Category Archives: PC Taiwan

General Assembly Season 2016

May 1st – The date on my calendar that marks the beginning of the General Assembly Season. This is our binge year, or we max out on GA’s, as we can include the two biennial assemblies and the triennial one.

So buckle up and here we go.

As always, this is the line-up as I know it – I will update as I clarify additional Assembly and Synod meetings.

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61st General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in Taiwan
29 March-1 April 2016

 

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Synod
The Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia
3-5 May 2016
Mt. Druitt, N.S.W.

 

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General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Tasmania
10 May 2016 (begins)

 

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General Assembly
Church of Scotland
21-27 May 2016
Edinburgh

 

 

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General Assembly
Free Church of Scotland (Continuing)
23-26 May, 2016
Edinburgh

 

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General Assembly
Free Church of Scotland
23-26 May 2016
Edinburgh

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General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of South Australia
22 May 2016 (anticipated) No Assembly this year – see comment below

 

Presbyterian_Church_in_Canada_(logo)142nd General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in Canada
3-6 June 2016
York University
Toronto, Ontario

bush

 

General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in Ireland
6-10 June 2016
Belfast

 

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212th Stated Meeting of the General Synod
Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
7-9 June 2016
Bonclarken
Flat Rock, North Carolina

 

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General Assembly
United Free Church of Scotland
8-10 June 2016
Perth

 

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83rd General Assembly
Orthodox Presbyterian Church
8-14 June 2016
Sandy Cove Conference Center
North East, Maryland

 

logo+pcusa222nd General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
18-25 June 2016
Portland, Oregon

 

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General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Queensland
19-23 June 2016
Brisbane Boys College
Brisbane

 

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141st General Assembly
Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America

19-22 June 2016
Nashville, Tennessee
Concurrent with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church

 

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186th General Assembly
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
20-24 June 2016
Nashville, Tennessee
Concurrent with Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America

 

01645A81-A5D8-4EB1-9E4C30D14028D30744th General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in America
20-24 June 2016
Mobile, Alabama

 

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36th General Assembly
Evangelical Presbyterian Church
21-25 June 2016
Ward Church
Northville, Michigan

 

Reformed_Presbyterian_Church_of_North_America_(banner)

Synod
Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America
27-29 June 2016
Indiana Wesleyan University
Marion, Indiana

 

 

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N.S.W. State Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Australia
in the State of New South Wales

4 July 2016 (begins)
Croydon, N.S.W.

 

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80th General Synod
Bible Presbyterian Church
4-9 August 2016
Sharonville, Ohio

NYA_0National Youth Assembly
Church of Scotland
19-22 August 2016
Stirlingshire
(Technically not a governing
body, but still an Assembly I track)

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General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Australia
12 September 2016 (begins)

 

 

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General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Victoria
3 October 2016

 

 

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General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in Western Australia
28 October 2016
Peppermint Grove, WA

 

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General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand
15-19 November
University of Otago
Dunedin

 

These are the ones that I am tracking at the moment. I will update as appropriate. If I have missed one, or have information wrong or incomplete, please provide the appropriate information and I will update the list.

And, to make the GA season complete here are two more items…

The first is the series of articles I wrote as an introduction to Presbyterian General Assemblies seven years ago. My GA 101 series consists of the following

GA101: Preface
GA101: Introduction – Why in the world would anybody want to do it this way?
GA101: Connectionalism – The Presbyterian Big Picture
GA101: The Cast of Characters – A score card to identify the players
GA101: The Moderator – All Things In Moderation
GA101: Where does the GA business come from? – Incoming!
GA101: Doing the business of GA — Decently and in Order

Yes, what started as a six part series expanded into seven completed articles with two more unfinished ones (still) in the queue.

And finally, on to the ridiculous. Lest we take ourselves too seriously, a couple years ago I had a little fun with the General Assembly and in the post passed along the GA drinking game and GA Bingo. In addition, Allan Edwards has posted an alternate Bingo card to use or modify for your particular polity. Please play responsibly. 😉

So, for all the GA Junkies out there I wish you the best of GA seasons. May you enjoy the next few months of watching us do things decently and in order!

General Assembly Season 2015

It is the First of May, the day I have traditionally used to mark the start of the General Assembly Season. (Although you will see it started a bit before that.)

