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Christian Service News

Issue 34 (January 2002)

Topic : Director's Column

Fifty Years' Dedication and Commitment

Mr Ng Shui Lai

As we enter the year 2002 Hong Kong Christian Service will have been serving the Hong Kong community for five decades. In those years we grew with the people in Hong Kong, faced challenges and shared in various opportunities. Fifty years of dedication and commitment of service in Hong Kong has become a powerful testimony for our local and international Christian organizations to witness and to glorify God for His blessings on us.

Reviewing our history will certainly help to reaffirm our commitment for future years.

The Hong Kong Christian Welfare and Relief Council was a local Christian organization established in 1952. The Hong Kong Church World Service was part of the Church World Service based in New York, which began its work in Hong Kong in 1952.

In 1967, a merger between the Hong Kong Church World service and the Hong Kong Christian Welfare and Relief Council took place and the outcome was the new Hong Kong Christian Service. It then became an auxiliary agency of the Hong Kong Christian Council and in 1973 it became the Christian Council's Service Unit in its Division of Service.

In 1960, the American Friends Lei Cheng UK Friendly Centre merged with the Lutheran World Service, Hong Kong which was part of the Lutheran World Federation Department of World Service based in Geneva that began its work in Hong Kong in 1952.

In January 1976, the Lutheran World Service, Hong Kong merged with the Hong Kong Christian Service and became the service arm of the Hong Kong Christian Council.At that time, a Management Committee whose members were appointed by the Executive Committee of the Hong Kong Christian Council governed Hong Kong Christian Service.

In January 1978, the World Council of Churches' Migration Unit in Hong Kong also became an integral part of Hong Kong Christian Service.

On April 25, 1986, Hong Kong Christian Service was incorporated as a limited company under the Companies Ordinance. All members of the Executive Committee of the Hong Kong Christian Council then became members of Hong Kong Christian Service. Henceforth, a new Management Committee would be formed at each Annual General Meeting.

Hong Kong Christian Service will continue the tradition to express the Christian social concern and to serve the Hong Kong community.

Hong Kong is always faced with rapid changes . Social services must try to respond to its ever-changing needs. As a social service organization, our primary mission is to provide worthy programs and services for our society. However, we shall not focus merely on the needs of the society but to provide programs and services that reflect our values and philosophy. Our core value is to serve and not to be served; and our belief is people-centred. What we stand for compels us to reach out through holistic approaches to enhance human development and in the contribution of seeing a society that is humane and just.

We believe to affirm the dignity and uniqueness of an individual. Every single person is endowed with intrinsic values and possessed with possibilities. On this affirmation, we engage not only in the provision of services, but also in stimulating initiatives and participations among people towards building a caring community. We shall continue to move forward with this affirmation.

We are convinced that a good society is a free, democratic and caring society in that people live in peace, enjoy the fruits of their labour and are encouraged to develop their unique gifts in interdependence. For this reason, we actively seek to be along side with people in influencing the formulation of public policies and monitoring their implementation. We shall enter the next 50 years with this conviction.