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Taiwan Church News

3282 Edition

January 19 - 25, 2015

Church Ministry

 

 

ISECO Pays Her First Official Visit To PCT To Promote Mutual Understanding Between Israel And Taiwan

 

 

Reported By Lin Jia-chin

 

 

On January 12, under an arrangement by Rev. Lo Lien-seng of Dah-an Presbyterian Church, Ms Simona Halperin, the Representative of Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei(ISECO) pays her first official visit to PCT. Rev. Lyim Hong-tiong, PCT General Secretary, together with his staffs, warmly receives Ms Simona Halperin in the General Assembly Office. To facilitate mutual understanding between Israelite Judaism and Taiwan's Christianity, an initial consensus is reached at this visit: from 2015, both parties will cooperate to hold workshops in the field of pastoral care, invite religious leaders from different faiths to dialogue, and promote tourism to sites with biblical significance.

 

 

Ms Halperin says, being affected by the limited information from Taiwan's media, Taiwan society does not has a comprehensive understanding about Israel. And this is the reason why ISECO wish to cooperate PCT, one of the populous Christian denominations in Taiwan, to proceed more religious dialogues and strengthen mutual understandings between Israel and Taiwan. To make a religious dialogue come true between Judaism and Christianity, "Maybe we can invite Christian leaders to join the dinner table with the Jewish leaders in the annual Passover commemoration or New Year Day", says Ms Halperin.

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

 

 

Warmly welcomed by Rev. Lyim Hong-tiong(third from left), PCT General Secretary, and his staffs, Ms Simona Halperin(second from left) pays her first official visit at PCT GAO to propmote mutual understanding between Israel and Taiwan.

 

Photo by Lin Jia-chin

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3281 Edition

January 12 -18, 2015

Editorial

 

 

 

Editorial: A Threefold Cord Of Evangelical Ministry

 

 

 

Standing at this historical timing of 2015, marked as the 150th anniversary of PCT's evangelical mission, we cannot help but dedicate our utmost gratitude and appreciation to the pioneering foreign missionaries who came to Taiwan from the distant corners all over the world. Their devout minds and simple hearts in the faith of the Lord sacrificing their whole life to preach the good news of Jesus Christ deserve our admiration to learn and follow.

 

 

 

Just like Abraham is called by the Lord, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you.... and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed"(Gensis 12: 1~3), the pioneering missionaries not only brought the good news into Taiwan island but also imported professional expertise and techniques to facilitate the modernization of Taiwan. And these historically ground-breaking ministries laid down a solid foundation for PCT's evangelical mission, transforming our faith into an unbreakable threefold cord: evangelicalism, education and service.

 

 

 

In the same logic, to witness PCT's vision of church: becoming the sign of hope, PCT's Evangelicalism Committee also has a threefold cord ministries to run deep into our church and society. The first cord is to build up the partner relationship among churches both overseas and domestically. Now PCT have 13 overseas missionaries actively engaging with the ecumenically local churches in the field of evangelical or social ministries, regardless of the issue whether local church is Presbyterian or not. Domestically, the partner relationship is encouraged to forge an evangelical cooperation between Taiwanese-dominated urban church and the aboriginal church. And the objective is to plant more urban aboriginal churches to serve the increasing urbanized aboriginals.

 

 

 

The second cord is the One-Lead-One New Doubling Movement with a purpose to increase our membership and enhance the quality of our faithful service. This is an evangelical movement under way and supported by PCT General Assembly with many events, like supporting each Presbytery to mobilize on the missionary ministries, opening seminary to train the disciples, inviting local churches to function as the seed-church and etc.

 

 

The third cord is about the scripture reading. Especially, in 2015, PCT has published a brand new quarterly entitled as "SAY YES" for the juvenile, intending to extend the words of Lord into the hearts of our next generations. Hope such important PCT tradition, treasuring the words of Lord, could help our juvenile youth to carry on the service and commitment to Taiwan society.

 

 

And such a threefold cord, manifested in ecclesiastical partner relationship, One-Lead-One Movement and the emphasis of scripture reading, will be PCT's guidance in missionary ministry and evangelism. In addition, we can discipline and cultivate our missionaries, patronize our seminary students and evangelists, and expand th frontiers of the kingdom of God.

