The Soul Still Trembles …. CMS Link Letter #84

Accumulation – Searching for the Destination

Published today by the Church Mission Society, my latest link letter, click on the link below…

The title, The Soul (Still) Trembles is taken from the exhibition by Shiota Chiharu running at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum until Sunday October 17. Accumulation – Searching for the Destination is the title of one of the exhibits, as mentioned in my link letter…

Accumulation – Searching for the Destination

But the link letter already needs updating! Since I wrote it 2 weeks ago, things have improved further in Taiwan’s pandemic situation, most notably new rules that say facemasks are no longer required outside in ’empty open spaces’, like beaches and mountains. Yippee! Two more countries, Israel and Indonesia have just come off Taiwan’s list of high-risk countries facing enhanced quarantine rules, which now leaves only 3, India, Myanmar and the UK. More good news is that the number of people who have received their first Covid-19 vaccine has now reached the milestone of 60%. The rollout of second vaccines has just started too, though it’s not easy to get a booking locally – I had to go into Taipei on Tuesday for mine, coinciding with Typhoon Kompasu passing by. It was very very wet. #SoakedButVaccinated is the new hashtag. #VaccinesNotWarships could be another, as related to my link letter. Grateful anyway. Peering at the hospital through the rain ……

It’s the time of the year when the Asia-Pacific region has its annual military exercises, plus Mainland China and Taiwan each celebrate their own national days this month with displays of military might and patriotism, so there’s a lot of tension, as you will have seen in the international news. Thanks to all who have sent messages of concern. Taiwan has also been in the international news today after a deadly fire last night in a high-rise residential building in Kaohsiung, at least 46 people known to have died. Such a tragedy. One of our students lives in the same street as that fire, and watched it all happen. Really terrible.

It’s also the time of the year when we have our annual earthquake, tsunami and WanAn air-raid drill, receiving a text message for each event ….

Actually this year’s WanAn air-raid drill was held on the day we were all at the diocesan office in Taipei for our monthly birthday celebration lunch, kindly hosted by Bishop Chang for the diocesan office workers, plus others. In past years we would have to stay put for the 30-minute drill, due to restrictions on movement outside, but this year, due to the pandemic, there were no such restrictions. Anyway we had a wonderful lunch! Thanks to all these lovely people in the photo who helped everything go smoothly at recent church events: Rev. Chia-Kuei Wu’s ordination service, Yu-Lin and San-Yuan’s wedding and Rev. Samuel K. L. Liao’s Memorial Service.

I had cycled to the diocesan office that morning ~ and back in the late afternoon too. It’s such a fun way to commute to Taipei, along the riverside paths and into the city at the Dadaocheng Wharf, passing the RC Cathedral ….

Anyway, back to the typhoon, we had another typhoon a few weeks ago too, also with lots of rain, but not so much wind. Still, a few trees fell down on our St. John’s University (SJU) campus and the sea was rough for days afterwards….

The bank had covered up the SJU ATM machine as a precaution…

Otherwise, in-between typhoons, the SJU campus and the sea down below have been looking beautiful!

Last week, we joined the local junior-high school children from Xian-Xiao on a beach clean-up. The weather was stunning….

And over at the local elementary school, we celebrated Taiwan’s success at the Olympics (photos supplied by the school)….

And we also celebrated the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival with a 4-day weekend. Great chance for mountain climbing – and we went last weekend too. It’s the silvergrass season up in the Yangmingshan Mountains, while elsewhere, like Guanyinshan, its the citrus and chili season, plus spiders galore!

And finally, we all need a good book to read on a long trip to a vaccination centre in a wet and windy typhoon, and I recommend the latest in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Series… it’s so lovely!

Thank you all so much for your support. The soul may still be trembling with all that’s going on in the world, and in this region particularly, but your prayers are most appreciated.

感謝上帝 (Gǎnxiè Shàngdì) Thanks be to God

8 thoughts on “The Soul Still Trembles …. CMS Link Letter #84”

  1. Dear Catherine, thanks for sharing and glad that you have weathered this storm! So sorry to hear about the fire. I just read about it yesterday in the paper!

  2. Dear Catherine,                     Thank you again for another moving link letter. The tensions between the mainland and Taiwan have been very much in the news recently, and we have been thinking of you and praying for you and for the people of Taiwan.I do remember when we were in Hong Kong in the 70s that on October 1st there were very few flags, but on October 10th(the double 10th) the Nationalist flags were everywhere. I fear there is no chance of that happening in Hong Kong, and I hope and pray that Taiwan will weather the storm.Your photos show just how beautiful the island is- the views of the mountains made my feet itch! Recently I was climbing mountains on Skye, and found myself , with helmet and ropes, scaling rock faces and abseiling down hundreds of feet- not quite what I had expected, but it was exhilarating.I did wonder if you might be interested in inviting me(post-Covid) to lead some music and worship workshops. I have done these regularly in many countries, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Singapore recently(Philippines earlier), the main purpose being to encourage the musicians and perhaps to show new ways of worshipping.I don’t know much about the situation re music and worship in Taiwan, but I think one of the main purposes would be to bring clergy and musicians together and help them to be creative in their planning.You may feel that there is no need in your situation, and that’s fine- but it is an offer.With love and prayersGeoff

    1. Thanks Geoff for your offer ~ currently the Taiwan Episcopal Church is blessed with many talented musicians and they work with the Taosheng College of Sacred Music, local theological colleges and each other to offer workshops and training programmes to bring clergy and musicians together and further enhance their ministry. So for now, they’re OK, thank you. If there’s any further update in the years to come, I’ll let you know!

  3. We have been having our booster jabs here now, but there are still a great number of cases of Covid. Hope you will all stay safe
    Anne

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