March 26, 2011:Report of our first visit to the Northeastern Presbytery (PDF)

March 26, 2011:Report #4 from the Emergency Response Headquarters (ERH)

March 24, 2011: Report #3 from the Emergency Response Headquarters (ERH)

March 19, 2011: Report #3 of damage suffered in the Great East Japan Earthquake**

March 19, 2011: Notice of Reorganization to support those in the area impacted by the Great East Japan Earthquake

March 19, 2011: Great Eastern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund Offering Request

March 18, 2011: Call to prayer for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake

March 16, 2011: Emergency Response Headquarters

March 14, 2011: Report #2 of damage suffered in the Northeast Japan Pacific Coast Earthquake**

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Reformed Church in Japan Diaconal Action Committee
Emergency Response Headquarters News #9

Financial Report
We have received a total of ¥25,066,588 from sources within Japan and abroad. New gifts were received from Bread From Heaven Church (Philippines) and from Christian Ethics Movement (South Korea). Disbursements have been made to those in the disaster area as follows: emergency housing assistance to two believers (¥250,000 to one and ¥500,000 to another), assistance funds to pastors (¥100,000 to 15 each to 15 pastors) and to Higashi Sendai Church to help support their social assistance outreach (¥1,200,000) activities.

We made an emergency offering appeal because we expected to make many emergency disbursements. However, these disbursements are tentative and conservative, as the situation in the damaged areas is constantly changing. As you will see below, we have finished the assessment process, and we are more and more able to grasp the overall situation among the Reformed churches. From hereon in we are preparing to take the next step of making disbursements tailored to the individual situations of the churches.

As to the “Disaster Support Trust Funds” (noted in the #7 news release), whose purpose is limited to enable the churches to offer assistance to the neighborhood around them, each church is examining how they will use these. These funds as well as assistance for the repairs to churches will be given in accordance with the assessment report.

Report of the damages assessment committee – East Kanto Presbytery
On Wednesday, April 17 Rev. Takayuki Ashida guided Rev. Torii and Elder Fukui to make assessments among the churches of the East Kanto Presbytery. They visited and interviewed those at 5 churches 1 believer’s home.

In the region of the East Kanto Presbytery, especially in the northern and central coastal area of Ibaraki Prefecture, damage occurred just like that in the Northeast. In the Oh-arai region near Hitachinaka (the coast was hit by a 4-meter tsunami), a bridge was made impassable, and it seemed like the whole town was characterized by an eerie lack of activity. As we neared Hitachinaka Church, we saw that soil liquefaction had left many utility poles leaning and there were some neighborhoods where many homes had been severely damaged. The roads also were damaged by the liquefaction and difficult to navigate, with some areas sunken and other parts protruding upwards.

The outer wall of the Hanamigawa Church was cracked in some places, and cracks in the foundation where part had risen and another sank could also be seen. The extent could be considered light, but at Chishirodai Church you could also see these same things. At Katsutadai, Hitachinaka and Shin Urayasu there was only minor damage evident. However, the roof of the Katsutadai parsonage, and the roofs and walls of the homes of many of the believers had some damage. Also, in the only damaged church in the Eastern Presbytery, Utsunomiya Church was in a neighborhood that experienced much damage, and some of the believers also had significant damage.

As of now, we have more or less finished the assessments in the Northeast and East Kanto Presbyteries. It will be fairly easy to make damage repair estimates for the churches, but we can’t say that we are finished with assessing the situation of the believers. Especially in the Northeast Presbytery, the pastors are overwhelmed with response and follow up activities, the believers are struggling to go about daily life, and it is difficult for them to attend worship services. It will take another month and a half for the extent of all the damages to become clear. Nevertheless, after five days of assessment activity, we have been able to go to work on a detailed financial plan.

From next week, a questionnaire will be filled out at each church for individuals to report their damages. We ask for the cooperation of all the believers for this activity.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Reformed Church in Japan Diaconal Action Committee
Emergency Response Headquarters News #8

At this time we recall words that dwell in our hearts, like the poem by Genzo Mizuno, “Like the lilies of the valley that bloom at the start of each summer, God’s faithfulness never changes,” or the saying of Jüngel, “People may forget about God, but God never forgets his people.” Though the earth should shake, though we may lose sight of God, our hearts find refuge in the unchanging faithfulness of God. We pray that especially at Easter we may all turn our hearts toward the Lord who frees us from the power of darkness and the power of death! (This except was taken from an email exchange within the committee.)

1. Deepening of the collaboration among the presbyteries with the general assembly
Other than the Northeast Presbytery, all the presbyteries held their first regular assembly of the year and made new efforts to deal with supporting those victimized by the disaster (see #6 below). If time permits at the RCJ special general assembly meeting in June, the officials appointed by the presbyteries will gather with the General Assembly representatives to firm up their collaboration.

2. Volunteer recruitment
We continue to recruit volunteers who will work out of the Volunteer Center (VC) based in the Higashi Sendai Church. This recruitment will continue until the end of May. Please follow the application process and send the applications to the address below. We had limited volunteers to those over age 20, but we have changed it also to include college students.
2-13-11 Takashimadaira, Itabashi-ku, Tokyo 175-0082
Takashimadaira Kirisuto Kyoukai Rev. Shuji Toyokawa
email: cell: 090-2411-7246
Those applying as volunteers with Japan International Food for the Hungry should apply directly to them.