There is lots of excitement ahead this year so get ready.

Here is this year’s line-up as I know it now. I will update as I clarify additional Assembly and Synod meetings.

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60th General Assembly
and 150th Anniversary of the founding
Presbyterian Church in Taiwan
7-10 April 2015

 

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Synod
The Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia
5-7 May 2015
Mt. Druitt, N.S.W.

 

pca_tasmania_logo
General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Tasmania
12 May 2015 (begins)

 

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General Assembly
Church of Scotland
16-22 May 2015
Edinburgh

 

 

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General Assembly
Free Church of Scotland Continuing
18-21 May, 2015
Edinburgh

 

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General Assembly
Free Church of Scotland
18-21 May 2015
Edinburgh

pca-logo-1a-hires

 

General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of South Australia
25 May 2014 (begins)
Naracoorte, S.A.

 

bush

 

General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in Ireland
1-4 June 2015
Belfast

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82nd General Assembly
Orthodox Presbyterian Church
3-9 June 2015
Dordt College
Sioux Center, Iowa

 

Presbyterian_Church_in_Canada_(logo)141st General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in Canada
4-8 June 2015
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, B.C.

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140th General Assembly
Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America

7-10 June 2015
Huntsville, Alabama

 

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Synod
Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland
8-10 June 2015
Bready

 

 

Reformed_Presbyterian_Church_of_North_America_(banner)
Synod
Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America
8-12 June 2015
Bonclarken
Flat Rock, North Carolina
Concurrent with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church

 

arpc_2846216
211th Stated Meeting of the General Synod
Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
9-11 June 2015
Bonclarken
Flat Rock, North Carolina
Concurrent with the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America

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43rd General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in America
8-12 June 2015
Chattanooga, Tennessee
(And the logo at left was proposed last year and referred so we will see what the report back is.)

 

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General Assembly
United Free Church of Scotland
10-12 June 2015
Perth

 

cplogosmallwithtext200x200
185th General Assembly
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
19-26 June 2015
Cali, Columbia

 

EvangelicalPresbyterianChurchLogo
35th General Assembly
Evangelical Presbyterian Church
23-27 June 2015
Orlando, Florida

 

pca-logo-4b-small
General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Queensland
21-25 June 2015

 

 

pca-logo-4f-small
N.S.W. State Assembly
and 150th Anniversary Celebration
Presbyterian Church of Australia
in the State of New South Wales

29 June 2015 (begins)
Croydon, N.S.W.

bpclogo
79th General Synod
Bible Presbyterian Church
6-11 August 2015
Cape Canaveral, Florida

NYA_0National Youth Assembly
Church of Scotland
14-17 August 2015
Stirlingshire
(Technically not a governing
body, but still an Assembly I track)

pcv_logo
General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Victoria
5-8 October 2015

 

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General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in Western Australia
30 October 2015
Peppermint Grove, WA

 

And in case you were looking for one of these high-profile GA’s, they are not annual events and you will have to wait for next year:

These are the ones that I am tracking at the moment.  I will update as appropriate.  If I have missed one, or have information wrong or incomplete, please provide the appropriate information and I will update the list.

And, to make the GA season complete here are two more items…

The first is the series of articles I wrote as an introduction to Presbyterian General Assemblies seven years ago.  My GA 101 series consists of the following

GA101: Preface
GA101: Introduction – Why in the world would anybody want to do it this way?
GA101: Connectionalism – The Presbyterian Big Picture
GA101: The Cast of Characters – A score card to identify the players
GA101: The Moderator – All Things In Moderation
GA101: Where does the GA business come from? – Incoming!
GA101: Doing the business of GA — Decently and in Order

Yes, what started as a six part series expanded into seven completed articles with two more unfinished ones in the queue.  (Maybe this will give me some motivation to finish those up.)

And finally, on to the ridiculous.  Lest we take ourselves too seriously, a couple years ago I had a little fun with the General Assembly and in the post passed along the GA drinking game and GA Bingo. Please play both responsibly. 😉

So, for all the GA Junkies out there I wish you the best of GA seasons.  May you enjoy the next few months of watching us do things decently and in order!

Presbyterian News Headlines For The Second Half Of September

As the year winds down I am hoping to get caught up with the news headlines posts – a daunting task considering how far behind I am and while I am also in the midst of a number of other drafts I am working on. So here are a few of the items that caught my attention the second half of September.

