From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Six Taiwan Congregations Approved for Nationwide Building Fund Appeals

From "pctpress" <>
Date Thu, 1 Apr 2004 16:00:29 +0800

Taiwan Church News 2718, 29 March through 4 April 2004
Reported by: Yang Shu-hao.  Translated and Rewritten by David Alexander

When a local congregation in the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) decides
on a building program it must first seek donations from its own members.  If
it wishes to make a wider appeal, this be approved by a higher level of the
church's government.  Usually this is at the Presbytery (district) level, and
funds are sought within that geographical area.  For a congregation to
formally go beyond the bounds of the local district, it must receive
permission from the General Assembly itself.

On March 17th the Church Building Committee of the General Assembly endorsed
the applications of six congregations for such permission.  This action will
be put before the entire assembly when it meets in April for adoption.	The
congregations ill then be given a year during which they may solicit funds
nationwide.  Three churches in the Sediq district also applied for
of applications for a one year extension of a previously granted fundraising

Prominent among the 6 churches receiving initial endorsements are 4 from
Aboriginal districts and another two whose congregants are mainly Aboriginal.
The Rev. Sing O'lamu, Program Secretary for church building, said, "Before
coming to the committee a church has to have land use permission, a building
permit, and approval of its district executive committee.  It must show its
sources of funding and have raised 66% of the total already."  He added that
the most critical among the six approved churches this year was Tongshir
Church in Hsin-chu Presbytery.	After the earthquake on September 21 of 1999,
many local residents moved out of the area. This included several church
members.  Tongshir is the only PCT congregation in the area. Approval by the
General Assembly demonstrates faith that the members can be re-attracted into
the community and that gospel ministry can be revived there.

The Rev. Lin Ren-chian, pastor of Tongshir, explained that the congregation
already has purchased 528 square meters of land in a zone scheduled for
tourism development. The church has been active in community building and has
produced a model for a Christian fellowship in a leisure economy.

He says that after the earthquake the current membership numbers hit a
plateau. But with the fundraising and future building activities he is
that a new stage in church growth will follow.

Among the three churches seeking extensions, only Buwarung Church was
approved.  The other two congregations' applications were returned to their
district for local action.  Sing O'lamu said that because Buwarung Church had
been without pastoral leadership during its allotted fundraising period and
located in a remote area it was not able to take advantage of the original

The Rev. Watan Diro, executive presbyter of the Sediq District, said,
of last year's SARS contagion churches were unable to arrange occasions to go
out and ask for contributions. This is why the district asked extensions for
all three churches.  He explained that Truku church had gone from 70 to 30
members last year when their pastor departed.  That meant the finances of the
congregation also were reduced by half. He asks for prayers for this and all
other churches in his district.

For More Information: Sing O'lamu
		      Tongshir Church
		      Watan Diro
Taiwan Church News is published weekly in Taiwan's local languages.
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