Busy Days at the Seamen’s Church

Does it make sense to go to a church if you want to try scuba diving? In general the answer surely would be no, but for the Danish youth in Singapore it certainly did make sense on Friday the 3rd of November.
The Danish Seamen’s Church of Singapore gave the Danish youth a chance to put on the scuba gear and dive into the church pool.
“A Danish dive master, Peter Krebs, offered to come and demonstrate scuba diving here at the church and the offer was simply too good to turn down,” reverend Hans Vestergaard Jensen explains.
Obviously an opinion shared by the Danish youth. After having seen a video presentation of diving near Tioman Island off the East coast of Malaysia, it was time to get in the pool. 15 persons, mainly candidates for confirmation and their siblings, grabbed this opportunity, but the demand did not stop there.
 “The scuba activity was supposed to be one night only, but due to demand we decided to continue on Saturday afternoon, which gave another ten a chance to explore the world of scuba diving. Everybody found it very exciting,” Hans Vestergaard Jensen explains.
According to Hans Vestergaard Jensen the club for the youth was established three months ago, as a lot of Danish families, many of them being Vestas employees, have recently moved to Singapore and both parents and their teenagers wanted a place for the youth to meet outside school.
“We are obviously pleased to be able to offer activities like this for the youth and the club makes the church an even more attractive place to be, so I am certain that the youth club will continue after New Year,” the reverend tells.

Perfect Pumpkins
But you do not have to be a teenager to participate in the Church’s activities. The Kids’ Club is for those aged 3-12 and they did not have to dive into to church pool to have a good time on Saturday the 4th of November.
“This club is sort of a Sunday school. Each time we have a little service at first. The kids help me put on my clergyman’s ruff and gown. They light the candles, ring the church bells and I tell a story from the Bible. After the service it is time for the activity of the day,” Hans Vestergaard Jensen explains.
Due to Halloween the activity this time was to carve your own pumpkin. The kids were very focused on doing their very best to make the funniest or scariest pumpkin head to take home.
“It was great to watch the kids carve their own pumpkin head. The church was really full of activity as 22 kids showed up for this activity,” a pleased reverend tells.

Time to remember
The All Saints service on Sunday the 5th of November gave everybody a chance to remember those no longer here. 35 persons had chosen to join the service. Hans Vestergaard Jensen explains that death is no longer the taboo to people as it was 25 years ago.
“At the time of the youth rebellion people thought they could handle everything themselves. They did not need to think about God or death. That has all changed now. Today people are more realistic and open minded about death. I think people are revolting against the spirit of the youth rebellion so to speak,” the Danish reverend explains.
Hans Vestergaard Jensen sees global events in the last decade as one of the reasons for the new approach to death.
“The death of Lady Diana, the terror of 9/11 and the Tsunami brought death into the public life. It made people realize that death is a reality and that we all have to mourn for our loved ones and reflect on their death,” he explains.
Hans Vestergaard Jensen also sees the new approach to death when walking down the path of a churchyard.
“The anonymity of the churchyard is declining. Fewer people ask to be cremated and buried in the grave of the unknown. Years back people did not want to be a burden to the ones left behind by having them keeping their burial plot nice and tidy,” the reverend explains.
Today more and more people think differently.
“By bringing death into public life, more and more people have realized that it is important for the ones left behind to have a burial plot with the name of the loved ones. A place to mourn and remember the dead,” Hans Vestergaard Jensen explains.

For more information about the activities of the Danish Seamen’s church, go to: http://www.dkchurch.com/

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