Today was THE big day ~ the official start of the Episcopal Church House of Bishops meeting in Taiwan ~ and there we were on the welcome desk, this time outside the main meeting room, welcoming all those who had arrived late last night ~ and despite mega-long flights for most, well they were just so happy to be here!
After the Eucharist, there were group photos outside in front of the Grand Hotel ~ but there was sooooooo many people in each photo that I couldn’t fit ’em all in ha ha – so you’ll have to wait for the official ones…..
And so to lunch and HOB meetings through the afternoon….
The BIG highlight of the BIG day for us was undoubtedly, definitely and most assuredly the Welcome Reception, hosted by the Diocese of Taiwan in honour of the 60th anniversary of the Taiwan Episcopal Church ~ so with our 200 guests from the House of Bishops and all our clergy, church wardens and church members from all our churches in Taiwan, well, it was a major major event ~ and then on top of it all, we had the honour of Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-Jeou and VIPs from the government, who came along too…
Having seen President Ma passing through the Grand Hotel on his way to another event yesterday, I’ve now seen him twice in 2 days lol! But this time he came specially to our event, and we had speeches from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Bishop Lai, Chancellor Herbert Ma and President Ma… and guess what, somehow I found myself in the line that the president chose to walk along shaking hands ~ so that’s what I did YAY!
And after the speeches, Presiding Bishop Katharine led prayers for the country, the president and the diocese, and then a toast – and once President Ma had left, then the buffet could begin……
And for many of our church members and clergy, it’s a long journey back home – back to the far south or far east of Taiwan, and for the bishops and spouses it’s a time to recover from the journey or catch up with friends…. but seeing all these smiles, it was clearly all worth it…. YES, it was a great day, praise the Lord!