Tag Archives: Good Shepherd Church Taipei

Good Shepherd Church, Taipei 牧愛堂 says Goodbye to Rev. Philip L. F. Lin 林立峯牧師 and his family!

Yes, today is a big day in the Diocese of Taiwan ~ we have many of our churches saying fond farewells to their clergy as they move on.  This was the scene at Good Shepherd Church today as the church said goodbye to Rev. Philip Lin, his wife and family, here they are with the Good Shepherd Senior Warden, Mr. Jake Hung!

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Over at St. John’s Cathedral, Taipei our beloved Rev. Elizabeth Wei and her amazing husband, Rev. Peter Chen are finally retiring after serving the last 2 years in charge of the cathedral.  Many congratulations to them and we all wish them well!

So Rev. Philip L. F. Lin, 林立峯牧師 is moving over to St. John’s Cathedral as the new dean, starting tomorrow, August 1.  In fact he and his family actually moved in yesterday, but came back today to Good Shepherd Church to say their fond farewells.  Good Shepherd Chinese Congregation did themselves proud ~ we had a great service, with special prayers for Philip and his family, then a wonderful farewell celebration with lots of yummy delicious food and fun performances from all the different church groups, very ably emceed by one of the youth group, Ms. Lucia Pan.

A GREAT DAY ~ YES!

Philip and his family have only been at Good Shepherd Church for about 18 months, which of course is nowhere near long enough to accomplish all the things they would have liked to have done!  Before Good Shepherd, they were at St. James’ Church, Taichung for many many years, which is how I know them so well.  Such a lovely family!  Philip’s wife, Linda set up a community service project at St. James which is still going strong, and she’s been very involved in community outreach at Good Shepherd.  Daniel, their older son is hopefully just coming to the end of about 3 years of treatment for leukemia which he has borne with great fortitude and resilience, and during the course of it all has learned how to do amazing tricks and skilled displays with a yo-yo.  He still needs a lot of prayer for his health, his education – which has suffered, and for his new school.  Their younger son, Caleb will also be starting a new school.  Here they are with their Good Shepherd ‘Graduation Certificates’, presented today!

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For 3 months from April to July, Philip had the great privilege of visiting New York, wonderfully hosted by Trinity Church, Wall Street, Manhattan and St. Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue, New York City, and with many opportunities to visit other churches and church projects, theological colleges and interesting places, as well as improve his English, all with the view to helping him prepare for his new role as dean of St. John’s Cathedral.   Linda was also able to visit New York for the last few weeks too.

Today, the amazing Mrs. Lai 賴亮惠 from Good Shepherd Church – she was in the performances of the choir group, the seniors group and the Grace Cell Group – spoke on behalf of many when she said that there were 3 things that they would specially remember Philip for, his broad smile, his great sermons, and his very talented and lovely wife!  Mrs. Lai said that when Philip went off to New York, his wife Linda replaced Philip helping out with many of the church groups, including teaching the seniors Taiko Drums!

Good Shepherd is very much like one big family, and Sundays are very busy as all the different groups meet for fellowship, following the church lunch.

So today was really extra special!

And so, many prayers and blessings for Rev. Philip Lin and his family, and also many prayers and blessings for Rev. Keith C. C. Lee 李鎮丞牧師 and his family – Keith officially becomes the new rector of Good Shepherd Church as from tomorrow.   He’s currently vicar of Grace Church, Tainan, so they are moving north and up to the capital city, a big change for them!

And tomorrow my children’s summer classes start at Good Shepherd Church for 4 weeks ~ praying for the children, the helpers and teachers and all our activities together!

Thank you Good Shepherd Church members ~ for a wonderful day and great farewell celebration!

A Big Welcome to: 台灣聖公會第56屆教區年議會 The Diocese of Taiwan 56th Annual Convention!

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Yes, such a happening event that even St. John’s Cathedral Sunday School children came to visit us ~ on the bus, on a Saturday morning, and as part of their weekend camp ~ YES!

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Good Shepherd Church in Taipei hosted this year’s diocesan convention, and we had such a warm welcome from them all.  And such sunny weather ~ smiles all round!  We started yesterday morning, Friday, with the opening service at 10:00 am.  Representatives from all our churches were there, and we also welcomed Canon Peter Ng, Asia-Pacific Officer for the Episcopal Church – who brought greetings from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, and Mr. Warren Wong from San Francisco who represented Province VIII.

