The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) and the Kyodan held a joint church consultation, Aug. 22-25, in Taiwan. This was the 15th such biennial consultation of the two churches and alternates between the two countries. This time it was held in the city of Guanziling in southern Taiwan. The theme was “Imitating Christ: Becoming Humble Servants of God” (Micah 6:8, I Cor. 11:1).
There were 49 persons in attendance, including 22 from the Kyodan. The program consisted of an opening worship service, two morning prayer meetings, six plenary sessions, and a closing worship service, after which a joint declaration was released. Those attending included not only cabinet members, general secretaries, and program secretaries from both churches but also participants from the various districts, missionaries assigned to both countries, and in particular, young people who took responsibility and participated actively, thus giving me a great sense of hope.
The themes for the plenary sessions were: “The Current State of the Church and its Task/Challenges,” “The Future of Young People in the Church,” “Reflections on Mission Activity/Humaniterian Aid,” “Mission among the Native Peoples,” “The Challenge of Participating in International Organizations,” and “Reflections and Prospects of the PCT and Kyodan Mission Agreement.”
There were presentations from both churches, followed by discussion. Based on the joint trust that has been built over the years, there were frank discussions on how we can cooperate and deal with the real problems confronting us. I felt that the discussions presented a challenge for the Kyodan to sincerely confront these problems. The fact that the deliberation in preparation for the joint declaration extended far beyond the scheduled one hour to almost three hours is an indication of that challenge. It is a reminder of the difficulty as well as the blessing of a united church in mission together with a denominational church.
The location of this consultation was a hot spring area developed by Japanese during the colonization of Taiwan. On a field trip, we visited Hatta Yoichi Dam, also built during the colonization, has been a great benefit to agriculture/farming in southern Taiwan. Remembering and understanding the history of the Japanese colonization of Taiwan, I feel that we must return to the theme of our consultation as the Kyodan and PCT continue our mission journey together. (Tr. JS)
—Murayama Moriyoshi, member
Commission on Ecumenical Ministries
From Kyodan Shinpo (The Kyodan Times), No. 4848
台湾基督長老教会Presbyterian Church in Taiwan（以下PCT）と教団の教会協議会が8月22日から