Taiwan Church News
October 21 – 27, 2019
ICMA World Conference 2019 – “So Much Better, Together”
Reported by Lin Wang-ting
To mark a historic 50th anniversary maritime ministry around the globe, about 230 ICMA(International Christian Maritime Association) representative members, invited from over 40 countries and above hundreds of harbors, came to attend the ICMA World Conference 2019 held at Kaohsiung from October 21 to 25, 2019.
In its opening ceremony, Pope Francis specially delivered his congratulation to ICMA’s humble service and global impacts to the world via a pre-recorded video; Dr Chen Chien-jen, Vice President of Taiwan, offered his cordial welcome and greeting to the audience.
Noteworthy is the encouragingly relevant sermon by Rev Lyim Hung-tiong, General Secretary of PCT, citing the brave missionary story of Rev Dr William Campbell, early Taiwanese Christian Ko Tiong and others, proclaiming the good news to 200 local habitats when they accidentally harbored at Tik-Koh Bay due to a force majeure in their original itinerary at Peng-hu islands.
Though ICMA is apparently one of world leaders in maritime ministry to help and improve the welfare of seafarers, fishers and their families, said Rev Canon Andrew Wright(ICMA chairman), the mission of ICMA is not yet accomplished as more cooperation and consolidation is still needed to confront the challenges in the future. Rev Wright encourages all ICMA members to keep a open heart, getting acquainted with new friends and building new relationships for the common good of our world.
In the third session of the assembly, Rev Christoph Ernst(General Secretary of Deutsche Seemanns Mission), shared his Eastern Germany’s childhood background from 1969 on explaining how he became to understand and sympathize the isolated, hard and difficult lives of seafarer and fisher on the marine world. Rev Ernst remarked the ecumenical ideal is not distilled from intellectual dogmas or traditional knowledge across different Christian denominations. Instead, Rev Ernst stressed, the core spirit of the evangelical ecumenism resides in an open heart to hear, understand and accept each other!
Translated by Peter Wolfe