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Taiwan Church News

3265 Edition

September 22 - September 28, 2014

Headline News



People Win The Scottish Independence Referendum



Reported by Png Lâm-têng from Edingburgh



The result of globally attention-attracted Scottish Independence Referendum is officially announced at 7:00 am on September 19th 2014. "No" camp, who is against independence, gets 55.3% of the total ballots. And this result decides the Scotland to keep remaining in the United Kingdom.



Lead by PCT's General Assembly Moderator, Rev. Lo Ren-qyei, a group of 12-membered "Taiwan Observation Group of the Scottish Independence Referendum 2014", including representatives from different Taiwan civil groups and political parties, is the exclusive Taiwanese civil group arriving Edinburgh on September 15th for the sake of observing this significant independence referendum only. Arranged by Rev. Sandy Sneddon, Asian Secretary of Ecumenical Committee within Church of Scotland(CoS), Taiwan Observation Group is further divided into four units to proceed a detailed and comprehensive understanding.



After the result of independence referendum is announced, Taiwan Observation Group immediately joins a conference held by CoS at 10:00 am on September 19th to learn how CoS expresses their faith and stance within this important event and how church will work on social reconciliation in the future from CoS Moderator, Rev. John Chalmers, and the Secretary of CoS Church and Society, Rev. Graham Blount.



Blount said, though the referendum result can not be please to everyone, the Scottish people still deserve to be congratulated as the turn out rate reaches an amazing 85% which is a double increase compared to last Scottish Parliament election.



Different from the devolution referendums for Scottish Assembly on 1979 and 1997 each, in which CoS took sides with "Yes" camp, CoS does not support either camp during this 2014 independence referendum because both camps have convincing reasons to persuade the other, said Blount.



Within this independence referendum, CoS only urges people to follow common moral standard and play her role as an healer in reconciliation. In the meantime CoS also prepares to open 10 seminary workshop, in cooperation with cross-denominational churches and social groups, to carry on the momentum caring for the Scottish society, remarked Blount.



Speaking for Taiwan Observation Group of Scottish Independence Referendum, Rev. Lo Ren-quei appreciates CoS's generous arrangement on this event enabling observation members be able to check into the details of the referendum process. Lo hopes Taiwan can hold such independence referendum soon and invite CoS to observe. Hearing this, Rev. Chalmers promptly responds: "Hope your vote result will be better than us!".



Seeing the democratic and fair process of the Scottish Independence Referendum, Professor Tsai Ding-quei, an Taiwan Observation Group member and also the chief leader of Taiwan Plebicite Union, chides in rebuke about China's propaganda that Taiwan's future should be decided by a common decision by the whole bunch of the Chinese in volumes and the Taiwanese as a small potato.



In a CoS reconciliation service held on September 21st after the referendum vote, Douglas Alexander, the Shadow Foreign Secretary of Labour Party, was invited to read verses of Old Testament; John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Fiance in the Scottish Government, reading verses of New Testament. This is to symbolize a unit in faith.



Rev. John Chalmers, CoS Moderator, urges the Scotland people in his sermon to give away their differences and re-search the meaning of their pursuit for a state within the United Kingdom. Chalmers praises and pay his tributes to the Scottish people, as the whole world is watching so attentively how the Scotland decides her future in dignity and responsibility. And now it is the time to seek cooperation and unity. For the Scottish people, independence reference vote is both an identity exploration and spiritual journey. And such national pilgrimage into future requires God's grace and hospitality to respect our mutual difference. So, there is no loser in this independence referendum vote. People win!



Translated by Peter Wolfe


Taiwan Observation Group members of the Scottish Independence Referendum are photographed with Rev. John Chalmers, Moderator of Church of Scotland, before St Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh on September 21st 2014.


Photo by Png Lâm-têng


Outside the voting booth, the placard of No camp and Yes camp for the Scottish Independence Referendum could be placed side by side.


Photo by Png Lâm-têng


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Taiwan Church News

3264 Edition

September 15 - September 21, 2014

Headline News


Preparations For PCT 150th Anniversary Are Geared Up


Reported by Hwang Yi-lek


As time is getting close to PCT 150th anniversary, due in 2015, PCT Preparatory Committee for 150th anniversary begins to raise many concrete activities. On September 11, the third preparatory meeting is held at East Gate Barclay Memorial Church. Within this meeting many commemoration proposals are confirmed and decided unanimously, attracting the public to learn more about these related programs.



