Rembrandt van Rijn, The Return of the Prodigal Son
• Communion Sunday – July 14th: We will hold our monthly celebration of the Lord’s Supper during the Sunday service of July 14th. Please prepare your hearts to participate in this intimate act of recognition of our dependence on our Lord Jesus Christ.
• Newcomers Welcome Lunch – July 21st, 1:15pm-3:00pm: If you are new to FPC in the last two months, come join us for food and fellowship. 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 in Room 402 of the church building at 1:00pm on the 21st.
• Youth Ministry “Newcomer” Welcome Overnight Retreat – Aug. 23-24: Our youth ministry will hold an overnight retreat in the church building to welcome all FPC kids who will be starting the 7th-grade (or higher) this fall. A pizza dinner, worship, games, snacks, Bible study, and a tasty breakfast will all be provided. Permission slips will be available at the Sunday morning youth service and at the regular Newcomer Welcome table in the fellowship hall. One slip required per family.
• 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 67 individuals who served FPC during a Sunday Service or special event during the month of June. If you would like to join our team of volunteers, please email email@example.com.
• Youth Ministry Weekly Gatherings - Fridays, 6:30-9:30pm: Our youth ministry provides a time of worship, Bible study, fellowship, and fun. We meet every Friday, 6:30-9:30pm, at 261 Roosevelt Road, 6th floor.
• FPC Line News Group: Be sure to join our FPC LINE news group where you can get all the latest information about FPC. You will not receive 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…
Is worship on Sundays an activity that individuals participate in, or is it something that everyone participates in together (corporate worship)? Is Sunday worship a time for individuals to come before the Lord, laying down their burdens, confessing their sins, and listening to the sermon to hear God's word for that individual? Or is it a time for the congregation to come before the Lord together, laying down the needs of our church and our city, confessing the sins of our church and its need for Jesus, and hearing and responding to the preaching of God's Word as a community?
The simple answer is…yes. It is a time for both individual and corporate worship. It may be easier to understand why individual worship is important, especially in our individualistic, urban setting. It may be more difficult to understand the importance of corporate worship. David Mathis from John Piper’s Desiring God website writes about five benefits (though not limited to these five) of corporate worship. They are:
1. the experience of awakening
2. the assurance that we receive in believing in the same gospel
3. the advance that we experience in sanctification while worshiping
4. the practice of accepting another's leading
5. the accentuated joy of worshipping the Lord together
I invite you to take a look at the full article here.
In closing, let us consider this passage from the Letter to the Hebrews:
"Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."
1. How did you first get involved with Friendship Presbyterian? I came to Taiwan to pursue a master’s degree at National Taiwan University of Science & Technology. I am from Indonesia, and while I was looking for a church in Taipei, one of my friends told me about FPC. Actually, I was quite surprised to find out that there were so many Indonesians there! After that, I started to become a regular attendee and also serve as a member of the worship team.
2. What do you do Monday through Saturday? Monday through Friday, I work as an Integrated Circuit (IC) designer (it is the position of engineer, but somehow it is called “designer” for this) in a semiconductor company located in Hsinchu Science Park. Saturdays may vary, but, mostly, I just take a rest after a full week of work.
3. What is something people might be surprised to know about you? I am not sure about this, but most people I met here never think I am Indonesian. This becomes much more interesting because even other Indonesians talk to me using Chinese or English. And this has happened not only once or twice, but quite often.
4. What do you find most challenging about being a Christian today? I think the most challenging and concerning thing is the rapid growth of non-gospel-centered churches around us that make people see Christianity in a wrong way. In my opinion, this is not good for either believers or non-believers. That is why I strongly believe that a church plays an important role in providing the right teaching and community for the growth of its members.
