Taiwan Church News
February 20 – 26, 2017
Speak Out The Prophetic Voice And Fight For The Marginalized – “International Forum on the Mission of the Church In Taiwan Today” Launched In Mid-February By PCT
Reported by Lin Jin-chia
In order to identify and search the future directions of the church ministries in Taiwan, an unprecedented seminar, entitled as “International Forum on the Mission of the Church in Taiwan Today”, was held by PCT’s General Assembly Office at Presbyterian Bible College from February 13 to 17.
Through a very fine organization by Dr Victor Wan-chi Hsu, PCT’s Associate General Secretary, about 190 respectable pastors, elders, theologians, scholars, and representatives, from 42 ecumenical churches and institutes around the world, were invited to take part into this historical PCT seminar to discuss Taiwan’s current social, economic and political situations and the urgent ecumenical issues, like transitional justice, gender justice, economic justice, climate change, youth role in the church, the role of church as the prophet, ecumenical cooperation in church partnership and etc.
In the forum’s opening service, unveiled by the renown string musics orchestra of Der-Seng Presbyterian Church of So-shan Presbytery and praised Tayal Presbytery’s Shepherd Chorus, Rev Sudu Tada, Moderator of PCT General Assembly, delivered his sermon in a subject as “Let’s Eat Together!” encouraging ecumenical partner churches and PCT to accommodate each other in God’s love.
Rev Lyim Hong-tiong, General Secretary of PCT, said 2016 is a brand new start for Taiwan as President Tsai Ing-wen became the first female President in Taiwan history and the Goliath-like KMT lost its majority in the Congress. Facing these critical changes and issues occurred inside Taiwan’s domestic environment, be it social, economic or political, PCT expects to work with ecumenical partner churches to figure out the meanings and visions of “the Mission of the Church in Taiwan”.
Dr François Chih-chung Wu, Deputy Minister of Foreign Department, was invited to address to this international assembly and give his best wishes and warm welcome to all participating members. Dr Wu said, in 2016, Taiwan had achieved the third party alternation in the presidential election and had been accredited as the most free countries, even surpassing the ranking of US, after a decade of efforts, and this is a very remarkable achievement! During the development of Taiwan’s democracy after 1987, Dr Wu highly confirmed and appreciated the pioneering contributions made by PCT.
In the concluding session of this international forum, hosted by Rev Christopher Ferguson, General Secretary of WCRC, and Professor Albert Lin, a famous human rights campaigner for love and non-violence, many comments reflected their understanding and sympathy about why PCT proposed Taiwan’s self-determination because it is the best way to stand by Taiwan society, her suffering history under colonial regimes and the people’s zealous quest for freedom and democracy.
To clarify the priority between PCT’s ecumenical projects and her domestic ministries, promote more ecumenical and cross-denominational cooperation, and improve PCT’s relationships with China’s church, some ecumenical partner churches even suggested to set up a regular Taiwan Ecumenical Forum as a platform for civics activities and dialogues.
As Taiwan’s isolated colonial history and why PCT had to take up the cross and the suffering of the Taiwanese people were further understood through this international seminar, many ecumenical partner churches pledged to work with PCT, under a common vision that God blesses us an abundant living life, fighting against the globalized empire and its all forms of injustice!
Translated by Peter Wolfe
All participants of the international Forum on the Mission of the Church in Taiwan Today take a big rally photograph at Presbyterian Bible College on 16 February 2017.
Photo by Lin Jin-chia
Rev Collin Cowan(behind the podium), General Secretary of Council of World Mission, challenged PCT whether she is ready to speak out the prophetic voice and fight for the marginalized such as immigrant labors in Taiwan society?
Photo by Lin Yi-yin