Category Archives: Ministry

PhD programme Admission Offer from University of Birmingham

Dear Friends

Through the Spirit of God who proclaims the healing of Jesus to all creation— grace, peace, and joy be yours in increasing fullness!

For your prayerful remembrance, I would like to update you on a new development that transpired over the past several months regarding my aspired PhD endeavours.

As many of you may recall, last year I was not able to go forward with my PhD programme with Bangor University (Wales, UK) due to financial constraints. By around May this year, I pretty much concluded that circumstances have virtually closed once for all, this aspiration for me. Yet then by June Dr Wolfgang Vondey, Director of the PhD programme for the Centre of Pentecostal Charismatic Studies (CPCS) under the University of Birmingham (UK), invited me to apply for their programme.

Vondey basically expressed two main reasons that prompted him. First was awareness that I could not go forward with the Bangor programme dues to financial constraints. He stated that there may be scholarships within the University of Birmingham that might substantially cover me through their programme. The other reason was having sat in on my paper delivery on a similar theme last March at the Annual Meeting for the Society for Pentecostal Studies, he took an interest in my intended research on Pentecostal liturgical theologies, as it falls within his own work and interests. Incidentally, the Journal for Pentecostal Theology published that paper in their fall 2018 issue.

So I followed through with his suggestions for revising my doctoral proposal, and completed all the application procedures by early August. Then by mid-October, the admissions office finally sent me an Admissions Offer, to begin the programme in October 2019, one year from now. Once started, I would have four years to write the dissertation. There will be no course work; just dissertation writing under Vondey’s monthly supervision, and a yearly trip to Birmingham (covered under the tuition fees).

Let me briefly describe the institution’s global stature, along with how my dissertation falls within its concerns. While statistics vary, the University of Birmingham’s Department of Theology and Philosophy (under which falls the CPCS) often ranks as the 24th top theology department worldwide. The CPCS is the world’s first Pentecostal/Charismatic Studies centre, created in the 1970’s by the late founder of “Pentecostal Studies,” Walter J. Hollenweger. For more information, you can visit the following link: https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/ptr/departments/theologyandreligion/research/pentecostal.aspx%5D

Meanwhile, Dr Vondey is presently one of the world’s premier Pentecostal theologians. His main expertise is Pentecostal liturgical theology; meaning, focus on how Pentecostal worship practices shape Pentecostal belief and spirituality. My dissertation would specifically focus on assessing emerging Pentecostal liturgical theologies worldwide, particularly to how they attend to the notion of Pentecostal “oral” liturgy (e.g., Pentecostal “oral”-based practices of worship).

Some have asked me what would be some practical implications of the dissertation. Well, it is really all about constructing a Pentecostal theology of prayer. So it is all about retrieving the relevant themes from Pentecostal spirituality and appropriating them towards the life of prayer; especially prayer that calls on the Father for renewed comings of the Spirit of Jesus, to renew the church in behalf of the world’s healing.

The Spirit of Jesus is filling
Sons and daughters of Pentecost
Who know their home at the altar of sacrifice.
From there they go, receiving from the Father
Many gifts for healing the world.
For the heart of God is an altar, where the burns the most flammable substance in all creation: His unfailing love. And this love generates— the fires of Pentecost.

Prayer requests / How you can help
I understand that at some point this month, the University of Birmingham will begin publicising their own sponsored scholarships and grants relevant to my programme. Once the university advertises these, I will start applying. Hence, for the next several months, I am now in something of a “race” to see if God willing, the means may all come together for this venture to begin next October.

Though the years go by, I remain passionate and increasingly passionate about one thing:
To preach the Pentecostal Full Gospel of Christ our Saviour, Sanctifier, Spirit Baptiser, Healer, and Coming King, and represent the Pentecostal tradition for the renewing of the Church worldwide, the saving of nations, and healing of creation.

Now ultimately, if it does not come together, I am ok with that, for to the best my conscience, I have strove to keep this long-held aspiration on the altar. Therefore, if it does not work, I do not see myself ever picking this up again. Yet for now, I fully feel prompted by God to follow through these steps before me— while also leaving the outcome in God’s hands and best for our future. I perhaps should also say that Jee Fong is fully behind me in this, and praying with me through the journey. Therefore, my postures is this: if it all comes together, thank God; and if it does not it— thanks be to God! Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Either way, I appreciate and solicit your prayer towards these matters and endeavours. And on a practical note, I value your involvement in any way possible, towards any new ministerial, church, organisational, or collaborative relations that may help foster these aspirations. So that together— we may seek and serve the up-building of the Church, the coming Kingdom, and the greater glory of God.