5. What is one of your favorite books of the Bible? The Psalms, because it contains a lot of prayers and praise.
1. How did you first get involved with Friendship Presbyterian? I moved to Taiwan in the fall of 2016 from Portland, Oregon for a work opportunity. At the time, I was living in Taoyuan and had been searching for an English church near me without much luck. Eventually, I found Friendship Presbyterian through a Google search online and attended the next Sunday. As a newcomer, I found everyone was very welcoming and encouraging, so I continued to come back! I first started attending Friendship in October of 2017.
2. What do you do Monday through Saturday? I work as a kindergarten teacher at an English school. I am at school every weekday from 9-5 then continue teaching afterwards with private students. When I have free time during the evenings, I enjoy being active. I go to the gym, play sports, or do yoga. On the first Saturday of every month, I volunteer with a Christian ministry that prepares and serves meals to the needy. I enjoy decompressing on the weekends by relaxing at Daan park, reading at a cafe, or going for a meal with friends.
3. What is something people might be surprised to know about you? People are usually surprised to hear about my move to Taiwan. I chose to move here on a leap of faith without ever having been to Asia, without knowing anyone here (let alone anyone that had ever been here), and without knowing the language. There were several unknowns, but I felt that God was leading me abroad. I had the opportunity to travel more and work with children which are two of my biggest passions in life. After almost three years here, I still feel that Taiwan has been nothing but a blessing in my life.
4. What do you find most challenging about being a Christian today? I feel that many people have a negative perspective of Christianity and its followers, which can be challenging to face at times. I feel that the exclusivism of Christianity and the fact that Christians see their way as the only way makes others feel judged or unworthy. I do not want people to feel judged by me because of my beliefs.
5. What is one of your favorite books of the Bible? I have found a lot of guidance in how to live my life as a Christian from the book of James. I enjoy its many quotable passages and how they are relevant to everyday life.
• Youth Group Weekly Gatherings - Fridays, 6:30-9:30pm: Our youth ministry provides a time of worship, Bible study, fellowship, and fun. We meet every Friday, 6:30-9:30pm, at 261 Roosevelt Road, 6th floor [note—Friday, June 7th will go from 7:00pm to 9:00pm].
• FPC Line News Group: Be sure to join our FPC LINE news group where you can get all the latest information about FPC. You will not receive 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:
• Preaching Schedule for June: For the month of June, we will have four guest preachers. Pastor Peter Kim will return to the pulpit on Sunday, July 7th. The June schedule is as follows:
June 9: Vern Poythress
June 16: Pastor Peter Wang
June 23: Ken McAlpin
June 30: Asst. Pastor Peter Brown
• Vern Poythress Table Talk – Sunday, June 9th, 1:30-2:45pm: Dr. Poythress will speak on the topic of theophany (the visible appearance of God to people) and also take questions. All are welcome. Meet in room 501 of the church building.
• Monthly Prayer Group – Tuesday, June 11th, 7:30pm: FPC’s monthly prayer group, “The Engine Room,” meets regularly on the second Tuesday of each month. Accordingly, the June meeting will be held Tuesday, June 11th. 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.
• Fit Kids Club Game Night – June 29th, 5:00 – 8:00pm: Save the date for our next Fit Kids Game Night being hosted at the church building on Saturday, June 29th. This will be the last Fit Kids event hosted by our leader Jackie Z. The theme is “Bug City Mystery Party.” Children from all ages in the Children’s Ministry are invited and encouraged to bring along friends.
• Spotlight on Service: Did you know that each Sunday service at FPC takes an average of 28 individual acts of service? We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the 57 individuals who served FPC during a Sunday service or special event in the month of May. If you would like to join our team of volunteers, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
One practice that Christians should be engaged in, week in and week out, is the practice of coming to their church’s Sunday service to hear the Word of God. In a recent Sunday sermon, we looked at a passage where Jesus spoke about hearing and doing all that Jesus commanded--not just to hear, but also to do. However, many of us (myself included) have probably experienced how easy it is to hear a sermon and then forget what the sermon was about, even the very next hour.
