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No. 5, Lane 269, Section 3, Roosevelt Rd, Daan District
Taipei City, 106
Taiwan

02-2362-1395

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Blog

Thoughts on faith and life at Friendship Church

Upcoming Events

Peter Brown

                                                   Pastor Dennis Brown (2008-2018)

                                                  Pastor Dennis Brown (2008-2018)

• Children’s Ministry Summer Schedule. For the month of July, the Children’s ministry will be taking a break from formal teaching. The children can go to their normal classrooms and enjoy fellowship together, snacks, and movie time. Regular classes will resume in August.

• Gospel-Centered Leadership – Wednesdays, July-August, 7:30pm. Men are invited to a third round of community group gatherings for men. Our focus will be on gospel-centered leadership. Deacon David Morton will be leading. For the month of July, the group will meet at the church apartment. You can sign up at the welcome table or e-mail Peter Brown at pb2059@gmail.com to indicate your interest. This segment will last for approximately eight weeks. 

• G2C Language Exchange – Sunday, July 15th, 3:30-4:30pm. Join FPC’s student ministry, G2C (Gospel 2 the Campus), today for a chance to practice your English—or your Mandarin. You do not have to be a student to participate! Location will be announced during the service.

Monthly Prayer Group – Tuesday, July 17th, 7:30-9:00pm. Come join us at “The Engine Room,” FPC’s monthly prayer group, for an evening of kingdom-centered prayer. We gather at 7:30pm and go into prayer from 7:45 to 9:00. All are welcome. Contact Peter Brown at pb2059@gmail.com for the (nearby) address.

• Pastor’s Open House, Saturday, July 21st, 6:30-9:30pm. You are invited to an open house hosted by Pastor Dennis at the pastoral apartment on Saturday, July 21st from 6:30 to 9:30pm. Come and see the remodeled church apartment and have one more opportunity to pray for and bless each other. If you need the address, email Pastor Dennis (dennis.brown.pca@gmail.com) or the church (fpchurch@friendshiptaipei.com).

Summer Sermons. Pastor Dennis will conclude our long study on the Book of Romans on July 29th. The titles of his messages will be "Friends" and "Final Benediction.” In August, there will be four guest speakers who will be preaching through the Book of 1 John. Then, on September 2nd, Peter Kim will be installed as lead pastor with Pastor Paul Kong preaching. 

"I Miss it Every Day of My Life"

Peter Brown

by Pastor Dennis Brown

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Ten years ago, when I announced to my church in Philadelphia that I had accepted a call for a church in Taiwan, a woman approached me afterward. She said she was interested in my announcement. She went on to share that she and her husband had lived in Japan for a number of years. I said, “Well, how was it?” Her response was, “I miss it every day of my life.” As she explained further she mentioned how they lived in a large house in a suburban neighborhood, but that people didn’t know each other well. She also said life in Japan was much simpler.

As I come to the end of ten years in Taiwan, I feel the same: I will miss it every day of my life. And if you ask, “What are the things you will miss the most,” here are a few:

First, the Taiwan people. We have all seen the t-shirt, “Taiwan… it will warm your heart.” I resonate so much with that statement. While I love my own country, every time I would return and land in the Taoyuan airport, I would say to myself, “Thank the Lord, I am back in Taiwan.” A friend of mine said the same thing after traveling to China. The Taiwanese have warmth, gentleness, and respect that I think is unparalleled in all my travels. I have been in so many countries of the world, but Taiwan is unique.

Second, the neighborhoods. I recall someone saying that parts of living in Taiwan were “magical.” I do not think that is an overstatement. When I walk through my neighborhood between the church and the apartment, it is filled with little shops (changing a lot)—coffee, hair-cutteries, boutiques, sneakers, barber shops, electrical, plumbing, hardware, ethnic eateries, and even an Indonesian spice shop. There is a minimum of multinational chain stores so it feels more human, authentic, creative, and alive. That, combined with the young people in the night markets at night gives a feeling of life and energy. There are also moments of humor, like the day you met the young man in the 7-11 in his pajamas. It is never boring.

Third, the geography of Taiwan. I recently took a tour on Highway 11 between Hualien and Taitung. It was stunningly beautiful and serene. You could walk to the ocean and pass a couple of grazing musk ox with hardly a soul around. If you looked to your right, you could see the blue of the mountains, and to the left the spray of the ocean. And if you breathed deeply, you could catch the scent of pineapple or other tropical fruits growing. And then, when we went back up on Highway 9 in the Rift Valley we went to a mountainous area that felt like you were in Switzerland. I must have taken a couple hundred pictures. This is just one of the memories I will always carry with me, and it will doubtless draw me back as much as I am able to in years to come.

