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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

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Vern Poythress Visit: Drs. Vern and Diane Poythress have returned to Taiwan. Vern will give two talks, one on June 10th and one on the 17th, each about an hour long, following the worship service. He will also deliver the message during the service on the 17th.

His talks will be:

Studying the Bible in God's Presence - June 10th in Room 702 from 1:15 to 2:30pm.
Christ in Leviticus - June 17th in Room 702 from 1:15 to 2:30pm.

Please grab your own lunch and head straight over to the Roosevelt Road location for this very special event. The address is Roosevelt Rd., Sec 3, #261, 7F. See you there!

Monthly Prayer Group – June 19th, 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 for the address (pb2059@gmail.com).

Newcomer Welcome Lunch – June 24th, 1:15-2:30pm: If you are new to FPC in the last two months, come join us for food and fellowship at the pastoral apartment near Shida Road. It is a time to meet people new to the church and helps us get you connected to the life of the church. You can register at the Newcomer Welcome table downstairs in the fellowship hall, or online at https://goo.gl/Vk91mG.

Pastoral Transitions: Pastor Dennis will conclude his service at Friendship on Sunday, July 29th. Peter and Polly Kim will be in the States for the months of June and July. In the month of August, there will be four guest preachers and on Sunday, September 2nd, Pastor Peter Kim will be installed with Dr. Paul Kong preaching and leading the service.

Passing the Baton

Peter Brown

by Pastor Dennis Brown

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In a relay race, runners “pass the baton”, i.e., they hand off the baton to the next runner. That is what is happening here at Friendship. After ten years, Kay and I will say goodbye to Friendship. Actually, Kay is already in the States, close to family and friends. I will depart on August 1st. A year ago, we had not been able to recommend a lead pastor to follow me. While we had applicants, nothing was convincing. So I agreed with the elders to stay on for another year, if I could have the summer in the States and also return there for Christmas. It had been such a long time away from family that I needed more time with them. The elders graciously agreed--not knowing how the arrangement would work, or whether we would be successful in finding the right successor.

Happily, it did work, and I believe we did find the right successor in Peter Kim. He and his wife Polly bring so many things to the table that fit the church. Some of them are:

1.    Peter’s university ministry both in California and Beijing bodes well for the church. University ministry has many parallels to our own. It is young and transitory. It also requires the ability to understand the cultural context from a missional standpoint. You have to be conversant with the questions posed by intelligent young people and do your best to answer them from a Biblical perspective. You also have to learn how to relate the gospel to a changing cultural context. In my denomination, the PCA, some of its best pastors got excellent preparation as college ministers first.

2.   Peter has also had pastoral experience so it is not a totally new field of endeavor for him.

3.   Peter has made links with Redeemer City to City (RCTC) whose philosophy of ministry fits ours perfectly. He will also have ongoing mentoring from people like RCTC’s Vice President for the Asia-Pacific region, Jay Kyle and others, and be able to continue to connect our own church to a city vision of church planting and urban gospel renewal.

4.   Peter speaks Mandarin which will open up all kinds of opportunities and help develop stronger ties with the Mandarin congregation whom we work side by side with. Also, Polly is Taiwanese, so there is no problem with visas. And then they desire a long-term tenure. Many English churches have pastors who rotate in and out. A strong church needs consistent vision and leadership, and Peter will be able to build on the foundation we have tried to establish in these ten years.

5.    Peter understands the centrality of the gospel to everything. After getting through eleven chapters in Romans, the apostle Paul, in essence, says, now let me show you how the gospel works everywhere and in everything (chapters 12-16). Peter and Polly have been discipled in “Sonship”--the discipling program that impacted me more than anything else in the past twenty years, and which is all about applying the gospel to everything.

In short, I couldn’t be happier about the transition and, along with your good elders and deacons, I feel confident that the church is in good hands. On the first Sunday of September, Peter Kim will be installed, with Pastor Paul Kong preaching and leading the installation.

