As the Hong Kong Council of the Church of Christ in China (HKCCCC) marks 100 years of its mission and witness at a Thanksgiving Holy Communion service and commemorative event on 29th September, the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) extended centennial greetings and best wishes.
The centennial thanksgiving service held at the Asia World Expo was attended by more than 10,000 people, and led by Rev. Dr. Eric So, the General Secretary of HKCCCC.
“One-ness is the foundation of the Church as to the prayer of Christ in Gospel ‘that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you’, and the HKCCCC has been following the mission of Christ, keeping our unity in Christ, loving and serving our neighbours and witnessing Gospel. We are given another mission to keep our spirituality of unity and pass it down to our next generations”, said Rev. So in his message.
In a centennial greetings message to HKCCCC, the CCA General Secretary Dr. Mathews George Chunakara stated that “the occasion of this thanksgiving service and commemoration of the centenary is a time to pause and look back; to give thanks for God’s guidance and blessings, to take stock of what has been passed on to HKCCCC and then move on to higher and greater achievements for God’s glory”.
The CCA General Secretary recalled the historical past and stated, “As we try to understand and re-read the history of the formation of the HKCCCC, we cannot but be challenged to accept what has been given by God, and the efforts of many faithful servants who dedicated their lives to reach people for Jesus Christ”.
Mathews George Chunakara further added that the belief and vision of the then church leaders in China to shed the insulting label of “foreign religion” ultimately led to their conviction that a united church could contribute to China at a time when the country was facing problems from outside and civil discontent within.
“The thanksgiving service of today combined with the centennial commemoration is an invitation to take a new look with intimate and joyful gratitude to God in the on-going journey of mission and witness of the HKCCCC”, he added.
The formation of the Church of Christ in China, the forerunner of HKCCCC can be traced back to 1918 when the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in China called a meeting in Nanjing to look into the desirability of forming a union of churches. In following years, especially the May 4 Movement in 1919 and subsequent events in China aroused a great passion for nationalism, and anti-Christian feelings in China due to Christianity being suspected as a tool of cultural invasion by the imperialistic Western powers.
The prayer of commitment at the thanksgiving service affirmed to “keep the vision of unity, to witness the gospel, and to bring hope, in actions of love, righteousness and reconciliation towards the God’s people” in the years ahead.
The HKCCCC has been actively participating in the regional and global ecumenical fellowships through its membership in the Christian Conference of Asia and the World Council of Churches.