3. Fund raising report, etc. (encouragement from overseas)
As of April 20, a total of ¥15,368,410 in donations has been received. This amount includes gifts received from the Japanese Church in Holland, The Japanese Reformed Church in London, students and faculty of the Kosin University and Theological College, The Suraban Hosanna Church of Indonesia, the Trinity Presbyterian Church (that worked in Sendai for two years from 1982) and from an individual donor from South Korea.

It is not included in the amount above, but the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee of the CRCNA has also forwarded the amount of US$50,000 with the request that efforts be made in the wider society. Fund raising is also taking place among the churches of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North American Japan Presbytery by their Great East Japan Earthquake Support Committee.

We have also received letters of encouragement. Here is a letter we received from an orphanage in Kenya: “We residents of the orphanage are very busy with our preparations for Easter. Some of us have grown up to become carpenters and builders… We are anxious about the damage from the earthquake in Japan. That is because you and we in Kenya have been made one in the Lord. We send you the words of Romans 8:35-39. We pray that with the hope of Easter God will enable you to overcome the trial Japan is facing.”

4. Reports from the disaster area
A. From Japan International Food for the Hungry (JIFH)
We are trying to acquire refrigerators, washing machines, rice cookers, fluorescent bulbs for ceiling lights, gas ranges and other electrical appliances for those who have lost everything and are being moved into temporary housing. These don’t have to be new; used items in usable condition are also all right.

B. From the Sendai Christian Coalition [referred to as the “Sendai Christian Association in previous reports] (in regard to projects they are pursuing at this time)
• We are cooperating to lend mental care support through those offering “mourning” and grief care, etc. in collaboration with mental health care providers that work with the local Buddhist organizations in conjunction with the crematoriums.
• We are receiving volunteers to help with cleaning and refurbishing in the areas along the coast of Miyagi Prefecture hit by the tsunami.
• We are giving restoration support and providing hot meal services to people in coordination with JIFH and other locally organized groups.
• We are giving assistance to local contractors who have set up a “spa project” among those along the coast of Iwate Prefecture (a project that focuses on providing day trips to hot spring baths for the elderly living in the shelters).

5. Report of the damages assessment committee
Revs. Torii and Kando and Elder Fukui carried out visits and direct assessments from Monday April 18 through Thursday April 21, calling on 12 churches and evangelistic stations and visiting the sites of 3 damaged homes of believers.

On day one, they visited Shiroishi Evangelistic Station, the tsunami damaged home of a member of Higashi Sendai Church (in Nobiru, Higashi Matsushima City), and Ishinomaki Evangelistic Station. On day two, they visited Watari Evangelistic Station, the tsunami damaged home and also the “Rice Bread” bakery of a believer from Watari, Megumi Evangelistic Station, Kita Nakayama Evangelistic Station, and Higashi Sendai Church. On day three they visited Hachinohe Evangelistic Station, Rokunohe Evangelistic Station and Morioka Evangelistic Station. On day four they visited Sendai Canaan Church, Sendai Church and Fukushima Evangelistic Station.

The detailed report of the assessment will be presented later on in conjunction with the second fund-raising campaign, but there are two items to report now that we ask to be remembered in prayer. There were landslides in the area near Kita Nakayama Evangelistic Station, and the neighborhood continues to be vulnerable. The property the church building sits on has also shifted, and cracks have opened in the retaining wall and the foundation. Emergency measures need to be implemented right away not only to avert the danger to the building but also to avoid the threat to life. Additionally, even though some rapid measures were taken to remove sections of plaster falling off the inside walls of Sendai Church, these damaged sections are continuing to spread, and it is very worrisome to think of what might happen should aftershocks occur while people are assembled there for worship. Please pray for these two situations.

We have more or less finished the assessments in the Northeastern Presbytery region, but we on the assessment committee received great hope and encouragement ourselves as we saw the patient endurance of the pastors and believers who refuse to be defeated by the damages and who are surviving and encouraging each other. Even though we are embarrassed to think of how poor and lacking in concrete content our prayers have been up until now for the Northeastern Presbytery, we were renewed in our conviction concerning the importance of true prayer. We will be very grateful if we learn through these activities and receive direction as to how we can come together and get down to work more effectively as the church that lives together.

6. How the presbyteries are responding and organizing
[Northeastern Presbytery]
The Northeastern Presbytery has postponed its first regular meeting until July.

[East Kanto Presbytery]
The East Kanto Presbytery established an 11-member “special committee to give emergency support to churches in response to the Great East Japan earthquake” with the following membership:
Moderator Rev. Eiji Mikawa, chairperson, Evangelism Committee Chairman Rev. Yasushi Sekiguchi, secretary, Deacon Chiyoko Fujita, treasurer, Stated Clerk and Operations Committee member Rev. Hirotsugu Mochida, Education Committee member Rev. Akira Komine, GA Expanded Emergency Response Committee member Rev. Takayuki Ashida, Elder Nobuyuki Asai, Elder Akira Nakayama, Finance Committee member Elder Ken Arata, Ms. Yuko Yamaura, and CRJM missionary Rev. Ken Lee
Mandate: Give financial, material and personnel support to assist the recovery of the churches mainly in the Northeastern and East Kanto Presbytery regions that suffered damage from the Great East Japan Earthquake
Term: One year (with the possibility of extension as needed) Budget: ¥250,000