Maybe the most interesting is a new partnership between Redeemer Church and Reformed Theological Seminary:

Tim Keller’s Redeemer Church and Reformed Theological Seminary to launch NYC campus – from Religion News Service

I have previously mentioned churches who have offered sanctuary to immigrants, but now there is the announcement of this as a movement:

Inaction Spurs New Immigrant Sanctuary Movement – from Texas Observer

Church network offers sanctuary to illegal immigrants to avoid deportation – from The Washington Times

A church burglary:

Historic church robbed days before last service: Board Member: I believe it was an inside job – from KSAT San Antonio

A delegation from the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan visited the Church of Scotland during the month including the time of the Independence Referendum. They found the visit interesting, to say the least:

Delegation from Taiwan in Forfar – from Kirriemuir Herald

Taiwanese Moderator’s Message to Scotland – from The Church of Scotland

The passing of an influential pastor who served for 50 years:

Malawi: Nkhoma Synod Hero Rev Chalera Laid to Rest – from allAfrica

And finally, a milestone anniversary for a historic church in North Carolina:

Historic African American church to celebrate 150th year – from The Times-News; “During the last full year of the Civil War, a slave founded a new church in the community that, 17 years later, would be incorporated as Mebanesville.”

And now, on to a couple of Canadian developments…

Haven’t I Seen That Somewhere Before?

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Last month when the Fellowship of Presbyterians was rolling out the new Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians they debuted and explained the new logo and the preferred acronym (that would be ECO not ECOPs).

At the time someone tweeted or blogged that the logo reminded him or her of X – and I have been looking back and trying to figure out who I saw say that both to give them credit as well as to be sure what X is. My failing memory tells me that they suggested the logo for Presbyterians for Earth Care shown above.

Well, after they mentioned that I started seeing similarities to other logos.  I have included two examples above, one from the Friends of Calvin Crest and the other for a non-denominational church in our area.

Now to be clear, the Calvin Crest logo is not a deciduous leaf but a pine needle cluster or maybe a pine cone. But the look and feel is sure similar.

The presbygeeks out there know that this variation on a plant theme is nothing new for Presbyterians…

burning_bush_logos

 

Yes, each of these global Presbyterian seals rocks the burning bush theme adopted by Presbyterians long ago.  (Clockwise from upper left – old Church of Scotland seal, current Church of Scotland logo, Free Church of Scotland, United Free Church of Scotland, old Presbyterian Church in Ireland, current Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, Malaysian Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church in Canada, and Presbyterian Church of Taiwan)

[Note: Please see the comment by Alec below with a correction and some fascinating history of the symbols.]

So what got American Presbyterians sidetracked?  There are a couple of exceptions

other logos

 

 

 

… and that BPC logo does have the burning bush. But for the most part American Presbyterians, and a couple more I threw in, tend to use the cross as their dominant theme.

cross logos
(Tempting to leave this as an identification challenge but here are the logos: Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Presbyterian Church, old United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Presbyterian Church of Australia, and the Uniting Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa.) You can spot the burning bush or flame symbolism there in some of these, but the central motif has become the cross.

Where logo design goes from here will be interesting to see.  If early American Presbyterians had a logo they did not use it much. I don’t know if it was simply because they did not feel a need to have a brand identity or maybe it was not worth the extra cost to print it on their documents, or maybe they though it came too close to violating the Second Commandment. Maybe some research on that sometime.

But these days it seems necessary to have a logo for brand identity, and if it is simple and can be reduced to a small size for your online avatar all the better. ECO clearly thought that having a unique (sort-of) logo was a worth while endeavor to put early effort into.

We will see where it takes them.

The 55th General Assembly Meeting Of The Presbyterian Church In Taiwan

The 55th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan convened at Chang Jung Girls High School in Tainan on April 6, 2010. The theme for the event and for the General Assembly for the coming year is “Let cultures flourish; Let God’s justice take root.”

The officers of the General Assembly were elected in the first evening session.  Congratulations and best wishes to the new officers: The Rev. Hsien-Chang Lai – Moderator of the 55th General Assembly; the Rev. Lyian-Syian Chiohh – Vice Moderator; the Rev. Dr. Pusin Tali – Clerk of Assembly; the Rev. Jong-Fong Hsu – Assistant Clerk of Assembly.