And yesterday we were especially blessed to have the lovely group of 17 clergy and church members from our companion diocese of Osaka spending the day with us.  Bishop Andrew Iso and Bishop Uno (retired) and all their clergy joined in the procession and took part in the communion, and at the end Bishop Iso presented Bishop Lai with a beautiful stole and a very generous donation to help with the earthquake in southern Taiwan. Actually there were gifts going to and fro all day long, too many to count or explain ~ I had a hard time keeping up!  It so happened that yesterday was also Bishop Iso’s 61st birthday, and Bishop Uno and his wife are celebrating their Golden Wedding at this time, so there were special birthday and anniversary gifts too!

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Then we moved to the Mellow Fields Hotel 沃田飯店 in nearby Tienmu for the rest of the convention.  Quite a place, because it was founded by the farmers and fishermen associations in Taiwan, and promotes the farmers’ produce.  Our meals were in the hotel restaurant and our meetings in their conference room.  During the first session, we had presentations to the top 3 churches in the daily text exams, and then our Osaka visitors introduced themselves one by one and as a group they sang ‘Tomoni’ (‘Together’) with great enthusiasm and big smiles!  The song was written specially by one of their church members for their visit 2 years ago in honour of the 60th anniversary of the Taiwan Episcopal Church.

IMG_6905And then off I went to accompany the Osaka group on their next visit. En route we passed Chung-Shan Presbyterian Church (right photo) in Taipei which was originally built by the Japanese Anglican Church for Japanese worship during the colonial period (1895-1945), so it was of special interest to all the group – in fact Bishop Lai has preached there many times, it’s full of history.

We went to visit St. John’s Cathedral, and we couldn’t have asked for a warmer welcome, it was incredible. Such a lovely surprise to see all the children!  Mrs. Liou, the cathedral kindergarten supervisor and the teachers had organized the children to sing a welcome song, and then happy birthday in Chinese, English and Taiwanese to Bishop Iso, followed by another congratulatory song for Bishop Uno and his wife.  Actually we were quite late arriving, and many of the children had already gone home, but the ones who took part were just gorgeous!  They’d made mobiles in red paper for each visitor as a little gift.  We also had a 61st birthday cake and Golden Wedding cake, both with candles, and then fruit and Dou-Hua pudding, and then more gifts. Our visitors were so happy, and so were we!

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And then to the cathedral itself for an organ recital from Cathedral Organist Joanna Fu, introductions from Rev. Elizabeth Wei and, of course, more presentations of gifts.  Oh yes and photos. Plenty of photos!  Rev. Keith Lee, vicar of Grace Church, Tainan helped with the translation, and he’s now preparing for a 3-month visit to learn and experience life in the NSKK Diocese of Osaka.  Their visit finished with Bishop Iso’s prayer of blessing and off they all went in a big blue and white coach!   We were so sorry to have to say goodbye to them all, and as I write this, they are on their flight home to Osaka.  We had such a wonderful fellowship together, despite the language barrier, and managed with translators, gestures, handshakes, bows and lots of smiles ~ ah, they are all so lovely!

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And so back to the convention – in fact, by the time we got back, well, it was time for the evening meal!  And then the evening session ~ and then many stayed overnight in the hotel, me too.

And today ~ meetings and discussions, elections and reports.  And photos!  With delicious refreshments in-between, all kindly supplied by Good Shepherd Church and others.  Oh yes, and we had lots of smiles when the Sunday School came to visit to say hello!

And so we finished after lunch today, thankful to Almighty God that things had gone so smoothly, thankful to Good Shepherd Church for their warm welcome and hospitality and thankful to all those in the diocesan office who have been preparing for this event for, yes, months and months!

And here’s to the next convention in 2017 ~ at St. Paul’s Church, Kaohsiung ~ YES!

R.I.P. Mr. Liao Hong-Ming 廖鴻鳴弟兄 Loyal and Faithful Servant of the Lord

Mr. Liao Hong-Ming died peacefully on December 17, ‘with a smile on his face’ as Rev. Philip Lin wrote in his announcement – and today was his funeral and cremation at the Taipei Second Funeral Home.

