2017年 03月 21日
Japan Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Committee. Photo by Sendai-Taitomi baptist church'es Sunday worship on March 13.
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2014年 12月 31日
Central Committee for the World Council of Churches
“Statement towards a Nuclear-free World”
Even before the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, the Japanese Convention had declared to aim for a “non-nuclear, and non-military” society. This was declared in our 2008 periodic general meeting, in apprehension of the nuclear administration. Furthermore, the United Church of Christ in Japan adopted the “Declaration of the United Church of Christ in Japan against the Japanese Government’s Nuclear Policy” in 1987, showing the church’s stance that criticizes nuclear power generation to be strongly connected to nuclear weapons. The Catholic Justice and Peace Council also expressed their criticism. In a leaflet they printed in 2010, it was declared, “Nuclear power generation is not the answer to global warming! It will be catastrophic to the life and environment of this earth”. However the nuclear power disaster occurred despite these prior prophecy-like warnings. After the disaster, many denominations have raised their voices against nuclear power. On the 7th of July, t World Council of Churches central committee declared the “Statement towards a Nuclear-free World”. Now the churches of Christ through out the world are in faith, starting to raise their voices against nuclear power and nuclear weapons.
Furthermore, the Great East Japan Earthquake Support Team is taking action. We have been providing health examinations by doctors. We have lead recuperation programs, and have supported the moving process of households. We also have continued to monitor the radiation and have been working on “decontamination”. We must continue this long-term support.
The resumption of the nuclear power plants is being discussed. During this time, we need churches to understand this reality. We need more voices to be raised and need a continuation of prayers. We have published the faith driven and practical proposal. I encourage you to read the “Statement towards a Nuclear-free World”. The Japanese translation is uploaded on the Japanese Baptist Convention homepage.
Central Committee of the World Council of Churches, “Statement towards a Nuclear-free World”(D. Macintosh, Naoya Kawakami)
God is a generous Creator, calling life into being from atoms and molecules and endowing creation with life in abundance. To split the atom into deadly, unnatural elements already gives cause for serious ethical and theological reflection. To use the energy of the atom in ways that threaten and destroy life is a sinful misuse of God’s creation.
We are called to live in ways that protect life instead of putting it at risk – neither living fearfully, defended by nuclear weapons, nor living wastefully, dependent on nuclear energy. We are invited to build communities and economies in harmony with God’s manifold gifts and promises of life.
In the 1990s, when the Sahtu-Dene people of northern Canada learned that uranium from their lands had been used in the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, they sent a delegation of elders to Japan to apologize. We too have such a witness: to judge armaments and energy use by their effects on people and on God’s creation; to confess that our desires for material comfort and convenience insulates us from concern for the source and quantity of the energy we consume; to abandon all support for retaining nuclear weapons and refuse to accept that the mass destruction of other peoples can be a legitimate form of protection for ourselves. (Will be continued in the next issue.)
The Continuing Aid Work in the Devastated Areas.
The local support teams are continuing their visitations of people living in contemporary housing and visitations to local residents.
•Otsukacho city aid
•Kozuchi temporary housing #4 aid
•Kozuchi temporary housing#7 aid
•Ishinomaki city Motourayashiki aid
•Ishinomaki city Oshika peninsula
•Koriyama city Midorigaoka temporary housing aid
•Fukushima Shinobudai temporary housing aid
In August a DVD introducing the aid work that is carried out was made. We sent the DVD to churches through out Japan. Even now, we want more people to know about and to join the aid work that is being carried out. The DVD explains the aid work that is taking place in the places listed above.
Goal for 2014 Donations: 14mill Yen
Total Donations up to September: 5mill440thousand yen 8mill560thousand Yen to go!!!