Business of the Assembly included the approval of the new Rukai Presbytery which includes a significant component of Rukai Aborigines, discussion and statements on gender equality, presentations and urging dialogue on global religious conflicts.

One high-profile issue that the GA addressed, and one that denominational officers have spoken out about, is the proposed Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement with China (ECFA).  There are multiple stories about this, one talking of “speaking up for marginalized peoples,” another talking about the effects it will have on young people, a third about possible economic and environmental damage.  There was a presentation to GA and the Assembly endorsed a petition that calls for a public referendum on the ECFA.

Another high-profile issue was abolishing the death penalty in Taiwan.  There is an ecumenical coalition against the death penalty and the GA debated how to add their voice to the discussion.  The article says:

When this statement was first read in the recent 55th PCT General Assembly, some pastors were worried that it was adopted too hastily and they would have a hard time convincing their parishioners. They also feared that passing such a statement when the general population still viewed capital punishment as a sensitive issue might fuel controversy within churches. In response to their concerns, former PCT General Assembly Moderator Leonard Lin stressed that there are currently 44 inmates on death row that could be executed starting June – making the abolition of the death penalty a pressing life and death issue that everyone should be concerned about. Lin further noted that PCT had campaigned for the abolition of the death penalty for more than 15 years. With rising suspicions that there have been mishandled cases, wrong sentences, and instances of torture used to extract confessions, the integrity of the judiciary needs to be improved. More importantly, PCT must make a stand when debate on the death penalty keeps deviating from the real issues at stake.

In the end the Assembly agreed and…

…issued a statement… in support of abolishing capital punishment based on its religious convictions. According to this statement, human beings were created in God’s image, given immeasurable dignity and value, and that is why even murderers have human rights. The statement underscored that though offenders should be punished according to their crimes, the death penalty is a cruel and unusual punishment that is both irreversible and widely abused. It is also fraught with problems because Taiwan’s judicial system’s impartiality and fairness has been compromised. Furthermore, churches and organizations around the world have come to agree that death penalties don’t alleviate social problems or crime. The statement urged Taiwanese society to abide by their religious convictions instead of giving in to their feelings, by taking a step toward forgiveness and reconciliation. It said even murderers should be given the chance to live so that they might accept Christ, repent of their sins, and use the rest of their lives to reconcile with victims’ families and pay restitution.

A bit more on this in just a moment.

Finally, this GA, like its siblings around the world, is an opportunity for other activities and this includes two pastors who biked to the the Assembly and a hospital that offered free blood tests and check-ups to pastors.

Some of the most interesting accounts in English comes from two Canadian couples who attended in various capacities and mentioned it on their blogs.

Ted and Betty live in Taiwan and teach at Tainan Theological College and Seminary.  They each have brief accounts about their participation in the GA, Ted just mentioning his speaking to the Assembly and Betty giving a nice account of singing for the Assembly with the College Choir and traveling with the international representatives to the Assembly on their local tour.

Those international representatives included fellow Canadians Scott and Anne to were the official representatives to the Assembly from the Presbyterian Church in Canada .  They have put together a blog with a very nice account of their trip of which the GA was just a small part.  I will leave you read about their wider travels for yourself if you are interested, but they talk about a few very interesting details of the church and the Assembly.  Regarding the history of the church they mention that the first Protestant missionary arrived in 1865 from England and was soon followed, in 1872, by Rev. Dr. George L. Mackay of the Canadian Presbyterian Mission.  But what is most interesting is their account of the business of the Assembly that I have mentioned above:

This morning was an exposure to the business end of General Assembly of the PCT and I don’t think it differs much from the PCC. From what I could gather from Sidney’s translations the two most contentious issues were the terms of service on the Christian school boards and concern over a letter written to the government calling for a ban on capital punishment. A recent poll showed that 80% of Taiwanese are in favour of capital punishment. In both cases the agony was over procedure more than content.

We heard from an expert speaker concerning the implications of a proposed free trade agreement between Taiwan and China and it sounded so much like the NAFTA headache that I wanted to get up and speak to the issue. Never trust an elephant when you get into bed with it.

Any GA Junkie will appreciate that comment about the “agony was over procedure more than content.”

So that is what I know of the meeting of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan.