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Taiwan Church News

3295 Edition

April 20 - 26, 2015

Church Ministry

 

 

Facing Earth Governance Crisis, A Seminar - Reconciliation With Nature - Held On Earth Day April 22

 

 

Reported by Lin Yi-ying

 

 

To respond a green earth ideals of Earth Day on April 22, a seminar entitled as "Reconciliation with Nature", from April 16 to 18, was organized by Earth Charter Taiwan and Graduate Institution of Environmental Education at National Taiwan Normal University. Co-sponsored were several Church and Society Committees from PCT presbyteries like Taipei, Chi-sin and Si-mei.

 

 

Prof Klaus Bosselmann, Professor of Law and Director of the New Zealand Center for Environmental Law at the University of Auckland since its inception in 1998, was invited to deliver a key note speech.

 

 

Since his first attendance of Rio Earth Summit Meeting in 1992 till the latest +20 Rio Summit, Prof Bosselmann lamented that except everyone got older with 20 years, gas emission had increased 35%, bio-diversity lost 20% and rain forest destructed up to 35% in this period of 20 years' time. He expressed his deepest worries about the devastating impacts toward our earth under these uncontrollable climate changes, irreversible decline of bio-diversity and the impending bankruptcy of our eco-systems.

 

 

Bosselmann stressed that there should be no conflict between economical development and environmental protection. The point was the core values of Earth Charter as the ideal of an ecological integrity require to be realized as the necessary conditions. In order to maintain and sustain the integrity of Earth as an ecological system, within a limited ecological tolerance, people are allowed a safe space to develop with a good steward spirit, i.e. protecting our oceans, atmospheres, bio-diversity and polar areas. And these are the content and meaning of the Earth System Governance!

 

 

Rev. Hsiao Ray-chaio, pastor of Lin-tze-nei Church, was also invited to share how and what she had done community development in her 20 years' minstry for the community. By slates of pictures, Hsiao illustrated how the community development of Lin-tzs-nei was transformed and actively refreshing the minds of the inhabitants. Before the reconciliation with natre, reminded Hsiao, people have to reconcile with themselves first. Otherwise, how to deal with the outside world, if you have an chaotic mind? And this is the reason why she wished to build Lin-tze-nei community as a spiritual retreat of reconciliation of mind, body and spirit for modern Taiwanese!

 

 

Rev. Zeng Kuo-chun, pastor of Taipei Justic Action Church and chief of Justice and Peace Unit of Church and Society Committee, remarked that it is a meaningful event to discuss Earth Charter on this special semiar for Earth Day. He urged Taiwan Christians to involve and engage with these environmental issues, responding God's calling in faith being a good steward on this earth.

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3295 Edition

April 20 - 26, 2015

Church Ministry

 

 

Do it To One Of The Least, 5 PCT Churches Pledge To Help 150 Cambodian Children

 

 

Report by Simon Lin

 

 

In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of PCT mission in Taiwan, 5 churches of PCT Taichung presbytery jointly decided to respond World Vision's Child Sponsorship program in Cambodia at a press conference held on April 20. These 5 churches pledged to support 150 Cambodian children with a monthly donation of 700 NT Dollars per each child.

 

 

Rev. Dai Suo-chin, pastor of Hsiang-san Church and the designated speaker for these 5 churches, delivered his message with gratitude and hope: the World came into Taiwan with good news, now it's time Taiwan reach out to the World with good will! And these 5 churches are Ming-chu-lu Church, Fu-hsin Church, Hsaing-san Church, Da-li Church and Taiwan Justice Action Church.

 

 

Simorn, an 11-year-old Cambodian girl, also came to the press conference to share about her life story. She thanked for the support from Taiwan, offering her parents agricultural resources, tools and knowhow, which enabled her to go to school.

 

 

Ms Yen Su-jen, Director of World Vision's Taichung Office, praised the good will and charity of these 5 PCT churches because they followed what Jesus admonished to his disciples: "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me!"

 

 

According to World Vision's report, Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in Asia. 1/3 of her people live under the poverty line, which means about USD 1.25 per day. Her deveplopment index in UN ranked 137 within 183 countries. Over 80% of population live in rural areas. Her economics mainly depends on agriculture, but lacks infrastructures like irrigation systems. Very difficult to escape the poverty problem. Malnutrition problem among the pregnant and breasting women is very serious, especially the children under 5. The mortality rate is also high among the children under 5 years old, even up to 8.3%. In recent years, people accomplished education of elementary school do not reach 50%, only 2.2% adult have received education up to middle school. Population of orphanage, child labor and street children are tremendous. Problems of family violence and child sexual abuse are even more appalling and need to be concerned!

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

Simorn, an 11-year-old Cambodian girl, took pictures with PCT pastors from Taichung presbytery at a April 20 Press Conference in Taichung, inviting Taiwan society to respond Children Sponsorship program of World Vision.