Let me share some thoughts from a message I recently preached from Ezekiel 37 titled, “Rattling Bones, Rising Hope, and Restoring Breath of Jesus”: Friends, your latter days are promising. For the glory of the latter house, shall be greater than the former house. Hope is rising, for reviving winds of God are blowing, and miracles are coming. For the one who runs before us – Jesus – pioneer and perfecter of our faith, is doing a new thing in and through us. The Spirit of Jesus shall raise your fallen seed a hundredfold, birthing for all nations— a harvest of peace, joy, and overflowing blessing. For this aim, the Lord blesses the fruit of your womb, the crops of your land, and the work of your hands. Only believe, receive, and sow for the coming harvest.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s love, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit— increase and equip you with all good gifts of Heaven, that you may labour with God in His mission to heal the world.

The peace of Christ be yours through the power of God’s Spirit,

Monte

monterice@gmail.com
monteleerice.wordpress.com
sg.linkedin.com/in/monterice

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Preaching the story and symbol of Pentecostal tradition

With help from Wolfgang Vondey’s 2017 book, Pentecostal Theology: Living the Full Gospel (Bloomsbury T&T Clark).

Earlier this month, just before Good Friday, I was invited to preach a three message series for a church camp this coming June. I was given a theme (“Let Your Light Shine”) and asked to come up with something, “inspirational.” On Saturday before Easter, I prayed to God, “Lord, what am I going to do? What would you have me to say? Keep in mind that that the Saturday before Easter is traditionally called, Holy Saturday. And it was surely for me, a Holy Saturday for within an hour’s time, the whole series flashed before me: “Pentecost.” Moreover, what also emerged that hour was a very clear outline, preaching texts, themes and aims, for the whole three nights. That was a real “ah ha” moment; a redemptive, or redeeming insight.

Now I what greatly aided this sudden inspiration was that I had spent several months extensively reviewing and engaging Wolfgang Vondey’s 2017 book, Pentecostal Theology: Living the Full Gospel (Bloomsbury T&T Clark). I have earlier written some reviews on his book (see below for links). In my earlier reviews, I stress the book’s aesthetic qualities, imagery rich yet simple vocabulary, and highly readable and profoundly edifying prose. For these reasons, I also described it as a systematic theology that may richly fund Pentecostal preaching and congregational liturgical leadership with formatively-powerful imageries, symbols, and themes—evocatively calling people to God at the altar of Pentecost.

Now that I have actually started crafting some messages with help from Vondey’s text, it seems to me that some of you may benefit from these practical examples on how his work can function as a powerful resource for structuring messages on core Pentecostal themes. I will thus proceed in two steps. I will begin by presenting the broad outline I have developed, along with the main points of my first two messages. Then in Part Two, I will explain how Vondey’s Pentecostal Theology book funded my sermon preparation.

PART 1: three sermons on “Back to Pentecost”

Introduction to preaching series

Pentecost. Back to Pentecost.

Back to the light that comes from the fires of Pentecost.

Fires that warm the heart / make bright the face / and empower us—

For overcoming / fruit-bearing / victoriously prospering— Christian life.

Yes, let it be our aim for these nights before God

In whom within Himself burns an altar that generates—

Life-giving fires of Pentecost.

Let us come back— to Pentecost.

That’s why Church camp is often called, “retreat”; church retreat.

We cannot advance, without times of “retreat”— to holy ground.

Coming back to the mountains of sacred encounter.

Coming back to the fires of Pentecost

Falling down from the heavenly altar— where burns the loving heart of God.

We’ll be encountering this light, through a journey.

A transforming journey— across three mountains. Three mountain peaks.

Where at each mountain top, we’ll encounter God— at the altar / on holy ground.

A map for the journey:

1st session 2nd session 3rd session
Mountain Horeb Zion/Upper Room Bethany
Text Ex 3.1-5 Acts 1.8; 2.1-4; 17-21 Mt 5.1-3, 16; 28.16-20
Title “Behold the Light” “Receive the Light” “Show Forth the Light”
Main worship

movement

To the altar

Behold

At the altar

Receive

From the altar

Show forth

1st sermon outline (“Behold the Light”; Exodus 3.1-5):

  1. The desert is the place— of God-encounter.
  2. The holiest God-encounters are always— altar calls.
  3. God’s heart is an altar: it generates— Pentecost.
  4. Coming to God’s altar, starts with focused worship.

2nd sermon outline (“Receive the Light”; Acts 1.8; 2.1-4, 17-21)

  1. God’s love.
  2. Visions and dreams.
  3. Boundary-breaking prayer: tongues speech.
  4. Passion for God’s coming kingdom.

