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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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Newsletter

Thoughts on faith and life at Friendship Church

Noteworthy Events

Peter Brown

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• Fit Kids Club Gathering – Saturday, Nov. 10th, 10:00am-1:00pm: The next Fit Kids event will be held at the Yuan Shan Park followed by lunch at Maji Square. Jackie Z. is planning lots of fun and games. Email fpcftkids@gmail.com for more details, or click here.

• Communion Sunday – Nov. 11th: We will hold our monthly celebration of the Lord’s Supper during the service of Sunday, Nov. 11th. Please prepare your hearts to participate in this intimate act of recognition of our dependence on our Lord Jesus Christ.

• Newcomers Welcome Lunch – Nov. 11th, 1:15pm-3:00pm: If you are new to FPC in the last two months, come join us for food and fellowship Sunday the 11th on the 8th floor of 261 Roosevelt Road. It is a time to meet others who are new to the church and helps us get you connected to the life of the church. You can register at the Newcomer Welcome table in the fellowship hall, or simply meet up with us on the 11th at 1:00pm by the main doors of the church building. From there, we will walk over to 261 Roosevelt together.

• Monthly Prayer Group – Nov. 13th: FPC’s monthly prayer group, “The Engine Room,” is now meeting regularly on the second Tuesday of each month. Accordingly, the November meeting will be held Tuesday, Nov. 13th. Come join us for an evening of kingdom-centered prayer. We gather at 7:30pm on the 4th floor of the church building and go into prayer from 7:45 to 9:00. All are welcome.

• Youth Game-Night/Dinner – Friday, Nov. 30th, 6:30-9:00pm: All FPC teens are invited to a game-night, with dinner provided by the church. Required permission slips will be provided in Sunday School class and at the Newcomer Welcome table in the fellowship hall. Please return the signed slip to Sam Huang, Peter Brown, or Anna Wang. One slip needed per family. Friends are welcome! (But also need a slip.)

• Spotlight on Service: Did you know that each Sunday Church Service at FPC takes an average of 28 individual acts of service? We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the 64 individuals who served FPC during a Sunday Service in October. If you would like to join our team of volunteers, please email deacons@friendshiptaipei.com

• C.S. Lewis Group: The C.S. Lewis community group meets bi-weekly on Thursday evenings at a pub to read and discuss Christian books by C.S. Lewis over beers. The next book we are discussing is, “The Problem of Pain.” If you are interested, email jasonjwarren@gmail.com for an invitation.

• New Mothers & Wives Facebook Group: This is a Facebook Group created to support mothers and wives in their walk with the Lord and their families. We encourage all mothers and wives from our FPC congregation to join. Email fpchurch@friendshiptaipei.com for more details.

From the Desk of Pastor Peter

Peter Brown

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by Pastor Peter Kim

Not too long ago, I was sitting in a restaurant having lunch with a church member, when all of a sudden I heard the sound of a warning signal coming from multiple phones. I grabbed my phone and saw a message about an imminent earthquake. (Side note: Isn't it amazing that we can get these warning messages just before the earthquake happens?) I looked up and I saw the TV which also had a warning sign flashing. It almost seemed chaotic, with all the warning signals. And then, of course, the ground started shaking, and the light fixtures above started moving. We were having an earthquake! The good thing was that it was just a minor quake and no one in the restaurant seemed to care too much about it.

Not long after, we heard about a typhoon potentially striking the island. But that turned out to be nothing either. This year was a surprisingly quiet year with regard to typhoons in Taiwan.

But this has not always been the case. In past years, we have had typhoons that affected Taipei City, and the government ordered that all businesses, schools, and shops close for a day or two. Last year, even the church building had to close by order of the government (although our building remained open for the Chinese section). Our service was cancelled that day, and people were encouraged to stay at home and be safe.

Dear brothers and sisters, in the case that a natural disaster hits Taipei City, whether an earthquake or a typhoon, we encourage everyone to be safe and trust that the Lord is still in control. It may be possible that our building closes for the day, and, if that is the case, we encourage you to still have your own worship with your family. Always check online at our website to find out if our building is open or not—especially if, for example, a typhoon is scheduled to hit during the weekend.

Stay safe everyone!

P.S. – Wondering how to have worship with your family? Or on your own, if you are the only believer in your family? One way is to simply follow the model of your FPC community group: worship, study, pray. Begin by looking up some YouTube clips of your favorite worship songs and sing along with them. Then search for a sermon clip by one of your favorite preachers and watch or listen to it. You can also just choose a passage of the Bible—a psalm, perhaps, or an episode from one of the Gospels—read it out loud, and share thoughts and insights on the meaning of the passage and how it is speaking to you today. Finally, spend some time sharing prayer requests and praying for each other, for FPC, and for the city of Taipei.