Donators during August and September
Nara, Fukuma, Ijyuin Saba, Chofu, Nakano, Hirao, Yuko Kubo, Seinangakuin High School Student Society, Kansai Reimei, Utsunomiya, Omiya, Oita, Keisen, Sasebo, Hitachi, Nakano, Shionsan, Chofu, Takasu, Nankodai, Ainoura Hikari, Koga, Omura Koga Shima, Kagoshima, Akazuka, Ainosono Nursery
2014 Activity Plan (estimate for 2014)
(Donations will be used for the activities below)
•Support for Aid work in North East Japan
•Support for Tono Volunteer Center Aid work
•Work toward Nuclear Issues – Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant victims
•Activity fees for the support team
2014年 10月 13日
To all the churches through out Japan, thank you for your daily support through prayers and offerings. In North East Japan the hot summer has passed, and the people living in the temporary housing estates finally have some cool weather. The churches in North East Japan are planning to receive many student volunteers this summer from universities such as Seinan Gakuin. Please pray that each program will be protected and that each will be a place of new meetings and good work. In this issue we would like to focus on Fukushima Asahicho Church’s kindergarten, supported through the donations given to the convention’s donations. We will also focus on the aid work carried out by Yamagata Church, situated in a prefecture on the coast of the Sea of Japan.
Fukushima Asahicho Christ Church Report Thank you for your support and prayers. After the earthquake, many children and their parents left the kindergarten and church. However in 2014, we were able to build a home for the pastor in the church premises. The past 3 years, we have received many volunteers from all over Japan and from abroad. We are building a space of rest and healing for those many volunteers, and of course for those that are made to suddenly return to Fukushima. Currently at our church, we have 50 kindergarteners and students. The kindergarteners of Fukushima Kohitsuji Kindergarten were not able to play outside, but now that the school court has been decontaminated, the children are able to play outside for 30 minutes everyday. This decontamination of the area must be done repeatedly. (However, we must be weary not to touch any fallen leaves or flowers. What is more, the trees in the school garden such as the apricot trees, persimmon trees, and Yuzu trees had to be cut down.)
Since last year, through the support of the Japanese Baptist Convention, we have been able to hold two thyroid checkups for 120 people in the community. Many parents who have yet to test for thyroid cancer themselves are very thankful for the checkups provided by the church. What is troubling is the increasing emotional fatigue that adults are experiencing after the earthquake and devastation. Some parents are unable to pick up their children until late at night because they are often held up after hours at their works because of the lack of workers. There is an increase in parents that are experiencing fatigue. On top of the fatigue they experience, many show signs of health deterioration and depression. The parents not only have to worry about themselves about about their children and about the people around them. Furthermore, there has been an increase in junior and high school children with asthma, rickets, and bone injuries. Through the support of the Baptist Convention, we have recreational programs for children of different age ranges during the spring, summer, and winter holidays. This program allows children to go outside and play in a safe environment. Here the children can take deep breathes in the outside air. In truth, we want to hold more long-term programs for the children. We thank you all for the support you provide from your distant places. Also, three times a year, we take the church children to visit two different temporary housing estates where other children live. There the children sing worship songs for the residents, and also help to invite the residents to other church activities. The children from church share the hope of Jesus to children of their own age. Several parents, who have to work far away from home, shed tears as they saw the children playing together. We truly feel that the church is starting to become a big family. We ask that you continue to support us. Fukushima Asahicho Christ Church Nobuko Kokubo
Aid Work by Sendai Church – Logistical Support
After the Great East Japan Earthquake, though Yamagata prefecture experienced black outs and water shortages, it did not experience any direct damage. For two years and three months until March 2013, Yamagata church had no pastor. Therefore, we could only carry out short-term aid such as providing rice, blankets, and making sewing kits for the victims of the earthquake. Despite our limitations, thanks to a church member that is a pharmacist, our church has been able to make hand creams to send to the people in the devastated areas. We send the hand creams to the churches in the devastated so that it can be handed out to the people in the community. The hand creams are gentler than the creams that are often sold in the stores, and are very popular. After receiving a pastor for our church, we have made stronger connections with the convention, and with the vice-chair of the Great East Japan Earthquake Support, pastor Chikayo Kaneko (Currently pastor of Koriyama Kosumosu Dori Christ Church). We are also in close contact with pastor Makoto Osuka and Ayako Osuka, and have been supporting the aid work at Otsuchi-cho, Iwate Prefecture.
