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2024/5/10
Sins in Youth Ministry Repented in the PCT 69th General Assembly

Taiwan Church News

3756 Edition

April 22 ~ 28, 2024

Weekly Topical

Sins in Youth Ministry Repented in the PCT 69th General Assembly

Reported by Lin Yi-ying from Changhua

The PCT 69th General Assembly (hereafter GA) was held at the Education and Research Building of Changhua Christian Hospital from April 16 to 18. As a reminder to the PCT on its sins of insufficient pastoral care and outdated spiritual guidance for young generations, a team of campus students and co-workers of College Student Centers were invited to sing the song of The Beatitudes in chorus to refresh and galvanize the churches at the GA opening service.

Led by Rev Tsai Heng-wei, director of Taichung College Student Center, a repentant prayer pleading for God’s forgiveness was cried out in the ritual of response: “Oh! Lord, we confess our sins before You, because we did not listen to the voice of the youth and did not care the youth You entrusted to us!”, “Oh! Lord, please give your mercy on us!”

Subsequently, the entire congregation confessed their failures one by one in youth ministries, including overlooking the struggles of the youth; failing to accompany them to seek healing and guidance from the Lord; neglecting the youth whose behavior stop short of church expectations; desiring the service of the young more than taking care of their spiritual lives; neglecting to set up spaces for the youth to explore and learn on the path of faith; being too dogmatic to respond, tolerate, and accept young people’s demands within the church; turning down the youth’s opportunities to participate in the church’s decision-making, and etc.

After the audience delivered a sincere prayer of repentance of their sins, a choir composed of young people from sang The Beatitudes symbolizing the new era of church renewal by the youth is unveiled.

Rev Peng Chi-hong, moderator of the PCT 68th General Assembly, delivered a sermon entitled as “Building up Faithful Life and Heading for Blessed Homeland” at the opening service. He urged for the audience to keep a passionate love and persistent pursuit of God’s Word, as such enthusiasm would fire up a faithful life with God’s mighty energy and power beyond doubt. He also encouraged the assembly carrying on to serve as a prophet in Taiwan society and endeavor to proclaim the good news to glorify God, benefit Taiwan, and even help rescue the world in needs.

Quoting Psalms 1: 1 ~3, Rev Peng pointed out in his sermon that in order to build up a faithful life and head for a blessed homeland, people must first strictly abide by the policy of “Three No”.

The first No is no following the advice of the wicked, meaning rejecting all plans of the wicked. The second No is no taking the path that sinners tread and refusing to follow their words and deeds. The third No is no flirting with those who blaspheme the name God, and refusing to associate with people who are arrogant, cynical, and like to talk gossips.

Finally, he concluded that for the people who treasure God’s law and meditate on it day and night, God’s blessing is: “They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.” After the sermon, the congregation read the PCT “Confession of Faith” together.

Remarkably, at the opening service, though started with the lyrics of “The Stranded Man”, a heavy-metal song written by the Taiwanese band “Constant & Change”, expressing the hopeless voices of modern youth, yet at the ending of the service, Singer Cheng Yi-nong’s song “Light”, whose lyrics filled with hope, was broadcasted to encourage the church to carry on their ministry and accompany the youth to stand firm in the faith in order to benefit and enrich Taiwan society. Meanwhile, all donations collected during the GA worship services will be offered to Penghu missionary ministries.

After the opening ceremony, Taiwan President-Elect VP Lai Ching-te visited the site of PCT GA and delivered a speech in front of 38 ecumenical guests from 11 countries, and enumerated the PCT’s contributions in the fields of missions, medical care, education, and aboriginal rights during its 159-year ministries.

He praised the PCT’s efficient first-aid relief when earthquakes occurred in countries, including Japan, Turkey, Syria and Taiwan; MacKay Memorial Hospital (a PCT affiliated hospital) sent medical teams to Ukraine three times for free after Russia’s invasion into Ukraine; even in the recent food safety incident, Changhua Christian Hospital (also a PCT affiliated institute) was the first to provide the standard sample of Bongkrekic Acid (formerly known as Rice Fermented Acid) to assist in identifying the unknown poisons in a lethal food-poison event in the end of March.

Together with Vice-President-Elect Ms Hsiao Bi-khim, VP Lai Ching-te expressed they would be sworn in on May 20. He sincerely hoped the critical support of the PCT continue help him and Hsiao Bi-khim to comply with the biblical teachings, “to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God”(Micah 6:8) in Taiwan, and work together with the PCT to endeavor for the elevation of Taiwan’s human rights, democracy, freedom, peace and sovereignty.

On behalf of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, Rev Peng Chi-hong, moderator of the PCT General Assembly, and Rev Chen Hsin-liang, general secretary of the PCT, presented the “Same-Heart Cup” of the indigenous people to VP Lai Ching-te. Rev Peng Chi-hong said that Taiwan faces many challenges at home and abroad, and it needs every person on this island to support and sacrifice for Taiwan.

Then Rev Peng led the audience to pray for VP Lai Ching-te, thanked God for allowing the Taiwanese people to elect a patriotic president who truly loves Taiwan, and prayed for God’s blessings on Lai Ching-te and Hsiao Bi-khim to have wisdom, strength, courage and confidence to lead and build up Taiwan as a progressive, strong and influential country in the world.

Translated by Peter Wolfe


Submitted by:Taiwan Church Press
 
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