Taiwan Church News
April 4 – 10, 2016
Visions In A Jubilant PCT150
The 61st annual meeting of PCT has just finished in a perfect ending. Compared with the original 4 days schedule, from May 29 to April 1, this annual meeting unusually closed in the afternoon on May 31, which is just one day in advance of the meeting schedule. Regarding this smooth ending earlier than expected, some representatives of this meeting remark that this is due to no personnel cases proposed for the three major PCT affiliated hospitals; some say it is because a good pre-negotiations on many proposals before the formal meetings; some praise this meeting’s Moderator whose efficiency plays a vital role; some say the meeting has made a great progress in quality as no more verbal abuse of name-calling shows up and etc. Certainly, there are some complain it makes no sense to close meeting one day earlier as time is too short to state their complete opinion. This is PCT, however, an argumentative Christian denominational group descended from the Reformation, having a very complex structure and many affiliated institutions. We dare not boast as the prophets of this time, though, PCT still seeks to reflect and advance through open debate and frank criticism. We PCT are a missionary church with a glorious past and a visionary future!
Because 2016 is named by PCT as an year of “Ministry of Society and Church”, a four-dimensional ministry report in the fields of “Justice and Peace”, “First Aid”, “Community Care” and “Environmental Protection” is delivered in the annual meeting. Be it the first aid story by Rev. Hwang Che-chien, describing how Tayal Presbytery cooperated with the General Assembly Office carrying the foods and necessary daily goods on foot into the afflicted Wu-lai area after Typhoon Soudelor swept across Taiwan in the August of 2015; or, a vivid report by Rev. Keng Ming-teh dressed in his cleaning suit, sharing how local churches cooperated with the civilian environmental protection groups to cleanup the rivers stuck with kinds of garbage during a PCT movement for Clearup Coast of Taiwan, all these stories are impressively encouraging. But, it’s still a pity, that PCT did not take part into the most important anti-nuclear protest in 2015. In the mean time, an appropriate PCT response to the tragic beheading crime against a two-year-old girl in Taipei is still absent. And these events deserve PCT to take a further review.
Since this is a PCT annual meeting, designed to vote on ministry proposals and personnel cases, it’s no wonder there might have different stances or contentious arguments. But, this is also a testing field to show our common sense or attitude about what democracy means for the church. Whether they will be respected or ridiculed, church leaders are responsible on their own speech. A civilized debate, however, is actually an asset of our church and society. Through election or resolution on many ministry proposals, the representatives of PCT annual meeting transform into the messengers leading our local churches to walk together toward a common future. If we fight against each other after we leave the meeting, increasing the strength of our biased factions and decreasing the number of PCT believers, then we are absolutely unfit to be the housekeeper granted by our Lord!
In addition to the issues mentioned above, whether a southern synod is appropriate or reasonable, this is a matter still waits PCT to have a cool thinking and dialogue. Also, we have to be vigilant about the followings: the financial truth about the donations for PCT150 and how to deal with the “puppet” board of management at Chang-Jung Christian University. May us realize the PCT spirit of “Follow Jesus In Unity, Be Loyal In Humbleness”!