From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Urban Church in Taipei Bucks the Trends

From "pctpress" <>
Date Fri, 15 Sep 2006 09:45:41 +0800

Title: Urban Church in Taipei Resists Social Trends to Serve Its Community

Taiwan Church News 2846 11-17 September 2006

Reported by Li Hsin-ren. Written by David Alexander

The ways churches seek to reach out to the neighborhoods where they are located and to serve the people who affiliate with them change over time. Within living memory many Roman Catholic Churches began to offer Sunday Mass on Saturday evening, for example, and Protestant Churches that were accustomed to holding both morning and evening worship services have either dropped the evening meeting or moved it to a different spot in the week. In Taiwan, many city-dwelling workers are compelled to go to their jobs on Sundays. Others have begun to take advantage of two full days off every weekend to get away from the city. Both classes of people are less likely to attend church during the traditional Sunday morning hours that have been set aside by many for worship.

Tun-hwa Presbyterian Church in Taipei, which will celebrate its 14th anniversary on October first, has resisted the trend to drop the “evening service” on the one hand, and sought to meet the need of Christians for fellowship and corporate worship on the other. Since its founding it has opened its doors both at 10AM and at 8PM every Sunday.

Evening attendance is between 10 and 15, but it is an option found at few other churches in the city. Rev. Chang Chin-cheng, the church’s pastor, said, "Sunday evening worship gives those people who are unable to participate in worship in the morning a chance for corporate Christian practice. Faithfulness in keeping the church open is a basic responsibility of the congregation. It’s effectiveness is seen in one young person who, because of work responsibilities, was only able to come to church in the evening. After some time, this individual chose to study theology and is now an evangelist!”

The congregation has offered its facilities as a community center as well. A neighborhood women’s association uses the site, and about 50 women regularly attend. A table tennis association also has use of the church hall. The pews are moved aside, the tables set up, and the games begin! The hall is “flexible to community needs, whether those are recreational or spiritual.”

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Taiwan Church News is published weekly in Taiwan's local languages.

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