Well, it started out as a beautiful morning until I dropped my iPad on a stone floor. Now I have hairline cracks throughout the screen. At least functionality isn't affected right now!
Went to the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Taipei. The Rector, Lily Chang and the Associate Rector Herbert Barker greeted us warmly. Fr. Barker is from the Diocese of San Diego and is following a dream to work in China. He is in charge of the English congregation. He served for 30 years first as an Army chaplain and then he transferred to the Navy. He has served in Japan and Korea before coming here. He also teaches philosophy at the college level.
Mo. Lily and then Bishop Lai told us there are currently a total of 18 priests in the diocese, 4 of whom are women.
Lily volunteered to take us shopping for handicrafts. Good thing there is not too much room left in my suitcase!
There is preschool through kindergarten at Good Shepherd, with a total of 140 students currently enrolled. Here are some pictures of the church and school:
Mo. Lily took us to the National Museum. It was very crowded and the streets were very crowded today because it is May 1st--Labor Day here. It was a gift to be able to go there today, because it brought together missing pieces of our trip. Today's visit to the National Museum put the missing pieces of the puzzle together for me. Chang Kai Shek in 1949 took the treasures that were from the Forbidden City and brought them to Taiwan. The contents of the virtually empty Forbidden City in Beijing are on display at the National Museum in Taipei.
It was not on our agenda today to go with Lily. It was not on her agenda to take us, but the Holy Spirit lead the way. I would have missed this important link in Chinese history had Lily not offered to take us shopping. She took us to the museum, and her hospitality is something I will never forget! While we were not able to take pictures within the museum, here are some outside shots:
Lily is a deputy to General Convention this year. I look forward to introducing her to members of the Episcopal Asian Ministry group, and to deputation from Los Angeles.
Lily took us to lunch at the most amazing place, which uses tea in the bulk of the cooking. Ten Ren Cha for Tea. Here is the page from the menu (which was quite extensive) that we ordered from:
Here is a picture of Lily in the private room that just happened to be open, and where she got us into, along with other pictures from lunch including the view from the room:
We then went to visit St. John's Cathedral, and we were greeted by the Dean, Samuel Lin. They have a kindergarten there with 70 students.
Bishop Lai's Cathedra:
The side of the Cathedral, and Lily's car!
Afterwards, as we were headed to see Bishop Lai, Lily told us she is working on a DMin through Virginia Seminary with our own Alexandra Conrads!
In addition, today is the 1st anniversary of her congregation planting a new congregation about 50 minutes by car south of Taipei in Chung Li.
We met Bishop Lai in his office and shared some wonderful tea and conversation. Bishop Lai told me there are 18 congregations in the diocese, with the farthest away being more than 5 hours by car.
We are headed to dinner now, and the conversation will continue. I am so humbled by the incredible hospitality we have received all during the this trip. To be with my brother Bishop from TEC is a wonderful ending to our trip. Tomorrow we will take the train to Tai Chung. Can't wait!
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