3rd sermon outline (“Show Forth the Light”; Mat 5.1-3, 16; 28.16-20)

Not developed yet.

End-camp practical take-away:

Three spiritual formation practices in the key of Pentecostal spirituality

The three messages suggest a practical “take-away,” that participants may practice as a “rhythm” within their ongoing spiritual formation. Each cycle comprises a narrative journey, yet can be also viewed as a spiralling process.

Life practice God encountered as:
1 To the altar / Behold Saviour/Sanctifier
2 At the altar / Receive Spirit Baptiser / Healer
3 From the altar / Show forth Coming King

PART 2: Themes retrieved from Vondey’s Pentecostal Theology book

For a summary of and reviews I have made on Vondey’s book, see the following links:

My earlier blog posting: https://monteleerice.wordpress.com/2017/09/23/review-vondey-wolfgang-pentecostal-theology-living-the-full-gospel-2017

My review at Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies: http://www.apts.edu/aeimages/File/AJPS_PDF/18-1-BR-Monte-Lee-Rice.pdf

Wolfgang Vondey, Pentecostal Theology: Living the Full Gospel (London, UK: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017), in Asian Journal of Pentecostal Studies 21. No. 1 (February 2018): 98-103.

What I want to specifically mention here, is Vondey’s main thesis, and how he has conceptualised the Pentecostal Fivefold Gospel as a “narrative” of common Pentecostal practices that are commonly performed within a given movement related to a metaphoric place Pentecostals have historically typified as the “altar.”

Vondey’s main thesis is this:

“Pentecost is the core theological symbol of Pentecostal theology, and its theological narrative is the full gospel.” (p. 1). Coupled to this thesis is another major argument Vondey stresses. Namely, that in Pentecostal liturgical life, the notion of “altar” or “altar space,” is a core “metaphor” describing a “ritual space” (p. 5, 40) around which the Fivefold Gospel narrates Pentecostal movement to, at, and from a place of God-encounter, to the world in mission, and back to the altar (pp. 5, 30-31, 55, 84-85, 90, 108-109, 288-289, 292).[1]

Therefore, and this is most important to note, Vondey suggests that in Pentecostalism the Full Gospel actually functions not just or even primarily as a doctrinal confession, but rather as a narrative of common Pentecostal practices that both shape and emerge from the Pentecostal experiences of salvation, sanctification, Spirit baptism, healing, and reign of God, which Pentecostals also experience as increasing eschatological passion for the soon coming of Christ and God’s kingdom in its fullness (pp. 288-294).[2] Hence, Vondey proposes that the Fivefold gospel expresses a narrative movement around the altar that goes like this:

Saviour: To the altar.

Sanctifier: At the altar.

Spirit Baptiser: Through the altar.

Healer: From the altar to the world.

Coming King: Away from the altar in the world.

We must note that Vondey stresses this narrative movement as a heuristic reading, not an absolute structure. Hence, the narrative is a generalised observation, recognising there are diversities to the movement that do not always necessarily follow this scheme or narrated structure. Yet he also asserts that phenomenologically, the narrative broadly describes the ritual life of Pentecostals worldwide. In my three message series, I have condensed Vondey’s narrative into three movements.

To conclude by reiterating my earlier statement, Vondey’s Pentecostal Theology book provides salient resources for funding Pentecostal preaching and congregational liturgical leadership. It does so through formatively-powerful imageries, symbols, and themes— evocatively calling people to God at the altar of Pentecost. I hope my own present work at crafting out a message series that draws deeply from some of Vondey’s main themes, provides a helpful example to other preachers who may benefit from this germane homiletical resource.

Amazon link:
[1] For further clarity to this theme of the “altar” as a metaphor for the Pentecostal ritual space, see also Vondey, “Pentecostal Sacramentality and the Theology of the Altar,” in Scripting Pentecost: A Study of Pentecostals, Worship and Liturgy, eds. Mark J. Cartledge and A.J. Swoboda (New York, NY: Routledge, 2017), 94-107 (98-101).

[2] For further clarity to how the Full Gospel narrates pentecostal “altar”-rooted practices, see Vondey, “Embodied Gospel: The Materiality of Pentecostal Theology,” in Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion: Volume 8: Pentecostals and the Body, eds., Michael Wilkinson and Peter Althouse (The Netherlands, Leiden: Brill, 2017), 102-119 (103).