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Mr. Liao was the husband of Mrs. Chao, who until she retired last year was our colleague in the St. John’s University Chaplaincy.  In fact they both worked at St. John’s University (and as it was formerly known, St. John’s and St. Mary’s Institute of Technology) for virtually all of their working lives, serving faithfully on the administrative staff, devoting their time, energy and expertise to ensure the smooth running of the school. They were both totally dedicated to their work, to their family, to their church and to Almighty God.   The world definitely needs more loyal and faithful servants like Mr. Liao and Mrs. Chao.

Mr. Liao became ill some years ago, and has shown amazing resilience, determination and fortitude in the face of so much pain and increasing agony.  All through his illness, Mrs. Chao and family and friends have all been beside him, supporting and encouraging him. Their faith has kept them strong, and the support of their friends from Good Shepherd Church and former colleagues has lightened the load.

Today at his funeral, Rev. Lennon Chang spoke of the joy of knowing that Mr. Liao is now in the presence of Almighty God, held in his arms, and that for those who believe that Jesus is the way, the truth and life, that opportunity is open to us too.   The service was beautifully led by Good Shepherd Church clergy and lay leaders, and finished with us all placing orchid flowers on the open coffin as they prepared his body for cremation.

About 100 of us joined in the funeral service, including some who, like me, cannot get to next Saturday’s Memorial Service at Good Shepherd Church.   All were there to show their respect and gratitude to Mr. Liao, and to show support to Mrs. Chao and the family. Having so many good friends and colleagues around at such a time is a great blessing.

Thanking God for Mr. Liao’s life and witness; may he rest in peace and rise in glory.  And praying for God’s comfort and grace to sustain Mrs. Chao, their 3 children and all the family throughout this sad time.

Good Shepherd Church ~ New Lift Tower!

Ah, my summer at Good Shepherd Church, Shilin, Taipei leading an English Bible Summer Camp for a class of primary-aged children is finally over…. oh so many blessings!

And one of the excitements on the sidelines was the ongoing installation of Good Shepherd’s long-awaited and first ever lift / elevator on the outside of the main administrative building. It’s going to be just so much easier for the older people going to their classes on the second floor, and all the floors above – the church office, the rectory and everywhere in-between.

So a summer of dust, drilling, smoke, scaffolding, paint and workmen ~ but a few days ago finally the outside scaffolding came down and the lift tower and its new cross at the top was revealed to the world ~ and it looks great!

Praying for the safe and smooth completion of the work and the benefits it’ll bring to the Good Shepherd ministry!

Nietzsche ~ and his words of wisdom?

Nearing the end of 4 weeks English Bible Summer Camp at Good Shepherd Church, Taipei.  We’ve been through the first 5 chapters of Matthew’s Gospel and, well, had a great time, in-between typhoons that is….

wpid-img_20150818_095643_1439889429708.jpgSo I couldn’t help but smile when one of my 9-year-olds turned up earlier in the week in this T-shirt….

As is well known, Nietzsche was not exactly famous for his love of the Bible, not exactly the sort of person who would send his children to a Bible Summer Camp, and as for the English part of it all…. well, who knows?

And guess what? The child who wore this T-shirt has not been at school since that day, hoping it’s cos he’s on holiday rather than any of the reasons given on the T-shirt…

“What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger” ~ words to ponder for all teachers on English Bible Summer Camps!

And guess what too? Another typhoon’s brewing out there in the Pacific Ocean, well 2 to be precise, one heading here, one to Japan, possibly an exciting weekend ahead….

Good Shepherd Summer Camp 2015

Every summer, Good Shepherd Church Kindergarten in Shilin, Taipei City, holds an English Bible Summer Camp as part of their main teaching program for primary-aged children  ~ 4 mornings a week for 4 weeks ~ and we’ve just started – YEAH!  So here I am, staying at Good Shepherd Church – which is currently like a construction site as they are installing a lift.  T’will be great when’t finished, but for now we’re living in clouds of dust!

There’s 20 children, 2 other teachers and me.  The classes focus on the first 5 chapters of Matthew’s Gospel, every day a different story or section ~ ah yes, I’ll be telling the Christmas story in August!  Character-building lessons as well as Bible teaching.  But we haven’t started Matthew yet, we’re revising a bit of the Old Testament first ~ and after the story of Adam and Eve hiding in the garden from God, here they all are, hiding in the playground, posing for, well, a group photo with a difference!

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So please pray for these delightful children and their families, and for us and the witness of Good Shepherd Church and Kindergarten in the local community….

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!