[Eastern Presbytery]
March 18 (Friday) The presbytery’s Diaconal Action Committee set up an 8-person “Emergency response office” with the following membership:
Moderator Rev. Makio Suzuki, chairperson, Evangelism Committee Chairman Rev. Yasuyoshi Kawasugi, secretary, Finance Committee Chairman Rev. Takayoshi Shiota, treasurer, Stated Clerk Rev. Noboru Kobori, Evangelism Committee member Rev. Yasushi Oba, Diaconal Action Committee Chairman Rev. Masao Kataoka, Diaconal Action Committee member Rev. Hajime Nagaishi, as yet un-named member of finance committee
Mandate: Discuss, make recommendations and carry out concrete support activities for the churches and believers and further strengthen the intimately relationship with the Northeastern Presbytery, which has been hit with the unprecedented Great East Japan Earthquake
Term: 2 years (with possibility of extension) Budget: approved in a separate action

[Central Presbytery]
The Central Presbytery set up a 5-member “emergency response office” within the Diaconal Action Committee with the following organization:
Overseer Rev. Kazuo Torii, Rev. Hajime Ninomiya, secretary, Deacon Akemi Izukura, project treasurer, Elder Akira Suzuki, Elder Shoichiro Aoyama
Mandate: Organize the issues and respond giving priority to the matters requested by the general assembly Emergency Response Headquarters
Term: not specified Budget: ¥600,000 for the office’s various expenses

[Western Presbytery]
The Western Presbytery’s standing Diaconal Action Committee already was already in place, with the following 6 members:
Rev. Saburo Nishida, chairman, Elder Yoshitaka Ohta, secretary, Deacon Yumi Takahara, committee treasurer, Elder Kazuo Kondo, project treasurer, Deacon Kensuke Ueyama, Rev. Shoichi Nezu
Mandate: Along with diaconal activities, give support grants and send groups to extend comfort to the Northeastern Presbytery
Term: one year Budget (from presbytery ministry shares): about ¥600,000

[Shikoku Presbytery]
The Shikoku Presbytery established a new Diaconal Action Committee of 5 members as follows:
Rev. Yoshikazu Makita, chairman, Rev. Hirofumi Kubo, secretary and treasurer, Elder Akira Shiba, Rev. Eiki Osada, Rev. Motonori Matsuda
Mandate: 1) Intentionally carry out diaconal activities within the presbytery
2) Grapple continuously with diaconal activities of the presbytery along making a response to the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Term: one year Budget: ¥30,000 (with the project budgets to be set in accordance with further activity)

[Translator’s note: I am not completely confident inre the pronunciation and spelling of some of the names. Please pardon me if there are errors and send me corrections.]

Principles to Guide Use of Funds Raised to Support Relief for the Disaster (April 11, 2011)

Preamble: The Reformed Church in Japan (RCJ) has already begun a fund-raising campaign for emergency relief (first campaign period is March through May 2011*). The following principles will guide how the support is carried out. We will determine at a later date in consultation with the Northeastern Presbytery and the Diaconal Action Committee the period for the next campaign and the uses of the funds raised in accordance with these principles.
(* The first campaign dates were changed to coincide with the specially called General Assembly meeting in June.)

1. Support to the Northeastern Presbytery (NEP)
The NEP was established and has continued its activities since 1983. This was only by the grace of God. Now 28 years after the establishment, many issues have been clarified. The presbytery continues its organization and activities under great duress and presently has one less congregation than at the beginning. There is also a need to find successors for home missionaries who have been working as tentmakers.
The disaster has struck this presbytery that was already facing these difficult issues. So we consider that the assistance to be given to the NEP should not simply seek to restore them to the situation they were in before it hit, but must also include planning for a new future. Also, as the restoration in the NE area will take many years, the plan that should coordinate with planning for and progress in the restoration of the region’s society is not something that can be drawn up quickly. Therefore, we will begin with a response to emergency needs, and we will adjust activities as we continually watch developments over the middle and long term.

2. Ecumenical Support and Social Support
This disaster has rained down immense damage on the very widespread Northeast Japan region. The tsunami in particular wiped away the lives of many people and destroyed many homes, and it also swept away many churches in the area. Therefore, as we wrote in the first period fundraising prospectus before, “the aid will of course be extended to the Reformed believers, but also to many other victims in those areas and to those beyond the scope of our denomination.”
In regard to disbursements during the first response period, because of the emergency nature of the early response, it will be very difficult to get detailed accounting for how the funds are used, but we have established the approximate proportion of funds that will go for support to ecumenical and general social causes at 25% of the total. And we plan to use this same measure in regard to the “support to the NEP” described above in #1 beyond July in response to the situation at that time.

I. Emergency relief support (short-term)
1. Support within the RCJ.
A. Support to victims who are believers
At this time we have already given emergency assistance to believers whose homes were destroyed or who have had to abandon them. Subsequently, we will carry out careful investigations and provide additional assistance to victims who are believers in accordance with the needs. These investigations will be carried out by members of the Emergency Response Headquarters (ERH) on site giving due respect to the privacy of those involved.
B. Support to churches and workers in “tent-making” locations
We expect that this widespread disaster will create especially difficult situations for the workers and believers who support them in places where the workers have been supporting themselves through outside work. We will provide support for the evangelistic stations and their pastors in such circumstances for a short term.
C. Support to provide worship facilities and repair damaged buildings
When it is dangerous because of damage to gather in the church buildings, we will give support to arrange for outside facilities and to make repairs rapidly.

