On April 26, 2023, CCC&TSPM and East China Theological Seminary jointly conducted a series of the World Reading Day 2023 events under the theme of “Telling the Grace by Books -- Reading Makes You Better”.
In the morning, all faculty members and students of East China Theological Seminary gathered in the lecture theatre. Rev. Xie Bingguo, the president of the seminary, officiated the opening ceremony. Rev. Shan Weixiang, Vice President and General Secretary of CCC, gave a lecture titled “Pastors and Reading”. With amiable and witty words, Rev. Shan shared his understanding and experience of why pastors should read and how to read, and talked about the significance of reading from the perspective of Christians. He also reminded future pastors of keeping the habit of quiet reading in this fast-paced internet age, and encouraged all to get alone with God and with books, so as to become one-of-a-kind persons.
After the lecture, on behalf of CCC&TSPM, Rev. Shan donated the Bibles that were delicately designed for the book fair to East China Theological Seminary. Students then went to the seminary’s auditorium, where over 150 kinds of books were exhibited and provided by CCC&TSPM. Most of the books were the publications of CCC&TSPM in recent years, including Bibles, devotionals, and series of books on the Indigenization and Contextualization of Christianity in China.
In the afternoon, there was a launch ceremony for the Trilingual New Testament in Chinese, Hebrew and English at the book fair. The host Ms. Zhang Weijing from CCC&TSPM introduced the characteristics of this new edition of Bible and its significance to studying the Bible for students. Rev. Shan Weixiang and Rev. Xie Bingguo unveiled the new book together. Teacher Zhou Yongci from the seminary directed the holy choir to perform the hymn Blessing.
Afterwards, a book signing took place in a pleasant atmosphere. Readers bought books and stood in a long line, delightfully waiting for the signatures of the two prolific writers Rev. Shan Weixiang and Rev. Xie Bingguo. Fellow worker Zhang Wenjing and Rev. Chen Guizhao moderated the reading salon together. Interviewed by the hosts, Rev. Shan and Rev. Xie vividly shared their experience of composing and the stories behind their books. At last, the two pastors encouraged students to remain faithful to the call of God as diligent thinkers, earnest readers, audacious writers, as well as the servants with “interesting souls”.
There were nine fellow workers and students who respectively recommended the publications from CCC&TSPM and shared their book reviews. Following the book sharing session, a quiz that revolved around the Christian books published by CCC&TSPM allowed the participants to expand their knowledge with increased reading interest. They also received exquisite books and cultural gifts from CCC&TSPM.
In her summary speech, Ms. Chen Hongli, the leader of the publication team of CCC&TSPM, extended gratitude to the support from the joint organizer, the conscientiousness and active engagement of all participants.
At last, Rev. Shan and Rev. Xie blessed and gave thanks to each other. They both expressed the willingness to strengthen the exchange between CCC&TSPM and East China Theological Seminary. “Read in good books, and live out good lives.” The World Reading Day 2023 event was ended successfully.
Translated and edited by Bei Feng.