Tag Archives: Faith

The Episcopal Church House of Bishops @ Taiwan ~ Spouses Outing Day!

Yep, spouses outing day ~ and what a great day we all had ~ YES, it really was amazing!

While the bishops gathered for meetings all day, sharing and learning about ‘Theological Context and Mission Challenges’ in Taiwan, Hong Kong and then Pakistan, we made the most of the day and took the spouses out to experience something of Taiwan life……

One trip was planned for them to go to the National Marine Museum and Jiu-fen, led by Trinity Church, Keelung church members, and one trip was to Dharma Drum Mountain and Jinshan, led by us…

In the event, it was all so amazing that nobody wanted to leave Dharma Drum to go home! In fact, nobody even wanted to go to Jinshan, which we’d planned for the afternoon.  Most of us could have stayed on for hours more, there was just so much to see and learn.

We’d gone to Dharma Drum to learn about Buddhism, and we learned loads.  We were guided around by the world’s most lovely guides, led by most delightful Buddhist nun you could ever get to meet in the whole world ~ and between them they explained everything about their faith and practice, and the more they shared, the more questions we had and the more we wanted to know and experience….

So much to see and to learn in fact that we extended our trip by an hour, and could have extended it by many more!

What a fascinating day ~ plus a wonderful coffee break and great lunch ~ and we finished the day with sweet potato cakes bought for everyone on the way home…..

Smiles all round as we got off the bus!

Got back to the Grand Hotel to find the bishops ending their meetings, andIMG_7429 there was Bishop Samuel Azariah from Raiwind, Pakistan who obligingly posed for a photo with our good friend, Canon Peter Ng, Asia-Pacific Officer of the Episcopal Church….

It’s certainly all happening in Taiwan this week!

Now praying for the typhoon that is moving northwards in our direction – hope it doesn’t have too much of an effect, just a slight lowering of temperatures will be fine!

NCCT @ Taipei Holy Trinity Orthodox Church….

My first ever visit to the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Taipei ~ for an NCCT (National Council of Churches of Taiwan) meeting…..

The NCCT is quite unique in that RC, Orthodox and Protestant Churches are all represented ~ ‘n it don’t happen like that in many countries!  So happens that for these 2 years, 2013-14, Bishop Lai is the NCCT chairperson, and we’re part of the team….

Holy Trinity is quite some church, on the 4th floor of a huge apartment block….

And the view’s quite some view!

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 And so of course, the meeting was quite some meeting!

A Summer in Sedbergh….

A Summer in Sedbergh – and quite some summer!  Tourists galore soaking up the sunshine, browsing in the bookshops and hiking up the Howgills, while the locals are enjoying the summer weather walking their dogs, and smiling at increased trade in the town…

Meanwhile I’m busy sorting, clearing, packing and driving up almost daily to the Sedbergh Charity Shop to offload box after box of all sorts of wonderful stuff, now all on display inside the shop and outside on the street.  If you’re up this way, do come and check it all out – there’s some great bargains on offer!  The not-so-wonderful things are now all crammed into the recycling bins, also in Sedbergh, and the rest – the rubbish, well, that’s all piled high in the dustbins kindly lent to us by our lovely neighbours.  And lovely neighbours they all are, full of encouragement and support when we need it most.  And all of them full of praise for our newly cleaned-out and almost empty garage!

So far, 9 full-carloads of stuff sent to charity and/or recycling, and more to go, yippee!

Yep, the people are great, and Sedbergh is beautiful, especially on a sunny day!  Notice photos of our other neighbours, the cows and sheep, who keep us entertained with all their escapades in the field across the road…

At Bishop Lai’s request, to share with his Quaker friends in Taiwan, I’ve been to check out the history of the Quakers, who kind of started in this area around Sedbergh…

Fox’s Pulpit on Firbank Fell, where George Fox preached to the multitudes in 1652 is very important in their history….

As is Brigflatts, the second-oldest Quaker Meeting House in the country… wow, what history!

Thanks for all your prayers and support, so far so good, and it’s all happening!

St. John’s University Student Fellowship 送舊 YA!

Saying goodbye is never easy, and every year as graduation nears, so we get ready to say congratulations and goodbye to another group of lovely students ~ this year the Chaplaincy Student Fellowship is saying goodbye to more than 20 of their group who graduate this weekend….

Delighted that many have become Christians during their 4 years here, some were already Christians when they came but quite a few have yet to make any decision – praying for them all!

Last night was the farewell 送舊 event, the students in years 1-3 saying goodbye to the graduating students in year 4 with a posh meal, entertainment, DVD of everyone saying goodbye and wishing them well (not just any old boring DVD, they’d spent hours filming around the campus and inviting people to take part) ~ then year 4 responded with their own farewell video (filmed in the church) and songs and presentation gift of a camera… older students from former years came by to bring their congratulations, then the graduating students were led around the campus and back in with eyes closed to a candlelit church for songs and prayer and gifts and photos and then cake…

Congratulations, best wishes, prayers and blessings to them all!

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St. James Church, Taichung 飛揚(肥羊)小組!

飛揚小組 is one of the 5 small cell-groups at St. James’ Church, Taichung ~ and all 5 have delightful names.  Just think, this group could well be called the Wednesday Evening Cell group, after all that’s when they usually meet ~ but that would be so boring and unimaginative.  Instead it is called 飛揚 Fei-Yang, which in a Christian context is often used to mean something like ‘Flying everywhere to share the Gospel’….

Cell groups have gone from strength to strength at St. James, a wonderful way of growing the church, and sharing and deepening faith.  In this group are several who have been baptized very recently and are now preparing for confirmation.  Occasionally they gather at the home of one of their members for tea and sharing and dinner.  Last Saturday was one of those fun days ~ and somehow I found myself there too….

With all this eating, some suggest the group could be renamed 肥羊 rather than 飛揚 – both are pronounced Fei-Yang (only a tone apart); perhaps appropriately 肥羊 means ‘Fat Sheep’ ha ha ha!

Such a fun time had by all!

Taizé Day at Good Shepherd Church….

Good Shepherd Church, Taipei hosted its first Taizé Day on Saturday ~ a whole day from 9:00am to 7:00pm….. and it was wonderful!

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Morning, midday and evening prayer times were the highlight, with talks and sharing in-between, including 3 young people who’ve recently been to Taizé sharing their experiences…. plus Brother Lucas, a real live Taizé brother from Hong Kong.  More than 150 came along, including some participants who came specially all the way from central and southern Taiwan…

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Most appropriate that this should take place right in the middle of Lent, and right in the middle of a growing political crisis with student protesters occupying the Legislature in Taipei ~ we pray that justice and peace may prevail…

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What is amazing about Taizé is that it’s so ecumenical that all Christian denominations are welcome to receive Holy Communion, and all churches participated on Saturday – Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant.  Everyone receiving Communion together in the same service is such a wonderful witness!

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The Taipei Taizé Team did a great job ~ here they are, with Brother Lucas in the middle…

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Next year is the 75th anniversary of the Taizé Community – and here’s to the next 75!