Today, I take up the role of Director of Divinity School of Chung Chi College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, with fear and trembling.
There is a tempest and downpour when I am writing this message. The weather is stormy, so is the society.
In such a stormy situation, the church still should carry out Jesus Christ’s mission and bear witness to the good news of the Kingdom of God by proclamation and action—comparing to the times with a nice weather, now it becomes all the more important for the church to carry out the mission.
The church exists for others; the divinity school exists for the church. We serve churches by training professional pastoral workers, equipping lay leaders, and fostering theological research, and thereby bringing blessings to the society (through believers as salt and light and doing justice and loving kindness) and contributing to academia (through interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration). Our divinity school will continue to carry out curriculum reformation so that our formal and informal curriculum may actualize the mission of theological education in more efficient and relevant ways. We will look for opportunities so that we will be able to serve Cantonese-, Mandarin- and English-speaking communities far and near. We will also develop research and knowledge transfer that can serve the church and society. Certainly, we need to keep on strengthening our team of faculty and developing our financial resources.
There are many upcoming challenges, but I am not alone. Today I received a lot of messages with blessings and encouragement. I thank God for all these and thank everyone for the support and prayers. I want to give thanks to God for all the board members of the Theological Council who have been supportive of our school, our teaching and research team which is full of wisdom and knowledge, our administrative and other colleagues who are excellent and passionate, our students who demonstrate various gifts and talents, our alumni who shine for God and serve God faithfully in various capacities, and all our partners and supporters in Hong Kong and all around the world.
In tempests and downpours when seas are rough and waves are roaring, we rely only on God’s piloting:
“Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Over life’s tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treach’rous shoal;
Chart and compass come from Thee;
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.”
(Edward Hopper, “Jesus, Saviour, Pilot Me,” Hymns of Universal Praise 619)
Francis Ching-Wah Yip
August 1, 2020