Making Connections in China
CCS student Tif McNaughton and principal Maylanne Maybee are currently in Beijing as part of a United Church delegation to China. They have been connecting with Chinese Christians and creating stronger relationships between the church in China and the church in Canada.
Members of the delegation have been blogging their trip. Here are a couple of excerpts.
When you’re surrounded by a language you do not know, your options are attempting to understand, or, understanding. Looking down our row, most of us were juggling our hymnals and the bulletin, while pressing our headsets to our ears and looking up and down to match the actions of the leaders with what we were hearing. Our translator was very talented and the format of the service was fairly familiar, so this worked well. But it was also nice to experience what was going on as it is. As Justin noted, “It was interesting to feel totally lost in the language barrier and yet hear the congregation respond with Amen at various times in the prayers. Even though you couldn’t hear the content of the prayers, you felt a meaning that went beyond words.” Sometimes understanding can be that simple!
Helen Zhao, a graduate of Nanjing Union Theological Seminary who studied under Ray Whitehead, gave an impressive review of the Church’s role in Amity, which includes promoting Christian participation in social issues, facilitating the wider Chinese society to have a better understanding of Christianity, and encouraging further unity among religions and churches through dialogue and cooperation. She concluded with this Chinese saying:
If you are planning for a year, sow rice;
If you are planning for a decade, plant trees;
If you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.
The companionship of listening and learning which has been sown and taken root during our short visit as guests of the China Christian Council, will surely bear fruit for a lifetime.
Read the rest of the posts from Tif and Maylanne’s, as well as from other members of the delegation at https://chinadelegationucc.wordpress.com