Vision Cast – Moving Forward 2018

  • Mission / Passion / Vision
  • Present ministry endeavours
  • 2018 SPS conference (March 18 USA trip)
  • Earlier acceptance in PhD programme / can’t begin without a way to meet tuition fees
  • Prayer requests / how you can help

Dear Friends

Through the Spirit of God who proclaims the healing of Jesus to all creation— grace, peace, and joy be yours in increasing fullness!

MOVING FORWARD 2018

  • Mission / Passion / Vision
  • Present ministry endeavours / some milestones on the way
  • Approved paper presentation for 2018 SPS conference (March 18 USA trip)
  • Accepted placement in the PhD programme of the Centre of Pentecostal & Charismatic Studies, Bangor University (Wales, UK) / can’t begin without a way to meet tuition fees
  • Prayer requests / how you can help
  • Conclusion

Mission / Passion / Vision

When I was on staff in a large Anglican church in 2006, the Lord clearly told me that I am to represent the pentecostal tradition, and minister its full gospel message of Christ our Saviour / Sanctifier, Spirit Baptiser, Healer, and Coming King.  Over the years since then, this conviction has become within my soul, further clarified.  Let me share this with you.

Life mission

To preach the Gospel for all creation, fostering pentecostal spirituality and its theological tradition worldwide— for the unifying renewal of the global Church.

Passion / Vision

I have a vision that impassions me.  It flows direct from the mission I believe God has given me.  I believe that this cause should navigate the ongoing outcome of my life.  It is a mission that impassions me with a vision of:

  • The global renewing of pentecostal spirituality
  • And the growing renaissance of this tradition’s theological tradition
  • In ecumenical service for the unifying renewal of the Church of God worldwide and the greater glory of God.

Believing I have a part to play for this great cause, to it I have committed my life before God.  Both my wife Jee Fong and I are thus ready to go wherever its labour may take us, that we may fulfil this mission for the good of the global Pentecostal tradition and the worldwide Church of God, the saving of all nations, the healing of creation, and the glory of God.

Present Ministry Endeavours / Some Milestones on the Way

Let me share with you my present ministry endeavours, what has been achieved, and relevant prayer requests.  You may get a better picture of this by viewing my Curricular Vitae and Speaker Profile (web-links provided below).  I preach within a given year’s time, about once month in different churches or settings.  Within those venues, this has gone well.  So as time goes by, I feel the Spirit’s quickening, the fire in my bones, and God’s pleasure when I proclaim His Word.  As earlier stated, my aim is that people encounter Christ who saves, sanctifies, baptises in the Spirit, heals and reigns as coming King over all creation.  I believe I should be preaching or delivering some kind of speaking engagement at least three to four times a month.  Please pray then, for expanding open doors, as we move towards 2018.

Please pray also for my 18 November workshop on “Preaching the Epistles,” for the Eagles Communications ARETE Programme.  Eagles Communications is a well established parachurch ministry, focusing on leadership and development and the preaching ministry.  ARETE is a 1.5 year mentoring programme for preachers.  Eagles told me that my same workshop last November was very well received.  I am thus looking forward to this upcoming event.

Finally, I am still getting my writings published in books, journals, and other mediums.  Most recent is an essay I wrote for Thomas Oord’s volume titled, Theologians and Philosophers Using Social Media: Advice, Tips, and Testimonials (SacraSage, 2017).  This book is currently ranked first on Amazon as the best-selling book in Religious Studies Education.  I was honoured to be included in this volume, as many of its contributors are influential trend-setting leaders in their respective fields.

Now in spite of these varied endeavours, I have out of a salaried role (or regular income) since 2006.  To help make ends meet, I have over the past ten years been doing a lot freelance motivational training for youth.  However, oftentimes this not generated sufficient income meeting many of our basic needs; we have lived on a very tight and short shoestring.  Therefore, may I therefore seek your prayer for my return to a more “full-time” ministerial role and/or setting.  Namely, one that would enable me to fulfil the mission and vision that God has impassioned for.

This has lately been my prayer (I call it the “Way” prayer):

Show us Lord not a way, but Your way.

Grant us the open door that none can shut.

And as you show us Your way, may we let Your whole world

Set the horizons before us, that we may go and come wherever You send us

In the fullness of Christ’s blessing.  Amen.

 

Approved Paper Presentation for 2018 SPS Conference

(March 18 USA trip)

In earlier August I received news that my paper proposal for the 2018 SPS Conference (Society of Pentecostal Studies / http://www.sps-usa.org).  This meeting (8-10 March, 2018) will be held at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary, Cleveland, Tennessee, USA.  The conference theme is one that strikes deep in my heart: “The Good News of the Kingdom and the Poor in the Land.”  The conference will address pentecostal/charismatic responses to issues of poverty worldwide.

