Tag Archives: Christ Episcopal Church Chungli

Consecration of the new Christ Church, Chungli (Zhongli), Taoyuan 聖公會基督堂祝聖新堂感恩禮拜!

Today was THE day!  Christ Church, Chungli finally has a real home to call its own!  Yes, after 7 years of using rented buildings for worship and outreach, Christ Church now has its own building. Today we all gathered for the consecration. Thanks be to God!

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To finally own your own building – your own church – is really a great blessing from God.  Today the emphasis and atmosphere in the whole service was one of deep thanksgiving and appreciation to God for his many blessings to Christ Church.

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Christ Church has some very talented church members, and Jeff and Janey have designed the most beautiful logo, which was printed on the service books, on the magnet that came attached as a gift, and on their T-shirts. It incorporates the Chinese characters for ‘Christ Church’ 基督堂. I totally LOVE it!

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The new Christ Church is actually the ground-floor of an apartment building, and the floor above.  Upstairs, where the overflow seating was today, there’s also rooms for the Sunday School and accommodation for the vicar, Rev. Tsai Ching-Yi 蔡靜儀.  Downstairs, most of the space is taken up with the church, the worship area ~ beautifully designed and decorated.  I like it!  These are the views from higher up on chairs and stairs…

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Christ Church is really the daughter church of Good Shepherd Church, Taipei, part of the outreach and church planting program initiated by their rector at the time, Rev. Lily L. L. Chang.  Until Christ Church started, there was no Episcopal Church anywhere between Taipei and Taichung, a distance of about 170 km.  Then, maybe about 20 years ago, as land and housing prices in Taipei City started to increase dramatically, so Taoyuan started to develop ~ cheaper in price, near Taoyuan International Airport, the high-speed rail station, and easy to commute into Taipei itself.  So lots of new housing was built all over Taoyuan County, including Chungli, attracting lots of young families.

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One of these families was the Pan family, or I should say, one branch of the Pan family.  They live in the Pingzhen 平鎮 area of Chungli 中壢, and at the time, they were driving an hour to Good Shepherd Church every Sunday to attend the worship there.  William Pan (see the photo above – taken as he shared his story today) has the kind of job which involves lots of international travel, and it was actually his wife who was the one with all the local contacts.  She was very involved in helping at her daughters’ elementary school and had many friends among the other mothers.  They all had children the same age, and some of the mothers were interested in the Christian faith.  With that impetus, so Good Shepherd Church started renting a building very near that elementary school, and outreach work officially began in May 2011.  That summer, our then companion diocese of New Westminster sent a mission team who helped to lead a children’s holiday club in that first church building, a wonderful way to launch the outreach program.

Sunday worship started in October 2011 and the church started to grow.  In April 2013, the church moved to a different building nearby, just off the main street.  Until then it was just known as the 中壢關懷中心, Chungli Outreach Center.  On July 7, 2013, the building was consecrated, and Christ Church was officially established as a mission station.

In their hearts though, what the congregation really wanted was a church building of their own.  The one eventually chosen, which Bishop Lai and the Diocese of Taiwan have recently bought, has cost NT$ 20 million.  Although the worship area of the church is ready, the rest is still a work in progress.

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Today’s consecration service took place at 10:30 am, and was attended by nearly all our clergy, coming from all over Taiwan, plus church members from all over, too.  Rev. Joseph Ho (one of the clergy formerly assigned to Christ Church) and his group from St. Mark’s Church, Pingtung had left at 5:00 am this morning to get to Chungli on time!

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Good Shepherd Church choir sang, as did Christ Church choir.  We had a beautiful solo from one of the church members.  One young man was confirmed during the service, another played the piano, others were servers.  The different items in the church, the font, lectern, altar etc were all consecrated in turn.  And we had Holy Communion.  At the end, a presentation of a Bible was made to the interior designer of the new building, he did an amazing job.  And finally, well, we had a delicious lunch!

Today was a day of great blessing and great rejoicing.  God is gracious and faithful.

Thanks to Rev. Tsai Ching-Yi and all at Christ Church for their warm welcome and all their hard work to make today so special.

