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Taiwan Church News

3222 Edition

November 25 - December 1, 2013

Church Ministry News

 

PCT Urges Church To Care About AIDS Patient And Related Social Issues

 

Reported by Lin Yi-ying

 

Though the first Sunday of annual December is designated as Sunday of Care AIDS since 1996 by PCT, AIDS patients are still discriminated in the fields of medicare, religions, society and even in family. The AIDS patient not only have to face the death threats from the disease, but also giant pressure of contempt and discrimination. Therefore PCT Church and Society Committee send a public letter to each presbytery, urging church to care about the related social issues like safe sexual behavior, gay marriage rights, civil couple and multiple parties bill. In the letter, PCT also expressed their thanks and appreciation toward a long term partner -The Garden of Mercy Foundation - on fighting against AIDS together.

 

As many opponents of gay marriages rights, using the up-to-date statistics of AIDS infected data in which the homosexual contracting AIDS are about 44.32%, tried to lobby lawmakers and blockade the amendment of civil code article 972, Chairwoman of The Garden of Mercy Foundation - Ms. Chang Li-su - pointed out that the same statistics also showed the heterosexual or bisexual totaled 38% contracted AIDS. "So the point is whether there is a safe sex," remarked Chang.

 

"Without the bondage of the marriage, the homosexual would feel no bounds. Then it certainly will go wild into chaos", Chang straightly commented, "When the marriage relationships could be granted to the couple, be they gay, lesbian or heterosexual, both parties could be loyal and responsible to each other. And only the marriage rights can be granted to the homosexual family, the consequentially incurred problems of the rights of property or inheritance could be solved."

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

Thanksgiving Feast was held by The Garden of Mercy Foundation, which took care of AIDS patient and cooperated with PCT in the related social issues - gay marriage rights, adoption of AIDS baby and etc.

 

Photo by Lin Yi-ying

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3222 Edition

November 25 - December 1, 2013

Church Ministry News

 

Actor Song Yi-ming Visits Rev. Lyim Hong-tiong, Inviting PCT To Join "Arise And Shine"

 

Reported by Lin Yi-ying

 

Co-workers of "Arise and Shine", a gospel campaign movement initiated by Taiwanese Christian actor and entertainer, visited PCT General Secretary Rev. Lyim Hung-tiong on November 20th. Together with General Secretary Lin Hung-shiu and the couple of Song Yi-ming, co-workers of "Arise and Shine" invited Rev. Lyim to be listed as one of their patronage pastors to be vigilant for them.

 

At the very beginning of this visit, Rev. Lyim expressed his compassionate concern for the ear disease of the daughter of Song Yi-ming. And Song the couple were very much touched and appreciated to Rev. Lyim's goodwill and care. Finally, Rev. Lyim blessed and prayed for this gospel campaign and the couple of Song.

 

Rev. Lyim expected that this "Arise and Shine" gospel campaign could cooperate with PCT's "One-Leads-One, New Doubling Movement", in order to preach the good news to the most needy through the help of Christian actors and entertainers.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

Actors Song Yi-ming, with co-workers of Arise and Shine, visited Rev. Lyim Hong-tiong at PCT GAO.

 

Photo by Lin Yi-ying

 

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3222 Edition

November 25 - December 1, 2013

Church Ministry News

 

The 4th Meeting Of PCT General Assembly Executive Committee Was Held To Proceed Various Ministries

 

Reported by Lin Yi-ying

 

November 19th, at the General Assembly Office(GAO), the 4th meeting of Executive Committee(EC) was held to promote various ministries. Three receipants of the "Missionary Ministry Dissertation Award", Lee Pei-shuan, Lai Seng-wen and Lin Jen-chien, were granted the scholarship from General Assembly Moderator, Rev. Hsu Rong-fung, and General Secretary, Rev. Lyim Hong-tiong.

 

Rev. Lyim Hong-tiong delivered a brief report about his participation in the 10th WCC Assembly in Korea. Especially, on the issue whether there is a "one-China policy" within current WCC policy, Rev. Lyim repeated what WCC General Secretary - Rev. Olav Tveit - assured to him: "No! No! No!". In the meantime, Rev. Tveit also gladly accepted to be one of the speakers at the 150th anniversary of PCT memorial service.

