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Taiwan Church News

3331 Edition

December 28, 2015 - Jan 3, 2016

Church Ministry

 

Hong Kong And Taiwan Youth Christians Exchange Views On Pastoral Care And Social Concern

 

Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong

 

On December 27, a seminar entitled "Hong Kong And Taiwan Youth Christians Exchange Views On Pastoral Care And Social Concern" was jointly held by PCT's TKC Front and Hong Kong Christian Institute(HKCI) at PCT Taipei College Student Center. According to HK youth Christians, more and more conservative HK churches choose to engage in a closer relationship with China.

Mr Deng Ing-huei, an official clergy of HKCI, pointed out that the so-called "HK Umbrella Revolution" actually did not gain a substantial result of democracy. The progressive churches, therefore, turned their concerns to help build "social infrastructure" or "community fellowship". For example, some HK church started to share the Eucharist with the non-Christians in local communities, said Deng, "It is a spirit of fraternal sharing, witnessed in the ritual of the Eucharist, between the Christians and his neighbors!".

Mr Deng Chang-yo, chairman of Ecumenical Youth Pastoral Platform, remarked that HK churches, who were afraid of being prosecuted before 1997, chose to develop a good relationship with China and gradually evolved into the mega-church after 1997. These HK mega-churches are under the banner of the so-called "pro-establishment".

Rev. Yao Zhe-hao, pastor of HK's Chuen Yuen church of the Church of Christ in China, straightly criticized many HK mega-churches for their closing church doors during the umbrella revolution yet claimed they prayed in-door for the protesting Hong Kong people. After this scandal, many youth Christians left the church expressing their disappointment.

Ms. Hwang Jing-hao, a PCT youth of TKC Front, reported her observation of PCT's political involvement and the conundrum of her stance in the LGBT issues. Though PCT did make a great contribution in Taiwan's self-determination movement and democratic transformation, there were lots of hesitation or even back-slash actions on social issues like the LGBT rights to marriage, said Hwang.

Ms. Chen Pei-yi, director of PCT Taipei College Student Center, frankly admitted that the conflicts of theological thoughts between PCT's college student centers and local churches had never been disappeared in recent years, especially on the LGBT issues. Chen said, PCT needed to reflect a strange phenomenon: why the PCT's 2014 pastoral letter, which stated her strong opposition to LGBT, was elevated like a confession creed?

"Now it's more and more difficult to call the students taking the streets and showing their social concerns", said worryingly Chen. The youth have to place the so-called "social anxiety" in their minds first, then the critical significance of faith and social issues could become relevant after a period of reflections, advised Chen, "But this ministry of consciousness awakening could not be done in the mega-churches, as every youth is an unique individual. Keep a continuous dialogue with the youth is therefore a must!".

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 
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Taiwan Church News

3331 Edition

December 28, 2015 - Jan 3, 2016

Church Ministry

 

The Revised Edition Of MacKay's Diaries(1871-1901) As An Authentic Offer To PCT150

 

Reported by Lin Yi-ying

 

On December 12, a book launch of the revised edition of MacKay's Diaries(1871-1901), which is intended to be an authentic offer to PCT150 and cooperated among lots of scholars from Aletheia University, Academia Sinica's Institute of Taiwan History and the Archives Committee of PCT Northern Assembly, was held at Oxford College at Aletheia University.

The original manuscripts of Rev. Dr. George Leslie MacKay's diaries, recorded from 1 November 1871 to 10 February 1901, consists of 12 volumes with 7,000 pages. Due to the unique handwriting of Rev. MacKay are hard to tell precisely, the first published edition of MacKay's Diaries in 2007 had many misprint and mistakes. Through the assistance of high-tech magnifying scanner from Academia Sinica, Rev. MacKay's handwriting becomes easy to tell and spell out correctly. And this revised edition of Mackay's diaries is therefore presented as an authentic offer to PCT150.

Rev. Wang Rong-chang, director of university history at Aletheia University and the chief editor of this revised edition project, remarked that this revised MacKay's diaries will be available on the platform of Digital Archives(digitalarchives.tw) in the future enabling a free search by global users who are interested in Taiwan history, especially in the fields like the agriculture, the aboriginal people, epidemiolgy, anthropology, education and etc.

Missionary Louise Gamble, who is responsible for the critical proof-reading of this revised diaries, expressed that the content of MacKay's diaries was not a record about his personal emotions or feelings, but a detailed descriptions about his evangelical ministry in Taiwan. Ms Gamble said that she felt very honored to be part of this project, allowing her to learn the ideas of Rev. MacKay's theological perspectives and missionary ideals through a first-hand close reading of this extraordinary historical documents!

Translated by Peter Wolfe

Assembling the efforts of many scholars and experts, a book launch of the revised edition of MacKay's Diaries(1871-1901) was held at Oxford College in Aletheia University on December 21, 2015.