As for me, I don’t really plan to “retire.” The word “retirement” doesn’t appear in the Bible! And while I don’t think I want to try to be a lead pastor anytime soon, I will look for opportunities for ministry among my family and in the community where I will live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I will likely take the first few months to rest and pray and then explore some of the following possibilities:

1.    To disciple my children and grandchildren. We have ten grandchildren, and I want to seize the day to help them let the roots of their lives go down deeply into Christ and the gospel. I also want to love my wife well who has been so servant-like in all these years and has gone with me wherever I felt the Lord calling me.

2.    Lancaster has a large immigrant population and two universities. My multi-cultural experience and love for students should find an outlet there.

3.    We will join a local church. It is probably already picked out and we will seek to serve there as well as we can, or maybe help a young church planter.

4.    I hope to stay in touch with Redeemer City to City and contribute any way that I can. The church planters here in Taiwan are close to my heart.

5.    I hope to use social media to stay in touch with many who have come and gone from the church to share resources with them.

6.    Most of all I hope to keep finding my identity in Christ. It is easy for ministers to live off their activity--for ministry, preaching, and work to become their idols. Do I have the ability to simply sit before the Lord, and pray and serve in menial ways? I hope so. Upon retiring, Martyn Lloyd-Jones (usually recognized as one of the greatest preachers of the twentieth century) was asked when how it felt no longer being “the man”, i.e., the great preacher at Westminster Chapel and speaker at conferences around the world. He replied by quoting Jesus in the Gospel of Luke, “Rejoice not that the demons are subject to you, but that your names are written in heaven” (10:20). You can pray for me that I might have that same gospel poise.

In the meantime, be assured of my love and prayers. I don’t think I could have loved Taiwan or Friendship Presbyterian more. I think I will miss it every day of my life.

5 Questions With...Joanna Cheng

Peter Brown

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1. How did you first get involved with Friendship Presbyterian? I used to attend the Mandarin service in Hsin-Yi FPC in Taipei for a while but was not involved in their activities, except for attending a few sessions of Sunday school. When I met a new Christian friend from my hometown, Manila, who was looking for an English-speaking church in Taiwan, I brought her to the FPC English service. After attending for a few Sundays, since I was not yet a member at the Mandarin service, I decided to stay in the English service. I have been attending FPC for quite some time now and it is a wonderful privilege to be a member of this church.

2. What do you do Monday through Saturday? I work as an export sales secretary in a manufacturing company located in Hsinchuang district. The company specializes in producing industrial machines and spare parts. My job basically involves writing emails to foreign customers and arranging shipments. I sometimes help create an electronic catalogue of our products using software like Photoshop, Paintbrush, and Microsoft Excel. I also get to help in assembling spare parts once in a while.

3. What is something people might be surprised to know about you? People often mistake me for a pure Filipina, but I am actually half Chinese and I can understand Mandarin and a little Taiwanese language.

4. What do you find most challenging about being a Christian today? For me, the most challenging part of being a Christian is to wake up really early in the morning to spend time with God before going to work. One important truth I have learned lately about spending time with God in the morning is that when I give God the first part of my day, it is like giving Him the first fruits of my crops. I also believe morning is an ideal time to spend with God before other things invade my mind. If I spend enough time with God in the morning, I can handle whatever comes my way throughout the day with His grace.

5. What is your favorite book of the Bible? My favorite book of the Bible now is Romans because I have just finished studying this book at BSF recently, and I have also been listening to the pastor’s preaching for the past 8 months. I found that there were so many wonderful biblical truths that I have overlooked before. One of the truths I learned is from Rom. 12:3. It says that even our faith, the very thing that enables us to commune with God, is itself a gift from God. It is also written in Rom. 9:18 that God has mercy on anyone He wishes to, and He makes stubborn anyone He wishes to. This truth changed my perception of the secular world, especially when trying to share the gospel. It shows me that I have no right to judge or look down on the unbelieving world, because I am no better than them. Left to myself, I am just as capable of sin as anybody else, given the right circumstances. The only difference is that I have been saved by God’s grace, and His power enables me to overcome temptation. So instead of judging, I should learn to have compassion on those who do not know Christ.