Title: A Taiwanese Church Carnival for All Ages
Taiwan Church News 2855 13-19 November 2006
Reported by Yu Kao. Written by David Alexander
Children demonstrated their ability to do spontaneous illustrations and create images with a computer, and everyone joined in the fun at a carnival in the parking lot of Ding-jin Presbyterian Church in Kaohsiung on November 12th. The church held it’s annual “outdoor worship” at home this year, and invited the neighborhood to a carnival. Traditionally the congregation has chartered busses and gone somewhere far away for an overnight trip and “offsite worship.” They broke with tradition half-way, merely going “out of doors.”
The experiment was taken because the traditional activity usually leaves as much as one third of the church’s members behind. They are unable to get free for the full weekend, or have mobility troubles that hamper their ability to climb onto and off of busses, or medical needs that keep them near to home. Another problem is finding a new place every year to visit. And, of course, there is the expense to be considered.
On the 12th, worship came first, and afterwards more than 300 people attended the carnival. The attendance was the highest the church has experienced at “outdoor worship” for many years. Elder Kho Chu-poe, who heads up the congregation’s fellowship ministry, said that things were arranged to allow for the highest possible turnout. Planning was done over the past 2 months by a committee of up to 30 church members.
The carnival had an “old time” flavour. A marquee was placed in the parking lot, and craft stations were set up. The old taught the young a bout how to make the toys they used to, folding long leaves into grasshoppers, constructing rubber-band guns from chopsticks, and assembling traditional noisemakers from bamboo, cardboard, fishing line and sticks. There were games, and there was learning. Grandparents and parents reminisced about how things used to be, and songs were sung. A modern note was added with a coin operated Karaoke machine, which saw abundant use.
Hsu Bok-seng, one of the church members who taught a craft said, “Toys appeal to everyone. Even the elderly like to think back on the ones they used, and the children like to receive what has been made. This activity goes in the direction of overcoming the gap between the generations.”
For more information: Ding Jin Presbyterian Church www.dcchurch.idv.tw
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