Photo by Lin Yi-ying

 
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Taiwan Church News

3330 Edition

December 21 - 27, 2015

Editorial

Love Taiwan With Integrity, Or Denigrate Ourselves In Schizophrenia? - A Reflection On Red-Supply-Chain

 

Before Taiwan's presidential election, China acts very frequently trying to affect the final outcome. The most obvious events include: China announces that the Chinese tourists to Taiwan are going to be slashed 95% off after the election; China's Tsinghua Unigroup proposes a buyout of Siliconware Precision Industrial Co., Ltd(SPIL), a leading and critical provider of semiconductor assembly and test services in Taiwan; Mr Morris Chang, chairman of the renown Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company(TSMC), expresses his plan to set up a 12-inch wafer fab in Nanjing, China to serve his customers, and etc.

Why did these events emerge just one month before the election? Does China still attempt, following the effective threatening rhetoric of some leading businessmen(or women) in the 2012 presidential election, using their economic power to intimidate Taiwan voters? Of course, it's beyond doubt that China wants Taiwan to knell down at her will. But, if there is no Taiwanese wagging the white flag to cooperate, how can China win her game? When we try all our best efforts, protesting the "imperialism" of China on their "colonial invasion" into current political or economical fields, the problem deserves to reflect deeper is: Why Taiwan is firmly gripped by the so-called red-supply-chain?

Solving this problem, except the pro-China policy of Ma administration in the past 8 years should be examined in details, the responsibilities of Taiwan makers cannot be acquitted. Due to a naive mentality considering only about cost and profit, no one knows exactly how many agricultural products and industrial techniques had been exported into China? Consequently, kinds of agricultural materials like rush(es), the planting techniques of wax apple and sugar apple and the traditional industries like shoes manufacturing, textile garment and etc have been exported to China. When the products of these industries were dumped back into Taiwan market, no wonder it became a deadly blow to Taiwan economics!

Facing these impacts, there are still many people doing their best to protect or revive those traditional industries in Taiwan. For example, under the west-forward emigrant crisis of Taiwan agriculture, Taiwan Solidarity Union always insists to use Taiwan agricultural produces as their party souvenirs in order to promote the traditional industries; PCT's Church and Society Committee had ordered volumes of towels embroidered with "Taiwan", intending to support the towel makers in Yun-lin county; the gifts or souvenirs made to celebrate PCT150 are specially chosen from the products being awarded Taiwan Excellence Awards, in order to witness the spirit of MIT(Made In Taiwan).

However, when the high priced MIT products encountered the low priced MIC(Made In China) goods, our long-term consumption habits obviously favor the low priced MIC goods without remorse. This is a problem, not related to individual industry, but a matter of personal mind set. Our identity and love of Taiwan is always seriously twisted by a cheap-orientated mind set. It become so easy for us to say we love Taiwan, yet as a matter of fact, we stand for China in our actual daily consumption behavior.

Those who can change such schizophrenic consumption should be the Christians. In our faith, the cross we believe is not a cheap goods but an invaluable salvation grace that Jesus sacrificed for us with his life. When we respond to this amazing grace, better we have a somber mind than a gluttonous mood in a free buffet. We should practice our faith in our daily lives: When we claim that we love Taiwan, MIT products should be purchased in priority even in a higher price; if no MIT product could be found, we still could find the products from South East Asia, East Europe or other countries to substitute.

When China tries to comprehensively dominate Taiwan, we should love Taiwan with integrity, not denigrate ourselves in schizophrenia!

 
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Taiwan Church News

3330 Edition

December 21 - 27, 2015

Church Ministry

Demanding Ecological Justice, Southern Taiwan's Civil Groups Rally To Protest Deteriorating Environmental Pollution And Reckless Industrial Development

 

Reported by Chen Yi-hsuan

 

In the afternoon on December 20, about 600 demonstrators from different environmental groups in southern Taiwan marched around National Cheng Kong University at Tainan, protesting the deteriorating air and water pollution and the reckless industrial development. They urged the public to recognize the crisis of Taiwan's ecological environments and force the government and financial conglomerates to stop polluting this island.

There were 8 major appeals of this environmental rally for southern Taiwan: 1. Stop the expansion of Tainan Science and Technology Park(TSCP), in order to save 50 thousand tons of water and increase the electricity capacity with an extra 700 thousand kilowatts. 2. Stop the expansion of China Steel Corp.(CSC), China Oil Corp. and Da-Lin Power Plant; scrape down the project of petro-chemical park at Hsiao-gang. 3. CSC's raw materials like coal and its burnt ashes should be covered at site. 4. Abolish the Kaohsiung Yacht Manufacturing Park. 5. General health risk assessment is required for each indutrial parks like TSCP, Tree Valley, Linhai and Linyuan. 6. Against the Matoushan sanitary landfill site. 7. Against the construction of No. 7 National Highway. 8. The petro-chemical pipelines above Chisan fault should be removed.