Please do pray for Christ Church as they settle into their new building and as they plan their summer outreach program.  It was wonderful to see so many teenagers there today – and their mothers, many of these are members of the original families who got involved way back in 2011 when they were just elementary school children.  Now they are serving in the church and will be helping to run the summer camps ~ ah yes, thanks be to God!

St. John’s Cathedral, Taipei 60th Anniversary Thanksgiving Concert!

A whole year of 60th anniversary celebrations at St. John’s Cathedral, Taipei was brought to a very fine and very fitting end yesterday afternoon ~ with a special thanksgiving concert, with choirs and music groups from Good Shepherd Church, St. James’ Church, Christ Church, and of course St. John’s Cathedral.

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There was St. John’s Cathedral Choir….

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Good Shepherd Choir….

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St. James’ Church Choir…..

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And Christ Church….

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We had short 3-minute speeches (well, 3 minutes was the allocated time, which caused much laughter – as some definitely went on just a bit longer!) from former deans and clergy in charge of the cathedral, Rev. Michael Liu, Rev. Samuel Lin, Rev. Elizabeth Wei and last of all, Bishop David J. H. Lai.  VIPs were all sitting in the 2 front rows ~ this was the front right row, with Rev. Samuel Lin in the foreground, then senior warden Mrs. Marjorie Kuo and her husband, Mr. Winston Yu, then Rev. Elizabeth Wei and her husband Rev. Peter Chen, and Dr. Huang!

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Visitors came from all over, including a special group from the Gideons, here they are with our new dean, Very Rev. Philip Lin and his wife, Linda.

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All the choirs and musicians had put in hours and hours of practice, and in the case of St. James’ Church, hours of travel too – despite leaving at 8:00 am, with 2+ hours of travel, 2+ hours of rehearsing – all wonderfully conducted by Rev. Lily Chang, and still they were so awake and full of energy!

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All the choirs and groups deserve medals for producing the most beautiful music and for singing and playing so happily!  Some do deserve an extra-special mention ~ the fastest non-stop action group was the St. John’s Cathedral Praise Dance Team, the most innovative were the St. John’s Cathedral Sunday School who had a yo-yo performance from Daniel in the middle of their song, the coolest were Good Shepherd Choir in their jeans and white shirts, the most inclusive age-wise were Christ Church, whose ages ranged from about 5 to adult, the ‘wow, stop-in-your-tracks-must-listen-to’ group were the men’s section of the cathedral choir singing the opening lines of ‘What a Wonderful World’, the most versatile must be the orchestra group who stepped up and down onto the stage several times – and always got it right, and of course Joanna, the lovely cathedral organist who played solos and accompanied groups and choirs all afternoon, running back and forth from organ to piano – she and the cathedral choir conductor were amazing – here they are, the 2 of them looking so calm and relaxed as always!

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The final song was ‘O Come, O Come Emmanuel’, a most appropriate way to end the concert, and to prepare for Advent, starting today.  This was performed by the collective choirs of St. John’s Cathedral, Good Shepherd Church, Christ Church and St. James, and accompanied by the cathedral orchestra group.  Beautiful!

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A great afternoon, thank you St. John’s Cathedral, and congratulations on a year-long celebration of your 60th anniversary!

And finally a photo of the smiling St. John’s Cathedral Choir with their new dean, Rev. Philip Lin, standing next to former dean, Rev. Samuel Lin, and including former rector, Rev. Elizabeth Wei and assistant Rev. Peter Chen, and former former dean, Rev. Michael Liu!  Thank you for all your hard work to make yesterday’s concert such a success!

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Oh yes, and we finished with a wonderful tea-time with lots of delicious things to eat, thank you St. John’s Cathedral!

Congratulations 何睿恩牧師 Joseph and 何師母 Angel on the birth of baby 何天愛!

Yes, baby Tien-Ai 天愛 has arrived safely in the world, thanks be to God!  She was born on August 4 in Taipei, so she’s 4 weeks old today ~ YES!  She’s the gorgeous brand-new baby daughter and first child of Rev. Joseph Jui-En Ho 何睿恩牧師 and his beautiful wife, Angel (Pei-Yin)!

