Tag Archives: The Episcopal Church House of Bishops Meeting @ Taiwan 2014

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!

The Episcopal Church House of Bishops @ Taiwan ~ Field Trip Day!

And not just any old field trip to any old place, but to visit some of our very own churches in our very own Diocese of Taiwan ~ Yippee!

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For me starting with getting up to the Grand Hotel at 7:00am, when it’s cooler for walking up all them steps… for orchids and yep, coffee!

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Today was the day for taking all our lovely guests from the Episcopal Church House of Bishops to visit our churches ~ 4 groups to 4 places; 2 smaller groups – one to Keelung to visit Trinity Church and St. Stephens’ Church and one to Good Shepherd Church in Taipei City, and then 2 larger groups – one to St. John’s University and one to St. James’ Church, Taichung.  That trip to St. James is something special, 70 people on the High-Speed Rail – wow, just imagine the logistics!

The trip to St. James was also special because booked to go on it among others were Bishop Andrew Waldo and his wife Mary from the Diocese of Upper South Carolina.  St. James’ Church, Taichung was built way back in the late 60’s and early 70’s with a donation of US$ 30,000 from Christ Church, Greenville in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina (also happens to be the church where Bishop Waldo was consecrated as bishop 4 years ago!) matched by an equal amount raised by the St. James’ Church members themselves….

And the whole story of how St. James’ Church, under the former rector, Rev. Charles C. T. Chen, came to have the vision and actually raise the money to build 12 churches in the Diocese of Central Philippines starts with that gift (‘seed money’) from Christ Church, Greenville – in Charles’ words: as we received so generously from others in the past, so it is now our time for us to give and become a blessing to others…..

So Rev. Charles Chen, his wife MaryJo and family, plus Bishop Waldo and his wife had a chance to meet for the first time last night at the Welcome Reception~ and here they all are ~ isn’t it just amazing?!

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But that’s another story, and today I didn’t go on the trip to St. James’ Church, instead I was on the visit to St. John’s University (SJU) ~ 2 buses, almost 70 bishops and spouses ~ and what a great time we all had!

Warmly welcomed first at Advent Church by the student fellowship group who sang songs of worship, followed by watching the SJU video, then sharing about the life and ministry of the chaplaincy and church by chaplain and rector, Rev. Lennon Chang ~ and all well supported by lots of our wonderful church members and students…

After a visit to the new church centre construction site, we divided into 3 groups ~ ours went to the library and then the SJU (Shanghai) Archives, followed by all gathering together to meet with SJU President Chen, presentations and a wonderful buffet lunch….

And finally a group photo on the steps of Advent Church….

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A wonderful day for everyone ~ and a great honour for us all at St. John’s University, Advent Church and the Diocese of Taiwan ~ YES!

The Episcopal Church House of Bishops @ Taiwan ~ Day 1!

Today was THE big day ~ the official start of the Episcopal Church House of Bishops meeting in Taiwan ~ and there we were on the welcome desk, this time outside the main meeting room, welcoming all those who had arrived late last night ~ and despite mega-long flights for most, well they were just so happy to be here!

After the Eucharist, there were group photos outside in front of the Grand Hotel ~ but there was sooooooo many people in each photo that I couldn’t fit ’em all in ha ha – so you’ll have to wait for the official ones…..

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And so to lunch and HOB meetings through the afternoon….

The BIG highlight of the BIG day for us was undoubtedly, definitely and most assuredly the Welcome Reception, hosted by the Diocese of Taiwan in honour of the 60th anniversary of the Taiwan Episcopal Church ~ so with our 200 guests from the House of Bishops and all our clergy, church wardens and church members from all our churches in Taiwan, well, it was a major major event ~ and then on top of it all, we had the honour of Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-Jeou and VIPs from the government, who came along too…

Having seen President Ma passing through the Grand Hotel on his way to another event yesterday, I’ve now seen him twice in 2 days lol!  But this time he came specially to our event, and we had speeches from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, Bishop Lai, Chancellor Herbert Ma and President Ma… and guess what, somehow I found myself in the line that the president chose to walk along shaking hands ~ so that’s what I did YAY!

And after the speeches, Presiding Bishop Katharine led prayers for the country, the president and the diocese, and then a toast – and once President Ma had left, then the buffet could begin……

And for many of our church members and clergy, it’s a long journey back home – back to the far south or far east of Taiwan, and for the bishops and spouses it’s a time to recover from the journey or catch up with friends…. but seeing all these smiles, it was clearly all worth it…. YES, it was a great day, praise the Lord!

Welcoming The Episcopal Church House of Bishops to Taiwan ~ YES!

Today is welcome day ~ and we were all there, at the welcome desk at the Grand Hotel in Taipei, there to welcome all the bishops, spouses and guests from the Episcopal Church here for the House of Bishops Autumn Meeting ~ coming from all over the USA, plus central America, their first time ever to meet in Asia, and for many their first ever trip to Asia…. almost 200 expected, some delayed by the typhoon in Hong Kong and many arriving later tonight….

We were there alongside Lori and Ednice from the Episcopal Church HQ in New York ~ there doing registering ~ while we were welcoming everyone on behalf of the Diocese of Taiwan and presenting diocesan bags full of nice things…

Oh yes, almost forgot to say that as we arrived at the Grand Hotel at 7:30am, so did Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-Jeou, there for a meeting unrelated to us – spot the blurry photo of him and his entourage as he arrived, and then left an hour later….

And here we all are, us and lots of happy smiling bishops, spouses and guests….

Smiling faces all round ~ and a big welcome to Taiwan!