To be presented under the Ecumenical Interest Group, I have titled my presentation: “‘Sounds of the Poor that Deify the Rich’: Pentecostal Oral Liturgy as Primary Theology.”  The paper reflects themes I earlier developed for the first chapter of my dissertation proposal.  Namely, the power of pentecostal oral liturgy (e.g., how pentecostals worship) towards empowering the world’s poor.

God willing, this will be my sixth presented paper in seven consecutive SPS annual meetings.  Let me share some aims to my part in this conference.  First, through it in at least a small way, I am helping towards the blossoming of world Pentecostal theology.  Second, this will be my four year of involvement with the Ecumenical Interest Group, which fosters conversations between Pentecostalism and other Christian traditions.  This helps our varied traditions learn from one another through the unique gifts God gives to each tradition.  The Ecumenical Interest Group thus regularly involves representatives from traditions, including Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and other Protestant groups.  Third, I am linking my local setting (Singapore and Southeast Asia), to conversations occurring amongst this international fellowship of ministry leaders, pastors, theologians, and scholars, on the role of Pentecostalism towards addressing poverty worldwide.

 

Accepted Placement in the PhD Programme of the Centre of Pentecostal & Charismatic Studies, Bangor University (Wales, UK) / Can’t Begin without a Way to Meet Tuition Fees

Last April I was scheduled to formally begin my PhD programme with Bangor University (Wales, UK), under the Center for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies.  I was privileged to have as my doctoral supervisor, Dr Frank D. Macchia, a world-class pentecostal theologian.  Visit his website at https://www.frankdmacchia.com/bangor-u .  You will note that he is still maintaining my profile as one of his PhD students.

Unfortunately, I could not complete the procedure as I could not meet the first year’s tuition fee of £5,200 (US$6,300; four years total, plus a yearly meeting trip).  I have applied for a local scholarship, but my application was unsuccessful.

At the beginning of this year, I was starting a great working relationship with Dr Macchia.  He expressed a lot of optimism towards getting the dissertation journey off the ground.  The title is, “Towards a Pentecostal Liturgical Theology/Aesthetic and Practice of Sacred Time.”  Liturgical studies is an emerging and exciting new field within pentecostal scholarship.  I believe I have a substantial contribution to make to it.  So I would also like to see my eventual dissertation published.  While I am not able to presently begin the programme, I was advised to stay on the project, so that once God willing the means comes together, I am able resume the programme with greater speed.

Yet at this point, it seems only a great miracle can launch this endeavour any further.  There are friends worldwide who are praying that God would make a way.  Meanwhile, I believe I have done everything I can humanly do.  Therefore, this brings me back to the “Way” prayer.  For concerning this endeavour, its seem our prayer should not be so much as, “God show us a way,” as rather, “Show us Your way,” and the open door which none can shut.

 

Prayer Requests / How You Can Help

Broad prayer requests

Please pray for me and my wife Jee Fong.  Please pray that I may fulfil this mission and vision which God has impassioned for.  This brings me back to the “Way” prayer I earlier shared, which conveys important themes the Lord is pressing into me.  The “Way” pray retrieves these themes from Scriptures like Acts 16 (Paul’s Macedonian call) and Romans 15 (Paul moving outward— bringing pentecostal fullness worldwide).  To be faithful to the mission, and the vision God has shown us, I have shared with Jee Fong that we must be open for a “Macedonian vision”:

Lord, show us not a way; but show us Your way.

If not Bithynia, grant us a vision of Macedonia

Show us the open door that no man can shut

For I have heard the trumpet blow

I have felt the wind blow

I have seen the glory

Show us Your way

Send us through open doors that none can shut.

May Your whole world set the horizons before us

Sending us wherever and however

We might best come to all people

In the fullness of Christ’s blessing.

For now, these are the themes that shape our prayer and posture before God.  Now if the Lord would have us stay in Singapore for years to come, then we are ready for this.  Yet if He should move us out anywhere worldwide, we ready for that also.  We just want to be in the centre of God’s heart, will, and full blessing.  So in the meantime, please pray for expanding speaking and ministry engagements.  Please pray for my resumption to a more “full-time” ministry role and/or setting.  Pray that God would place us within the church / organisational / denominational / network setting(s) where we may best serve Him, His Church, His world, and His coming kingdom.

 

March 2018 USA trip for SPS paper presentation

As in these past years, my attendance next March depends on coming to God in prayer for all necessary expenses (plane fare, hotel accommodations, conference fees, etc).  It remains a big faith venture, wholly dependent on God’s miraculous provision for that which is beyond our present capacity.

