Current Status of the Divine Work in the UK
As the year 2017 marks the centenary of the True Jesus Church, the 11th UKGA Board set a three-year (2017–19) theme of “Defending the Truth, Saving Souls” for all local churches in the UK in early January. This is to encourage the UK brethren to stand up for the Truth and spread the good news to save more souls in the end times.
Pastoral and Evangelical Work
Each local church held evangelical services with the theme “Family” between April and May, and organised their annual spiritual convocations separately at different times throughout the year. The convocations were held with the common theme of “Increase the Nation, Expand the Borders”.
Centenary Thanksgiving Hymnal Fellowships were held in the UK by region - Central Region (30 April), Northern Region (22 May) and Southern Region (2 July). Through hymnal presentations, testimonies and messages, the younger generation born here were able to learn more about the True Jesus Church and her history in the UK. We were also reminded to move forward for the sake of Christ.
The national fellowships held this year included Brothers Fellowship (with 85 participants), Evergreen Fellowship (with 150 participants) and Sisters Fellowship (with 225 and 86 participants on the first and second day respectively).
During the summer holidays, the National Student Spiritual Convocation was held in London and Leicester with 105 students attending. Apart from the UKGA preachers, two younger deacons from Newcastle Church were assigned to give lectures for the first time this year. 48 RE teachers also grasped the opportunity to receive training at Sunderland Church, assisted by Sis Patricia Chen from the USGA.
Manchester Place of Worship held a Thanksgiving Service on 29 May for their acquisition of a church premises. There were over 70 brethren attending, including those from other parts of the UK. Birmingham Place of Worship also held a Thanksgiving Service on 16 and 17 July for their new church building, attended by around 85 brethren. May God guide the divine work of both places of worship so that they can greatly develop and establish churches there in the near future.
We thank God for His love and grace that a number of training courses held this year was attended by a record number of participants.
(a) The Africa Ministry Training Course was held at London Church. The lecturers were Pr Derren Liang, Pr HH Ko, Pr FF Chong and Pr TK Chin. Apart from the 40 UK brethren, there were brothers and sisters from the US & Canada (31), Europe (6), Korea (1) and Malaysia (1) attending.
(b) The National Adult Theological Training Course was held in 2 separate classes at Newcastle Church. The lecturers were Pr Steve Hwang (IA) and Pr FF Chong. The total number of participants were 129.
(c) The Sisters Fellowship Co-ordinator Training was held for the first time at Gifford Park Church. It was led by Pr FF Chong and Dn Silas Chan. The number of participants was 34.
(d) The National Youth Ministry Training was held in Newcastle. It was led by Pr Steven Shek and Pr Johnny Liu. There were 71 youths attending the seminar this year.
(e) The Literary Ministry Seminar was held in Leicester. Two workshops were organised - English Writing and Proofreading. There were 12 members attending, including one from Paris.
(f) The Youth Theological Training Course was held at Newcastle Church and Gifford Park Church. Lectures were given over the three-week course by Pr Tony Kuo (IA) and the UKGA preachers. The number of participants was 84, including youths from abroad.
After receiving online training provided by the IA Department of Literary Ministry (DLM), the UKGA DLM organised website training for the Website Working Team members of the local churches in April. The design of the new UKGA website and local church website is now at its final stage. It will hopefully go live in the near future.
At the end of 2016, the UKGA Hymnbook Editing Team completed the revision of the English hymnbook. Their task was to connect the English hymnbook with the Chinese one - in particular, focusing on a clear presentation of the church’s basic beliefs and doctrines in addition to considering the English lyrical quality. A UKGA version of the English hymnbook was put into use across the UK from early July 2017.
By God’s mercy and guidance, the UKGA workers have many opportunities to assist in overseas ministry, including provision of full-time worker training in Nigeria, pastoral and evangelical ministry and training in Malawi and Zambia, pastoral visits to Russia and South Africa, assistance in spiritual convocations and training in France and Germany as well as the Friday evening services with the brethren in Mauritania through the Internet.
As the Scriptures say, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few” (Lk 10:2a). May God move the hearts of more brethren to dedicate themselves to participating in full-time ministry. Amen.
1. National Sisters Fellowship
2. National Evergreen Fellowship
3. Centenary Thanksgiving Hymnal Fellowship (Scotland)