Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japanese Anglicans respond

Statement from the Archbishop of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (The Anglican Communion in Japan) The Most Revd Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu,14 March, 2011:
"In many affected areas there are roadblocks but as for Tohoku diocese the church is planning to establish an emergency relief centre within the diocesan building. Bishop Kato will lead the efforts to respond to the crisis.

At a Provincial level I am working to establish a structure for responding to this unprecedented natural disaster as soon as possible. This will include providing relief and sourcing volunteers and funding to help with the restoration of the affected areas. I am also trying to find more accurate information about our church family and the relief efforts, and to communicate that information as quickly as possible.

What we can do right now, however, is pray. Prayer has power. I hope and request that you pray for the people who are affected, for those who have died and for their families. Pray for the people involved with the rescue efforts, and in particular pray for Tohoku and Kita Kanto dioceses and their priests and parishioners during this time of Lent.

I am grateful for all the many prayers and messages of support from throughout the world; from the Archbishop of Canterbury and other Churches."

You can read his full response here: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/news.cfm/2011/3/14/ACNS4815

There is also an update from the Nippon Sei Ko Kai this morning with many of the particulars about earthquake damage.  The Diocese of Tohoku, however, is not included because information is still unavailable due to the lack of power and telephone service. Its cathedral is located in Sendai, the town that was hardest hit by the tsunami.  "The Diocese of Tohoku covers the prefectures of Aomori, Akita, Miyagi, Yamagata, and Fukushima, and the last three have been hit hard, particularly Miyagi prefecture. Membership of diocese of Tohoku is about 1,500 people and there are 29 churches, chapels and missionary stations."

The next hardest hit, "The Diocese of Kita Kanto covers prefectures of Ibaragi, Tochigi, Gunma, and Saitama. The membership of the diocese is about 2,100 people and there are 31 churches, chapels, and missionary stations. Its Cathedral is located in Maebashi-shi, Gunma prefecture."

 The photo below is of St. Stephen's Church.  You can see that the stone on the wall behind the altar has fallen, among other things.  The article says that "St. Stephen’s Church in Mito-city, Ibaragi prefecture has lost its bell tower although not completely destroyed with a big crack in the tower, and the church building and rectory suffered substantial damage, cracked and fallen walls and ceiling."

You can read the whole report here: http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/news.cfm/2011/3/15/ACNS4817
Finally, there is an Episcopal News Service report summarizing much of this, reporting on fundraising efforts now begun throughout the church, and giving news of Young Adult Service Corps members from the Episcopal Church who have been living and working in Japan.  It includes a jaw-dropping photo of a ferry stranded on top of the building. (I'd include it here, but it specifically says it is not to be reused without permission.)  You may read it here: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79425_127531_ENG_HTM.htm
Finally, via internet news, here is some general information on donating by text message, as was possible during the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti.

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