 

GAO Secretary, Rev. Zeng Wen-ren reported the preparatory progress for the 150th anniversary of PCT, declaring a general assembly memorial service will be held on April 5th in 2015. Deputy Moderator, Rev. Ro Jen-quei delivered a report about the negotiations results on board member re-election of Chang Jung Christian University. Many EC members expressed their dissatisfaction about the delay of this re-election.

 

Many motions were accepted in this EC meeting, including (1) appointment of the 16th President of Changhua Christian Hospital, (2) assignment of the 4th Board Directors of Mackay Medical College Foundation, (3) resignation and replacement of Board Director within Mackay Memorial Hospital Foundation, (4) motions of personnel re-shuffle within many PCT committees, like Hakka, Women and Evangelism, (5) modification of retirement well fare codes for pastor and evangelist, (6) 2014 budget of PCT GAO, (7) appointment of Rev. Tsau Ling-jee from Changhua Presbytery as PCT Missionary, (8) codes modification of both subsidy process charter and management board's organization and election within Mackay Medical Foundation, (9) encouraging local churches to attend the activity of "30 Hour Famine" and etc.

 

A motion about the legalization of gay marriage was proposed by PCT Gender Justice Committee, due to many presbyteries, like Kaoshiung, Sho-san, East Taiwan and Hakka, asking PCT GAO to express her stance on the contentious civil bill of multiple-parties family, which was also a critical concern petitioned by PCT Faith And Order Committee to hold a General Assembly discussion on this civil code amendment. In addition, whether Tong-Kwang Light House Presbyterian Church is a PCT member or not was asked to be decided by GAO CE.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

Scholarship of "Missionary Ministry Dissertation Award" was granted to the winners, Lee Pei-shuan, Lai Seng-wen and Lin Jen-chien, by GAO Moderator Rev. Hsu Rong-fung(center left), and General Secretary, Rev. Lyim Hong-tiong(far left) during the 4th meeting of GAO EC.

Photo by Lin Yi-ying


 
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Taiwan Church News

3222 Edition

November 25 - December 1, 2013

Church Ministry News

 

Issue On Gay Marriage, PCT Suggests More Rational Dialogue

 

Reported by Lin Yi-ying

 

Regarding the recent contentious bill, proposing to legalize a multi-parties family including gay marriage, many presbyteries strongly ask PCT General Assembly Office to announce their defying stance on this bill. As many local churches, with their believers, increasingly felt once this bill get passed the youth will be lead into the evil abyss and the family will be brought into a ruin, the pressure is now turned to PCT General Assembly asking for a public denouncement of  this bill.

 

Rev. Ng Tiat-gan, Director of PCT Research and Development Center, reiterated the conclusion of a PCT report about homosexuality in 2004. As that report deliberated from a comprehensive points of view, from medical, theological and sociological considerations, Ng stressed Taiwan churches need not overtly express approval or against homosexuality. Especially Taiwan church does not fully understand the complexity of homosexuality issue, too many unjustified sayings will only lead our judgement adrift from the track.

 

Rev. Lyim Hong-tiong, PCT General Secretary, remarked that Taiwan churches need more rational dialogue on the homosexuality issue. When we do not fully understand the content of the bill, we should not express our denouncement to the stance or opinions different from us. Therefore, church should encourage more dialogues between different parties. And local church should respect the legal procedures of PCT. It is not appropriate to express for or against on this gay marriage issue hastily at the level of local church, before any resolution reached at the General Assembly.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

Lawmakers, for the bill of gay marriage, were invited to explain to PCT GAO secretaries and co-workers about their legal reasons and positions.

 

Taiwan Christian leaders, against the bill of gay marriage, lobbying Congress Speaker Wang Jin-ping(center seated) and express their disagreement and worry.

Photo by Lin Yi-ying

 

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3221 Edition

November 11 - November 17, 2013

Editorial

 

Editorial: Dear Rev. Barclay, We Give Our Sincere Thanks For Your Amazing Gift!

 

To reclaim the lost religious rights and freedom, the famous Puritan leader William Bradford initiated a company of 102 Puritan fellows sailing across the Atlantic. They arrived the Provincetown Harbor in Massachusetts on November 21st, 1620. In order to search their brand new life, again they move forward to the Plymouth, which was once a prosperous harbor yet declined due to smallpox disease. Tragically the fatally infectious diseases kept occurring and claiming lives of these new immigrants. Till next spring, only 50 persons survived.

