Lectionary Selection: John 20:1-18 or Matthew 28:1-10
Prayers for Japan:
On Easter morning, we gather in anticipation of the newness that you will bring into our lives. Like Mary Magdalene, Peter and the Beloved disciple who stood before the tomb of Jesus, it is hard for us sometimes to take our eyes off of the pain, loss and despair so prevalent in our world today. We bow our heads as we remember all those who have suffered on account of natural disasters such as the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster which happened in Japan six years ago. It is hard to believe that your newness will break forth out of such destruction. And yet, we also know that your love for this world is never ending. We see flowers blooming in the desert, and hope bursting forth out of darkness. We pray for the church in Japan. We pray for the children, young families and the elderly in Fukushima. We pray for all those who struggle for the sake of peace and righteousness. May your love renew the earth, sustain those who are weary, and strengthen communities who serve as signs of your hope in this world.
This we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Mission Stewardship Moment from Japan:
Ryoko Endo and her husband were not home that day when the tsunami carried away their three children. I cannot imagine how the Endos ever lived through such a devastating loss. But there she was before my eyes, living with a deep sense of purpose, and sustained by a community of love. I met Ryoko this past March on my visit to the port city of Ishinomaki. She showed me the wooden play structure that her husband (a carpenter) had built, and invited me into her prefab office which serves the community by bringing survivors together for fellowship. Even though the tsunami wiped out the whole neighborhood where they lived, Ryoko and her husband are bringing a new sense of meaning out of the ruins.
On March 11th this year, three representatives from Global Ministries were present for the memorial service marking the sixth anniversary of the great triple disaster in Japan. Their presence was a sign of our ongoing commitment to walk alongside survivors like Ryoko who are signs of resilience and hope.
(Prayer and Mission Moment by Jeffrey Mensendiek)
Mission Partners in Japan:
- Asian Rural Institute
- Doshisha University
- Emmaus Center
- Kobe College
- Korean Christian Church in Japan
- Miyagi Gakuin Women's University
- National Christian Council in Japan (NCCJ)
- Tohoku Gakuin University
- United Church of Christ in Japan
More information on Japan: http://www.globalministries.org/japan
Global Ministries Missionary in Japan:
Jeffrey Mensendiek is assigned to Kwansei Gakuin University, on faculty of the theology department, and a chaplain of the Center for Religious Activities. His appointment is made possible by your gifts to Disciples Mission Fund, Our Churches Wider Mission, and your special gifts.