Lectionary Selection: Luke 1:26-38
Prayers for Japan
How can this be God?
You always come to us in the form of a promise. You speak to us even when we are so vulnerable and small. You place your trust in us even when we struggle with our own doubts.
How can this be God?
That your words fill us with longed for hope. Your angel’s blessing carries us beyond ourselves. You connect us to a long list of sojourners who dared to believe the promise of your love for all.
How can this be God?
At first perplexed, Mary opened herself to listen, and finally was convinced when the angel pronounced that “the Most High will overshadow you.” Let the birth of your Savior in our midst be for us a chance to let go of the skeptical “How can this be?” and embrace the heart that says “Let it be with me.” May your will be done in and through all hearts that place their trust in you.Read more
Since its beginning, ARI has held its annual Harvest Thanksgiving Celebration, or HTC, to celebrate and give thanks to God for the harvest and for the many blessings we have. Since I arrived in March I had heard people talking about HTC in a way that implied it was important, spiritually significant, heart-warming, stressful, but overall something very near and dear to ARI, but to understand the depth of these feelings I had to be a part of its preparation myself.Read more
Lectionary Selection: Philippians 4:1-9
Prayers for Japan:
Loving God, in the midst of the long-lasting pandemic we pray for the people of the world, especially those who are most vulnerable, those who are grieving, those who have lost jobs, or hope for the future.
We pray for those who are blamed for having caught the virus or shunned because a family member has. Let us not let the spread of blaming or shaming add more suffering.
We pray for the leaders of the nations, that they will put politics aside to save lives and uphold democracy at this critical time.Read more
You are invited to share love and hope by participating in the Christmas Card Project with partner churches in Japan this year. This project was started in 2013 in response to the terrible devastation that our partners experienced after the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster of 2011. Each year, 35 to 40 UCC and Disciples of Christ churches have reached out globally through prayer by sending a Christmas card to one or two churches in northeastern Japan. This year, given the global COVID-19 pandemic, we know that churches on both sides of the Pacific are faced with unprecedented challenges. Even as we might feel overwhelmed by our own predicament, God calls us to reach out to care and connect.Read more
6 August 2020
As a wide coalition of faith-based communities from around the world, we have committed to speaking with one voice that rejects the existential threat to humanity that nuclear weapons pose. We reaffirm that the presence of even one nuclear weapon violates the core principles of our different faith traditions and threatens the unimaginable destruction of everything we hold dear. Nuclear weapons are not only a future risk, their presence here and now undermines the ethical and moral foundations of the common good. We call for your commitment to a world that is more peaceful, safe, and just—a world only possible with the elimination of nuclear weapons.Read more
This is my second year working at the J.F. Oberlin University in Tokyo, where I serve as chaplain and associate professor of Christian Studies. My family still lives four hours away in the city of Kobe. When my son graduates from high school this June the family will move to Tokyo. I am very much looking forward to all of us living together again.Read more
Every year, I take my seminar students to the Philippines as part of their course in social work at Doshisha University. For many of the students it is their first experience in a country where most of the population is poor.Read more
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)Read more
Nine years had passed since the nuclear disaster in Japan. It was a grey and dreary day as I got off the bus in front of the Fukushima High Court to meet my friend Terumi who is one of the co-representatives of the “Children’s Trial Against Radiation Exposure.”Read more