Wednesday, January 16, 2008

St. Stephen's Center

On the feast day of St. Stephen, 12/26, bishop David Lai consecrated the opening of St. Stephen's Center in Keelung; a service attended by the North Deanery clergy.

Keelung is a city about 60 miles north of Taipei. Not only is the weather constantly gray and dreary, so is the economy there. There is a high rate of poverty in Keelung, and with poverty and unemployment comes also drug addiction and alcoholism. So St. Stephen's Center opens with the vision of helping the local residents in Keelung stay on the right path, giving them a sense of hope, and giving them an alternative to dealing with everyday problems.

Right now St. Stephen's Center offers after school classes from 4-7 p.m. during the week for children, a recreation program for children on Saturday morning, aand baptism classes for adults and youth on Saturday afternoons. But the Rev. Richard Lee, who oversees the center, hopes that in the future, the center is able to provide resources for those looking for employment, and financial assistance to families and individuals in need. So the center is looking for funding from the local government, the diocese, and also the parishioners of Trinity Church in Keelung.

Please pray for the ministry of the center and also the people who look to the center for hope and support.

Special Christmas Guests

This Christmas Christ came to our diocese in a very special way. A children's choir, 38 voices strong, from the East Kowloon diocese of the Hong Kong Anglican Church, visited Taipei and sang at 3 of our parishes.

On 12/24, the choir sang at the Christmas Eve service at St. John's Cathedral which was also attended by bishop David Lai. On Christmas day, the choir sang at the English service at Church of the Good Shepherd; and together with their parents and choir leaders, 112 people attended the English service. Right after the service, our guests, which filled 3 tour buses, went to St. John's University and performed there.

We thank them for their visit, and for adding added much Christmas joy and meaning to this special day.