 

 
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Taiwan Church News

3281 Edition

January 12 - 18, 2015

Church Ministry

 

 

 

JE SUIS CHARLIE - The Shooting Rampage Victims In Charlie Hebdo And Supermarket Are Commemorated By French Community And The Public In Taiwan

 

 

Reported by Chiu Kuo-rong

 


 

After the shocking news of the incredible massacre of the Paris headquarter of Charlie Hebdo, a renown French satirical weekly magazine, resulting 12 people dead including magazine editors, staffs and policemen on January 7, waves of condolences and support for freedom of speech and journalism are henceforth swept across the world.

 

 

On January 8, Alliance Francaise de Taiwan express their commemoration and start to receive condolence and solidarity support from the Taiwan society at their office. In the evening of January 9, about 500 people in both Kaohsiung and Taipei's Liberty Square hold the vigils to commemorate the victims; every participating member brings kinds of pen or holds a placard, read "JE SUIS CHARLIE" in French, English or Chinese, expressing the strongest support for the freedom of speech and journalism.

 

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

Expressing strong support for speech freedom and commemorating the shooting rampage victims of Charlie Hebdo and supermarket in Paris on January 7, The French Community and the Taiwan public hold a vigil at the Liberty Square in Taipei on January 9, 2015.

 

Photo by Chiu Kuo-rong

 
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Taiwan Church News

3281 Edition

January 12 - 18, 2015

Headline News

 

 

PCT Tainan Presbytery Urges A Prompt Legal Investigation Into Vote Buying Scandal In Tainan City Council

 

 

Reported by Hwang Yi-lek, Chen Yi-hsaun and Fan Lang-ting

 

 

Though Democratic Progressive Party(DPP), the chief opposition party, gained a land-slide victory in the so-called nine-in-one election at last year's end-November, the election of Tainan City Council Speaker from the council members, which was effectively dominated by DPP over half seats, bumped into a great fiasco and lost to Lee Chuan-chiau, a prosecuted vote-buying city councilman in this election and a central committee member of Kuo-Ming-Tang(KMT, or the Nationalist Party) also suspected of vote-buying previously.

 

 

Mr Lai Chin-der, the second term winner of Tainan City Mayor who has reaped an approving votes  above 70% - the highest among the whole nation, bombards such incredible democratic scandal a disgrace to Tainan citizens and pledges he would not step into Tainan City Council once the legal prosecution of vote-buying is not cleared. Lai explicitly points out the real cause of this scandal is due to some DPP city council members "cannot resist [money] temptation".

 

 

As Mayor Lai's decision, no stepping into Tainan City Council and appealing to a direct surveillance from citizens, incurs many comments pro and con island-wide, Minister of Interior therefore issues warning that Lai's absence to attend City Council Assembly may go against Local Government Law.

 

 

Against such criticism, Mr Chen Chong-yen, Director of Tainan City Affairs Bureau and a member of PCT Nan-men Church, responds that Mayor's Lai's decision to be absent in City Council is a more difficult decision than a compliance to current local law and regulation. Chen says, witnessing many vote-buying culprits got caught on behalf of Lee Chuan-chiau, within the election of both the council membership and the council speaker, Mayor Lai is determined to guard against the corruption of democratic values treasured by Tainan citizens. As Taiwan's local election is long term dominated by money and mafia violence, this is a chance to call back the attention of the public and change the culture of local politics once for all, says Chen.

 

 

On this election scandal of Tainan City Council Speaker, PCT Tainan Presbytery also delivers a statement on January 13, urging Tainan Local Court proceed a prompt legal investigation and an early sentence, based on the appreciation and prudence of democratic values, in order to facilitate the well-beings of Tainan citizens. The scripture of Job 15:31, "Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompence", is also incited to remind the people in powers.

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

 

Tainan Mayor Lai Chin-der is blessed by Rev. Lo Ren-quei, Moderator of PCT General Assembly.

 

An Archiv Photo by Hwang Yi-lek


 
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Taiwan Church News

3280 Edition

January 5 -11, 2015

Headline News

 

 

 

Under A Medical Parole, Former President Chen Shui-bian Is Allowed To Go Home

 

 

 

Reported by Simon Lin

 

 

 

After six years of humiliated imprisonment and superficial medic-care, former President Chen Shui-bian is finally allowed to go home temporarily under a one-month medical parole. On January 5th 2015, hundreds of supporters flooded into the front gate of Taichung Prison, welcoming President A-bian to step out of the jail. Rev. Lin Wei-lien, Secretary of PCT Church and Society Committee, speaks in straight that this medical parole is not due to any favour granted by President Ma Ying-jeou but a long term effort by the concerned Taiwan public and the land-slide victory of the Taiwanese in the nine-in-one election on November 29th 2014. In the mean time, Rev. Lin gives his special thanks to the great support from the Church and Society Committee of Taichung Presbytery for their continuous endeaver to sustain the light of hope in the heart of President A-bian.