Please note the following time-expedient items:

Conference registration fees

By 1 November, conference participants are required to have their registration and membership fees covered.  Because my income is limited, I need help with these expenses.

Airfare

It would be best if I could secure airfare soon as possible (September-November), to avoid rising costs/limited seat challenges as we move closer to March 2018.

Your prayer towards these items is appreciated.  And if you are able to financially help, just let me know and we can arrange in ways that get the funds directly to these items.  I do immediately need help in meeting the conference registration fees.  I will then need help with airfare expenses, and the varied trip expenses (e.g., accommodations, etc)

Bangor PhD Programme

I will try not to unnecessarily repeat what I’ve earlier stated.  I am recognising that this aspiration may not come to pass.  I am not fully sure what to make of this, which has been a life-long aspiration.  I do not interpret this as something outside God’s will, but rather as a setback suffered as a soldier who labours for the coming kingdom.  Meanwhile I have friends local and worldwide who have expressed their prayers in my behalf in this matter.  So these are issues we wrestle with.  I value your prayer towards this matter.  On a practical note, I value your prayer and/or involvement:

  1. Immediate tuition funding that I may resume the programme.
  2. Long-term strategies for meeting the 4-year PhD expenses.
  3. Any new ministerial, church, organisational, or collaborative relations that may also help towards the short or long-term funding of this venture.

If you feel prompted to converse towards seeing this come to pass, feel free to write me.

 

Conclusion

Many of you, who are reading this letter, have many times prayed, and have generously helped in diverse ways over the past several years.  Many have helped in very big and sacrificial ways.  Please know that my wife Jee Fong and I, are indebted to you.  I live in deep debt to people worldwide.  So as I have said before, I say again: in return, the best I can presently do is this.  That from a posture of gratefulness before God and you who have helped us in any past way— to faithfully go forward as best as we discern God’s leading into the future and this coming year.

Throughout this letter, I have tried to share something of the passion, vision, and missionary commissioning that burns within my spirit.  I have also tried to share some planned endeavours, aspirations, and practical needs.  So again I write that I may enlist your prayer and involvement via however God prompts you— to help me do my part for the up-building of the Church, the coming Kingdom, and the greater glory of God.

May the Lord prosper you with renewed passion for God’s coming kingdom, good health, and overflowing abundance.

The peace of Christ be yours through the power of God’s Spirit,

Monte

monterice@gmail.com

 

monteleerice.wordpress.com

sg.linkedin.com/in/monterice

academia.edu/MonteRice

 

Curricular Vitae: https://app.box.com/files/0/f/57952994/1/f_554694150

Ministry Profile: https://app.box.com/files/0/f/57952994/1/f_554691848

 

For the healing of our Father’s world,

May we of many tongues

Through Pentecost—

Be made one

In Christ.

Before God: Practice mercy, cause justice, heal the world.

cropped-blog-logo-pentecost.jpg

My accepted placement in PhD programme at Bangor University (Wales, UK) / prayer towards funding

Vision Cast:

  • For pentecostal fullness worldwide.
  • My accepted placement in PhD programme at Bangor University (Wales, UK); The Centre of Pentecostal & Charismatic Studies.

Dear Friends

On 3 April I was scheduled to formally begin my PhD programme with Bangor University (Wales, UK), under the Center for Pentecostal and Charismatic Studies.  I was privileged to have as my doctoral supervisor, Dr Frank D. Macchia, a world-class pentecostal theologian.  Visit his website at https://www.frankdmacchia.com/bangor-u .  There you will find my profile as one of his PhD students.

I was to enrol from 25 March to 10 April.  Unfortunately, I could not complete the procedure as I could not meet the first year’s tuition fee of £6,200 [Total cost: 4 years x £6,200 plus yearly meeting trip].  Last year I applied for a local scholarship, which we believed would kick-start the programme.  But in early April, they informed me that I did not meet the demographic requirements.  Hence, for now, my Bangor programme is on hold, until I can meet for starters, the first year’s tuition fee.

Let me describe the working relationship I have enjoyed with Dr Macchia, what I already achieved since having the dissertation thesis approved last year, and the momentum we both saw towards now writing the dissertation manuscript.  For those familiar with the research involved, I will share some of the technical details.

The title is, “Towards a Pentecostal Liturgical Theology/Aesthetic and Practice of Sacred Time.”  Liturgical studies is an emerging and exciting new field within pentecostal scholarship.  I believe I have a substantial contribution to make to it.  So I would also like to see my eventual dissertation published.