(And we will see you the next Sunday!)

5 Questions with...James Jih

Peter Brown

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1. How did you first get involved with Friendship Presbyterian? I had spent the majority of my life living in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, and I wanted to try something considerably different. While helping out with a local Christian conference during the winter of 2010, I struck up a conversation with Sam Huang, who shared how he was moving to Taipei to teach English. I was immediately intrigued, and the idea was planted firmly in my mind.  I wrapped up grad school in the fall of 2011 and wrote a lengthy email to my parents detailing my plans to move to Taipei. Their response was understandably perplexed but supportive. I booked my flight for the end of August. The first week was a whirlwind. I landed at Taoyuan, crashed at my Grandmother's apartment in Xindian, woke up and interviewed at the Korean Elementary School (with Sam Huang's help--and, yes, he still teaches there!), and starting teaching the very next day. It was within the first month after I had arrived when I decided things had settled down enough to check out churches. A friend who was on staff with InterVarsity and had grown up in Taipei shared a short list of churches that he recommended, and on that list was FPC.  

My first visit to FPC was on October 2, 2011. It was the second church I visited that day. I had caught the tail-end of the 11:00am service and Pastor Dennis had just finished preaching. I believe that in those days, Jerry Chiao, Bebe Liu, Monica Hsiao, Justin Chien, and, I believe, Lucy Chuang were helping out with the worship/praise team. I am not completely sure what compelled me to make the choice to continue coming to FPC. I think it was some combination of Pastor Dennis mentioning C.S. Lewis or Tim Keller in his sermon, seeing other attendees around my age (25, at the time), and a balanced worship song selection that led me to commit.  

At the end of the service that first day, I did not feel comfortable introducing myself with the microphone, but, oddly enough, I felt comfortable enough to introduce myself to Jerry in the following manner: "Hi, my name is James. I'm 25. This is my first time here--can you introduce me to some people?"

Following that awkward introduction, I plopped myself into a Community Group, shared post-service lunch meals, jammed along with the worship/praise team, and the rest was history.

2. What do you do Monday through Saturday? I work as a Professional Service Engineer for a software startup called ScienceLogic, which is based out of Reston, Virginia. I started working there in January 2015. I typically work remotely from home at odd hours of the day and night, mixed with spurts of travel to countries around the Asia-Pacific region.  If I am not working, I am typically sweeping (a relaxing habit/what I do when I procrastinate), playing pick-up Ultimate Frisbee (pick-up occurs Monday nights at San Chong and Sunday afternoons at Datong High School, with an informal training session Wednesday nights!), taste-testing my wife Monica's cooking, baking, and/or fermentation creations, or fiddling with the guitar.  

3. What is something people might be surprised to know about you? I have a twin. My twin brother's name is Jason and he lives in Chicago. He is engaged and, hopefully, will be visiting Taipei within the next couple years. We did not get along when we were younger, but we are all right now! He is really into badminton and does quite a bit of coaching. He is always looking for a friendly challenge when he visits.

4. What do you find most challenging about being a Christian today? That is a really interesting question. I think for me it would have to be bringing discernment and wisdom to the work of being salt and light to the community around me. I am also not quite sure on the “how” aspect of evangelizing, or reaching out, or proselytizing to my friends, family, and the community around.

I know it will look different from person to person. I am also aware of what is not effective and, frankly, what drives people away from God or the Christian church (partially from personal experience). At the end of the day (or the beginning of the day), I know I must rest in the finished work of Christ, and from there take a step of faith and prayerfully learn from the outcome. The hard part is to not be afraid of rejection, disapproval, or not being liked. Yeah. That is definitely the hard part. 

5. What is one of your favorite books of the Bible? I would have to say the Gospel of Mark. The reason for this is a bit strange because the content of the book is a very close secondary reason to the primary reason. Hear me out. I went to a very small university located in the west suburbs of Chicago, whereas many of my closet friends in high-school went to the University of Illinois Chicago or Urbana-Champaign. There were times when I wished I had applied to the aforementioned schools. It was a big change going from Friday night high-school youth groups to being on a small campus while my friends were hours away.

In any case, nearby was Wheaton College. My former youth pastor was meeting with students for an inductive Bible study and he invited me to join. I made the short drive over every week and had an amazing time. There were questions aplenty, scribbled notes, highlighted words, times of sharing and prayer, and, overall, it was a very rich time of fellowship. It was incredibly memorable and made a lasting impression of what Bible study could be like (at least, for the life of a college student).

Looking back, that time was a gift and a sign of God's goodness and promises.  I didn't know that being in the word could be so engaging and fun at the same time.