Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) Moderator shares the life, work, and hopes of PCT

by Cheon Young Cheol

The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) recently hosted Council for World Mission (CWM)’s Annual Members’ Meeting (AMM) in Changhua City, 10-13 June 2023, where through an interview with CWM, PCT Moderator spoke about the life and work of PCT and its ministries and affiliates.

The PCT Moderator Rev. Pang Jyh Hong called it an “honour” that CWM is holding its AMM in Taiwan for the first time this year, adding that its network of quality Christian educational institutions and hospitals were resources they could tap on to host this event. In addition, he gained an insight into diverse membership and nationalities that CWM encompasses through the organization of this event, and expressed gratitude on behalf of PCT for the care and concern shown by ecumenical organisations through the Taiwan Ecumenical Forum (TEF).

PCT Moderator Rev. Pang has been a pastor for 26 years, and is passionate about serving in Hakka Mission, Senior Citizen Ministry, and Pastoral Care Committee. Upon graduation from seminary, he served in the Hakka Mission in Kaohsiung for 7 years, followed by working in the General Assembly office before his current role as pastor of Hsin Chu Neili Church in the Hsin Chu Presbytery.

He spoke candidly about PCT’s challenges of a greying population, slowing evangelism, and its close, direct relationship with its affiliated hospitals such as McKay Memorial Hospital and Sin-Lo Christian Hospital established by medical missionaries and their support of and contribution to PCT General Assembly. For example, around 50 hospital chaplains minister to patients to share the love of Christ as part of the mission and ministry of Changhua Christian Hospital (CCH), located near the venue of CWM’s AMM 2023.

PCT also has at least three theological institutions for pastoral training, and as well as a vibrant indigenous ministry that celebrates its 70th anniversary next year. Even though indigenous peoples make up 2 percent of the Taiwan population, around half of PCT’s 1,200 churches are indigenous, so PCT’s mission work in this area is extensive. It reaches out to people with disabilities, divorced and abused women, and fisherman, among other ministry groups.

At an international level, PCT has collaborated with the MacKay Medical Mission of Taiwan to send a team of medical personnel to Ukraine, making it the first team from Asia to provide voluntary medical assistance on site since the Ukrainian-Russian conflict began. They also donated hospital beds to Ukraine, and they provided medical equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Looking ahead, it is aiming to expand and concretise its ministry to care for foreign labour in the morphing regional and global context.

When queried on hopes or prayer requests that PCT has for the global Church and CWM, the PCT Moderator indicated PCT’s joy and honour of being chosen as the event host, and reiterated his hopes that the Taiwan Ecumenical Forum (TEF) will continue to be run, with its issues being addressed in CWM. He expressed PCT’s willingness to share God’s grace bestowed upon them, and its extensive experience in medical and educational institutions through the conduit of CWM to the world and the global Church.

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