In 2021, after the CELC spent nearly a whole year completing organizational reorganization and system reconstruction, the Missionary Department has been able to develop and enter a new milestone in 2022. Due to space limitations here, I will share only two major items with readers: evangelism and theological education, please pray for:
- 1.1 Song Shan Missionary Center in Taipei～Teacher Zhao Danxiang (M. Div.,China Lutheran Theological Seminary/Master of Pathology, National Taiwan University) was transferred from Hsinchu Shengdao Church to Taipei Songshan Missionary Center. Former Songshan resident teacher Huang Youting, resigned at the end of June to pursue a different career.). Teacher Zhao has been serving for many years before joining the CELC, plus three years of service experience in Shengdao Church (formerly Qianjia/Longshan Mission). After transferring to Songshan, he will be responsible for preaching, teaching, visiting and related services.
- 1.2 Hsinchu Holy Word Church (originally Qianjia/Longshan Missionary Center, this year changed its name to Holy Word Church). The worker there, Teacher Zhou Dingtai (Master of Divinity from China Lutheran Theological Seminary / Graduated from National Taiwan University Advanced Management) joined our association when he was a theological student and worked as an intern in Hsinchu Shengdao Church for two consecutive years. After graduating this year, he became a resident teacher of Shengdao Church, and worked with the chief pastor, Pastor Michael Paul. It is expected that it will strengthen the weekly group and fellowship work of the evangelism center, and strive to complete the relocation work, so that the Church of the Holy Word will become self-reliant.
- 1.3 Holy Grace Church Mission Center in Taichung ~ Pastor Aaron Chu, is expected to move towards church independence in 2023 (please refer to the previous newsletter)
- 1.4 Nantou Holy Trinity Church Mission Center ~ Teacher Yang Yuqing (Master of Divinity, Holy Light Theological Seminary / Department of Medical Technology, China University of Medical Science and Technology) has joined the church for many years and is currently assisting the sisters of Songen Church in Tainan, children, and Guangyao Dormitory in evangelism ministry. Beginning in July, he began going to Holy Trinity Church three days a week to assist the evangelistic ministry of Holy Trinity Church, which is just starting. ※ The former Tainan co-worker, Brother Bruce Liu , resigned at the end of May due to the consensus on service between husband and wife and family economic factors.
- 1.5 Salvation Church, Chiayi ~ Now a three-person team is formed by Pastor Joseph Lu (principal), Pastor Alex Wu (resident) and Pastor Stephen Wang (assistant) to assist the development of Salvation Church and contribute to the future of Chiayi district pastoral manpower needs. Our evangelism mission started in Chiayi, and the church in Chiayi is in desperate need of revival. In the future, it is estimated that at least four church properties in Chiayi District will be renovated to resume the church’s evangelistic mission.
- 1.6 Vietnamese Language Fellowship ~ Teacher Cheng Huanglan (graduated from the Certificate Department of the China Lutheran Theological Seminary/Dual Major in History and English from Da Lat University in Vietnam) has assisted the Ministry of Missions in developing the Vietnamese language ministry in Hsinchu for many years. After graduating from the seminary this year, she immediately joined the CELC to continue to carry out the Vietnamese evangelism ministry in Hsinchu and Taipei.
1.7 Guang Yao Single Men’s Dormitory Gospel Mission ~ Our work is located in the Guang Yao Gospel Center on Datong Road, Tainan. Guang Yao has now transformed into a single men’s dormitory for evangelism work. With the active service of Teacher Yang Yuqing and the active assistance of Pastor Yao Zhentao, they are currently in charge of dormitory management and evangelism work.
- 1.8 Mission station scheduled to open in 2023~
1.8.1 Canaan Church in Taipei: After renovation from January to April this year, the building has been restored to a usable state.
From May, Pastor Lu’s family moved in and began to invite Songshan members to have meals during the week to help Songshan Church establish various levels of fellowship and started visiting the surrounding neighborhoods. It is expected to officially become a mission station in March 2023 and begin community ministry in the area.
1.8.2 General Mission Hall: The small auditorium attached to the General Office was formerly known as the Holy Church Hall, has been renamed the Mission Hall. In 2022, morning prayers and evening prayers are being held on Mondays and Fridays. In 2023, depending on the pastoral manpower of our church, we will develop weekly worship and service industry evangelism ministry.
As of July 2022, there are two self-supporting churches under the name of the CELC – Tainan Rong’en Church, Douliu Ling’en Church, five mission stations under development, and two evangelistic missions. In 2023 it is expected that two more mission offices will be established. If together with the future Chiayi District, four more mission stations can be established, the need for pastoral staff will be urgent.
May the Lord be merciful and call upon pastoral staff with clean hands and pure hearts, committed to shepherding, upholding the Holy Cause, faithful, active, and loving souls to join the CELC and serve with one heart.
1. theological education:
Continuing Development of Theological Education: With the strong support of theLCMS OIM in the United States, beginning with the Sacred Music Lecture in May 2021, the CELC has held theological lectures online with American lecturers once a month to this day. As an on-the-job training for the current pastoral staff, it can cultivate the commitment of the staff and members to the faith and the truth of the Bible.
2.1 Starting from September this year, the CELC will provide three intensive courses per year to in-service pastoral staff and related courses required for pastoral practice. This type of course is different from the basic training provided by the seminary. It focuses on the combination of biblical teaching and pastoral practice. It can be regarded as an advanced training after graduation from the seminary. (Examples: Luke’s and Acts’ Pastoral Views, The Biblical Foundation and Practice of Baptism, The Further Study and Implementation of the Lord’s Supper, the Lutheran Educational View and Teaching Luther’s Cathechism, The Pastoral Mission and Pastoral Practice in the Book of Concord, etc.)
2.2 From the second half of this year, relevant lectures will also be provided to our members as supplementary teaching for adult Sunday schools in various churches.
When the CELC is “returning to the mission and pastoral care of the church”, in addition to prioritizing resources to the church’s evangelism and talent cultivation, it will rebuild the orthodox Biblical theology of Luther that has been lost for many years, and return to the period of Reformation 500 years ago. The biblical mission concept based on the Book of Concord is the biggest challenge at present. With the current super-sectarian movement in power, business science and general psychology have gradually replaced the mission of the church based on the Bible. In addition, after 40 years of church stumbling, how to rebuild members and co-workers to “recognize” and “identify” this issue. Recovering this lost truth is especially urgent!
Intercession: Pray for the Lord’s mercy, granting always wise arrangements and sharing the precious assets of Lutheranism, so as to encourage co-workers and members to have a deeper understanding and enjoy the spiritual growth and renewal of the church brought about by this precious asset, and then be willing to dedicate to walking and evangelizing together.