A worship service was held to celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday in a church, China’s southeastern coastal Fujian Province.
During the service held on May 8 in Chengdong Church, Pingnan County, Pastor Wei Zhongxin, chairman of Pingnan TSPM, preached a sermon titled Perform Your Duty of Respecting Shepherd. He stated that respecting shepherds would bring blessings to the church as they are servants of God who provided pastoral care to believers. Wei said it was the 11th year of Pingnan CC&TSPM observing the special day to encourage Christians to respect, appreciate and affirm pastors who served in churches to nurture believers on behalf of Christ. He also mentioned that pastors should learn from Paul to serve others as models and enhance service equality. He declared that if pastors and believers could respect, encourage, affirm, and love each other, they would contribute to the development of the church, according to the county CC&TSPM.
On behalf of the church, Deacon Zhang Changxiang provided funds to seven pastors (one studying at school).
As the representative of the pastors in the church, Pastor Zhang Jianquan pointed out with gratitude that Good Shepherd Sunday was a day to express gratitude to all the pastors and clergy. He said the establishment of this day motivated them, warming and caring for more servants of God.
Rev. Xiang Zhirong, president of the county Christian council, made a conclusion that Good Shepherd Sunday had special significance to Pingnan churches which were poor and confront difficulties in the early stage. The churches trained many talents who finally left, as they were receiving meager salaries though serving hard in the church day and night. However, with the continuous improvement of the personnel treatment in Pingnan, the pastoral team has expanded to 26 full-time pastoral staff in the county.
On the fourth Sunday of Eastertide, Good Shepherd Sunday is also known as the World Day of Prayer for Vocations which falls on May 8 this year. On that day all churches share John 10: 14: "I’ am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me."
- Translated by Abigail Wu