Hallelujah by Pentatonix

Wonderful way to start a Monday morning!

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CMS Link Letter # 70!

Please do click on the following link to see my latest CMS Link Letter, just published….


Thank you!

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新北市淡水區興仁國小創校100週年慶祝會 ~ XingRen Elementary School, Tamsui celebrates 100 years!

Many congratulations to our local elementary school, XingRen 新北市淡水區興仁國小 on celebrating their centenary today, with beautiful sunny skies and temps of over 30 ºC!


St. John’s University and Advent Church are in the XingRen Elementary School catchment area, and we have a really good relationship with the school ~ the principal, teachers, staff, children and parents are all our good friends, and there’s lots going on ~ here’s some of our friends on the school welcome desk this morning!


Hundreds gathered for the centenary celebrations today ~ and we joined in! Advent Church has a drum class who were invited to perform, and we also invited the drum class from St. John’s Cathedral to join us ~ the teacher is the same for both groups.  The cathedral group has been going for 8 years, whereas our group has been going for only 8 months – so their support was much appreciated ~ and everyone had a great time!

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The drums were the opening performance, first thing at 8:30 am ~ they did 2 songs, and I filmed the first half of each…. do take a look at these 2 short videos, the group performed really well ~ ah, such talent!

The next performance was an amazingly agile and very fast group of Rollerblading Dragon Dancers who zoomed around and around… check out the first 40 seconds of their performance here!

Had a great time meeting lots of people we knew, including our good friend Jasmine (second left below) from our neighboring junior high school branch and some of her students who had made special centenary bags for the occasion!  Here they are with the principal of XingRen (third left below) …


And the final performance of the morning was our lovely Advent Church Band who performed 3 songs, and the highlight was the final song, ‘Happy 100th Birthday!’

It was such a great way to end the morning’s celebrations!

Congratulations to all who performed and to all involved, there was a lot of hard work for everyone, and it was very hot – not typical October weather, but we were all so happy the weather was so good – we’d been praying all week!

And very special congratulations to XingRen Elementary School on their 100th anniversary ~ and here’s to the next 100 years ~ YES!

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Amazing Brown Paper Art Landscape @ Happier Café 更快樂實驗所, Taipei!

Happier Café is part art installation, part café, part social education centre and part fun!


The focus is on helping people take action for a happier world, based on the ‘Ten Keys to Happier Living’ which are ~ firstly how we interact with the outside world through our daily activities – using the acronym GREAT: 1) Giving – doing things for others 2) Relating – connecting with people 3) Exercising – taking care of your body 4) Awareness – living life mindfully 5) Trying Out – keeping on learning new things.  The second five keys come from inside us and depend on our attitude to life – using the acronym DREAM: 6) Direction – having goals to look forward to 7) Resilience – finding ways to bounce back 8) Emotion – looking for what’s good 9) Acceptance – being comfortable with who you are 10) Meaning – being part of something bigger, finding purpose in our lives….  The philosophy is one of positive thinking and well-being rather than the promoting of any religious faith, and is full of good ideas for people to put into practice.


The café is temporary, the lease is for 6 months – so they are making the most of it, and it’s based in one of the buildings on the compound of what used to be the HQ of the Taiwan Air Force (TAF), now known as the TAF Innovation Base in Taipei City.  Normally only open Mondays to Fridays during the daytime, I was fortunate to visit when they were preparing for an evening event last night, so I had time to wander around and take a few photos.  It’s the sort of place where you help yourself to what you want to eat and drink and then make a donation.  Not that I had time to do that, as I had to move along, but hey, maybe next time!


The art installation part is the use of huge rolls of brown paper which are draped and hung around the room, drawn on and painted on, used as spaces to socialize in or just for decoration. It’s quite amazing!

Highly recommended is for you to check out the following article here on a design website where there’s lots of really great photos of the café…. and the Happier Café Facebook Page here

Amazing what can be done just with rolls of plain brown paper!

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Penghu says ‘no casino’ for second time – Taipei Times

At last some good news in the world of referendums and elections ~ check out this article….

Penghu residents yesterday voted against the development of a local gambling industry in the second casino referendum held in the outlying county.

Source: Penghu says ‘no casino’ for second time – Taipei Times

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Ah, a sunny day, at last!

Finally the rain has stopped, and yippee, today’s been bright and sunny ~ YES!  It started with an early morning rainbow over Sanzhi ~ I love rainbows.  I’m sure that’s my house at the end of the rainbow, but sadly there was no pot of gold waiting when I got home ha ha!


And then this afternoon, the whole world was out and about, mostly at the beach – or in the car driving to and from the beach.  You gotta have a lot of stamina to live in such a small country with so many people who all go out at the same time on the same roads!

This was Shimen Arch this afternoon, a natural stone arch right up near the northern tip of Taiwan, and Shimen Town…..


Y’know living in a major tourist area is fun ~ ‘n it only takes me 5 minutes on the bus to get there and back ~ whereas the poor people on their way back to Taipei tonight will take 2 or more hours.  Ah yes, I love Taiwan’s Northern Coast!

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Starting Now ~ Community English Class @ St. John’s Cathedral, Taipei!

Yes, a brand new English Class at St. John’s Cathedral for church members and local people, every Thursday afternoon from 3:00 – 4:30 pm, 8 times this semester, and we started yesterday!  Here we all are!


This class is partly a result of a request from our new-and-about-to-be-installed dean, Rev. Philip L. F. Lin who spent April to July this year visiting the Episcopal Diocese of New York. His English improved a lot while he was there, and he hopes it will improve further now he’s back in Taiwan.  It’s also partly because a group of lovely ladies from St. John’s Cathedral, led by Rev. Elizabeth Wei, visited Advent Church a few months ago and found themselves observing our Advent Church Community English Class ~ and hence the idea was born, maybe we could have a similar kind of English Class at St. John’s Cathedral! Thursday is the day I usually go to the diocesan office in Taipei anyway, and so it’s easier to fit a class in.

We’re aiming at people who have learned English in the past at school – so they have already got the basics, but have had little chance to practice speaking and are maybe lacking in confidence.  We focus on listening and talking, and the class includes a Bible Story.  It’s relaxed and fun and there’s no pressure.  Such a great group so far, lots of lovely, enthusiastic and very friendly ladies – although only one man, Rev. Philip Lin himself!

Please pray for this new venture – and if you’re free, come along and see how we’re getting on!

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