REPORT FOR ANNUAL PARISH MEETING - 1999
NEW SERVICE TIME
An attempt has been made to reach out to the foreign and English speaking community during this past year. Various social events had been organised and attendance at the TAS Fete offered some opportunity to publicize our Parish a little more widely. With a diverse and ever changing congregation, trying to do this together is an achievement in itself. The later time of 9:30 was thought to be more attractive to bring newcomers to our services. Our congregation was very grateful to the Chinese Congregation for agreeing to the later start. If only the lack of parking could be solved then I am sure more would avail themselves of the Parish. All other English speaking Churches in Taipei offer parking and this makes our Church less attractive.
This past year saw the re-launch of our Sunday School under the supervision of Mrs Andrea Ohlson. It has begun in a small way but growth potential and parent interest are increasing. With a more regular schedule of lessons the children will participate more in the services. Material from Morehouse is used. The lack of a creche limits our congregational growth but there are some solutions to this on the horizon.
The members meet regularly each month for lunch time working meetings in the city. Our agenda usually follows new vestry business and forthcoming issues and events.
ENGLISH LESSONS - ADULTS & CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE
A very active group of adults has met for English Bible Class. We follow key passages from the Christian story in both the Old and New Testaments. The class is mixed and has added some social lunches to the fellowship.
During the year many individual groups of local school children and a young people’s group have followed a less rigid syllabus. Unfortunately, because of school timetable changes and working hours, the lessons have fallen in abeyance but they can always begin again.
ENGLISH SPEAKING CLERGY - CHRISTIAN UNITY & PENTECOST
Regular seasonal meetings with lunch at the American Club and Gatehouse have brought together a very diverse group from Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Baptist, Assemblies of God, Taipei International Church and those engaged in a Philippinos Ministry. Two regular joint services are held in rotation of place and participation with the collection going to St. Anne’s Home in Tienmu. This has increased our bonds of fellowship and understanding of our differing traditions.
RESEARCH INTO DIALOGUE FOR PEACE - Fr. Edmund Ryden
A deliberate outreach has been made with Fr. Edmund who has recently published a book on the Philosophy of Peace in the Chinese tradition. This is a valuable and worthwhile local and international link for Good Shepherd. As a result our Church library has been registered with British Library to allow book and document borrowings for any topic.
In addition, the theme of peace as central to the heart of the Christian Gospel, has been highlighted in a special Peace Day Service and on Remembrance -Veteran’s Day which coincided with the 2nd Annual Remembrance of the Kinkaseki Prison Camp.
It is hoped that in the next week or so The Diocese of Taiwan will be linked with Anglicans on Line. The Good Shepherd Church will have its own English web site in addition to the existing Chinese site, linking us to the world wide web. The site will offer much information about the whole of Taiwan and is envisaged as a continuous project. The English Diocesan Magazine Friendship to which I contribute will be able to increase its readership by being put on line. Next year its progress will be reviewed.
Links with Richard & Madge continue. Members of our English and Chinese congregations visit regularly each fortnight. Also, the Richard Saunders Concert in the Church donated all gifts to the SOS.
In the past, and in the mission statement of this parish, our focus has always been outside with a linking beyond ourselves and beyond whatever may be our own home culture. This was a very deliberate intention by the founders of this parish to illustrate the one world - one human race we all belong to - and the unity of the one people of the One Almighty God. Perhaps may I suggest this needs some attention to refocus ourselves upon what has been in this parish an unique and an attractive element of our work. When we look back in this past year we can see we have done very little in this regard. Shouldn’t we recommit ourselves to this way of working and sharpen our activities to always include this as much as possible? This is my challenge to the whole Parish.
STATISTICS - Baptism 1 Marriage 2 Blessing of Civil Marriage 1
My thanks to every one for your help in this past year and may God through Christ bless us all in his work in this place.
The Rev’d Graham Doyle. English Chaplain.