All of us at New Creation Church received the looooong awaited news last Sunday – we will finally be moving into our own building! Yay!! No more queues and shuttling between different locations. God is good! For 7 years since we moved into The Rock Auditorium at Suntec City, we have been split over several locations within that area. Let me briefly recall – the main auditorium at the Rock, two overflow rooms on levels 4 and 6, another overflow at Gallery West, children’s church between Suntec Convention Centre and occasionally at Marina Mandarin Hotel and Pan Pacific Hotel, mandarin/hokkien service between Swissotel Stamford and Suntec Convention Centre, the nursery at Suntec Mall, Tower 3. Wouldn’t you say it’s quite a mess? Imagine the logistics involved in moving equipments and supplies between these locations. But thank God for efficient and dedicated servers (most of whom are volunteers), everything went smoothly every week. It’s pretty amazing. My hats off to these people really.  But all that will hopefully come to an end by 2011 when we move into our new location. That’s another 4 years to wait out. I will be almost forty by then! Seems like such a long wait. Our pastor is a firm believer in not rushing into things and working with God’s timing. You can read more about this upcoming project in this article that appeared in the Straits Times today.

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 $660 million lifestyle hub to go up at Buona Vista
5,000-seat theatre, shops part of Rock productions, CapitaLand project
By Joyce Teo, property correspondent – The Straits Times 10th September 20007

Come 2011, a futuristic-looking lifestyle hub with a 5,000-seat theatre, restaurants, shop, chill-out wine bars and even dance clubs will emerge in Buona Vista.

Property giant Capitaland and a church-linked business company, Rock productions, announced yesterday that they will jointly develop an integrated complex in Singapore’s one-north science hub at a costs of $660 million. 

CapitaLand’s share of the proposed development, including the ownership of about 1,000 carpark lots, will be about $380 million.

Rock Productions – the business arm of the 16,000-strong New Creation Church – will invest $280 million.

The complex, which will be connected directly to the Buona Vista MRT station, will be sited within the 17ha Vista Xchange, the business service centre as well as lifestyle and cultural hub of one-north.

Designed by Mr Andrew Bromberg of Aedes Hong Kong, it will have eight levels of civic and cultural space and four levels of retail and entertainment space.

The project came about after JTC Corporation last Friday  awarded Rock productions the tender to build, lease and operate and integrated civic, cultural, retail and entertainment hub at Vista Xchange on a 60-year lease at a land price of $189 million.

Rock productions had  spoken to a few partners and decided on CapitaLand, which entered into an agreement through its indirect wholly owned subsidiary One Trustee to acquire the hub’s retail and entertainment zone, which has a gross floor area of more than 24,000 sq m.

CapitaLand Retail will also manage the entire development of the integrated hub.

It is proposing an open concept for the retail and entertainment zone, which will be spread over two floors above the ground and two basement levels. the basement levels will house chic tenants that will include restaurants, cafes, thematic dance clubs, a concept food hall and a gourmet supermarket.

CapitaLand Retail chief executive Pua Seck Guan said the zone presents a unique opportunity for CapitaLand to extend its presence to the Buona Vista area. The zone will cater to the affluent crowd from the nearby Bukit Timah, Holland and Rochester park areas,as well as the visitor catchments from the one-north communities, surrounding estates and tertiary institutions, he said.

Rock productions will own and manage the hub’s civic and cultural zone, which has a gross floor area of 30,000 sq m. This zone will have a 5,000-seat state-of-the-art theatre designed by world renowned performing arts facility design consultants, Artec consultants and Bromberg.

Among Artec’s best known projects are the Lucerne Cultural centre in Switzerland and the concert hall and opera theatre at the Esplanade here. 

Rock productions has engaged IMG Artists, a global performing arts management company, to work on the marketing and programming efforts for the zone.

A major tenant has already been secured.

New Creation Church, which now holds its services at The Rock auditorium at Suntec City, will be the anchor tenant of the theatre, using the space on a large part of Sundays and one mid-week night, said Rock Productions director Matthew Kang.

Rock Productions also owns and manages The Rock Auditorium and marine Cove, the recreational and dining establishment at East Coast Park.

Just in case some of you are confused, Rock Productions is the business arm of New Creation Church. How exactly does the relationship work, I’m not too clear. What I know is that Rock Productions manages the auditorium we are currently in, Rock Auditorium, and New Creation Church is it’s main and permanent tenant. But because the church only requires the space 3 days in a week, Rock Productions also rents out the auditorium space to organisers of events like concerts, seminars etc.

Some of you might be wondering if it’s “ok” for a church to have a business arm. I understand the concern about mixing business with church. It invites gossips for various reasons. At first I was a little apprehensive too but after looking at it objectively, I see no reason why it cannot work for the glory of God and the betterment of the overall community, not only it’s members. As far as I know, we have an integerous leadership. Besides, I have never been pressured to “give” to the church for any other reason than it is an honor and privilege to honor God for what He has blessed me with. The church has never spoken to us of any lack. If any, they have been thanking God all these years for His abundant provision. Pastor always believe in following God’s leading. Wherever God leads, He will provide, he says.

Nevertheless, we will have our fair share of detractors, especially from the Christian community, which is not unexpected. A big portion of Christendom doesn’t believe a church can be prosperous and impactful for the right reasons and yet remain integerous, genuine and be a great blessing to it’s people and the local and global community. Just take for example the amount of criticism directed at mega-churches around the world. Yes, some of the complains are valid but we should not assume that ALL mega-churchers are power and money hungry. Why do we have to assume that something is wrong if a church is growing? Why do we have more confidence in evil than in good? Is it not possible for God to raise different churches of different sizes to serve different groups of people? Each serves its own purpose in God’s timing. Together, we serve the universal church as well as be a witness and a blessing to the community around us. All these we can acomplish regardless of our numbers. Recently, I was pleasantly surprised to know that *our church had given SGD70,000 to the Mendaki Fund as a blessing to the Malay community. Wouldn’t you call that being a blessing to the local community? The wonderful thing is that the church has never trumpeted their “acts of charity” to the public. Maybe that’s why people on the outside have the impression that all these $$$ is used for selfish reasons.

Now having said all that, I do realize the dangers and temptations that a church will be open to if they’re growing too rapidly. There will be a temptation to feel superior, indestructible and prideful and soon God is nothing more than an accessory in their empire. This is why from now on, I will pray more often for the leadership of my church, that God will always draw their heart and vision back to Him and that they will always remain humble before Him and the people. The wonderful thing about belonging to a church is the accountability we give to one another, the leadership to it’s people and vice versa, and to God whom we are all ultimately accountable to. 

It is my hope and the hope of all at NCC that we will be a church that will make a difference in a positive way. With great power comes great responsibility. 

rk

All the information here, besides the quoted article, are to the best of my knowledge as an ordinary member of the church since 1999. By ordinary I meant that I am not part of the leadership. 

* Solid Rock Sept 07- quaterly publication of New Creation Church.

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