Yes, there’s always something happening at St. James’ Church and Preschool in Taichung ~ such a very happening place! And this weekend was no exception. With Taiwan celebrating Mother’s Day next weekend, St. James always has their Mother’s Day celebrations on the first weekend of May, so this was it!
Since I was last at St. James, they have a new rector, Rev. Lily Chang – who’s moved there from Good Shepherd Church in Taipei, while Rev. Philip Lin has moved from St. James to Good Shepherd. Philip’s children still have many friends at St. James, and his younger son’s about to graduate from preschool in July, so they all came back too. So many smiling faces, and in the middle of course was Rector Emeritus of St. James’ Church, Rev. Charles Chen – and his wife MaryJo, plus their son Samuel and his wife Luanne, supervisor of the preschool….
And we are also very pleased to welcome Rev. Joel del Rosario and his wife, Irene, from the Episcopal Diocese of Central Philippines (EDCP) ~ Joel is here for 2-3 or more months, just arrived yesterday. He used to be in charge of some of the churches built by St. James in EDCP, so we’re welcoming an old friend ~ yes, we warmly welcome them to St. James!
The whole event was opened by Bishop Lai ~ and then we started the show, which went on for the whole morning ~ really excellent dance, drum and choir performances from the preschool children, local high schools and choirs, fantastic!
Most anticipated, and clearly the highlight, were a team from Taipei New Life Church, including an amazing magician and great singer / guitarist, but most famous of all was Shiao Bai @ 羅小白S.white粉絲後援會, well-known in Taiwan for her street performances on the drums. She must have posed for a million selfies with every person who was there this morning! Turns out she and her family are also members of our cathedral congregation in Taipei, and her mother came along as well! Shiao Bai herself now belongs to Taipei New Life Church, which has been in the news recently since one of their members, famous Taiwanese singer Jay Chou, got married in Selby Abbey in the UK in January. I was there in Selby Abbey myself only a few weeks ago. Abraham Ku, pastor of the New Life Church, and also a friend of Bishop Lai, took part in the wedding ceremony in Selby Abbey ~ and Selby Abbey is of course Anglican, and so here we are ~ THE connection! The group kindly gave up their Saturday to come to Taichung to perform for us, sharing their skills and their faith ~ and wow, what a crowd-puller they were! Here they all are, along with Bishop Lai, arriving at St. James….
Every year the money raised at the fair is given to a different charity, and this year it’s all for Andrew Charity Foodbank, whose website is all in Chinese, but the name says it all – they work with disadvantaged low-income families, often in remote areas of the country -to give them well-balanced and nutritious meals…. And talking of nutritious meals, just check out this mountain pig, cooked there and then this morning – and a big hit, it was yummy!
So here we all are, everyone smiling away!
A great celebration, so many children, parents, friends, relatives, teachers, staff, church members and local people ~ a great big thank you to everyone ~ and a Happy Mother’s Day for next weekend!