【June 2015 No.383】Message from the General Secretary:The 150th Anniversary of Christian Mission in Taiwan

The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan selected 2015 as the year to remember 150 years of mission in southern Taiwan by the Presbyterian Church of England (begun by James Laidlaw Maxwell in 1865) and 144 years of mission in northern Taiwan by the Presbyterian Church in Canada (begun by George Leslie Mackay in 1871). The celebration will continue from April through November.


The PCT began this celebration on April 5, the season of our Lord’s Resurrection, with an event held at the Taipei National Athletics University Gymnasium entitled, “150 Years on: Hoping for a New Taiwan.” A 150-member orchestra and a 300-member choir performed at a Great Thanksgiving Worship service before a crowd of 15,000 clergy and lay people.


World Council of Churches General Secretary Olav Fyske Tveit preached a sermon based on Matt. 28:5: “As the fearful anxieties of the world raged on, the disciples of our Lord did not avoid them, but rather faced them head on to work toward resolving them.”


On the morning of the previous day, April 4, the funeral of Tsài Yù Róng, husband of International Japanese Church in Taipei missionary Usuki Midori, was taking place in Taipei, presided by pastors of seven churches of the Taipei Presbytery to which he belonged. The funeral venue was large, the Reverend Usuki’s parents from Kyushu and over 300 people attended the funeral in sorrow, but thankful for the broadness and richness of Usuki’s work.


On April 6, the 60th PCT General Assembly convened at Mackay Memorial Hospital Chapel, with more delegates than those who attend the Kyodan General Assembly. At the beginning, representatives of the Presbyterian Church of England, the Presbyterian Church in Canada, and the Kyodan gave greetings; the two Presbyterian churches declared, “Our children greatly surpassed their parents, making the church mature significantly.”


Kyodan General Secretary Nagasaki expressed his gratitude: “The PCT has come with open hands to offer disaster relief in response to the East Japan Disaster, and being nearest in proximity to us, they offered us help as really true friends.” Afterwards, the assembly voted to adopt a long-term Third New Strategy, and especially among the younger members, a heated debate took place concerning sexual minorities, a theme brought over from the previous General Assembly. What stood out this time was the failure to conclude deliberation. (Tr. WJ)

—Nagasaki Tetsuo, general secretary


本年、台湾基督長老教会(PCT)は、英国長老教会による台湾南部宣教150年(1865、J・マックスウェル)、カナダ長老教会による 台湾北部宣教144年(1871、G・マッケイ)の記念すべき年として4月から11月まで連続した感謝集会をもって覚える年としている。


この時、WCCのOlav Fykse Tveit総幹事はマタイ 28・5より、「世界に恐ろしい不安が逆巻くとも、主の弟子はそれらを回避せず、恐れず強く立って解決に立ち向かう」と説教した。 その前日、4月4日朝にはうすきみどり台北・国際日語教会教団宣教師の夫君蔡裕栄(Tsài    yù    róng)長老の葬儀が台北市内で営まれ、同宣教師が所属する台北中会の七教会牧師方の奉仕によって行われた。葬儀の会場は広く、九 州からのうすき牧師のご両親をはじめ三百人以上の人々が会葬され、悲しみの中にも夫妻の働きの幅の広さ豊かさに感謝した。4月6日、PCT第60回定期総会は馬階記念病院(Mackay Memorial Hospital)礼拝堂で教団総会をはる かにしのぐ議員によって開催された。総会に先立ち、英国長老・カナダ長老両教会及び日本基督教団(Kyodan)が挨拶に立ち、両教会は 「自分たちの子どもが親たちをはるかに越えて大きく成長した教会となった」とし、教団の長崎総幹事は「PCTあげて東日本大震災East Japan Disasterに救援 の手をゆるめず、最も近き者の困難に真の友人として手助けをされた」と謝意を述べた。その後、総会は新三役を長時間かけて選挙し、前 回総会で表面化していた 「セクシャル・マイノリティ-」に関する論議が青年層との間で白熱 し、今回も審議未了となったことが目立った。 (長崎哲夫)

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