Taiwan's Church Focuses on Society at Seminar

Apr 11, 2003 11:20 AM EDT

The Church and Society Committee of the Presbyterian Church inTaiwan held several days of training and discussion in Kaohsiunglate in March, focusing on social ministries. Apart fromcontributions from each of the church's several presbyteries andspecial districts, there were exchanges on social concern workexperiences.

There was a lot to share, and participants left encouraged by thethings wrought by faith in many different areas.

An "official" aspect to the seminar was brought by ChenShen-hsien, from the Central Government's Ministry of EconomicAffairs and Hu Chung-yi from the Council on Agriculture. Theyspoke about water conservation and the impact of Taiwan's entryinto the World Trade Organization on rural life. In recent years,when the nation has met drought conditions, the first to loseaccess to water have been the farmers. Rural residents are alsoseen to suffer the most from the end of protectionist tradebarriers which came down when the nation entered the WTO.

After each presbytery had shared its own work, responses weremade to others' presentations. Chia-yi Presbytery, for example,noted that their own work was lacking because of frequentturnover of responsible officers. They recommended that thosegiven the duty of leading Church and Society activities be heldin office longer.

The Rev. Mr. Cheng Ing-erh (Te* Eng-ji), the PCT's programsecretary for Church & Society Ministry, described the work ofthe committee as promoting recognition of Taiwan, concern for theland, and love of life. These flow from faith in Christ, andtoward the promotion of justice and peace. The committee is alsothe Church's action agency for disaster relief and neighborhoodconcern work.

The Church and Society Committee recently invited believers andchurch groups nationwide to participate in a movement for therestoration of Taiwan's True Name to be held in Taipei on May11th.

By Albert H. Lee
[email protected]