2. Support to those outside the RCJ.
A. Ecumenical support
The damage wreaked by the tsunami was concentrated along the coastal area, and most of the groups in that area will find it very difficult to recover and rebuild on their own. At this time, the “Sendai Christian Association Emergency Support Network,” with its office in Sendai, is carrying out investigations of the whole NE region and feeling their way to give support to these churches and believers. Our General Assembly Moderator Rev. Takashi Yoshida is serving with this group. We will participate in giving ecumenical support through giving assistance from our funds raised to this group.
B. Social support
This disaster has shaken the lives of the citizenry at its foundation. If there are people related to the RCJ groups who are working to provide relief to the area society, we will give them our help, and we will send offerings to social welfare organizations that operate based on Christian principles. Among these, we will include assistance to International Food for the Hungry with whom the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee partners and also the Southern Presbyterian Mission in Japan’s Yodogawa Christian Hospital (the chairperson of evangelism there is RCJ minister Rev. Eisuke Tamura) which is providing medical assistance in Iwate Prefecture.

II. Support for evangelism and stimulation, etc. of the NEP (mid-term: limited to this period)
1. In order to get started with planning for the future, the pastors of the NEP will need healing from the serious wounds to their spirits caused by this disaster and will need to gather repeatedly to discuss how to move forward. For that reason we will give logistical support (travel, lodging and meals expenses) for NEP meetings. Additionally, when it is necessary to call pastors from other presbyteries for preaching in NEP churches and evangelistic stations, we will provide funding for their travel expenses. Fellowship not just with pastors but with others too from outside areas is also important, so we will also provide support when pastors or others are invited from other presbyteries for other kinds of meetings. Application for this assistance can be made to the GA Diaconal Action Committee through the stated clerk of each presbytery.

2. Evangelism in the NEP area will be outreach to those bearing the wounds of this disaster. Evangelistic activity is necessary everywhere in Japan, but the spreading of the Gospel is especially demanded as the mission of the churches in the disaster-hit Northeast region. So we will give support to the evangelistic activities of the churches and evangelistic stations of the NEP.

III. Support to the NEP for making and implementation of future plans (long-term)
It will take time for plans to be made for churches that must move or be rebuilt and for the future of the presbytery, so future fund-raising campaigns will be inaugurated as these plans take shape. For the time being, we will limit our fund-raising activities to phases one and two, awaiting the proposals and implementation of plans that will follow later on. As we want to make provisions for the possibilities of assistance to others and for emergencies that may yet arise, we will set some reserve funds aside also.

1. In regard to the emergency assistance described in 1.A. and 1.3. these may be provided to the NEP itself as circumstances may warrant. Additionally, there is fear that the disaster caused by the nuclear power station accident may spread to affect the churches of the Eastern and Central Presbyteries. If that should happen, we will consider additional response measures.

2. On the occasion of this disaster, various overseas churches are offering their cooperation not only for the generation of offerings, but for a variety of kinds of assistance. The (RCJ) Committee for International Ecumenism will be the place to contact to arrange implementation of the proposals of the overseas churches in accordance with the needs in Japan.

3. In order for us to carry out the fund-raising and disbursement activities in accordance with these principles, the most important thing necessary is the strengthening of the “legs and feet” of the churches all over the country. We will carry out these support activities giving due consideration to the healthy growth of the churches and evangelistic stations of the whole nation.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Reformed Church in Japan Diaconal Action Committee
Emergency Response Headquarters News #7

1. The “Support Philosophy” that was mentioned in the last news release has been finalized. It is being submitted to the Moderator and Clerks group of the Northeastern Presbytery for their review. This document will guide how we will use the funds that are received. And as the initial application of these principles, the funds received in response to the emergency appeal, the “(first phase) Appeal for Great East Japan Earthquake Emergency Offerings,” will be disbursed in the following two ways. As of April 12, the total received amounts to ¥11,183,469.

2. Initial disbursement of the “Great East Japan Earthquake Emergency Offerings”
A. We are accepting requests from believers for emergency support
We will disburse ¥500,000 to those who lost their homes as a result of the disaster. For those whose homes are in a dangerous condition and therefore can’t be used for residence at this time, we will offer ¥250,000. We will respond to requests received even after April 24, so please feel free to apply for this assistance.
B. “Emergency expenses funds” will be paid to pastors and others of the Northeastern Presbytery up to a total amount of ¥1,60,000.
We will be disbursing ¥100,000 each to the 9 pastors, 3 retired pastors and 4 missionaries. The pastors will not be asked to give accounting for how they use these funds, but they are free to use them as they encounter the needs.
C. Plan to disburse “Disaster Support Trust Funds” to the NE Presbytery churches and evangelistic stations.
Funds will be entrusted to be used freely to support those affected by the disaster. This may include funding to support the churches’ activities, to initiate activities in response to calls for help from those in the area, and support for efforts to give relief for regional damage (reports of how these funds are used will be received later). The team to evaluate the needs in the disaster area will affirm the needs, and we will send a report on the concrete activities at a later date.

3. Plan to investigate the support needs in the disaster zone
The committee to investigate the disaster zone will include Rev. Kazuo Torii, who has the experience of making a similar evaluation after the Great Hanshin Earthquake, Elder Shoichi Fukui, who is originally from the Northeast (Tohoku) Region of Japan, and Rev. Kenji Kando, himself a pastor in the NE Presbytery. They will begin their investigations on April 18, starting with the Tohoku area. They plan also to inquire in the East Kanto disaster area beginning in May. In order to make appropriate disbursement of funds, they will survey the actual situations of damage experienced by the believers and churches, and this will become the foundation of the stage two fund-raising appeal.