The first commemoration program, a missionary meeting named as "Preaching Gospel in Love", will be hold at Presbyterian Bible College from November 10th to 12th in 2014. It is estimated that 250 PCT leaders will be invited, including all General Assembly's committee secretaries and representatives from each presbytery and affiliated institutions. This missionary meeting, the first one of three such meetings in total, will discuss a 5 years strategic missionary plan in the coming future. And the conclusion within these meetings, be it special report, discussions and suggestions,   will be published and executed by PCT General Assembly.



The commemorative wooden cross is committed to Taiwan's national laurate artist Mr. Chang Jin, who is also an elder of Dou-nan Presbyterian Church in Jia-yi presbytery. This wooden cross, which will be made from Taiwan Yellow Cedar (or Taiwan Red Cypress), reaches it base width about 180 cm. And it will be staged in the commemoration service, shown along PCT's mountain climbing activity up to Taiwan highest mountain-Yushan and demonstrated in the missionary assignment service. After the wooden cross is finished, the remaining timbre materials will be made further into small cross within a box laser-cut PCT 150th anniversary on surface, which will be displayed for auction.



The program pamphlet of PCT 150th anniversary, with catchwords as "Fly Over 150 To See A New Taiwan", is also in edition. Except an introduction to a whole year's activities within 200 pages, this pamphlet is designed with many current fashion ideas,  for example visitors can collect game point deposits at every activity or program site to exchange some designated presents prepared by PCT. In the meantime, in convenience for some smartphone or tablet users, some APP programs for this PCT 150th anniversary are programming now and will be released later.



On November 6th 2014, in order to celebrate and share such jubilance, PCT prepares to raise a press conference and officially declare 150th anniversary to Taiwan society. The Taiwan public will be urged and invited to take part into pluralistic PCT commemoration activities and mission histories within each districts and peoples, in order to understand PCT's spirit of faith incarnated within Taiwan society and look forward to a New Taiwan led by God.


Translated by Peter Wolfe


PCT's Preparatory Committee for 150th anniversary held her 3rd meeting at East Gate Barclay Memorial Church on September 11, 2014. Within this meeting many commemoration programs are confirmed and decided unanimously.

Photo by Hwang Yi-lek

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Taiwan Church News

3263 Edition

September 8 - September 14,  2014

Headline News



PCT One-Leads-One Evangelical Movement Focuses On Youth Evangelicalism



Reported by Simon Lin



From September 1st to 3rd, leaders of every PCT presbytery are invited by evangelical center of "One-Lead-One and New Dubling Movement" to hold an annual evangelical meeting at Hsin-chu. Focusing on the bottle-neck difficulties on youth evangelicalism, PCT general assembly tries to work together with presbyteries and local congregations to find a way out and establish the evangelical ministry agenda for the visions of next year's White Paper report.



Rather than recruiting only representatives from each presbytery as in the past, Rev. Tsai Nan-hsin -chief executive of PCT evangelical center - emphasized that much more young men, co-workers at college student centers, women and elderly people are also invited to attend this annual evangelical meeting. This is to make our one-leads-one evangelical movement becomes more plural and dynamic.


After discussing with the pastors from the presbyteries of aboriginal Paiwan, rural Cha-yi and urban Taipei, Dai Yi-ren, a youth representative from Taichung college student center, concluded that the main cause of PCT's youth decrease are due to (1) PCT is short of characteristics of young people, and (2) local congregations do not catch the real spirit of PCT, let alone to pass it on to the youth. In addition, Dai suggests there should be a communication platform between local congregations and the church youth; otherwise, it is very liable that the youth's critical faith and praxis learned from their PCT campus co-workers or evangelists could be easily excluded by their own local congregations.



Evangelist Tsai Hen-wei, campus evangelical co-worker at Taichung college student center, points out that the youth need to speak out loud their demand in the church. In the mean time, the youth should also be arranged to take part in the session to learn and understand how the church works. Accordingly, some sovereignty of ministry decision should be shared to the youth.



Many issues are also discussed by different groups in this annual meeting, including how should college student center cooperate with PCT general assembly and presbytery? What are their respective responsibilities in this one-leads-one evangelical movement?  Could there be any framework to integrate the existent church resources? Is there any meaning or function for the alma mater fellowship after the youth student is graduated? How to care and concern for the pastor kids on campus? How the women fellowship proceed pastoral concern for the young single woman? and etc.


Translated by Peter Wolfe


To make one-leads-one evangelical movement becomes more plural and dynamic, evangelist co-worker at PCT college student centers, students, women and elderly members are invited to attend this annual meeting of One-Leads-One Evangelical Movement at Hsin-chu .

Photo by Simon Lin


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