Flower pressing at the Temporary housing estates in Kozuchi, Otsuchi-cho
2014年 10月 13日
~Great East Japan Earthquake Charity Concert~ Akatsuka Baptist Church (…)
June 7th 2014, we invited flutist Atsuko Koga and cellist Georgiy Lomakov to perform for the Great East Japan Earthquake Charity Concert. Atsuko Koga and Georgiy Lomakov are musicians based in Germany. They contacted us to see if they could conduct a charity concert at our church after reading that we were collecting donations for the Great East Japan Earthquake. Although it was raining, close to 80 people attended the Great East Japan Concert. People of all ages from near and far came to the concert. Some, after hearing that the concert was to support East Japan, went to the trouble of asking permission from their hospital to come to the concert. Many had heard of the concert through our homepage, Facebook, and our newspaper advertisements. The wonderful sounds of the flute and cello moved our hearts. The intricacy of the music and the rich sounds enveloped us and seemed to carry us to a different world. The 90 minutes flew by. We were truly very grateful. Many people joined our call, “Don’t forget 3.11!” Many joined with us to pray. We want to express our deepest gratitude to Atsuka Koga and Georgiy Lomakov. We hope that we will be able to hold events like this again. Though the work that our church does is small, we hope that we can serve the community in the best way we can. Akatsuka Church has voluntarily been taking part in the support of Great East Japanese Earthquake. Please share with us the work your church does. firstname.lastname@example.org
~ Ai Ai Project 2014 ~ Ai Ai Project, along with the prayers of women through out Japan, has continued to support North East Japan in 2014. There are churches in the North East Japan that continue to support and stay along side those that are affected by the devastation. Those in the devastated areas live in pain, unsure of their future, fearful of the nuclear power plant accident and its radiation. Many are tired from the years they have spent in the temporary housings. We hope that through our connection with the churches in the area, we can continue to walk with the Lord, spreading our prayers and blessing the people we meet. Koriyama Kosmosu Dori Church has carried out visitations to Koriyama Midori Ga Oka Temporary Housing Estate once every month. Ai Ai Project also participated in the visitations in April and July, and hopes to go in October, December, and March. Ai Ai Project also continues to support the handcraft groups held through out the temporary housing estates in the devastated areas by sending snacks and craft material. Furthermore, last year we gave a donation to the support network for migrant women in Fukushima. What is more, now that we are more aware of the networks’ activities and the prayers that are needed for the migrant women, we want to find how to show more solidarity. Requests by the Women’s Committee, and prayer requests can be found on the Home page, and will be announced through the regional alliance.
