Lennon Yuan-Rung Chang elected next bishop of Taiwan

Posted Aug 5, 2019

The Rev. Lennon Yuan-Rung Chang was elected bishop of the Diocese of Taiwan on Aug. 3, 2019, at a special election convention held at St. James’ Episcopal Church, Taichung. Photo: Diocese of Taiwan.

[Episcopal Diocese of Taiwan] The Episcopal Diocese of Taiwan elected the Rev. Lennon Yuan-Rung Chang, rector of Advent Church, Taipei, as its sixth bishop on Aug. 3, 2019, at a special election convention held at St. James’ Episcopal Church, Taichung.

One of three nominees, Chang was elected on the second ballot. Nine clergy votes and 19 lay votes were necessary for election on that ballot; Chang received 11 clergy votes and 28 lay votes.

The other nominees were the Rev. Lily Ling-Ling Chang, rector of St. James’ Episcopal Church, Taichung, and Rev. Joseph Ming-Lung Wu, vicar of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Pingtung. All nominees came from within the diocese.

Chang, 64, is married to Hannah Fen-Jan Wei, with two adult daughters and two small grandchildren. He graduated in 1975 with a diploma in industrial engineering from St. John’s and St. Mary’s Institute of Technology, the predecessor of St. John’s University, Taipei, where he was also baptized in 1970. Armed with bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and later a Ph.D., he was associate professor of mathematics at St. John’s University from 1983-2016. Chang’s theological training was through the diocesan Trinity Hall Theological Program, and after ordination as deacon in 1995 and priest in 1999, he became chaplain of St. John’s University (1997-2016) and vicar, later rector, of Advent Church on the St. John’s University campus, which serves as both university chapel and parish church.

Chang is passionate about The Episcopal Church and the unique role of St. John’s University, with its Episcopal foundation and chaplaincy ministry. Leading students to Christ through the chaplaincy, nurturing them through discipleship, and leading them on short-term mission trips within Taiwan and overseas has been a blessing for the whole of the The Episcopal Church in Taiwan. He looks forward to continuing that ministry as bishop, focusing on mission and evangelization, leading the church forward in faith and witness. In his acceptance speech after the election, Chang said, “Building on the work of Bishop David J. H. Lai over the past 20 years, I will continue to go forth in the name of the Lord.” His inspiration and role model is Bishop James C. L. Wong (bishop of Taiwan, 1965-70, and founder of St. John’s University), whose motto was  “Transforming lives through the life of Christ.” Chang continued, “In the future, I will inherit Bishop James Wong’s legacy motto, to lead all of you to commit to this comprehensive mission.”

Lai retires in March 2020, and pending consent of the majority of The Episcopal Church’s bishops and standing committees, Chang will be ordained, consecrated and installed as bishop of Taiwan on Feb. 22, 2020, with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry as chief consecrator. The Diocese of Taiwan is part of The Episcopal Church’s Province 8.