Friendship Church. I planned on staying for only three years, but the people, the country, the church grew on me, year after year. I loved the diversity of nationalities, the youthfulness, the teachability, the humor. It got into your bones. So I will carry Friendship in my heart to the end of my days. At the end of Romans, in chapter 16 (where we will be on this home stretch of messages), Paul greets twenty-six people by name. He was not simply the greatest missionary and theologian of the world, he was also a great pastor who loved his people and tried to know them by name. In the Old Testament, the priest carried the names of the twelve tribes of Israel inscribed on his breastplate into the presence of the Lord. I hope to do that with you after I have gone. Someday, I will say with Paul in Romans 15:32—“by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. May the God of peace be with you all. Amen.”

5 Questions With...Rev. Tim Yates

Peter Brown

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1. How did you first get involved with Friendship Presbyterian? When we were preparing to come to Taiwan to teach at Christ’s College in 1991, we met former Taiwan missionary Diane Poythress in Philadelphia for some orientation to Chinese language and culture. She had worked at Friendship with the Chinese section while she was serving in Taipei and knew of their need for a pastor at the time we were preparing to come. She encouraged us to commit to FPC from the start. After we moved to Taiwan, we were able to borrow a van and drive to FPC each Sunday. I was guest preaching frequently during the year FPC was searching for a new pastor, and was involved with the elder search committee, until Tim Conkling came in 1992. [Rev. Yates eventually served as Senior Pastor of FPC from 2002 to 2008.]

2. What do you do Monday through Saturday? I am responsible for three different roles at China Reformed Theological Seminary here in Taipei. Each has varying time commitments at various seasons of the year. First, I am the Academic Dean, with the job of preparing the quarterly faculty meeting agenda, leading the faculty in implementing relevant decisions of the board and faculty, planning the fall seminary retreat, choosing the topics/texts and arranging the speakers for the weekly chapel schedule, and meeting with students and seminary visitors as needed since we don’t have any administrators above my role. Second, I am Dean of the M.A. Biblical Counseling (MABC) program. I designed the six-course required and elective curriculum in 2002, adding two new courses in 2014, and I teach 3 classes each semester in this program on-site at CRTS, and serve as thesis advisor to MABC students. Finally, as Dean of the Distance Learning program, I have implemented the administrative structure for our Distance M.A. in Christian Studies. This has also included supervising the video recording of most M.A./M.Div. classes, revising all DVD course syllabi from 2009-2015 to facilitate lower individual maintenance, hiring a grader, and transferring the system to total online formats in 2016. I am also a missionary under Friends of CRTS, supported by numerous churches and families in the U.S. Recently, I have been spending time writing, editing, and publishing my own books related to my teaching ministry.

3. What is something people might be surprised to know about you? I ride my bicycle back and forth to work from JingMei to Taipei Arena. It is about 16km round-trip. I’ve been using a bike recording device with an odometer for about the past year and a half, and have recorded most of my rides, recently passing 3000km of recorded riding.

4. What do you find most challenging about being a Christian today? The concepts and practice of discipleship--passing on what I have learned and experienced to those of the next generation who will be faithful to teach, build on, and apply what I’ve taught. In my Chinese seminary teaching context, the specific discipleship challenge means the appointment of new, qualified faculty to train the next generation of CRTS students. This would be a man with training in biblical counseling (preferably a CRTS M.A. Biblical Counseling graduate who also has an M.Div.), pastoral and counseling experience, a doctoral degree, Chinese fluency, ordained with Reformed faith commitments, and the exegetical skill to apply Scripture to new challenges of the next generation--not just copy previous received material, but internalize and re-examine Scripture, and transmit it for a new generation. This transfer is further "complicated" by the fact that most candidates for the Biblical Counseling degree at CRTS are women. Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out laborers into his harvest (Matt 9:38). 

5. What is your favorite book of the Bible? Probably Philippians, since it is my most often quoted book in personal discipleship and counseling. Paul’s God-centered optimism about other redeemed sinners as God’s-works-in-progress has been so helpful to me in shaping joyful, encouraging attitudes towards Christians with growth struggles (Phil. 1:3-6; 2:2).