Happenings, News

Bishop leads team to meet top church leaders in China

SHANGHAI – Bishop Dr Robert Solomon led a five-member delegation to Shanghai and Suzhou recently to meet officials of the State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) as well as leaders of the China Christian Council/ ree-Self Patriotic Movement (CCC/TSPM) and other Chinese church leaders.

The visitors were warmly received by Elder Fu Xianwei, Chairman of the National Committee of TSPM, on the morning of April 8, 2011.

With the Bishop were the Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung, President of the Chinese Annual Conference; the Rev Lawrence Chua, Executive Director of the Methodist Missions Society (MMS); the Rev Tan Cheok Kian, Missionary Pastor and MMS Country Coordinator (East Asia); and Col (Retd) Quek Koh Eng.

Elder Fu briefed them on theological education, personnel training, Bible publication and social service work of the Church in China.

Thanking The Methodist Church in Singapore’s long-term support for the Church in China, he said: “ The CCC/TSPM and the churches in Singapore have been close friends for a long time. “ The Church in China is now at the Post-denominational period. All the churches now observe the Holy Communion service and there are no denominations in China. However, some churches still keep their own traditional liturgy and forms.”

He said through such visits and exchanges, the churches in the two countries could learn from one another and share experiences.

Bishop Dr Solomon extended his gratitude for the hospitality he and his delegation received. He briefed his hosts on the development of The Methodist Church in Singapore, and shared the challenges they met from the cultural perspective.

He pledged his support for the church ministries in China, and said he believed that the two sides would have more cooperation in the future.

While in Suzhou, the Bishop and his team also visited Suzhou University, originally a Methodist university, and St John’s Chapel, a former Methodist church. – Christianity in China (www.ccctspm.org)

Bishop’s book snapped up
Meanwhile, 5,000 copies of the book, Life is a Race, have reportedly been sold out in China. The book is the Chinese translation of The Race, written in English by the Bishop.

It is the first Chinese translation of a book written by a Singaporean author to be published by the CCC/TSPM for distribution in China.

According to Mr Kua Wee Seng, United Bible Societies China Partnership Coordinator, whose office helped arrange for the Bishop’s book to be published by CCC/TSPM, Life is a Race was very well-received by the Chinese readers.

He said that about 800 copies were snapped up after the Bishop’s preaching at the Sunday worship service at Shanghai Community Church on April 10. A long queue of people lined up for the Bishop to sign the books they had purchased. is was unprecedented in the church.

Mr Kua, who accompanied the Bishop on his visit to Shanghai, said 300 copies were sold after the Bishop’s preaching on April 8 at the young people’s service in Shanghai Muen Church, formerly known as Moore Memorial Church, a Methodist institution.

An initial print run of 5,000 copies has sold out, and the CCC/TSPM is planning to go for a second print run of 5,000 copies later this year. The rapid sale of the book in Shanghai is especially meaningful as most of the book was written by the Bishop during his short stay in Shanghai in 2008.


Chinese pastors visit Methodist Centre

SIX DELEGATES from the Shanghai Christian Council (SCC) and the East China eological Seminary (ECTS) visited the Methodist Centre on May 27, 2011.

They met Bishop Dr Robert Solomon and the Rev Dr Chong Chin Chung, President of the Chinese Annual Conference, and viewed the Methodist Heritage Exhibition on the third floor of the Methodist Centre.

They had been invited by the Singapore Anglican Diocese to visit Singapore to improve relations and for mutual interaction and learning.

The delegation was led by the Rev Xie Bingguo, who is the Chairman of the SCC and the President of the ECTS.

The team’s six-day stay, lasting from May 26 to 31, also covered visits to Trinity eological College and church-organised social services, as well as dialogue sessions with church leaders.

Story: Fang Ying ■ Translation: Shi Meiying