In this month of June, we are having guest speakers throughout the whole month and I will join all of you in practicing the discipline of listening to sermons in the best way possible:
“…with a soul that is prepared, a mind that is alert, a Bible that is open, a heart that is receptive, and a life that is ready to spring into action.”
I encourage you to read some of the links below and be prepared for a wonderful month of sermons from guest speakers. (A good place to start would be link #1, an article by the President of Wheaton College, Philip Ryken, from which the quote above is taken.)
1. How did you first get involved with Friendship Presbyterian? I am from the Kingdom of Eswatini [a.k.a., Swaziland], pursuing an MSc in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at National Taipei University of Technology. A colleague, Sakhile Dlamini, referred me to FPC because he was a regular attendee at the time. I attended Sunday services, and later on I joined G2C and Bible study by John.
2. What do you do Monday through Saturday? School work!
3. What is something people might be surprised to know about you? I am allergic to seafood, and my friends say I'm missing out on most of the Taiwanese cuisine. Ha-ha-ha!
4. What do you find most challenging about being a Christian today? There are lots of false prophets nowadays who are all out with different interpretations of the gospel. As Christians we need to know the one true God and follow Him in order to survive. We also need the Holy Spirit to guide us in the Christian walk (John 16:13).
5. What is one of your favorite books of the Bible? The Gospel of John. To me, it is the basis of the gospel, and God's plan for our redemption through Jesus Christ. In John 15, Jesus Christ is proclaimed as the true vine. Jesus Christ encouraged us to remain in Him. The high priestly prayer in John 17 reveals that, in this world, we will go through tough times, but we need to hold on because Jesus Christ prayed for us.
1. How did you first get involved with Friendship Presbyterian? My first time visiting the FPC English service was back in November of 2013. I was invited by my good friend Yolanda Chang. Although this sounds like I have been attending for six years, in reality, I was traveling in and out of the country during my earlier years at FPC. I had not really committed yet, and I even spent sixteen months living in Vietnam before moving back in January of 2019. Not until a few months ago have I felt that God called me to FPC as my church in Taipei, and I have now become a member. I truly feel our church's doctrine and teachings resonate with my own beliefs about Christianity.
2. What do you do Monday through Saturday? I am a project manager in charge of sales and project development for Formosa Ha Tinh Steel in Vietnam, which is one of the primary limestone contractor/suppliers. Their parent company in Taiwan is Formosa Plastics Group, which accounts for 70% of investment. They are building the biggest steel plant in South East Asia.
I don't work on Saturday, only Monday through Friday (9am-6pm) and no overtime.
3. What is something people might be surprised to know about you? I still keep a 1996-97 Upper Deck Kobe Bryant rookie card. Yes, I am an avid sports fan and a die-hard supporter of the Lakers, Dodgers, Rams, and UCLA. I was raised in Torrance, CA, which is located in the South Bay region of Los Angeles. I have an Evangelical background. My mother church in Torrance is called EFC of South Bay, which stands for Evangelical Formosan Church (it belongs to a Taiwanese Evangelical denomination in America). Three of my mom’s older brothers are pastors.
4. What do you find most challenging about being a Christian today? As a Christian conservative, I am in line with traditional morality and gospel-centered values. This brings me up against distinct social pressures in the Taiwan of 2019, where liberal and progressive politics seem to be ascendant. I strive to reach out to my LGBT neighbors with the love of Christ, so Taiwan’s recent decision to become the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage is very distressing. It reminds me that Christ’s kingdom is “not of this world” (John 18:36).
5. What is one of your favorite books of the Bible? The Book of Psalms and the Book of Proverbs. I enjoy the Psalms, because it is a collection of prayers, hymns, and praises of our Lord. Much credit to King David as a brilliant poet! Also, Proverbs has been known as one of the Books of Wisdom. I find it fascinating. I believe David’s son, King Solomon, wrote most of it.My favorite verse is Proverbs 3:5-6.