10 November 2017, originally posted here
"A 2-degree Celsius increase in temperature will still mean the disappearance of our islands and homes, and consequently the death of our identity, language and culture," said Rev. Tafue Lusama, general secretary of the Tuvalu Christian Church, speaking at a side event organised by the World Council of Churches, Bread for the World, ActionAid, and Climate Action Now-South Asia at the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP 23) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). COP 23 is currently underway in Bonn, Germany from 6-17 November.
On August 17, three young Hong Kong student protest leaders were sent to jail with terms ranging fromsix to eight months. Nathan Law, Joshua Wong, and Alex Chow had been given community service or a suspended sentence last year for their part in the 2014 pro-democracy demonstrations known as the “Occupy/Umbrella Movement”. However, the Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen asked the Hong Kong Court of Appeal to review the earlier sentences, stating that the students’ actions in storming the government headquarters compound and inciting others to join them warranted a harsher punishment. This time the Court agreed and ordered custodial sentences for all three young men. The activists indicated they would take their cases to the Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal.Read more
I want to introduce you to some paintings by Soichi Watanabe, one of Japan’s most internationally known Christian artists. I happen to know him from thirty years ago when we met through a Bible study held at the house of a Christian professor in the city of Sendai. Watanabe’s paintings are special in many ways. First, his paintings are mostly based on biblical themes. Second, you will notice that the contours are quite simple, and there are no facial features depicted. And third, most of his paintings depict human figures who are in relationship to one another. When I first saw his artwork, I wondered why he paints in such abstract form. The expression seemed somewhat detached from real life. But now I have come to appreciate his soft tones and the detached simplicity of expression.Read more
Long-term Mission Co-Worker in Japan, Jeffrey Mensendiek, was instrumental in coordinating humanitarian relief during and in the years following the 2011 Fukushima “Triple Disaster” of tsunami, flooding, and nuclear contamination. Since then he has facilitated an exchange of Christmas cards between U.S. congregations and those of our partner church in Japan. Last year 38 UCC and Disciples churches wrote cards to 86 churches in Japan. Jeffrey’s letter to participating churches is also an invitation to any new congregations to take part this Advent season. You can find stories and current information on what is happening in Japan from Jeffrey’s blog http://jeffreyfromjapan.blogspot.com/. Those interested in participating can contact him or Global Ministries East Asia Pacific Executive, Derek Duncan (email@example.com).Read more
Responding to rising tensions and threats between the United States President and President Kim Jong-un of North Korea, the National Council of Churches in Korea on August 10, 2017 sent an "Emergency Letter To President Moon Jae-In Urging Immediate Dialogue" with North Korea in order "to independently resolve the neo-Cold War crisis in the Korean peninsula."
"We stand with our partners and the international faith community in saying this is wrong—the excessive militarization and the escalating hostility must end, before a war that is truly devastating begins."
Derek Duncan, area executive for East Asia and the Pacific
Con el reino de Dios pasa lo mismo que con un tesoro escondido en un terreno. Cuando alguien lo encuentra, lo vuelve a esconder; y después va muy alegre a vender todo lo que tiene para comprar el terreno y quedarse con el tesoro. El reino de Dios también se parece a un comerciante que compra joyas finas.”Mateo 13:44-45
Asistir al Sínodo General de la UCC y la Asamblea General del DOC este año abrió mis ojos a las similitudes que existen en la misión en todo el mundo. El llamado a la reunión desde los púlpitos y resolución tras resolución apunta al corazón del Reino de Dios. El escritor del evangelio de Mateo nos brinda una definición del Reino de Dios que resuena en lo que hacemos todos los días. Nosotros—a igual que el granjero, el comerciante, el pescador—buscamos diariamente cosas que nos proporcionan el vivir, una vida. Y cuando encontramos lo que produce la abundancia de vida, cambiamos el anclaje, para usar una terminología del Pacífico/Oceanía.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Matthew 14:13-21
Prayers for Japan:
On this Hiroshima Day, we pray for peace.
We pause to remember the devastation caused by the atomic bombs 72 years ago and the human suffering that continues to this day.
We also remember the horrific nuclear disaster in Fukushima 6 years ago. Be with the people of Fukushima and neighboring areas who still suffer.
We pray for a world that is free from the suffering caused by nuclear weapons and nuclear disasters.
Give our leaders the wisdom and the leadership that is needed for true peace in this world.
As Jesus had compassion for those who were hungry and sick, let us too have compassion. Let us also share what we have so that all are able to eat and be filled. Let us believe that with faith in God, we too can make possible what seems impossible!
Help us God so that we are not complacent with systems that leave people to suffer. Help us give voice to the injustices that exist and help bring about the peaceful world you meant for us.
Be with us and guide us,
“Let Us Pursue What Makes for Peace and for Mutual Upbuilding”
On August 13 you can join the churches in the world in celebrating the “Sunday of Prayer for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula” using the following prayer prepared by the churches of North Korea and South Korea.Read more