Title: Taiwan Clergy Brave Rain for Peace and Reconciliation
Taiwan Church News 2844 28 August – 3 September 2006
Reported by Chen Huei-su & Ui Kao. Written by David Alexander
Absent of uproar or tumult, and without scorn or disrespect, Tainan Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) held a “Love Taiwan” sit-in in front of Tai-ping-chin Presbyterian Church near the center of Taiwan from 5 to 8 PM on August 27th. The time was spent in singing hymns and praying for the sake of love for this nation. At about 6PM the skies opened up, lightning flashed and thunder roared, but the assembled participants held their places, not a single one departed. Enough umbrellas were brought out to shelter those in the back rows, but those in the front remained in the rain as they continued to sing hymns in praise of God.
Tainan Presbytery’s moderator, Rev. Dong Tsong-chan, said that the recent agitation of the “depose President Chen” movement had increased conflict and inter-ethnic tensions. He added that the church, as a social participant, had to stand up and call for calm, hoping that the opposition forces in Taiwan’s political arena might cease from their noisy agitation. He and his colleagues hoped that through song and prayer they could demonstrate care for Taiwan while calling for reconciliation and peace.
Rev. Dong pointed out that Tainan Predsbytery began to call for this kind of concern and action in June, and that prayers for peace and reconciliation have been part of worship in the many of the presbytery’s 82 churches for the past ten weeks. These intercessions call on God to grant wisdom to opposition political leaders, that they would lead their followers in a forward direction. The sit-in on the 27th was originally planned for the square in front of the Tainan Train Station, but the municipal government, concerned for many things, did not approve. Out of respect for the government’s decision and authority, the Presbytery changed the venue to the nearby church. The Presbytery has also formed a “Promote Love for Taiwan Association” to carry out its movement and show concern for society’s needs.
Facing Taiwan’s current situation of upset and disruption, Tainan Presbytery held two more days of prayer and song services on August 28 and 29. Each member of the clergy was asked to find and bring two other members, and each layperson to invite and bring two additional laypersons, to participate.
For more information: Tainan Presbytery firstname.lastname@example.org
Dong Tsong-chan FAX +886 6 7210599
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