On St. Thomas Day, December 21, 1995, our chaplain and rector, Rev. Lennon Chang 張員榮牧師 was ordained deacon at Good Shepherd Church, Taipei, and on January 25, 1999, the Conversion of St. Paul, he was ordained priest here at Advent Church. So it’s 20 years since he was ordained to ‘Holy Orders’ ~ and last night we all gathered at Advent Church for a Thanksgiving Service and Celebration ~ YES!
In his sermon during the service, Lennon shared about how he’s now been chaplain at St. John’s University (and as it was formerly known, St. John’s and St. Mary’s Institute of Technology SJSMIT) for 19 years, working under 3 university (or college) presidents; then going back further as professor here, he’s worked under another 2 presidents, and as a student here way back from the age of 15, he can claim to have known all the presidents!
Last night, the church was almost full, which was wonderful – after all Monday is a normal working day and most of our congregation had come straight after work – and let’s face it the temperatures were hardly conducive to coming out for the evening, it was cold cold cold! At the end of the service, all the 2016 Advent Church Vestry Members (PCC) were commissioned and blessed; 2 of them are newly-elected, Yu-Lin and Rosa, and both of them did readings during the service.
It was wonderful to see some of Lennon’s family, 2 of his brothers, a sister-in-law, a nephew and younger daughter. One of the brothers is the same brother who brought him to SJSMIT on his very first day, aged 15, to start his new life as a student here – an event Lennon has never forgotten. It changed the course of his life, because it’s here that he was baptized and later became chairman of the Student Fellowship, and of course much later, chaplain and rector.
Also in the congregation last night were 3 of Lennon’s Mathematics classmates from Fu-Jen University, 2 of whom are now professors, plus lots of our SJU Alumni, faculty, staff and students, friends and church members. Rev. Pang and his wife were here – years ago he was also a chaplain at SJSMIT. Also Mr. Tsai Yeh-Wei 蔡葉偉 (in the first photo), formerly Mayor of Tamsui, now New Taipei City Councilor, and his wife – they are Presbyterians and good friends of St. John’s University and Advent Church. Coming from furthest away was Stoney (Jia-Guei), his wife and baby who had driven up from Kaohsiung especially for the occasion and were driving straight back after the service (normally 5 hours each way, they do it in 3½ with no rest stops!) and he even brought his parents over from Taipei.
After the service (and obligatory group photo – yes, I insisted!), we had refreshments, including 2 big cakes, one of them given by Bishop Lai. We also had some fun – a competition for couples to bite down a chocolate stick to leave the the smallest length, plus some face and hair decorating games, all wonderfully organized by our lovely church member, Ching-Yi….
A very meaningful evening full of thanksgiving and celebration ~ congratulations to Rev. Lennon Chang – and of course his lovely wife, Hannah! Thanks be to Almighty God for their faithful service and witness, and for Lennon’s devotion and commitment to serving in ministry at St. John’s University and Advent Church.
Pray for them, pray for us, pray for all!
And here’s to the next 20 years ~ YES!