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2023/6/23
CWM Annual Meeting Held in Taiwan

Taiwan Church News

3720 Edition

June 12 ~ 18, 2023

Headline News

Reported by Hong Tai-yang from Changhua
Translated by Peter Wolfe

The Council for World Mission (CWM) held its first physical annual meeting and management board conference in Taiwan from June 10 to 13, after the pandemic lockdown was lifted world-wide and mutual visits between local churches becomes available. The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT), as the hosting country of CWM annual meeting in 2023, held a banquet for more than 60 CWM participating members at Yi Yuan Wedding Hall close to Dr David Landsborough Building of Changhua Christian Hospital (CCH) on the evening on June 10th. During the dinner, the CCH pastoral staffs and Rev Hola Sicyang presented a wonderful music performance, allowing the distinguished guests to feel the charm of Taiwanese music and aboriginal cultures while enjoying famous Taiwanese foods.

In his welcoming speech, Rev Peng Chih-hong, moderator of the PCT General Assembly, expressed his gratitude to CWM for supporting the missionary ministries on behalf of PCT, and pointed out that through the CWM’s supporting missionary plan, PCT has made progress in the ministries for youth, aboriginal peoples, and evangelical missions. He emphasized that Taiwan, as a beautiful island with friendly peoples, is a free and democratic country with an important strategic position and continues to benefit the world in the fields of science and technology. However, he said, China’s threat to annex Taiwan is becoming more and more bullying and aggressive. Rev Peng remarked that the PCT firmly believes that this land is given to the people of Taiwan by God, and will strive to make Taiwan a new and independent country. He hoped everyone in CWM would pray for Taiwan. Finally, he gave a sincere appreciation to CWM for its unfailing fellowship and firm support for Taiwan.

Both Mr Wu Rui-peng, CCH chairman of management board, and Dr Chen Mu-kuan, the superintendent of CCH, also came to the conference site to greet the CWM guests, introducing the CCH missionary histories and the committed medical ministries of the sons of Dr David Landsborough IV. They stressed that CCH is not only a model of medical missionary work in Taiwan, but also a role of medical care in the world through international cooperation via providing medical assistance to countries in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands, so that the good news of Jesus Christ and the spirit of caring love will continue to serve God as an amazing witness.

After the dinner, Rev Peng Chih-hong accepted an exclusive interview by CWM and talked about issues such as the relations and missionary ministries between the PCT and other churches in Taiwan. When Rev Peng Chih-hong was interviewed by this newspaper, he pointed out that the diverse political stances of current churches in Taiwan is a big problem and bottleneck to facilitate the identity and position of Taiwan; but, Rev Peng said, “It is undeniable that the number of people advocating Taiwan’s independence is increasing, and it is a fact that Taiwan does not belong to China. The real hard issue is how to build Taiwan as a country with a name recognized and her constitution redrafted.”

Rev Peng Chih-hong emphasized that the advantage of CWM holding the annual meeting in Taiwan is that it can help CWM understand Taiwan better, and at the same time let Taiwan understand CWM better. The Taiwan Ecumenical Forum (TEF), initiated by CWM, has gradually gained attention within ecumenical churches and international communities, and it is hoped that more issues will be involved in the future, helping Taiwan become an important role in world missionary ministries, Rev Peng said.

Ms Lin Ming-zhu, representative of the PCT to this CWM meeting, said in an interview that CWM insists the love of Christ as its manifesto and is committed to breaking down the wall of separation. She pointed out frankly that the alienation between people and countries should not become an obstacle for solidarity. She mentioned that Rev Jooseop Keum, general secretary of CWM, once stated that the reason why he chose to hold the annual CWM meeting in Taiwan was because he hoped to support Taiwan with practical actions, especially after the Ukrainian-Russian war broke out.

Ms Lin Ming-zhu revealed that among 32 member churches, participated in this CWM meeting, a special proposal of one working groups was accepted in this annual CWM meeting. And this proposal is a consensus to issue a manifesto for Taiwan on the last day of the meeting, in order to show that CWM stands with Taiwan to fight against coercion and injustice from China.

On June 11th , PCT arranged the distinguished CWM guests into four groups and went to visit Ta-San Church of Bunun Ciubu Presbytery, Lu-Kang Church of Changhua Presbytery, Tong-Luo Church of Hakka Mission Presbytery, and B’ala Church of Tayal Presbytery respectively, in order to participate in Sunday service and learn the PCT ministries at local churches.

Among them, CWM director Albertine Kabaru led the first group of CWM guests to visit Ta-San Church in the Harvest Thanksgiving Sunday Service for the first half of 2023. These CWM guests were warmly welcomed by Rev Lian Tanapima and all church members. In addition to aboriginal-style meals to cater CWM guests at lunch, there were also aboriginal cultural performances especially rehearsed by the church in the afternoon, including singing and dancing to showcase the cultural characteristics of various aboriginal tribes, dancing of Sunday school teachers and students, and the harvest ceremony hosted by the church elders. Dressed in traditional aboriginal costumes, young tribal warriors brought their guns, bows and preys to report their hunting gains before the elders in tribal rituals, the CWM guests were all very amazed to encounter such aboriginal cultures in Taiwan.


Submitted by:Taiwan Church Press
 
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