Attending this environmental rally for southern Taiwan were the following environmental groups, including Taiwan Environmental Protection Union(Tainan Branch Office), Kaohsiung Clean Air Network, Golden Piper Cultural Association, Anti-Mayoushan-Sanitary-Landfill Self-Help Association, Anti-Number-7-National-Highway Self-Help Association and etc.

A joint statement of these protesting environmental groups reads: We determine to fight against all kinds of air and water pollution, resulted from the inappropriate management during several decades of heavy industrial development, like the industries of metallurgy, petro-chemicals, electronics and semi-conductor manufacture, deployed in southern Taiwan. In the past consecutive years across southern Taiwan, the average ratios of Particulae Matter 2.5 (PM 2.5), cancer occurrance and cancer toll are all above the average ratio across Taiwan. People have to stand up and speak out for the environment of  souther Taiwan! The future Taiwan President, congress men and women should be aware on this issue: Stop immediately the deteriorating air-and-water pollution and the reckless industrial development!".

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 
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Taiwan Church News

3330 Edition

December 21 - 27, 2015

Church Ministry

 

Aboriginal Church Preaches Good News Into Hoklo Community

 

Reported by Simon Lin

 

As Taiwanese folks religion is dominant in Taichung's Seng-kang District, especially in Jun-du Li, very few people know in their community exists an aboriginal Bunun church.

After overcoming their accustomed low self-esteem accumulated for years, about 30 members of Fong-non aboriginal church of Central Bunun Presbytery made their first ever Christmas out-reach parade into Taiwanese Hoklo community on December 18. Hence the long time silence of Fong-non aboriginal Bunun church in this Taiwanese Hoklo community was not only broken but also the existence of church as a community member was vividly demonstrated.

According to the observation of Fong-non church's Evangelist couple, Mr Jing Sau-kan and Mrs Samingaz Ismahasan, urban aboriginal Christians usually have low self-esteem and hence difficulties to get along well with the Taiwanese Hoklo community due to no small difference exists between their respective economic-social positions. Therefore, under the encouragement of the Evangelist couple, the church elders and deacons made their first ever trial reaching out to the local community in 2015 Christmas. About 30 members of Fong-non church, including the adult, adolescent, and kids, marched on the streets singing Silent Night and proclaiming the salvation of the nativity story of Jesus.

Mrs Samingaz Ismahasan, leader of this Christmas parade, frankly admitted that at first she did worry a lot about the embarrassment felt by the church members when they preached the good news to the neighbors on streets first time ever. But, after the church members were well received by the families who were blessed by the Christmas hymnals, Mrs Samingaz felt greatly released and encouraged.

Especially, when the church members sang the hymnals along the street, an encountered woman who had just lost her father expressed her thanksgiving to the church for the peaceful hymnal brought a peaceful comfort to her great sorrow and sadness! This event most impressed and touched Mrs Samingaz, prompting her resolve to train her church members reaching out continuously in the Taiwanese Hoklo community, though her church is an aboriginal Bunun church.

Translated by Peter Wolfe


Members of aboriginal Bunun Fong-non church preached Christmas good news into the Taiwanese Hoklo Community in Jun-du Li of Seng-kang District at Taichung City on December 18, 2015.

Photo by Simon Lin

 
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Taiwan Church News

3330 Edition

December 21 - 27, 2015

Church Ministry News

 

Celebrating Christmas, Members Of Jen Ho Presbyterian Church Visited The Aged At Local Community's Long-Term Care Centers


Reported by Chen Yi-hsuan from Tainan

 

In the afternoon on December 20, led by Rev. Song Hsing-hee, an out-reaching team with 70 brothers and sisters of Tainan Jen Ho Presbyterian Church visited the senior neighbors and preach good news to two long-term care centers in local community. In order to let the aged feel the happy millieu of Christmas festival, Rev. Song Hsing-hee explained the meaning of the nativity story of Jesus and stressed an everlasting evangelical message that "in love you will always find the miracle"!

Preaching the good news to local community at Christmas eve is a tradition of Jen Ho Presbyterian church for years. In the past, the church proclaimed the Christmas messages in the traditional markets or at the busy traffic cross roads, said Rev. Song, yet from this year two long-term care centers situated near the community of the church caught the attention of his brothers and sisters.

Before the out-reaching team launched their evangelical visit,  they gathered and practiced the Christmas hymnals in the church. At each long-term care centers, the aged were entertained and comforted by the out-reaching team with Christmas hymnals. Finally, every senior people was presented with a Christmas present (a pack of soda snack) and a special Christmas edition of Keng-Simn weekly pamphlet to celebrate the wonderful Christmas.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

The aged at long-term care center were entertained and comforted by the Jen Ho Church's out-reaching team with Christmas hymnals and good news.

Photo by Chen Yi-hsuan

 


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