The first “methodology” chapter foremost builds on the work of Walter Hollenweger, father of modern pentecostal scholarship, who seminally demonstrated the notions of pentecostal oral spirituality/liturgy/theology.  He argued that the great contribution of Pentecostalism to world Christianity is not pneumatology, but “liturgy.”  .The middle chapters comprise evaluative conversations with three selected interlocutors: Daniel Albrecht, Simon Chan, and James K.A. Smith; three theologians who have constructed liturgically-oriented theologies from or in behalf of pentecostal concerns and/or intuitions.

Last year it took me several months to craft the dissertation proposal, having gone through some revisions.  I thus crafted the approved version as a tightly worded yet thorough and focused document.  Since January this year, Dr Macchia began monthly conversations with me; and we had a great in-person meeting at the SPS meeting last March in St Louis, Missouri.  In fact, he made certain investment in beginning my programme, by providing research resources I need to engage.  Early this year, he advised to me start writing the first chapter, and aim to complete it by November this year.  I believe we both knew that I had already completed enough research, and can confidently move forward in writing the manuscript.  In fact, I believe the middle chapters may prove even easier, because I already have a good grasp of my selected interlocutors.

While I am not able to presently enrol and formally begin the programme, I am advised to stay on the project, so that once, God willing, I am able to do so, I may proceed with greater speed.  I have decided that I will attempt to do this.  Meaning, I will try in the meantime, to start writing the first chapter, though I am now not able to enrol.

Let me close with some comments about risk-taking, faith, and victory.

Over these past months, the Lord has encountered me with encouraging and even supernatural affirmations.  I can accurately say He has revealed His manifest glory to Jee Fong and I.  He has consistently been dropping Words in my heart about these themes.  So even as God opens our posture the whole world and His mission for its healing— we see the whole world and future before us.  Our desire is that on the way to “Spain” (Rom 15:23, 28-29) that God’s Spirit may move us outward and forward— to wherever and however we might best come to all people, in the fullness of Christ’s blessing.

I will therefore close by again including here the Mission / Vision Statement I have earlier articulated for framing these endeavours, and the need that must be met for enrolling at Bangor University.  We deeply appreciate your continued prayers towards:

  1. Immediate tuition funding that I may now enrol.
  2. Long-term strategies for meeting the 4-year PhD expenses.
  3. Any new ministerial, church, organisational, or collaborative relations that may also help towards the short or long-term funding of this venture.

If you feel prompted to further converse towards seeing these aims come to pass, feel free to write me:

monterice@gmail.com

monteleerice.wordpress.com

sg.linkedin.com/in/monterice

 

Mission / Vision Statement

Life mission

To preach the Gospel for all creation, fostering pentecostal spirituality and its theological tradition worldwide— for the unifying renewal of the global Church.

Missional framing of the Bangor PhD programme

Before God, as best my wife Jee Fong and I discern, I am entering this programme with this renewed sense of life mission.

Hence, before God as best my wife and I also discern, we enter this programme with readiness to go wherever He may send us in convergence to this doctoral project’s purpose and outcomes for:

  • The global renewing of pentecostal spirituality.
  • The growing renaissance of this tradition’s theological tradition.
  • In ecumenical service for the unifying renewal of the Church of God worldwide and the greater glory of God.

We are thus ready to go wherever its labour may take us, to maximise its purpose and potential outcomes for the good of the global Pentecostal tradition, and the worldwide Church of God.

 For the healing of our Father’s world,

May we of many tongues

Through Pentecost—

Be made one

In Christ.

Before God: Practice mercy, cause justice, heal the world.

Praise God! Praise reports! / Prayer requests!

  • Airfare + main expenses met for Mar 17 USA trip to attend SPS mtg!
  • “Admission offer” received from Bangor University (Wales) to begin on 3 April: MPhil/PhD programme through The Centre of Pentecostal & Charismatic Studies. Second, this programme has been at the cutting edge of world-class pentecostal theological studies, so I am thankful to embark on it’s platform.

PRAISE REPORT

Friends and Family out there— The Good Lord is graciously teaching me through His “school of gratitude.”

FIRST: Through a surprising OVERFLOW of miraculous provisions, my scheduled March USA trip is now fully insured, thus enabling my attendance at the 2017 Society for Pentecostal Studies (SPS) Meeting (9–11 March) in St. Louis, Missouri (USA).

