GENEVA - "The launch of the Youth in Church and Society Web site is an important step in our work with and for the young people of the Lutheran World Federation's 136 member churches," said Tita Valeriano, LWF Secretary for Youth in Church and Society. It is hoped that this new presence on the Web will facilitate information sharing, relationship building and working together on common concerns among youth constituents in the Lutheran communion.
The Web site currently brings together information on YICAS programs, activities and resources. Though print communication will still remain important so those without Internet access are not excluded, many of these resources will also now be available on-line.
Future plans for the site include a directory of the 16 regional and thematic Lutheran youth networks and a discussion forum addressing issues and concerns affecting young people today. Greek Orthodox Establish Preaching Station in Taipei
Taiwan Church News 2660, February 23, 2003 Reported by Tan Kim-ban. Translated and rewritten by David Alexander
To whose "East" is the Eastern Orthodox Church situated? This simple question, though best answered through references to Western European history, is a problem when translated (but not explained) for a Taiwanese audience. It has come up because two years ago Father Jonah Mourtos, a Greek Orthodox priest, came to Taiwan and established Holy Trinity, the first Eastern Orthodox church in Taiwan. He was sent by the Orthodox Bishop of Hong Kong and South East Asia as an evangelist. Now Taiwan's people have the chance to experience the ancient liturgy of the Eastern church and hear the gospel of Christ from an angle previously unfamiliar here.
In his search for a suitable place to equip as an Orthodox church, Father Jonah rented meeting rooms in hotels and advertised in English language newspapers. The first worship service was held at the Lai-lai Hotel in Taipei, attended by 25 people, some of whom came from a great distance. The difficulty of hotel facilities necessitated many changes of times and places over the first few months of the church's ministry.
Eventually Father Jonah made acquaintance with faculty from Fu-jen Catholic University, a Jesuit institution. He found support and encouragement from them, and was offered use of a Roman Catholic facility in the Taipei suburb of Shih-lin for Sunday morning worship. In this facility he is able to lead worship in a proper Orthodox fashion.
He says of this nation, "Taiwan is a free and democratic country. Taiwan is good to foreigners." He looks forward to spending the second half of his life here. Holy Trinity currently serves between 10 and 30 people a week. Members come from Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Russia, Ukraine and the Americas. Five or six Taiwanese also attend. The liturgy is celebrated in English, but scripture readings can or may be in any of five or six other languages.
By Albert H. Lee