Great news! Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry was here in Taiwan last year ~ a wonderful person! Historic election of Bishop Michael Curry as 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church.
Final day maybe, but very busy ~ non-stop action all day! In fact I got to the Grand Hotel soon after 7:00am and didn’t go out of those doors till 10:30pm – about how long it takes to fly to London lol!
But a wonderful day it was, of course, starting with a closing Eucharist, led by Bishop Lai in English and Chinese, and a great sermon from Chaplain Simón Bautista challenging everyone to travel light as they go home. But seems our lovely bishops and spouses have received so many gifts from our churches in Taiwan and friends they’ve met, that traveling light is not really an option ~ we spent the day finding boxes and helping to buy suitcases for those who needed extra space!
While the bishops had meetings, we said goodbye to the 3 archbishops from Japan, Philippines and South Korea, sold T-shirts, organised a group of 6 bishops and spouses to go to visit Dharma Drum Mountain today, answered questions, took photos – fun!
And so to the evening, and the final community dinner ~ 183 people in total, including 15 from our own diocese…. we had speeches and presentations, gifts and yep, Bishop Lai organized a great teapot lottery!
Then farewells all round, as groups of bishops and spouses leave today for church visits to Japan, Philippines, Korea or Hong Kong, others stay on a day or two, and some head straight home… wishing them all safe travels, and of course, please come back again soon!
Thanking God for a wonderful, amazing, grace-filled time this last week ~ just incredible!
Episcopal News Service article:
Just as well it was meetings all day for the bishops as the typhoon rains moved over and eventually out…. now all gone, yippee!
After their Eucharist, the bishops had sessions in the morning from archbishops from Japan, Philippines and South Korea, and more meetings in the afternoon ~ while we set up our shop selling the HOB group photos, Taiwan 60th anniversary polo shirts, Chinese Bibles and tea…. so even the bishops could fit a little shopping into their busy day…..
Meanwhile the spouses were free for the day and many of them went, well, yes, you’ve guessed it – shopping!
And we were glad to have Rev. C. C. Cheng from St. Mark’s Church, Pingtung who came along to help us – and guess what? His church of St. Mark’s was built with a donation from Trinity Church (Cathedral) in guess where? Yep, the Diocese of Upper South Carolina no less – so there were more photos for Bishop Andrew Waldo and his wife to pose for…. y’know, so far not a single bishop or spouse has refused to smile when I point a camera in their direction, I’m sooooo happy! 🙂
You can see from the smiling faces that hey, bishops meetings are maybe not so bad after all, especially with a little retail therapy in the middle to help things along!
Today’s House of Bishops Meetings in Taipei:
Gotta check this out, it’s great!….
Purple and pink everywhere today! And lots of other colours besides, just look at the lovely spouses from Panama in the photo below…. and check out the bishop and spouse with matching purple and black outfit!
3 choices of churches on offer for our bishops and spouses to join the Sunday worship today, St. John’s Cathedral, Good Shepherd Church or Advent Church ~ and guess what, I was on the trip to Advent Church ~ yippee!
Beautiful service as always, great sermon from Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce, then a buffet lunch, and back to the Grand Hotel – well before the deadline, and just in time to get out to the way of the typhoon which is barreling towards Taipei…
And then after that, what next? Well somehow found myself accompanying Mary, one of the lovely spouses (OK, not just ONE of the lovely spouses, but THE lovely spouse from Upper South Carolina!) to a specially arranged children’s Suzuki recorder concert given in her honour…. y’know, it was really quite something! Right in the depths of deepest Taipei, down some dark alley and stairs to the basement of an apartment block – and there’s all these great kids learning recorder to the Suzuki Method…. Amazing!
Seems you really never quite know where you’re gonna end up on a Sunday afternoon round here – and in a typhoon too!
No meetings for anyone all day, and not a purple shirt in sight all day ~ it’s a day off ~ YES YES YES!
Today was the day when the Diocese of Taiwan hosted all the bishops and spouses to a day of sightseeing ~ 4 choices on offer, Yilan Centre for Traditional Arts, Yingge Ceramics Museum, Taipei City Tour and (wait for the drum roll ∗∗∗∗!) our trip around the northern coast…. organized and hosted by Advent Church ~ and what a great day we had!
A bus full of happy bishops and spouses, all in relaxation mode, smiling away all day…. and the weather was perfect! The day before a typhoon is often like this, perfect in every way ~ breezy, sunny, blue clear skies and magnificent views…
First to Yehliu Geopark for a walk around the rock formations – they’re quite staggering, but the number of tourists is, well, even more staggering! So most of the group made a rapid escape and got up to the top of the hill, and came back looking full of fresh air and sun… and happy!
Then past Shimen Arch and round the northern tip of Taiwan for a brief stop at Advent Church, met by chaplain Rev. Lennon Chang and a large group of church members. Off we went for lunch, and then to Tamsui Old Street – a tour of Fort Domingo, coffee or just wandering along. I was in the coffee group ~ nice coffee shop in Mackay’s old clinic by the old church!
And so to the evening and the big big tour to Shilin Night Market ~ for which we had huge numbers of bishops and spouses and almost as huge numbers of our church youth from all over Taipei – to accompany them. Well, it was just so much fun that we didn’t want to leave! Our group of 3 was with the Spanish-speaking bishops from Ecuador, Columbia and Venezuela and their 2 lovely translators ~ shopping shopping shopping, wow!
And the current in-item to buy is definitely a gadget that lets you take long-distance selfies…
In fact we were so busy shopping that we didn’t leave the night market until 10:00pm ~ fun fun fun!
News of what happened yesterday at the House of Bishops Meeting here in Taiwan….