4. Change of terminal date for the “Great East Japan Emergency Offerings” appeal
Since there will be a special meeting of the Reformed Church in Japan General Assembly in conjunction with the mid-June Office Bearers’ Retreat, the phase one fund raising appeal termination date is being revised from the previously set June 30 to the new date of May 31. At the GA meeting, a report will be presented of the phase one offerings, and we will examine the proposal for the phase two fund-raising campaign.

5. How the presbyteries are responding
[Northeastern Presbytery]
April 11 (Monday) The Moderator and Clerks group met (the decision to postpone the presbytery annual meeting was made)
April 12 (Tuesday) The Moderator and Clerks group met with the Evangelism Committee members also present
[East Kanto Presbytery]
March 29-31 The Moderator and Clerks group traveled to southern Miyagi Prefecture and visited the Northeastern Presbytery churches. Note: also traveling with them were a representative of the Expanded Diaconal Action Committee and a representative of CRC Media Ministries (Japan’s branch of the CRCNA Back to God Ministries International)
April 12 (Tuesday) Representative from the Christian Reformed Japan Mission and the East Kanto Presbytery Evangelism Committee traveled to observe the area in Asahi City, Chiba Prefecture, which was damaged by tsunami waves.
At the first regular meeting of the presbytery (scheduled for April 16) the presbytery will examine motions from the Moderator And Clerks groups as follows:
A. Motion to establish a “special committee to give emergency support in response to the Great East Japan earthquake” (10 member committee with a one year mandate}
B. Send representatives to inquire after the welfare of the NE Presbytery
{Note: both motions were passed, but the committee was appointed of 11 members instead of 10.}

[Eastern Presbytery]
March 18 (Friday) The presbytery’s Diaconal Action Committee set up an “Emergency response office.” (Their function is to gather information about the disaster, to support efforts by Rev. Youngyeul Ma of Utsunomiya Church to deliver relief commodities to the NE, and to appeal for offerings.)
The first regular meeting of the presbytery (April 15-16) entertained the following motions from the Moderator and Clerks group:
A. Establish a “special committee to respond to the Great East Japan Earthquake” (8 members with a 2-year mandate)
B. Adopt a letter from the Eastern Presbytery to the Northeastern Presbytery churches (a pastoral letter indicating the EP’s resolve to help the NEP).
{Note: both motions passed.}

[Central Presbytery]
1. Implementation from the beginning of an offer of home stays to families who lost their housing.
2. March 21 (Monday) The presbytery Diaconal Action Committee established an “Emergency Response Office”
3. The presbytery made arrangements to offer the Suzume no Oyado facility as an emergency shelter.
4. March 21-25, the presbytery sent two pastors as ambassadors to make inquiries after the well being of the NE and to observe the situation there.
5. The churches and evangelistic stations gathered, consolidated and delivered needed commodities.
6. The Central Presbytery’s first regular meeting (April 5) passed the following motions:
A. Motion from the DAC and Moderator and Clerks group to set aside ¥600,000 from the special fund to assist with housing expenses for retired pastors to be used to cover the expenses of the Emergency Response Office
B. Motion from the Moderator and Clerks group to send a representative(s) to inquire after the welfare of the NE Presbytery (budget of ¥250,000)

[Western Presbytery]
1. April 11, (Monday) the presbytery’s Moderator and Clerks held a special “Meeting to pray for the churches and those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.” This was followed by a time of reporting and discussion about the situation in the NE (the meeting was held at Shinko Church and attended by 71 people.)
2. At their first regular meeting (April 11-Monday) the presbytery adopted the following two motions:
A. Motion presented jointly by the Moderator and Clerks group and the DAC to set aside a budget of ¥500,000 as assistance for the Great East Japan Earthquake.

B. Motion from the Moderator and Clerks group to send a group to extend comfort to the churches and evangelistic stations of the NE Presbytery.

[Shikoku Presbytery]
1. March 28-31, two missionaries from the Reformed Churches of South Africa and one pastor candidate of the presbytery visited the churches of the NE Presbytery in southern Miyagi Prefecture.
2. The presbytery passed the following two motions at their first regular meeting (April 12-13)
A. Reestablish a Diaconal Action Committee for the presbytery
B. Send a representative to inquire after the welfare of the NE Presbytery (dates to be decided).

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Emergency Response Headquarters News #6

Aftershocks are continuing in Northeast Japan. Here is what we know at this time:

[Reports of damage resulting from aftershocks]
• Sendai Church
Yoshida-sensei is all right. More damage occurred in the church, with cracks widening and sections of plaster coming loose and falling. A worker was engaged and repairs were made. We expect to hold normal morning and evening services on Sunday. An elderly member passed away from pulmonary deficiency after the last big aftershock (4/7), and the funeral will be on Monday (4/11).

• Kita Nakayama Evangelistic Station
Rev. & Mrs. Sakamoto are all right. Damage to the building worsened and they are considering whether to evacuate from the building.

• Ishinomaki Evangelistic Station
The Rev. Shiratsu family is all right. They’d been staying at the church building the past three days, but yesterday the went back to the shelter briefly, but they slept in their car. They are back at the church now.

• Watari Evangelistic Station
Rev. & Mrs. Hayashi are all right. Tiles fell from part of the parsonage roof.

[Additional reports from other areas]
• Morioka Evangelistic Station
Contact with an absentee member was established and that person is all right.