 

 

 

Recruited by the Church and Society Committee of Taichung Presbytery and Taiwan Just Action Church, many PCT members assemble at the front gate of Taichung Prison in the morning on Jauary 5th in order to welcome the release of President A-bian. When the decision to release A-bian is finally confirmed around 12:00 am, Rev. Wang Jin-tsai, Scretary of the Church and Society Committee of Taichung Presbytery, hilariously proclaims -"It's A Victory of People! Let's Love Each Other In Peace! Taiwan Shall Overcome!" -to hundreds of A-bian supporters and PCT members at the site.

 

 

 

Together with many domestic civil groups and international human rights organizations, PCT has appealed to Taiwan society many times about the deteriorating health problem of President A-bian since 2013. For example, in Feburary 2013, PCT held press conference entitled "Respect For Life" and "Treasure Our Democracy" urging an immediate medical parole for President A-bian. Taiwan Just Action Church took up the pastral care from April 2013, after President A-bian was trabsferred to Taichung Prison, holding 20 monthly services outside the prison and prayed for President A-bian in the next 20 months incessantly. In addition, since Feburary 2014, facilitated through a cell visit by former defense minister Tsai Ming-hsien, President A-bian is allowed to attend a service - read the Bible, sing the hymn and pray - within the cell twice a week. And President A-bian attends this service in Taichung Prison for 18 times.

 

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

Hundreds of A-bian supporters with members of PCT and Taiwan Just Action Church, holding flowers and placards, looking forward to the release of former President Chen Shui-bian from Taichung Prison on January 5th 2015.

 

Photo by Simon Lin

 

President A-bian, wearing a cap with words read " The case of A-bian is a political persecution!", goes back home in a medical parole announced on January 5th 2015.
Photo by Chen Chi-chung
 
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Taiwan Church News

3280 Edition

January 5 - 11, 2015

Church Ministry

 

 

 

Let Us Turn Stink Drainage Ditch Into Living Water River

 

 

 

Reported by Simon Lin

 

 

 

On December 28th 2014, the Ailing Association of Lord's Grace Bread of Life Christian Church, together with Miaopu Montessori School(MMS), launches a community project entitled - Let Us Turn Stink Drainage Ditch Into Living Water River - to clean up Hsu-suei drainage ditch 200 meters away from the MMS school gate. This is a two-years project, expecting to forge an eco-friendly water system to the community's environment. Newly elected Changhua County Magistrate, Mr Wei Ming-ku, with a congress woman and many county council members are invited to witness this pioneering educational project within the community.

 

 

As surrounded by many plating and metalwork factories, which arbitrarily released their wasted water and pollutants into Yonah-chu River and poisoned the neighboring farm lands, MMS started a patrol team 8 years ago recruiting teachers, students and parents to clean up the factory wastes in the river, bring in the green plants along the river and set up a waste water filtering station.

 

 

About 13 years ago, in order to let the sewage water, rain water and drinking water circulating ecologically in a multi-layers' biological environments, MMS also started to build up an eco-friendly water system in the school. Now, these water can be used to grow the vegetables and the pastures. And the water sprayed on the pastures can be collected in the underground water system which can be utilized further in a circulating system.

 

 

In order to improve the quality of the daily lives of local community, this ecologically revealing project, Let Us Turn Stink Drainage Ditch Into Living Water River, is expected to export this water-recycling model built at MMS and help local habitats understand how to establish an eco-friendly water system well utilizing the extant ditches and environments. In the future, hopefully by this pioneering ecological project to build more ponds and natural reservoirs as filter, more rain water could be stored, the overtly extracted underground water in Changhua county could be compensated, and the vibrant life and food-chain in the river could be restored.

 

 

 

Translated by Peter Wolfe

 

 

 

Mr Wei Ming-ku(center in suit), newly elected Chang-hua County Magistrate, takes a photograph with MMS principal Robert(3rd from left) and members of Ailing Association of Lord's Grace Bread of Life Christian Church before the ecological project poster on December 28th 2014.

 

 

Photo by the Ailing Association

 

 


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