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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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Youth Group Weekly Gatherings - Fridays, 6:30-9:30pm: Our Youth Ministry has concluded its trial-period of Friday evening gatherings and is now pleased to offer the meetings on an ongoing basis. We provide a time of worship, Bible study, fellowship, and fun. We meet every Friday (except Friday, April 5th, due to the holiday), 6:30-9:30pm, at 261 Roosevelt Road, 6th floor.

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New FPC Line News Group: We have a new FPC LINE news group where you can get all the latest information about FPC. You will not receive a bunch of messages from other people, only from FPC. You can also send prayer requests which will be received by the church leaders. To join, search for "@osv3181q" or scan this QR code.

Christianity Q&A – Sunday, April 7th, 1:30-3:00pm: Bring your questions about God, the Bible, or your walk with Christ, and we will answer as many as we can with Pastor Kim in our upcoming Q&A session hosted by FPC’s university ministry, Gospel 2 the Campus. All are welcome. Room #501 in the church building.

Monthly Prayer Group – Tuesday, April 9th, 7:30pm: FPC’s monthly prayer group, “The Engine Room,” meets regularly on the second Tuesday of each month. Accordingly, the April meeting will be held Tuesday, April 9th. 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 Outing – Saturday, April 13th: All FPC teens (and their friends!) are invited to an afternoon of bowling and other games in Sanchong from 11:00am to 4:30pm. Lunch will be provided by the church. Required permission slips are available in the Sunday youth service and at the Newcomer Welcome table in the fellowship hall.

Communion Sunday – April 14th: We will hold our monthly celebration of the Lord’s Supper during the service next Sunday, April 14th. Please prepare your hearts to participate in this intimate act of recognition of our dependence on our Lord Jesus Christ.

Church Picnic – Sunday, April 14th: Grab your lunch and come join us for an all-church picnic! We will gather together at the Triangle Park outside the church building at 1:00pm, then walk over to Tai Da Lake to enjoy food and fellowship.

Good Friday Tenebrae Service – April 19th, 7:00-8:30pm: In the Easter season, the Tenebrae (TEN-uh-bray) service recreates the emotional aspects of the passion story. '“Tenebrae” is Latin for “darkness,” and the somber tone of the service emphasizes the darkness of the crucifixion. There will be orchestral music, readings from the crucifixion story, the lighting and extinguishing of candles, and the return of the Christ candle at the end looking forward to his resurrection. There will also be cross-nailing and the Lord’s Supper.

Spotlight on Service: Did you know that each Sunday at FPC, church service takes an average of 28 individual acts of service? We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the 72 individuals who served FPC during a Sunday service or special event in March. If you would like to join our team of volunteers, please email deacons@friendshiptaipei.com.

From the Desk of Pastor Peter

Peter Brown

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Recently, I was going through the book of John for my personal devotions (“quiet times”), and I came across John 19. It begins with Pilate flogging Jesus just to satisfy the crowd, without having pronounced any judgment upon him. Soon after, however, Pilate proclaims that Jesus is innocent. But the crowd cries, "Crucify him, crucify him!" Later in the passage, Pilate is said to have tried to find some way to release Jesus, but in the end, he makes the call to have Jesus crucified. He presents Jesus in front of the crowd and says, "Behold your King!" But the chief priests respond saying, "We have no king but Caesar."

Many people may look at this passage and point their finger at Pilate for crucifying an innocent man or point their finger at the Jews saying that they rejected Jesus. However, if we look a bit more closely at our hearts, we may realize that Pilate and the Jews are actually our representatives, carrying out the actions that we would have done, if we were present. In essence, because of our own sinful hearts, we crucified Jesus.

Someone may ask, "How did I crucify Jesus? I wasn't there. If I had been there, back then, I would not have called out for Jesus to be crucified." Well, let us think about our own lives. Is there anyone out there that you have a hard time forgiving? Jesus calls us to forgive (Matthew 18:21-22), and we know that forgiveness is a good thing. Perhaps we want to forgive, but deep in our hearts it is such a difficult thing to do. And now we are faced with the question, "Jesus has said to forgive, so do I forgive or not?" For many of us, if we were deeply hurt, then forgiveness would be a very difficult thing, and so if a person does not forgive, then the person goes against what Jesus commands and is essentially saying, "I have no king but Caesar. Crucify him."

Perhaps forgiveness is not the issue for some of us. But there are many other ways that we go against the Lord, either by failing to follow God's commands or by trying to follow God's commands for our own glory rather than God’s (like in the examples shown in Matthew 6). When we do this, we are essentially saying, through our way of living, that Jesus is not our king and that we would rather see him crucified. Because, as Jesus says in Matthew 6:24, we cannot serve two masters, i.e., two kings. We will be devoted to the one (Caesar, the world, our own desires) and despise the other (Jesus). We will not just be indifferent to the other, we will actively hate him. We will call for his death.

All of us have sinned against the Lord. Every person is guilty of sin. But Jesus, the only one who was truly innocent willingly took our place to receive the punishment that we deserve. He was willing to die on the cross for our sins even when we were crying out, "Crucify him." The good news is that not only did he die, but he also rose again from the dead, conquering sin and death, so that now if you put your faith in Jesus Christ, not only does he forgive us our sins against him, but he also changes our hearts so that we will want to obey him. For this, I am extremely thankful and filled with joy.

During this month, let us take time to reflect on what Christ has accomplished. Let us reflect on how he lived a perfect, innocent life, how he died on the cross for our sins, how he rose again from the dead conquering sin and death, and finally how he gives us a changed heart and the ability to obey and follow him.

5 Questions with...Jim Lee

Peter Brown

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1. How did you first get involved with Friendship Presbyterian?  I grew up in Taiwan, went to the States to complete graduate studies, and then worked in the pharmaceutical industry. I used to attend English-speaking churches when I was in the States. So, I felt more comfortable attending FPC after I retired from the States back to Taiwan.

2. What do you do Monday through Saturday? Since I am a retiree, I try to build a habit of doing three things every day to keep myself active—study the Bible and pray; go jogging; and learn to play the piano.

3. What is something people might be surprised to know about you? I am not athletic, but I still enjoy physical exercises such as jogging, biking, swimming, skiing, playing tennis, and golf.

4. What do you find most challenging about being a Christian today? Christians today are facing many barriers—social, cultural, racial, political, and religious barriers. I believe Christians are called to build bridges across these barriers even though it is not easy.

5. What is one of your favorite books of the Bible? Ephesians, especially chapter 1. I like to read Ephesians when I am down because it is so encouraging and uplifting.