 

Photo by Simon Lin

 
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Taiwan Church News

3295 Edition

April 20 - 26, 2015

Church Ministry

 

 

Thinking About Taiwan Neutrality At The 120th Anniversary of The Treaty Of Shimonoseki

 

 

Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong

 

 

On April 17, when the land and people of Taiwan were betrayed 120 years ago by the Shimonoseki treaty signed between Qing Dynasty and the Empire of Japan, several civil groups held a semi-conference on national security suggesting the option of Taiwan neutrality as a future alternative.

 

 

Mr Tsai Ming-hsein, former Defense Minister in A-bian administration, expressed that Taiwan neutrality is not only a strategic target but also can be a policy instrument to make Taiwan as a sustainable and normalized sovereign country. In order to maintain a neutral state, Tsai stressed Taiwan has to possess the necessary deterring force and show her will to participate or cooperate with neighboring countries engaging in the joint security operation. In other words, Taiwan neutrality is a good option to maintain the peace and prosperity of Taiwan Strait.

 

 

If the sovereignty, security and global equality of Taiwan's legal status could be assured, Tsai suggested that a reasonable engagement and exchange with China would be proper. He reminded the audience the most practical foreign policy for Taiwan should be as thus: make US a buddy, embrace Japan the friend, and engage China in order!

 

 

Prof Lin Hsian-kai, an economics scholar of National Taiwan University, criticized the China-inclined economics policy of Ma Ying-jeou administration pushed Taiwan into a state of re-colonization. He urged an industry policy of import-substitution, like energy or agricultural industries, has to be fastened up to avoid the impending economic disaster.

 

 

Ms Annette Lu, former Vice-President, suggested that Taiwan should strive to build up a neutral state like Swiss. She reminded the assembly, because China is deemed as a potential threat in Central or Southern American countries, there were still lots of diplomatic chances over there waiting for Taiwan.

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3295 Edition

April 20 - 26, 2015

Editorial

 

 

Editorial: Foolish Children Are A Greif To Their Father, But A Wise Child Makes A Glad Father

 

 

In April, a series of military scandals stunned Taiwan society. A deputy captain and chief security information officer, Lieutenant Colonel Lau Nai-cheng, offering a military basement tour to his friends, relatives and showbitz personalities, allowing them entered and photographed in the cockpit of the highly classified Apache assault helicopter, resulting these show-off pictures posted on facebook website making further a big furor across Taiwan island.

 

 

After days of flooding critiques and reprimands from media, congress or even the military, Colonel Lau's old father, a retired Major General of Army, cannot help but give a press conference to deliver his sincere apology in tears to Taiwan society and this country. When the image of a weeping old-aged father, being ashamedly sorry for his son's foolish mistakes, shown up on TV as a national focus, it made everybody sympathetic and heartily felt sorrow for him!

 

 

And this event reminds Taiwan Christians about the wisdom from the Proverb 17:25 - "Foolish children are a grief to their father / and bitterness to her who bore them", especially when the social attentions of this Apache event discussed by the media and social forums are focusing on laws, military regulation, top secrets, privileges, show-off and rich ladies phenomenon.

 

 

Though there is only 1,800 words in the Classic of Filial Piety(Hsiao Ching), a Confucius classics arguing about a core concept of filial piety, every word of it is like a gem. In the first chapter of Hsiao Ching, when explaining about the beginning and the end of of filial piety, it said "Hsiao is the foundation of virtue, and is what all teaching grows out of. The body, hair and skin, all have been received from the parents, and so one doesn't dare damage them—that is the beginning of hsiao. Establishing oneself, practicing The Way, spreading the fame of one’s name to posterity, so that one’s parents become renowned—that is the end of hsiao".

 

 

In other words, the beginning of Filial Piety is to "protect one's body well", and the end is establishing oneself, practicing The Way, spreading the fame of one's name to posterity, so that one's parents become renowned.

 

 

If one's parent can be well fed, clothed and offered a living free of worry, these material offerings can only be deemed as a minimum demand. To achieve the ideal filial piety, one should behave well and has good reputation to make one's parent renown without shame. In contrast, if the children do not abide by the laws, making their parents bitter, grieving and ashamed, then certainly they will be the foolish children or even the terminator of the family relationship.

 

 

As the scripture said in Proverb 23: 24 - 25, "The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who begets a wise son will be glad in him. / Let your father and mother be glad; let her who bore you rejoice", if we can establish ourselves, practice The Way, caring the lives of others and doing good to our society, then this is the filial piety to our parents and their fame will become renown!

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3295 Edition

April 20 - 26, 2015

Headline News

 

 

Taizé Weekend Meeting Held To Promote Cross-Denomination's Unity And Communion

 

 

Reported by Simon Lin

 

 

In order to propmote a cross-denominational unity, a Taizé weekend meeting, sponsored by PCT Youth Ministry Committee, Taizé volunteers in Taiwan, Anglicans, Methodists, Catholics Campus Apostles and Taiwan Catholics Aurora, held at Holy Love Mountain Resort from April 17 to 19 in Taichung. Noteworthy is that Brother Han Yol, the representative of Taizé Community, is first-time invited to visit Taiwan to help Taiwan churches learn more about the communion spirit of Taizé community.

