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Taiwan Church News

3379 Edition

November 28 - December 4, 2016

Church Ministry

 

An International Seminar - Mission Of Taiwan Church Today - To Be Held In February 2017

 

Reported by Lin Yi-yin

 

In order to inform PCT's ecumenical partner churches about Taiwan's special political development and PCT's missionary contexts, and strengthen partner churches' capability to solve contemporary issues through such an exploration and depth learning about Taiwan's particular ecumenical experiences, PCT General Assembly Office has sent invitation letters to 42 ecumenical institutes, partner churches, and about 200 guests to attend an international seminar, entitled as "Mission of Taiwan Church Today", scheduled to be held at Presbyterian Biblical College at Hsin-chu from February 13th to 17th in 2017.

Regarding the scheduled programs, Rev Dr Collin Cowan, General Secretary of Council for World Mission(CWM), will deliver a keynote speech in this seminar; a special report on "The Transformative Justice Engaged in Taiwan Today" will be reported to receive various responses from the ecumenical partner churches; and three seminars, entitled individually as "The Prophetic Role of The Church", "The Roles of Ecumenical Church and Institutes", and "How The Ecumenical Movement Could Support PCT?", will be held to proceed the dialogues between ecumenical churches and PCT.

In the evening on 15 February 2017, to entertain our ecumenical guests with Taiwan style's cuisine and music, there will be a special party presenting the beauty of the Hakka culture and the aboriginal traditions.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 
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Taiwan Church News

3379 Edition

November 28 - December 4, 2016

Headline News

 

A Centennial Memorial Service Held For Rev Dr William Shia

 

Reported by Simon Lin

 

In order to remember and appreciate the pioneering missionary and medical contributions of Rev Dr William Shia, honored as Taiwan's Schweitzer, and let more youth to learn about this loyal and faithful Christian forebear, a centennial memorial service was held at the International Conference Hall of Changhua Christian Hospital on 26 November, 2016.

Born in 1916 and raised up in a physician's family, Rev Dr William Shia nearly poured out all his money earned in his 28 years' medicine practice either for the church or for the poor. His most remembered sayings are thus, "Do not mistake medicine as math!", "The most happy thing for a doctor is not the money earned, but the utmost trust won from the patients!", and etc.

Spending all his life serving the poor and the sick, Rev Dr Wiiliam Shia always managed to reach the distant villages with the least medical resources, like the far-flung tribes in the mountainous Nantou county and the remote household in the coastal Changhua area. Caring for the aborigines and the deserted patients of polio and black foot disease, Rev Dr William Shia preached everywhere he practiced medicine till his last minute in life. It was indeed a tragedy, on his way rushing to cure his patient, Rev Dr Shia was unfortunately killed in a car accident in 1916.

There were many historical records created by Rev Dr William Shia in both Taiwan's medical history and missionary history. For example, Being persuaded by Missionary Lillian R Dickson, Rev Dr William Shia co-founded the Puli Christian Hospital and initiated Taiwan's first medical ministry for the aborigines; establishing the first tuberculosis sanatorium at Puli; working with Dr Wang Ching-ho to care for black foot disease patients free of charge at Beimen district of Tainan; setting up the first Christian hospital, Erhlin Christian Hospital, operated solely by the native Taiwanese at the Wu-I village in 1964.

In the thanksgiving centennial memorial service, Dr Chen Hen-chang, current Superintendent of Puli Christian Hospital, expressed that the life span of Rev Dr William Shia was limited, though, his missionary spirit would definitely go beyond his time and will carry on inspiring us and the future generations. Two church choirs from both the district assembly of the Sediq aborigines and the Rona Presbyterian Church of Central Bunun Presbytery were invited to sing their praise in this centennial memorial service.

Rev Zeng Yang-en, a professor of church history at Taiwan Theological College and Seminary, praised Rev Dr William Shia, honored as Taiwan's Schwitzer, though, as a true Christian living out the life of Christ in his medical vocation. In the early stage of 19th centuries' western missionaries in Taiwan, the missionary ministries were always done in a co-operative pair: one pastor matched with one medical doctor, observed Rev Zeng, but Rev Dr William Shia made a great reformation by combining evangelical ministry and medical service into one.

"Wearing black robe and white robe alternatively on himself", in order to serve the people of God, Rev Dr William Shia established an unprecedented model for a distinguished evangelical ministry in medicine for Taiwan, Rev Zeng affirmed.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

After the centennial memorial service, Dr Yang Chong-ing(center in front row), the widow of Rev Dr William Shia, took a photograph with the audience at the International Conference Hall of Changhua Christian Hospital on 26 November, 2016.

Photo by Simon Lin

 
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Taiwan Church News

3378 Edition

November 21 - 27, 2016

Church Ministry

 

Ministries in Camera!

 

PCT Youth Summit was held on November 18 and 19 at Kaohsiung. Except receiving a series of inspiring lectures from the pastors, PCT youth were also invited to discuss various issues now in church and society through an OST method. In addition, a celebration of 70th anniversary of TKC in 2019 was a major issue for the participated youth to figure out.

