exco and writing my thesis.
Fast forward to us as new graduates – we initially intended to meet monthly, to continue journeying through our transitions to work and church. Yee Wei and I thus decided to facilitate intentional reflection and sharing about faith and work. This was through self-crafted studies on the theology of work, work values and life values. I learnt so much through this process! However, we have not carried on with these studies even though we continued meeting up (albeit less frequently). This was due to both a lack of time to craft the studies, and perhaps insufficient intentionality in that aspect.
Still, I strongly encourage students to find or cultivate a community in CF, especially if you don’t have that many peers in church! There is beauty in journeying together through transitions. As Lim Min shared, “it may be transient, but yet so timely for the group”. Start small, stay centred, and I believe it will become something precious.
Written by Wong Kangli
Kangli graduated from NUS in 2017 and currently works as a social worker.
NUS ISCF graduates
Commencement. It is an excellent word to describe life after university. My cohort-mates and I entered the workforce with the determination to live out FES Indonesian Ministry’s vision: to be Christlike leaders to bring God’s glory in every aspect of life – including work. Knowing the importance of Christian fellowship, we decided to start a biweekly gathering to discuss our biblical vocations and share our experiences.
Our discussion was mainly from the book, Kingdom Calling by Amy L. Sherman. The main thesis of the book is based on Proverbs 11:10, “When the righteous prospers, the city rejoices”. We discussed vocational stewardship and how we could apply it in our context. Additionally, we studied Colossians to immerse ourselves in God’s Word. Even though we did not have much work experience, the discussion and sharing were very helpful.
After completing the book and study of Colossians, we discontinued our gathering as it was very hard to find common free time. One year later, we met and shared whether we felt any differences before and after our gatherings discontinued. Most of us thought that we became more like secular people – drowned in our ambitions, workplace issues or just wanting to have comfortable lives. We put less conscious effort to be God’s ambassadors in the workplace and to bring shalom to the society. The accountability aspect in our gathering was very crucial in reminding us how we should live.
We decided to gather again every month. Currently, we use small group discussion materials from Theology of Work (https://www.theologyofwork.org/). Some of the topics are ambition and conflict at work. Honestly, we are still trying to figure out suitable formats and discussion materials. We are blessed to have brothers and sisters in Christ to share our working life journey with, and to support each other.
Written by Veena Salim
Veena graduated from NUS in 2015 and currently working at Gleaneagles Hospital.
Polytechnic CF graduates
I am currently leading a group of graduates from different polytechnic CFs. Our main purpose of banding together is to maintain contact, and help create a sense of belonging as well as continuation even after our exciting times in CF. As all of us are in a transitional period between graduation and what lies ahead of us, we realise that not all of us may be doing the same thing in the future, as compared to what we did in poly.
Our staff worker Fuji conducts sessions that allow us to dive into the Word, enriching us with fresh perspectives from familiar passages in the Bible. While doing this, Fuji takes care of our well-being, helping us to mature and flourish in our journey with Christ. As each of us has different schedules and commitments, attendance is a big issue. However, we do try our very best to be at every session because it is only then when we get to see each other after a long fortnight of work or classes!
I feel that the unity amid our diversity as a graduates’ group will benefit our own poly CFs in general because we get to share our unique experiences with the CF when we return as alumni, inspiring our juniors and bringing new insights to them!
Written by Cavin Sng
Cavin graduated from Singapore Polytechnic in 2015 and currently a first-year student with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Asia).
Chinese CF Alumni
After graduation, I came to appreciate the opportunities I had as an undergraduate, namely, having the flexibility of time, and regular fellowship with others in NUS Chinese Varsity Christian Fellowship (CVCF). These were opportunities that helped shape my spiritual growth. Upon entering the workforce, the lethargy and “loneliness” in working out our faith are struggles that we may experience. These struggles may jeopardise our spiritual growth especially when we start to prioritise “me-time” over time with God. T’was a vicious cycle leading to a state of spiritual dryness for me.
Our staff worker, Sook Ching 干事 started reaching out to me after learning of my struggles during one of the annual combined campus graduate camps. She reminded me to seek God first, His kingdom, His righteousness (Matt. 6:33) and His purpose in my life. We met one Saturday morning for devotion and decided to sustain it monthly. Eventually, we extended the invitation to other alumni and that was how the ministry “闹市中的灵修” (having devotions at the Central Business District/CBD) began.
Coming together at 8:00 am on a Saturday is a constant struggle. Yet, having the luxury of time to feast on God’s Word allows us to quieten our hearts. This is followed by fellowship through sharing and prayers over breakfast. Meeting in the CBD serves as a reminder to us to slow down and actively listen to God’s whisper, often drowned out by the external environment and our inner thoughts. Like the CBD on weekday mornings, our hearts may be similarly packed, sometimes even on weekends if we are busy serving in church.
I would describe the Saturday devotions as a Valley of Peace (adapted from a worship song), where I experience the three Rs – the mind Recharged, the soul Rejuvenated, and the heart Recalibrated to the Cross. May we learn to be sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and to find the rhythm of peace amid the hustle and bustle of life. May we tune our heartstrings to our God’s frequency.
Written by Lim Jia Ying
Jia Ying graduated from NUS in 2015 and is currently working in the Ministry of Manpower.