 

 

Taizé community, an ecumenical monastic order established by Brother Roger Schütz in 1940, proposed to start the unity between churches and then extend the communion as the reconciliation into the world. Consisting of cross-denominational Christians, like Catholics, Anglicans and Christians, now Taizé has grown to an ecumenical community with members from over 30 countries. Among the split Christian denominations and divided countries and people, Taizé community witness the concrete fruit in faith and hope.

 

 

Brother Han Yol remarked that the critical contribution of Brother Roger is his high esteem and trust on youth generation who became the foundation of the first-wave ecumenical leaders in 1950s from Protestants, Catholics and Orthodoxy Christians. "When we pray together, the communion and unity get started!", a famous quote showing the ecumenical spirit in that post-war period, said Borther Han Yol.

 

 

Ms Young Tsuei-ju, a volunteer worker of Taizé Weekend Meeting and also an co-worker of Catholic Campus Apostles, expressed that she was very pleased to see the spirit of Taizé community could be realized in this activity across denominations and areas due to "a desire to co-operate and pray together". She hoped the unity and communion of Taiwan Church could be facilitated through such invitation of Brother Han Yol from Original Taizé community to share with us.

 

 

About 100 youth came from different denominations attended this weekend Taizé meeting. During the prayer sessions from the second day, either they read with different versions of Bible, be it Chinese Union Version or Studium Biblicum Version, or they spoke different languages in Taiwanese, Chinese or Hakka, an urnest heart to delve into the spirit of unity and communion is enthusiastic! The youth also prayed together for the poor children in South Eastern Asia, the ethnic conflict and expulsion of the Chinese in Viet Nam, the crushing tragedy of steel girder at Taichung MRT construction site, Taiwan's serious drought, the unpredictable Ebola infections in Africa and etc.

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

Brother Han Yol, the representative of Taizé community from France, was invited to visit Taiwan churches and share the ideals and methods about Taizé spirituality on the Taizé Weekend Meeting at Holy Love Mountain Resort in Taichung from April 17 to 19, 2015.

 

Photo by Simon Lin

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3294 Edition

April 13 – 19, 2015

Church Ministry


TTCS Holds An Easter Seminar On PCT Hymnal And Doxology


Reported by Hwang Yi-lek


In the afternoon on April 12, Tainan Theological Seminary and College (TTCS) held an Easter seminar on PCT new hymnal and doxology. About 300 people from seven churches and choirs of Tainan Presbytery, including Tai-ping-king Church, Tong-men Church, Hou-chia Church, Ko-pay Church, Yen-han Church, Ya-keh Choir and Lau-dien Male Choir, are invited to attend this musical seminar.

About 20 pieces of PCT hymnal or doxology suitable for Easter were brought by each church or choir to perform in this musical feast. Famous professors in church music, like Prof Lo I-toh, San Quei-shian and Edgar L. Macapili, were invited to share the characteristics of PCT ecumenical hymnal and doxology based on the hymnals performed by each participating church.


Analyzing the 96th PCT Hymnal, Why have you forsaken me?, Prof. Lo indicated that her Japanese melody sounded like sunk in sorrow and fear at first impression, but the lyrics turned from hesitation into confidence step by step when the mystery of life was mentioned. As to PCT Hymnal 100th, The joyful Eastertide, Prof. Lo pointed out that it is a piece of Western rational music. People had to sing this hymnal softly with a sense of mystique, when the lyric came to the refrain: “Lord stayed in tomb for three days”, because Lord had not yet resurrected. And then, during three steps of singing “Lord is resurrected” in refrain, the hymnal should end with ascending key and powerful voice in confidence. Prof. Lo suggested that before singing the hymnal, it is better to understand the related hymnal information in advance.


Mrs San Quei-shian explained the Northern Indian musical characteristics of the 263rd PCT Hymnal to the audience. She also stressed the importance of correct pronunciation in singing the 497th PCT Hakka Hymnal. On the 311th PCT Hymnal in Southern Pai-wan Indigenous melody, Mrs San suggested this hymnal better sung with drum beats or bell rings to boost up the joyful emotion. She delivered a breaking news that a Chinese version of PCT Hymnal is under preparation. It is hoped to released in the end of 2015.


Mrs San also shared the inspiring story behind the 496th PCT Hymnal, You, oh my God, gifts of knowledge give to me. The composer of this lyric, Bahram, was assassinated in his young life at 24 years old by an Islamic terrorist. Bahram’s father, Hassan Dehqani-Tafti, who was an Anglican Bishop of Iran, sadly wrote a letter to his wife : “I feel bewildered but very calm. May God forgive those who have murdered our son. For, plainly, ‘they knew not what they did’. What had Bahram ever done to them? May God use the death of our dear son to free people from hatred and enmity in our country, in whatever way He knows.”


Finally, Mr Edgar L. Macapili taught the audience to sing two doxology about Easter by practice on critical measures. Not only the church choir conductors and their members learned more about the method of singing doxology, but also felt surrounded by the Holy Spirit in glory, jubilee and inspiration during chorus singing.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

An Easter seminar on PCT new hymnal and doxology is held Song-Inn Auditorium by TTCS in the afternoon on April 12,  2015.

Photo by Hwang Yi-lek


 


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