~Local Support Committee Meeting Report~ The Local Support Committee Meeting was held in Sendai church on Friday, first of August. It was an open meeting, which allowed many non- committee members to join from different churches in North East Japan. The meeting held 17 participants. Each time we hold these meetings, we are encouraged by the people from surrounding churches who show interest in the work that we do. This Local Support Committee Meeting has been held almost once every month as a way to share about the aid work carried out for the victims of the earthquake and nuclear accident. It is also a time for participants of the meeting to think together, to learn from the Bible together, and to support each other. It is impossible to express how much the conversations during the committee meetings have encouraged us these past 3 years. I believe that this meeting also serves as a way for different aid workers to support each other. It is easy for only the actual “work” of the aid work to be noticed, but I was reminded that behind that “work” there is a lot of thought exchange, prayer, and communication that has continually taken place, which paves way for the aid work to take place. I thank God for his guidance. The Local Support Committee has produced a DVD, “Local Support Committee Activities DVD Vol.1”, to introduce the different aid work that is being carried out. This DVD has been sent out to all churches throughout Japan. Please take a look at the DVD and please continue to support our work. We are greatly thankful for your prayers and support. Committee Head, Makoto Kanamaru
The Great East Japan Earthquake Aid Committee Team Report I joined the World Development Conference, hosted by the Baptist World Aid, one of the Great East Japan Aid Committee Team’s greatest supporters. The conference was held on the 5th and 6th of July in Izmir Turkey, and I was able to represent the Aid Committee Team of the Japan Baptist Convention, and present our case study report. At this conference, Baptist individuals working for human rights and individuals working in devastated areas gathered from around the world to learn from each other. I spoke about the long-term aid carried out at the devastated areas of the great east Japanese earthquake. For long term aid, there is a need for 1) the concept of “mission” to come together with “aid”, 2) the church not to do everything but to be the bridge that connects the local people to organizations and groups specialized in the field of work that is needed for the people, and 3) the church to be a place of comfort for those who were not able to receive the aid that the organizations and groups provide. These three points were based on what was discussed during the “Theology Forum 2, Post Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Accident Missions”. I used these three points as the foundation of how the church should support the areas affected by the nuclear disaster on a long term scale. I also spoke of how the church should be critical of the nuclear power administration. Furthermore, as presented in the World Church Conference in July this year, I spoke of how we hoped that the Baptist World Alliance would declare an anti-nuclear stance. I think it was significant that there was a presentation on Japan’s exportation of nuclear power and weapons to Turkey. What is more, I was able to gain the support from many participants. Lastly, during the evening prayer meeting, we were able to share our prayers with Baptists from all over the world to remember the Great Each Japan Earthquake, and not to forget about it.
Target for 2014 Fundraising: 14mill Yen Current amount donnated (July 31, 2014): 4mill330thousand Yen
We have received donations from the following 72 people /organizations: Isahaya Ch, Ito Ch, Koga Ch, Tsukushino Futsukaichi Ch, Yokodai Ch, Omiya Ch, Kasumigaoka Ch, Mojiko Ch, Kobe Ikawa Ch, Tokyo Kita Ch, Fukuoka Josei Ch, Kochi Isezaki Ch, Fujisawa Ch, Kurigasawa Ch, Nara Ch, Higashi Osaka Ch, Seinan Gakuin Junior/High Sch, Chofu Ch, Goro and Fumiko Amano, Yuko Kubo, Takamatsu Tokiwacho Ch, Nakano Ch, Saga Ch, Kagoshima Ch, Koga Ch, Fujimino Ch, Nakano Ch, Keisei Ch, Tokyo Kita Ch, Seinan Gakuin, Akatsuka Ch, Chofu Ch, Norio Samejima, Yahata Ch, Kagoshima Ch, Koga Ch, Ainoura Hikari Ch, Hakodate Mihara Ch, Omura Kogashima Ch, Hirao Ch, National Partners of Pastors Group, Megumi Ch, Kansai Reimei Ch, Osaka Block Women’s Committee, Chofu Church, Yuko Kubo, Mitaka Ch, Atsuko Koga, Georgiy Lomakov, Hitachi Ch, Mejiro Gaoka Ch, Meinohama Ch, Takayasu Tadasa, Masako Kamei, Koga Ch, Shuhei Nishin – Nishino Guitar School, Takasuka Ch, Kagoshima Ch, Goro and Fumiko Amano, Foundation for Cooperative Community Creation, Hiroshima Nishi Ch, Seinan Gakuin University Choir, Nakano Ch, Ichikawa Yahata Ch, Nakano Ch, Tokyo Region Alliance One Day Kohitsuji Group, Chofu Ch, Marukame Jotocho Ch, OS Company, Nogata Ch, Ainoura Hikari Ch, Koga Ch, Otaru Ch, Kagoshima Ch.