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Until July 31, Joseph was vicar of Christ Church, Chungli, Taoyuan. On August 1 he started as vicar of St. Mark’s Church, Pingtung, which is the opposite end of Taiwan from here. That’s quite a big change all in one week ~ a new baby and a new church!

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Joseph was a member of Advent Church many years ago and they have a place to live nearby.  So all of us from the St. John’s University Chaplaincy Office went to visit them yesterday ~ to congratulate them and bring blessings for the baby!

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Ah,  Joseph is so funny, pulling faces at the baby and making her laugh!

Please do pray for Joseph and his family as they start their new life together in Pingtung. St. Mark’s is a very special church with the world’s friendliest church members, so may God bless them all ~ and especially baby Tien-Ai!

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From the Diocese of Osaka, Japan ~ a big welcome to Taiwan!

And they’ve brought the sun with them too ~ ah, at last, the weather is great!

The Diocese of Taiwan has had a companion link with the Diocese of Osaka since 2004, and so there’s been regular church group visits to and fro for different occasions. Since their last visit, for our 60th anniversary celebration in April 2014, the Diocese of Osaka has a new bishop, Bishop Andrew Haruhisa Iso.  So Bishop Iso has brought a group to Taiwan this week, primarily to attend the opening service and first session of our annual diocesan convention, which starts tomorrow.  Sadly our good friend, the Dean of the Osaka Cathedral, Rev. Peter Akira Iwaki couldn’t join the group for health reasons, but we’re really pleased that so many have come, and they’ve also come a few days early to see a little of the diocese – and the beauties of Taiwan – YES!

Their group of 17 includes 6 clergy, and Bishop Iso and Bishop Uno (retired) have both brought their wives, and some of the group have come to Taiwan more than once, so there’s some familiar faces among them!  Not only that, but my good friends in York, UK, Rev. Pam Cooper and Evelyn Wroe were CMS-UK mission partners in Osaka for many years and so we have several mutual friends.  Pam was the first woman to be ordained priest in the Diocese of Osaka, and now Kiyomi is the second – and the first Japanese – so when I met Kiyomi yesterday for the very first time, well we just had to take a photo of the 2 of us, to say hello to Pam! We are of course delighted to welcome them all, they are all so graceful, charming and happy ~ Bishop Iso and Bishop Uno haven’t stopped smiling since they arrived, wonderful!

So off we went yesterday – me and Shu-Jing from our St John’s University Chaplain’s Office – to meet up with Rev. Joseph Ho and a group from Christ Church, Chungli to welcome the group on their arrival at Taoyuan Int’l Airport.  Fortunately Shu-Jing speaks Japanese, and I can take photos, so we’re a good team!

A quick welcome at the airport, and off to a delicious welcome lunch at a Hakka Restaurant in Chungli, hosted by the Diocese of Taiwan.  Then to visit Christ Church for singing – with actions of course, then an introduction to the church and photos. The group from Osaka had specially asked to be able to visit Christ Church, it’s our newest church in the diocese, and started from really just one church family 5-6 years ago, and now grown into a small church…..

And a group photo ~ Bishop Iso is holding his beautiful gift from Christ Church, in fact there was one for all the visitors to welcome them all to Taiwan 🙂

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And then Shu-Jing and I accompanied the group as far as their hotel in Taipei, and said goodbye.  They were preparing for dinner, then a visit for some of them to Bishop Lai’s office for a tea-drinking welcome!

Actually the Osaka group has come with a travel company who’ve organized their visit, and today they’ve been sightseeing in Jiufen and Tamsui, with a quick visit to us at St. John’s University and Advent Church this afternoon.  It’s Girls’ Festival in Japan today, and one of the Osaka group has brought her wooden flute, so we had a nice recital while the rest of the group sang along, then it was our turn ~ a welcome from President Chen of St. John’s University, and then Shu-Jing shared about the university, church and chaplaincy ministry and everyone was introduced and gifts were given…

And finally a group photo with some of our students on the steps of Advent Church!

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A great visit, a great welcome to Taiwan for all our Osaka friends ~ and we look forward to seeing them all tomorrow at the diocesan convention opening service!