 

During their despair and suffering, the generous mercy and sympathy of local Indian aboriginals who generously taught their skills to these new comers, delivering them a ray of hope and life. So in America, from then till now, a day at the end of November will be designated as Thanksgiving Day. This is to appreciate the mercy and favor from God, and to thank the generous hospitality of the Indian aboriginal. Though still there exists unsaid discrimination toward the Indian aboriginal and colored people, the Thanksgiving Day becomes an important cultural festival of American mainstream society. This a day for family reunion and remembrance of the hard times during the pioneering history.

 

In Taiwan church, November 21st is also a startling day to be remembered and should be appreciated more than Thanksgiving Day. Because this is the birthday of our respectable missionary - Dr. Thomas Barclay, and he signed up his dedication to God which manifested his compliance to live under Lord's will, on his birthday at the date when he was 16 years old. Rev. Barclay signed this dedication every year on his birthday to confess his belief before Lord, and left 69 signatures till his death. Much more amazing is his humble mind to sign his dedication without revealing to other persons. People never knew the existence of this dedication until his colleagues sent his personal things back to England after his death.

 

Rev. Barclay's signature on dedication is not for fun or playfulness. Through this dedication to God, Rev. Barclay was able to receive his gifts from God and contribute his greatest effort within his 60 years service: including the Romanization of the Taiwanese language, Bible translation, establishing Tainan Theological College and Seminary and Taiwan Church Press.

 

Tainan City, or even the whole Taiwan, should also give our thanks to Rev. Barclay for his role as a peace maker in 1895. When Ching dynasty of China decided to offer Taiwan to Japan in 1895, a bloody invasion by Japanese troops seemed imminent to fall on Tainan which was the biggest city then in Taiwan.  The elders and dignitaries asked Rev. Barclay to persuade the Japanese troops not using force to take down the city. And Rev. Barclay took this people's request in his courage and risked his life to meet the unpredictable future. Finally, he successfully met the Japanese general and got their promise to enter Tainan peacefully. As a peace maker to prevent a possible bloodshed invasion, Rev. Barclay received the medals from the Japanese government and also many thanksgiving scrolls from local elders and citizens.

 

Today it seems natural that the Americanized Taiwanese culture celebrate the Thanksgiving Day which affected the American culture over 400 years, but when we happily eat the turkey feast, better we should reflect this thanksgiving with a critical mind. We have our own historical event worthy to give our thanks, don't we? The story of Rev. Thomas Barclay is an encouraging event, isn't it?

 
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Taiwan Church News

3221 Edition

November 18 - November 24, 2013

Headline News

 

After Haiyan Super-Typhoon Swept Across Tacloban, Taiwan Churches Reached Out to Philippine

 

Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong

 

November 8th, the Super-Typhoon with her strong wind and torrential rainfall, mercilessly swept across central Philippine. As most the buildings of local household were made of wood, a deadly disaster and calamity was resulted. According to an initial estimation of Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 36 provinces of central Philippine were seriously damaged and over 4.3 millions people were displaced or affected. Especially at Tacloban, the capital of Leyte province, more than ten thousands people were dead.

 

PCT expressed her great concern about the aftermath of this calamity. Rev. Lin Wei-Lian, Secretary of PCT Society and Church Committee, said that PCT General Assembly already remitted USD 10,000 to UCCP, a WCC church partner of PCT. In order to assess how PCT could help to ameliorate the aftermath, PCT General Assembly Office considered to send a voluntary first aid team together with some medical professionals. And PCT was waiting the advise from UCCP to launch this voluntary team.

 

Taiwan World Vision also started their emergency aid operation to help the inflicted refugee. The target of the initial phase collection is to reach NTD 15 millions, in order to inject the money into food, drinking water, emergency shelter and etc. In the meantime, first aid materials supporting daily lives will be delivered to help the refugee get through the hard times.

 

Josaias Dela Cruz, President of World Vision Development Foundation(WVDF) in Philippine, remarked that the toll number was increasing every day and the information about the inflicted area could not be fully advised due to communication failure. Cruz expressed that the situation is very serious, yet World Vision will do their best to enlarge their rescue scale. According to Aaron Aspi, a communication staff of WVDF, the most urgent jobs and biggest challenges were building roads, resuming power and supplying clean water!

 

Taiwan Catholics Church also held a press conference to remind their members to show sympathy and offer money for the inflicted Philippine people. To help the needy and offer the emergency aid to the refugee, a special account is set up to collect the donations by Vatican Embassy in Taiwan. And this money and aids will transfer to the Vatican Embassy in Philippine according to the demand of the inflicted areas.

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 


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