Thinking Anglicans

Anglicans in Japan: archbishop's statement and more

Updated again Thursday morning

The Archbishop of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai The Most Revd Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu has issued a statement via the ACNS, see A statement from the Archbishop of the Anglican Communion in Japan.

…Since the earthquake the Provincial office has worked very hard to find out about the people and the churches in Tohoku diocese. However, we could neither contact them by phone nor email. Only yesterday were we able to start to see a picture of the devastation in the affected areas. I had been most concerned that I could not contact the Bishop of Tohoku diocese [The Rt Revd John Hiromichi Kato], but on Saturday he rang me and I was able to find out more about what had happened to the churches in Sendai City.

Bp Kato explained that he himself had not been able to find out much about the other churches in the diocese of Tohoku. This was largely due to the fact that neither power supplies nor telephone lines had been restored in areas most badly hit by the tsunami. There is particular concern for two churches: Isoyama St Peter’s Church in Fukushima Prefecture and Kamaishi Shinai Church and the kindergarten in Iwate that were close to the sea. Priests have been frantically trying to confirm that their parishioners are safe. We also know that it is not only Tohoku diocese that has been affected, some churches in Kita Kanto diocese have been reported to have been damaged also…

An earlier report: Bishop of tsunami-hit diocese is safe, but uncontactable.

Tuesday update

Update 2 from the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (The Anglican Communion in Japan)

From Shinya Samuel Yawata – Secretary, PIM NSKK, based upon reports from the dioceses of Tohoku, Kita Kanto, Yokohama and Tokyo

15 March, 2011

The earthquake/tsunami affected areas include the dioceses of Tohoku and Kita Kanto, and a very small area of the Diocese of Yokohama in Chiba prefecture.

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. Its Cathedral is in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture.

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.

It was the biggest earthquake in recent history, followed by a big tsunami, and fires. Now the nuclear reactor is in danger. The death toll continues to rise and as I write this there are 3,100 or more deaths and 550,000 people are living in temporary shelters (according to [Japanese newspaper] Asahi Shimbun).

This update includes the latest information about the situation in Kita Kanto. I am still awaiting for official information from the diocese of Tohoku. There are no casualties among clergy.

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. Shimodate Anglican Church in Ibaragi prefecture also has sustained significant damage with walls and ceilings damaged. Other churches sustained cracked walls, ceilings and damage to shelves, but it is limited to minor damage.

In other areas within diocese of Tokyo and Yokohama there is no substantial damage to church buildings except broken or cracked window glass, cracks in walls and fallen shelves.

Thursday update

Pastoral Letter from Bishop John Hiromichi Kato, diocese of Tohoku via ACNS

Five days ago, on March 11 at 2:46 PM, there was a major earthquake followed by a tsunami and fires. Now we are facing potential disaster caused by the malfunction of nuclear power plant. On the day of earthquake it was snowing. Today it is expected to get colder. The tsunami and the fires it caused have made us miserable. We are now experiencing a lack of food supply. Over the past five days there have been as series of worrying aftershocks. Essential services are disrupted, particularly the phones with many people unable to recharge their cell phones. There is now a petrol shortage in the immediate area. We were simply not prepared for problems on this scale. In the central part of Sendai City there does not appear to be major damage to the buildings; it almost appears as if there is no problem, but in reality the lack of essential services—gas, electricity and water—is particularly hard for people.

What we are experiencing in our city does not compare to what we have seen in the media, particularly those areas directly impacted by the tsunami. According to the Asahi newspaper, life for the between 400,000 to 500,000 people living in temporary shelters is getting worse. The affected area is very wide and diocesan staff have not been able to visit all areas…

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JCF
JCF
9 years ago

Kyrie eleison—prayers ascending for Japan!

Father Ron Smith
9 years ago

Yet another ‘Christchurch’ Cathedral devastated by an Earthquake in Sendai, Japan. Our hearts go out to the Anglicans of Nippon Sei Ko Kai as they, too, are involved in the tragedy of loss. We pray that the people of Japan receive the same sort of international response that was available to us in New Zealand from all over the world. This is a time when we celebrate our common humanity: “In Trouble and in Joy, Help us Heavenly Father, to Trust your love, to Serve your Purpose and to Praise Your Name, Through Christ our Lord. Amen” -ACANZP Prayer Book… Read more »

Cynthia Gilliatt
Cynthia Gilliatt
9 years ago

Prayers for all. This disaster is even harder to understand than the one in NZ.

ettu
ettu
9 years ago

The world is unknowable – in 10,000 years the only certain jobs will be those of cleric/philosopher for,regardless of how much more may be known by then, the human mind will always ask “why” – a truth that the Richard Dawkins’s of the world attempt to deny and also resent.

peterpi - Peter Gross
peterpi - Peter Gross
9 years ago

Pray for the Japanese people. Pray for the rescuers. Pray for better weather. Just pray. This is looking like a Haitian-scale disaster. From what I’ve read, Simon, the press release is optimistic. Upwards of a million or more people are without shelter, water, power. And the weather is getting worse. Four commuter trains packed with passengers are just plain gone. No trace. Entire villages flattened. Because of the damage and continuing crisis at a major nuclear power complex, there is an electrical power shortage in Japan, and all of Japan is experiencing rolling blackouts. According to the Christian Science Monitor,… Read more »

JCF
JCF
9 years ago

I think it’s beginning to look like what dystopian sci fi has talked about for decades: a catastophe w/ PLANET-WIDE consequences (not that global warming didn’t appear that way—but this has been near instantaneous!) Even just locally, will significant parts of one of the mostly densely-packed nations on Earth be left uninhabitable?

This would seem to be a time for Christians to “lay one’s life down for one’s friends.” Who among us would be willing to work to put out the fires at those lethally-radioactive nuke plants?

Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
9 years ago

“Who among us would be willing to work to put out the fires at those lethally-radioactive nuke plants?”

Christian Science Monitor notwithstanding, any one of us could do so comparatively safely, just like those who are currently flying the helicopters over the plant are doing.

I’m not trying to minimise what is happening there, but stoking fear and panic is not helping.

ettu
ettu
9 years ago

I had a father who laid down his life to save others and therefore,selfishly, also recommend to your prayers the families and survivors of those who died so that others might have continued earthly life

ettu
ettu
9 years ago

Erika Baker -“any one of us could do so comparatively safely, just like those who are currently flying the helicopters over the plant are doing”. I believe the latest – as of this writing- is that the helicopters cannot safely penetrate the “hot zone” – I’m sure they would do so if it was at all possible – personally, I have never been faced with the need to enter a burning building to save someone and hope I never am but it does happen all the time and I think we should try to put ourselves in the place of… Read more »

MarkBrunson
9 years ago

I do not believe Erika was belittling anyone, ettu. Far from denigrating the risks taken by rescuers, she explicitly stated that her intention was, rather, to argue against making statements that might cause even greater fear, thus fewer volunteers for the critical work. While it is, assuredly, a dangerous situation, our emotional reactions to radioactivity and nuclear fission tends to intensify the fear irrationally. At the same time, I don’t believe JCF was – in any way – trying to drive a higher level of fear or panic, merely expressing, in a passionately felt manner, great admiration for those undertaking… Read more »

Erika Baker
Erika Baker
9 years ago

ettu
when I wrote my comment helicopters were flying over the plant.
When it became too dangerous to do so, they stopped.
That’s exactly what I was talking about. This can still turn into the worst nuclear nightmare, but there is absolutely nothing gained by talking it up beforehand.

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