• Hanamigawa Church (Chiba Prefecture)
Cracks appeared in 7 places in the building, which is more than 30 years old.

•Utsunomiya Church (Tochigi Prefecture)
Homes of 2 members had damage to their roofs and other damage too.

[Where we go from here]
The expanded Diaconal Action Committee will gather at Shinko Church on Monday 4/11 to discuss how to provide further support. The main agenda are as follows:
1. Discuss the proposed “Support philosophy” document that the committee is drawing up
2. Discuss how to use the offerings that are coming in promptly and effectively
3. Discuss damage assessment visits to assist believers and churches
4. Other
Before this meeting, there will be a special prayer meeting convened by the Western Presbytery Moderator and Clerks to remember the believers and churches in the damaged area; all believers are invited to participate. At that time, there will be a report by those who visited the damaged area on 3/21~3/24 (Mon.~Thurs.) and a time of discussion. Also on 4/11 the Northeast Presbytery Moderator and Clerks will meet, and on the 12th they will gather with the Evangelism Committee for an expanded meeting.

[Volunteer insurance]
We have contracted for “Natural disaster volunteer insurance” offered by the Social Welfare Association for the volunteers serving at the Higashi Sendai Church from 4/8 and on. Information will be given to those who wish to participate.

April 1, 2011

To everyone in the Northeastern Presbytery

Grace and peace be with all of you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Three weeks have passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake with its epicenter in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Northeast Japan. As you have already learned from the news bulletins distributed by the General Assembly Diaconal Action Committee, only by the grace of God, virtually all the church members have been confirmed to be all right, and for this we give thanks! On the other hand, for those who have lost family or relatives or who have family or relatives who cannot be accounted for after the quake and tsunami, we can only pray from our heart that the deep comfort and help of our Lord Jesus will be given abundantly.

I feel very badly that I was powerless because of the breakdowns in communications and transportation, because of the need to give leadership not only to my own church but also to the ecumenical association where I have responsibility as well, that even though I wanted to visit all of you right away to check on your well-being, I was unable to do this. Afterward, as it was confirmed that everyone was all right, and I gave thanks with great joy.

After the passage of three weeks that seem like a nightmare, while there are some areas where people are beginning to retcover a normal life again, close by are those neighborhoods where there are people for whom the tragic realities are unchanged. In my location of Wakabayashi-ku in Sendai City, these two very different worlds stand back to back in sharp contrast. Throughout the entire Northeast region, we are living with the difficult reality of on the one hand, putting our energies into rebuilding, but also at the same time, needing to reach out helping hands to those who will lose their lives without quick assistance. And needless to say, we can’t sigh with relief that the damage from the nuclear accident at Fukushima is over either. These things make our present response activities very complicated.

In spite of this, the church all over the world is praying for our weak little Northeast Japan churches, and the brothers and sisters both here and overseas are all sending us their support and lifting us up. Immediately after the quake, beginning with the OPC, many groups came one after the other delivering needed commodities. Even though communications were cut off and things couldn’t be delivered because of fuel shortages, by the efforts of an ecumenical cooperative and the work of volunteers, things began to arrive little by little where they were needed.

Supported in this way by the love and labor and prayers of so many, we want to begin to take the next steps. Undoubtedly, the road to recovery will be a long and dangerous one. But I believe that the Lord, who walks this road of suffering with us, will certainly lead us to the “resurrection.”

“Then they will know that I the Lord have rebuild what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.” (Ezekiel 36:36)

April 1 in the year of our Lord 2011
The moderator and clerks group of the Northeastern Presbytery
Takashi Yoshida, moderator

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Emergency Response Headquarters News #5

 On April 1, General Assembly Moderator Rev. Takashi Yoshida and four members of the expanded Emergency response committee met at the Shin Urayasu Church. Among other things, they discussed clarification of the basic ideology of the response and where we go from here. We want to continue this discussion, paying careful attention to the thoughts of the Northeastern Presbytery.

Financial Report (quick report for March)
We are thankful that many of you are responding to our appeal and sending offerings for the emergency relief fund. As of the last day of March, a total of ¥3,833,467 has come in from all sources (51 offerings by groups and individuals).

There were no distributions of these funds yet in March to believers who have applied for help. As we reported in bulleting #3, headquarters ERH members went to visit the Northeast Japan area’s churches and evangelistic stations, and they distributed a total of ¥2,800,000 from the emergency help fund that is under the care of the GA Diaconal Action Committee.

Thanks and request in regard to the relief commodities
We have received word from the disaster area that, thanks to everyone’s generous cooperation, other than food, they now have a good supply of needed items. Package delivery services have been restored, and it is now possible to send things directly there by that means. So in regard to this activity, we want to alter our process as follows:

1. For now we will limit assembling of relief good to foods only (cup noodles, prepared foods, canned goods, etc.). Please pay attention to the expiration dates! And please observe the rule of packing only similar materials in one box and writing on the outside what is inside the package. It causes an extra burden for the workers on the receiving end when mixed items are placed in the same package.

2. The place to send goods has changed to the following:

Japan International Food for the Hungry
c/o Sendai YMCA
1-10 Uesugi 2-chome, Aoba-ku, Sendai-shi
postal code 980-0011
tel. 022-222-9714
(for more details, see

*** Please do not send things directly to the various churches unless specifically asked.

3. At this point, we will no longer be assembling and delivering things directly to the disaster zone. Up until now, Rev. Ma and the members of Utsunomiya Church have from the start taken this great labor upon themselves!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Report #4 from the Emergency Response Headquarters (ERH)

(The following is quoted from an email that was among those from the ERH staff.)


