Well, actually I start with the end of day one and also day two.  The afternoon session was devoted to checking in at our tables.  Afterward the Diocese of Taiwan welcomed the bishops and spouses at an evening reception. In attendance were the President of Taiwan Ma Ying-Jeou, regional dignitaries, officials and government representatives. Area clergy and lay leadership also welcomed the bishops and spouses.  My favorite conversation was with a sophomore in high school, David, who attended EYE in Philadelphia this past summer along with six other youth from Taiwan (about 17 hour flight time alone, remember, to participate in their Episcopal Church they have to do this all the time)  He was my cultural guide for the evening.  He is quite a fine young man.

david taiwan

On Thursday, the second day, several field trips were planned throughout the diocese.  Bishop David Lai of Taiwan has been a superb leader and cheerleader for us on this tripBishop lai

This is your former and always Suffragan Bishop Nedi Rivera who found the only “to go” cup in the Grand Hotel and is the “Picture of the Day!”

Nedi taiwan

Marti and I traveled to Taichung and to St. James Church there.  Taichung is about 300 KM away from Taipei, we took the bullet train and made it there in about an hour.

This is how we were greeted at St. James’ Preschool.  Watch the video here

St. James’ is an amazing place, with a bilingual preschool with over 150 students, a counseling center, and many ministries.  The first Rector and now Rector Emeritis the Rev. Charles Chen was honored by TENS (The Episcopal Network for Stewardship) for his excellent work in building a culture of generosity in his congregation, who not only built what we saw today but also helped Central Philippines build 12 churches.  When he was asked about how he built the spirit of generosity here he reminded us of the quote, “One must remember the source when drinking the water.”

St. James school taiwan

St. james taiwan

St. James butterflis

They have a butterfly garden, fish, turtles, and a herb garden at the school.

St. james taiwan church

We toured the preschool, as well as the National Museum of Art which is across the street and is the only national museum for art in the country.

art exhibit taiwan  This was an exhibit about Taiwan family meals at home since this practice is waning greatly.  I guess this is one vestige of moving toward a more Western form of capitalism and economy as this did not seem far from home at all.

We were then treated to a fabulous and abundant Japanese Lunch and were visited by the long time and beloved Mayor of Taichung.

mayor pic

Yesterday I told you I would send you the text of the Presiding Bishop’s sermon when I had it.  You can read the text here

Until tomorrow, many blessings to all of you,

 

+Greg