Photo by PCT Youth Committee

 

On November 19th, a seminar entitled "How to play as a qualified game master?" was held for PCT's juvenile youth at the department of youth ministry of Taitung Presbytery. As such table games could be used as an ice-breaker before formal church meeting, it is quite fashionable among church youth to play some table games. Rev Chou Zhou-wei, director of PCT Taipei Student Center, was invited to instruct the techniques of being a good game master.

Photo by the department of youth ministry of Taitung Presbytery

 

Over 900 members of Pine-Tree Fellowships of both Taipei and Chi-hsin Presbytery attended at a regular meeting on November 21.

Photo by Lin Yi-yin


Male celebrities and lawmakers, all wearing high-heels, were invited to attend an anti-violence-in family assembly held by The Garden of Hope Foundation beside Hsin-tien River on November 19.

Photo by The Garden of Hope Foundation


A musical concert commemorating Rev Thomas Barclay's contribution as a messenger of peace, negotiating with Japanese army before their military invasion into the most historical Taiwanese city - Tainan - in 1985, was held at the chapel of TTCS on November 21.

Photo by TTCS

 

Children Hospital of MacKay Memorial Hospital was opened at Hsin-chu and started to offer medical service to those children in need.

Photo by MacKay Memorial Hospital

 

Church leaders and citizens against Equal Marriage Act seek help from KMT caucus.

Photo by Lin Yi-yin

 

Grace Chen sang "Glimmer in the Dark" to support Equal Marriage Act before the Legislative Yuan.

Photo byLin Yi-yin

 
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Taiwan Church News

3378 Edition

November 21 - 27, 2016

Church Ministry

 

Salvation In Wildness: How To Reconcile The Conflict Between Animal Protection And Aboriginal Hunting?

 

Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong

 

On November 20, a seminar entitled as "Salvation In Wildness", and organized by NTU's Veterinary Medicine Department and the Book Club of Contemporary Thoughts for Animal, was held at the speech hall of NTU's Veterinary Medicine Department.

Nine scholars and experts, experienced in the fields of animal rights and protection, animal protection movement, wild life conservation, aboriginal rights, and aboriginal hunting, were invited to deliver their thoughts on the major question of this seminar: How To Reconcile The Conflict Between Animal Protection And Aboriginal Hunting?

Prof Pei Jai-chyi, Dean of College of Environmental Studies at National Dong Hwa University, pointed out in a straight forward critique that Taiwan's hunting is notoriously out of control in practice since the implementation of Wildlife Conservation Act in 1989. Taking the glaring sentence of Bunun hunter, Talum, for three years and six months as an example, Prof Pei challenged the audience to ask themselves a question: whether this verdict is helpful to forge a harmonious relationship between the aboriginal culture and tribal inhabitants or not?

On the other hand, Prof Pei reminded the audience about the scandalous event that Council Representative Lin Chiuo-tai of Tong-luo Shiang of Miaoli County could shamelessly boasted to the media, during an environmental evaluation of outer circumferential road of Tai-13th Avenue, that the population of leopard act - an endangered species called Prionailurus bengalensis - were too many like the wild dogs in his home town. In addition, it was a great irony that more leopard cats were hunted down to become a dish on the table of local people yet without any criminal charge!

Mr Chu Tseng-hon, chief executive officer of Environment and Animal Society of Taiwan, remarked "It is a historical truth that the aboriginal were devastatingly exploited by the past colonial regimes in Taiwan, but their brutal looting of the silent animals and plants on this island were also an undeniable fact. Therefore, the point should not focus on the aboriginal themselves or a connection between the aboriginal and their lands. Instead, a healthy triangular relationship between human being, land, and environments should be restored!"

Simply put, the solution of the conflicts between animal rights and aboriginal hunting is about environmental justice, not transformative justice. The collective hunting rights of the aboriginal should be an ecological or geographical concern, instead of a geopolitical deliberation pre-supposing the heterogeneous aboriginal peoples as a single tribe, said Mr Chu.

In the mean time, Dr Wang Yu-cheng, an associate professor of NCKU's Department of Law, criticized that Taiwan's current practice to subject the aboriginal hunting rights under the administration of the Council of Agriculture is quite inappropriate and detrimental. As the issue of the aboriginal hunting right belongs to a national-wide level, "I don't think the Council of Agriculture has enough ammunition to solve this contentious issue via a legal code as Wildlife Conservation Act only", remarked Dr Wang.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

An seminar entitled as "Salvation In Wildness", organized by NTU's Veterinary Medicine Department and the Book Club of Contemporary Thoughts for Animal with a purpose to solve the conflict between animal protection and aboriginal hunting, was held at the speech hall of NTU's Veterinary Medicine Department on 20 November, 2016.