I think that in order to serve God and man, you have to become a “poor person” (Matt. 5:3). You can’t start with “I can do something,” or I have to do something,” or “I have something to offer.” Instead, if you have the reality-based attitude, “I don’t have anything” and “I can do nothing by myself,” you recognize that it is the Lord’s work and the door will be opened and the grace to do something will be received.


Maybe it will be merely to pick up scattered debris one piece at a time and go unrecognized while sharing the burdens of suffering and sadness. The amount of fruit that this will bear depends on the depth of its rootedness in God’s mercy. The greatest burden that it is allowed by God’s grace for the church to carry around is the cross of Jesus Christ. The Lord himself bears what we are unable to, the suffering and sadness that is beyond ourselves, and the forgiveness and new life that he gives us is the “peace of Christ” and the “mercy of God.”


As we proceed from here, is not the thing we need most a “worshipful heart”? “Speak Lord, for your servant is listening.” In the very midst of the suffering and paradoxes of the world, if we truly take our position as those who are “poor,” we will receive the blessedness of the kingdom as the Lord promised, and the road of grace will open before us.



This news release includes the following:

1. Information regarding applying for emergency support

2. Information on relief commodities for distribution

3. Report on the response to the call for volunteers

4. Attached reports (report of the visit to examine the region by members of the ERH and report on the assistance given by the Orthodox Presbytery Japan Mission)


I. Information regarding applying for emergency support


Many people has lost their places to live as a result of this disaster. The ERH will be offering individual support to Reformed Church members who have had losses like this. For those whose living places were lost in the disaster, we will make a payment of ¥500,000; to those who have had to evacuate because of the danger of their homes collapsing due to damage, we will make a payment of ¥250,000. Please contact your pastor by Sunday, 4/24. If you don’t make that deadline, we will make other arrangements. The personal information concerning those who apply for this assistance will be kept private by the ERH and not made public. Please rest assured of this. At a later date, a more detailed investigation of damages will be made, and we will offer assistance again at that time to those who do not apply for it now. Please understand that we have already made solace payments to the individual churches, but this time we are focusing on emergency assistance for the believers.


II. Information on relief commodities for distribution


We have secured a place to store relief commodities in the area, so we once again call for offering of goods. The goods which cannot be stored at the churches will be entrusted to and distributed by [Japan] International Food for the Hungry (JIFH). This activity will not be limited just to the Reformed churches, but if Reformed congregations make requests, these will be honored and assistance delivered.


The route and delivery process has been set up, so when you send goods, there is no need to advise of this beforehand. We appreciate your cooperation in this effort. Please observe the following:

1. As much as possible, please try to pack all the similar goods together in one box. Please do not mix a variety of things up in one box.

2. Please write on the outside what is in the box.

3. Please do not include used clothing or products, foodstuffs that are near or past the “use by” date, raw foods, or opened containers.

4. When we receive a request for particular items, we will advise you, but generally, the following items are useful: canned food products, prepared foods that only need reheating, cup noodles or ramen, drinking water, rice, foods for weaning babies, paper diapers, absorbitive pads, sanitary napkins, antiseptics, tissues, wet tissues, underwear, disposable hand warmers, toothbrushes, disposable chopsticks, paper plates, etc.

5. At this time it is difficult for package delivery services to make deliveries in the region, so please send packages to the following address:

a. Everyone in the East Kanto, Eastern and Central presbyteries, send things to Rev. Yong Yul Ma, Utsunomiya Church, 1256-6 Sendo, Kanuma-shi, Tochigi-ken, 322-0002, tel. 0289-63-5499.

b. Everyone in the Western and Shikoku presbyteries, send your packages to Rev. Masamitsu Hattori, West Nagoya Evangelical Free Church, 52 Okinoshima maso, Shippou-cho, Ama-shi, Aichi-ken 497-0001, tel. 052-441-1416.


III. Report on the response to the call for volunteers

At present 9 volunteers have registered to serve at Higashi Sendai Church according to the following schedule:

week of service






# of volunteers to send






Thursday, March 24, 2011

Report #3 from the Emergency Response Headquarters (ERH)

Thank you for having a time of prayer on Sunday, 3/20. Perhaps you be frustrated with a sense of helplessness, but it is by God’s grace that we have the ability to pray. It is a privilege permitted to Christ’s people, and a calling.

Members of the headquarters team visited the devastated areas on the 21st. Other than Yamagata Church, we visited all the churches in the greater Sendai area, and we passed out the first financial support of ¥200,000. We’ll report more on these details at another time. This news bulletin will focus on the present situation in regard to volunteer matters, and give information about shelters and relief commodities.

1. In regard to volunteers

a. We have drawn up regulations in regard to volunteer participation. See the attached page.

b. Through our visits to the churches, we learned that only Higashi Sendai Church, where some displaced members are taking shelter, desires the participation of volunteers right now. Since this church required immediate help, we dispatched volunteer workers in accord with the regulations.

c. Throughout the region, at ecumenical shelters and other regular shelters, we are aware that there are needs for volunteers, but the structure for this is not yet in place. We will therefore hold off on registering volunteers for a little while until the environment for sending them is arranged. However, through the agency of the Central Presbytery, volunteers are being recruited to work at the Suzume no Oyado facility; these volunteers will be recruited only among the people of the Central Presbytery.

