And not just any old field trip to any old place, but to visit some of our very own churches in our very own Diocese of Taiwan ~ Yippee!
For me starting with getting up to the Grand Hotel at 7:00am, when it’s cooler for walking up all them steps… for orchids and yep, coffee!
Today was the day for taking all our lovely guests from the Episcopal Church House of Bishops to visit our churches ~ 4 groups to 4 places; 2 smaller groups – one to Keelung to visit Trinity Church and St. Stephens’ Church and one to Good Shepherd Church in Taipei City, and then 2 larger groups – one to St. John’s University and one to St. James’ Church, Taichung. That trip to St. James is something special, 70 people on the High-Speed Rail – wow, just imagine the logistics!
The trip to St. James was also special because booked to go on it among others were Bishop Andrew Waldo and his wife Mary from the Diocese of Upper South Carolina. St. James’ Church, Taichung was built way back in the late 60’s and early 70’s with a donation of US$ 30,000 from Christ Church, Greenville in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina (also happens to be the church where Bishop Waldo was consecrated as bishop 4 years ago!) matched by an equal amount raised by the St. James’ Church members themselves….
And the whole story of how St. James’ Church, under the former rector, Rev. Charles C. T. Chen, came to have the vision and actually raise the money to build 12 churches in the Diocese of Central Philippines starts with that gift (‘seed money’) from Christ Church, Greenville – in Charles’ words: as we received so generously from others in the past, so it is now our time for us to give and become a blessing to others…..
So Rev. Charles Chen, his wife MaryJo and family, plus Bishop Waldo and his wife had a chance to meet for the first time last night at the Welcome Reception~ and here they all are ~ isn’t it just amazing?!
But that’s another story, and today I didn’t go on the trip to St. James’ Church, instead I was on the visit to St. John’s University (SJU) ~ 2 buses, almost 70 bishops and spouses ~ and what a great time we all had!
Warmly welcomed first at Advent Church by the student fellowship group who sang songs of worship, followed by watching the SJU video, then sharing about the life and ministry of the chaplaincy and church by chaplain and rector, Rev. Lennon Chang ~ and all well supported by lots of our wonderful church members and students…
After a visit to the new church centre construction site, we divided into 3 groups ~ ours went to the library and then the SJU (Shanghai) Archives, followed by all gathering together to meet with SJU President Chen, presentations and a wonderful buffet lunch….
And finally a group photo on the steps of Advent Church….
A wonderful day for everyone ~ and a great honour for us all at St. John’s University, Advent Church and the Diocese of Taiwan ~ YES!