Photo by Chiu Kuo-rong

 
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Taiwan Church News

3378 Edition

November 21 - 27, 2016

Church Ministry

 

Eminent Religious Academics Stand Up For Same Sex Marriage

 

Reported by Lin Yi-yin

 

In the middle of November, facing the deteriorating conflicts within Taiwan society on legalizing same-sex marriage, six renown scholars on Buddhism and Christianity drafted a signatory petition urging more support for building a free, just and inclusive society to accommodate same sex marriage.

These six academics are Master Chau Huei(former dean of Social Science College of Hsuan Chuang University), Mr Wen Chin-ker(a lay person of Modern Zen Pure Land Buddhism), Mr Yang Huei-nan(a retired NTU professor of philosophy), Rev Chen Nan-chou(former vice president of Yu-Shan Theological College and Seminary), Prof Zeng Yang-en(a church historian of Taiwan Theological College and Seminary), and Assistant Prof Chen Huei-san(a fellow of religious studies at Yu-Shan Theological College and Seminary).

Based on the modern principle of the separation of politics from religion, the signatory petition urges same sex marriage should be supported by each religion in Taiwan, in order to encourage every citizen to treat marriage and family with a responsible attitude, and let the values of tolerance, justice and freedom to become Taiwan society's common good which is also the ultimate goal of our national laws and social orders.

On the other hand, stressed this petition, the related parties involved in this same-sex marriage contention should acknowledge the existence of a multiple-interpretations about sexual inclination and sexual identity within the traditions and classic texts of each religion. As a positive dialogue within each religious tradition, and hence a inter-religious conversation accordingly, is absolutely needed for Taiwan's current context and helpful toward a proper and progressive religious teaching in each religion.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 
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Taiwan Church News

3378 Edition

November 21 - 27, 2016

Church Ministry

 

Over Tens of Thousands People Demonstrate Against Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage

 

Reported by Lin Yi-yin

 

As the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee of the Legislative Yuan is going to to pass the second reading of the amendment of article 972 of Civil Code, mainly to legalize a same-sex marriage and its related children adoption procedures, over tens of thousands people rallied at Qingdao Road bordering the Legislative Yuan to express their strongest opposition on November 17.

Over 300 pastors of the Christian Church Alliance from Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Pintung, including Rev Chen Ming-chi(Vice Moderator of PCT General Assembly), Rev Chang Hsien-Chueh(Associate Secretary of PCT GA), Rev Lo Ren-quei(former Moderator of PCT GA), Rev Chen Chi-chung(Moderator of So-shan Presbytery), Rev Li Chung-wei(Moderator of Kaohsiung Presbytery), Rev Chuang Chi-chien(Moderator of Cha-yi Presbytery), local church pastors from Tayal, Southern Bunun, and Tainan Presbyteries, and many church leaders across denominations, led their church members to join this rally, organized by the Alliance of Taiwan Religious Groups for the Protection of Family.

Under the pressure of these protesting crowds, mainly Christians, the Judiciary and Organic Laws and Statutes Committee finally stepped back and agreed to hold two public hearings on November 24 and 28 separately, before an article-by-article review to be commenced on November 30 and December 1.

As the amendment of article 972 of Civil Code will enter its third reading and complete its legislation in the grand assembly of Legislative Yuan on December 6, according to a legislative due process, two protesting rallies against such legalization of same-sex marriage are still scheduled to be held on November 30 and December 1, in spite of two public hearings was hardly won after a political strife.

Except there will be a big assembly against legislation of same-sex marriage on December 3 at Katagalan Boulevard, many protesting rallies will also be held at Kaohsiung, Tainan, and other cities at the same day.

The Christian Church Alliance from Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Pintung strongly insisted, during their visit of DPP and KMT caucuses, "as changing the definition of marriage, stipulated traditionally as one man and one woman, is absolutely not the consensus of current Taiwan society, the amendment of Civil Code need not be settled at present moment." In the meantime, evidenced in the rulings from European courts, same-sex marriage is not yet approved as a basic human right, these pastors reminded.

As a matter of fact, in the night on November 21, Mr Ko Chien-ming, majority leader in Taiwan's Legislative Yuan, had met privately with President Tsai Ing-wen proposing to stand for a special law, Same-Sex Couple Act, to solve the conundrums of same-sex marriage yet keep the Civil Code intact to avoid a devastating political clash. But Ko's proposal has not gained a consensus within the ruling DPP party.

In a congressional interrogation, Minister Chiu Tai-san of the Ministry of Justice expressed that he would submit a Same-Sex Couple Act to the congress before the end of February in 2017 to meet Taiwan's demands and pace contemporary international practices. Among 23 global countries, in which the same-sex marriage is legalized, there are 21 countries adopting a type of gradual legalization in a same spirit to his Same-Sex Couple Act, said Minister Chiu.

On the other hand, Minister Chiu added, the amendment of Civil Code could not be simplified as a job to change several words in article 972 only. As a consequence of such Civil Code amendment, there will be 112 administrative orders and 356 legal stipulations required to be modified, remarked Minister Chiu.

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Over tens of thousands people, mainly Christians, demonstrated against legalizing same-sex marriage before the Legislative Yuan on 17 November, 2016.

Photo by Lin Yi-yin

 


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