Before God and many of you, and a few very sacrificially involved people, let me say: thank you. I grow increasingly indebted to so many kind Brothers and Sisters, and Family, all over the world. Besides presenting a paper in one the Ecumenical Interest Group sessions, this SPS trip now has a second important purpose: to meet my doctoral supervisor for the doctoral programme scheduled to begin on 3 April.

SECOND: As just mentioned, on Dec 16 I received from Bangor University (Wales), an “admission offer” to the MPhil/PhD programme through The Centre of Pentecostal & Charismatic Studies.

Last October I shared how I submitted my application for this, and how my doctoral proposal was essentially approved (pentecostal liturgical theology and practice of sacred time). So with much thanks to God, I have now received an “admission offer,” and am scheduled to begin on 3 April.

Let me briefly state two things I am thankful about concerning this endeavour.

First, I am thankful to God for a doctoral supervisor who happens to be one of the finest pentecostal theologians worldwide. Across Christian traditions, he is known for evidencing a deep passion towards fusing pentecostal experience, worship, mission, and theologising— into one practiced way of life. I am therefore very grateful to God for how this has thus far transpired.

PRAYER REQUESTS

The prayer request I shall today share, specifically focuses on issues concerning beginning the Bangor programme on 3 April.

Here it is: last year I have applied for a scholarship that could substantially kick-start and underwrite this programme. I have not yet received a definite word on its outcome. I am still waiting.

Friends, Family, Brothers and Sisters in the Lord— may I seek your prayer for God’s miraculous help and favour in this matter. It would really be a huge miracle, yet for this miracle, we remain motivated to pray towards its coming.

MY VISION AND PASSION

As I have shared before, throughout the past year, Jee Fong and I have recognised that moving forward towards this aspiration, requires readiness to go forward wherever its labour may take us, to maximise its purpose and potential outcomes for the good of the global Pentecostal tradition, and the worldwide Church of God.

For sure, this renewed openness to God and His whole world has enabled me to frame this doctoral programme within a renewed sense of life mission. Namely: To preach the Gospel for all creation, fostering pentecostal spirituality and its theological tradition worldwide— for the unifying renewal of the global Church.

So before God, as best my wife Jee Fong and I discern, we enter this willing to go wherever He may send us in convergence to this doctoral project’s purpose and outcomes for:

  • The global renewing of pentecostal spirituality.
  • The growing renaissance of this tradition’s theological tradition.
  • In ecumenical service for the unifying renewal of the Church of God worldwide and the greater glory of God.

Besides the scholarship funding we are praying for, your prayer is also appreciated towards establishing:

  1. Other long-term strategies for meeting the yearly PhD expenses.
  2. Any new ministerial, church, organisational, or collaborative relations that may likewise help towards the short or long-term funding of this venture.

The peace of Christ be yours through the power of God’s Spirit,

Monte

For the healing of our Father’s world,

May we of many tongues

Through Pentecost—

Be made one

In Christ.

Before God: Practice mercy, cause justice, heal the world.

 

HELP SEND ME to the 46th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, 9-11 March 2017, St. Louis, Missouri, USA

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Through the Spirit of Jesus who proclaims the healing of God to all creation—grace, peace, and joy be yours in increasing fullness

Your prayer is appreciated towards funding the overseas flight for my scheduled participation at the 46th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, 9-11 March 2017, in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

Thank God my flight-leg from LA to St. Louis is now covered, and most other expenses.  What is primarily outstanding is funding the overseas flight (S’pore to LA).

As the conference theme is, “Pentecostalism and Culture,” I will be presenting a paper in an Ecumenical Interest Group session, titled, “Towards a Pentecostal Conscientizing Praxis of Mass Culture Engagement.”  From the wells of pentecostal spirituality, I will suggest a moral-forming model for engaging pop and mass culture, in dialogue with Roman Catholic resources and approaches.

You may visit the following website for full information and deposit details:

https://www.youcaring.com/monte-jee-fong-rice-486654

There you will find all relevant details, how God has provided thus far, what I now need help with, and how you can help.

Let me close by framing this committed trip within a sustaining vision:

To preach the Gospel for all creation, fostering pentecostal spirituality and its theological tradition worldwide— for the unifying renewal of the global Church.

Thus promoting:

  • The global renewing of pentecostal spirituality.
  • The growing renaissance of this tradition’s theological tradition.
  • In ecumenical service for the unifying renewal of the Church of God worldwide and the greater glory of God.

The peace of Christ be yours through the power of God’s Spirit,

Monte

monterice@gmail.com

 

For the healing of our Father’s world,

May we of many tongues

Through Pentecost—

Be made one

In Christ.

Before God: Practice mercy, cause justice, heal the world.