from Church Missionary Society Archives, CHg O1
transcribed by Michael Poon
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Minutes of the Joint Meeting of the House of Bishops and the Standing Committee of CHSKH
Item 5: Declaration of the Future Lines of Endeavour by the Protestant Churches in China
After much discussion it was RESOLVED THAT (l) Bishop Mao and Dr.Li Ciu-en be requested to draft the Pastoral Letter to all the members of GHSKH (2) No person can represent CHSKH or any Diocese to sign any declaration, such as, the Declaration of the Future Lines of Endeavour by the Protestant Churches in China", contrary to the Constitution and Canons and without the approval of the Standing Committee.
Minutes of the Joint Session of the House of Bishops and Standing Committee of the General Synod
Meeting was opened with prayers by Rev. H. C. Hsuan. Minutes of the last meeting (June 30) were read by the Secretary and approved.
(1) Rev. Chang Kong Nien's remaining in Shensi
Chairman reported that on account of Bishop Liu's request Rev. K. N. Chang cannot now come to the Central Office.
RESOLVED THAT Rev. K. N. Chang remains working temporarily in Shensi.
(2) The Pastoral Letter to the Church Members
Chairman requested the Secretary to read the draft. After much discussion it was felt that the Pastoral Letter was not adequate to meet the needs of the Church and it was necessary to issue a few Church Handbooks, such as, "What is Church?", "Church and Politics", "Problems of Self-Government and Self-Support", "The Calling and the Witnessing", "Problem of Church Unity", "Studies of Constitution and Canons of CHSKH", "How to study the Bible", "How to Promote Spiritual Life", "Promotion of Voluntary corkers", "Idealism and Materialism".
RESOLVED THAT (l) Dr. Li Pei-en, Rev. P. K. Lin and Bishop Shen serve on the Draft Committee and the draft be reported to the afternoon session.
(2) Two professors of CTS and Rev. P. K. Lin be requested to serve on the Church Handbook Committee.
(5) Rev. P. K. Lin and Bishop Shen requested to have the Pastoral Letter translated into English for publication in the Chinese Churchman.
(4) All members of the Church be requested to have a few minutes' intercession for the Church work and one another before daily tiffin during the coming year.
At 2p.m. Chairman asked Bishop Shen to read the draft of the Pastoral Letter. After discussion and ratification, it was passed as the following:-
THE PASTORAL LETTER (A LITERAL TRANSLATION) TO ALL MEMBERS OF CHUNG HUA SHENG KUNG HUI
We, the members of the Standing Committee and the House of Bishops, at the joint meeting held in Shanghai on July 5th, 1950 are sending you, all the members in the Lord of the whole nation, our greetings and respects!
At this joint meeting we have discussed in detail the problems of the Church in relation to this new era. Herewith are the important results of our discussions:-
(1) We consider that the Church not only cannot compromise with Imperialism, Feudalism or Bureaucratic-capitalism, but also they are fundamentally against the faith of the Church. Therefore we oppose them.
Christianity has also in the past considered that to welcome and cooperate with the powerful and the rich and to oppress the mass are against the Spirit of Christ. Christ Himself never made compromise with the powerful and the rich; records of such lessons by the Apostles are found numerous in the Bible.
(2) Christianity believes God is the Lord of all the universe. The purpose of God's love of the world by sending His Son to be born as man is to give freedom to the oppressed» Therefore we feel deeply fortunate to have the national liberation and heartily support the Common Political Platform and Freedom of Faith.
(5) In self-governing, self-support and self-propagation our Church has made some achievement. Hereafter we determine to cooperate with all the members of the Church to reach the goal of self-reliance in the shortest possible time.
(4) In the midst of the Church there are indeed few rotten members not following the purpose of the Church and against Christ. Their personal and individual behaviour cannot represent the whole Church and their sins are condemned by the Church. Therefore we hereafter should endeavour more to innoculate (sic.) the Spirit of Holiness and Universality into the Church.
(5) Hereafter our Church should on one hand positively promote the spiritual life and religious education so to enable us all to have the Christ-like personality and family, and on the other pay attention to productive labour and social service.
(6) Christ is the King of Peace! Our Church has been promoting peace and we oppose all the cruel and human-killing weapons.
(7) Finally we must strengthen our Church; we must prepare ourselves to overcome difficulties. We here recommend that all the members of our Church in China during the coming year have a few minutes' intercession before our noonday meal. Thus our united mission and burden be reminded at our meal times. For the concrete work of our Church and the more deeply understanding of our faith by the Church members, we are preparing a number of Church Handbooks to be distributed later.
Standing Committee of the General Synod
The House of Bishops
July 5th, 1950