2. In regard to receiving refugees

The decision has been made to accept refugees from the quake at the Suzume no Oyado facility. Others individuals have offered to give shelter. In this regard please send your inquiries to Rev. Nezu.

3. In regard to relief commodities

a. The needs in the region and the available ways to deliver them are evolving constantly. Please contact Rev. Minoru Yoshida in this regard (tel. 078-691-0527, fax 078-691-3950).

b. Rev. Yonyul Ma (Utsunomiya Church) has taken on the responsibility to set up a staging base to send relief commodities. He is working to refine this process with Rev. Yoshida.

c. As the ERH was being set up between the 15th and 18th some people from the Eastern Presbytery were moved to give support. We offer separately a report from them. We’ll give more details about it at a later date, but the Orthodox Presbyterian Mission also very quickly sent support. The ERH gives thanks for these private support activities done with due consideration to the needs in the damaged region. We ask that from now on, we coordinate such things beforehand.

Volunteer Regulations [for volunteers working with the Reformed Church in Japan]

1. These regulations establish procedures in regard to sending volunteers on the occasion of the Great East Japan Earthquake and include the registration process and participation.

2. The Emergency Response Headquarters of the General Assembly Diaconal Action Committee is responsible for dispatching volunteers.

3. Those who wish to serve as volunteers are required to meet the following standards in order to be able to register.

a. Volunteers from have reached the age of 20.

b. Volunteers must have the endorsement of their church’s elders (or missionary).

c. Students who agree to the volunteer regulations must have the approval of their parents or guardians.

4. Dispatched volunteers must keep in mind and observe the following:

a. Remember that they are going out as Christians to communicate the love of Christ, and pray that they will be able to do so as a practical expression of that love.

b. Remember that this activity requires initiative, sound intentions, has no financial reward, is by nature forward-looking, and requires sacrifice.

c. Be prepared to submit to the guidance of the ERH and to the on-site leaders.

d. Protect the privacy of the earthquake victims.

e. Pay attention to the Support Volunteer Manual in Times of Natural Disaster
Become acquainted with this manual and what it says about what a volunteer is and what the volunteer need to keep in mind. This manual can be located on line by doing a search on the Yahoo site for the keywords, “volunteer” or “support manual – what is a volunteer.”

5. Considering 4.b. above, the volunteer must agree to the following/

a. No compensation will be made for expenses for transportation, daily allowance, or honorarium.

b. Since all accidents (sickness, radiation exposure, traffic accidents, theft, liability for damage caused to others) will be the responsibility of the volunteer; therefore it is desirable to take out appropriate insurance.

c. Even though registered, there will not be dispatched unless there is need that the volunteer can meet in the region.

Notice to those affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake:

Offer of the Suzume no Oyado as a Refugee Shelter

Emergency Response Headquarters (ERH)
(Refugee reception agent, Shouichi Nexu)

Praise the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

The expanded Diaconal Action Committee of the Central Presbytery has considered the merits of offering the Suzume no Oyado facility as a refugee shelter to those displaced in the aftermath of the earthquake. We are very please to report the following. The facility is available as a shelter fundamentally until the end of June, and it is possible to move there during the week fo March 28.

The details are presented below. Those who wish to find shelter here should capply through your home church to Rev. Kazuo Torii (tel./fax 052-751-8360, email <>). When you apply, please inform Rev. Torii of your name, gender, age, church you belong to (families or friends of church members, give the name of the member and your relationship to him or her). When the decision is made to accept your application, the responsible person will consult directly with you.


1. Name and location:
Suzume no Oyado Christian Assembly Hall (operated by the General Assembly Suzume no Oyado Committee)
2709-41 Aza Okudo
Ooi Machi, Ena-shi
Gifu_ken 509-7201

2. Available rooms:
Tatami rooms: 8 rooms, 6 of 10-mat size, 2 rooms of 10 mats that open into each other. These will be offered as family rooms or group rooms. Maximum occupancy is 40 people.

3. Facilities:
A/C, fan heaters in each room; futon bedding and linens; group kitchen and shared bathing facility (first meal offered when you move in)

If you need clarification, please send any questions to the refugee reception agent (Rev. Nezu, 075-983-1715).

To God be the glory!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Report #3 of damage suffered in the Great East Japan Earthquake**

We give reverence to the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord of comfort and hope.

This is a revision of the “Report #2 of damage suffered in the Northeast Japan Pacific Coast Earthquake” (damage report) sent to you on March 14, with updated and corrected information about damages.

This report of damages is being sent [for distribution] by the Emergency Response Headquarters (ERH) set up by RCJ’s Diaconal Action Committee at the request of the RCJ General Assembly Stated Clerk, Rev. Yoshinobu Kazama. Please cooperate with our efforts by sending all inquiries concerning the various presbyteries (Northeastern, East Kanto, Eastern, Central) to the responsible person in that presbytery. The ERH will then compile the reports. Please refer to the previously sent “Notice of Reorganization to support those in the area impacted by the Great East Japan Earthquake” for more information.

  in the Lord,

Reformed Church in Japan
Emergency Response Headquarters

**This report #3 contains different information from that given in report #2 and should be read in conjunction with that. This report focuses more on the status of things as of 3/19/2011.]

Northeastern Presbytery

1. Sapporo Church (Rev. Kenji Kando)

No damages to report.

2. Aomori Church

The church members are all safe.

3. Hachinohe Church (Rev. Fujimoto reporting)

All members are all right. 3/11 – “We are in the midst of a power outage, and only the water is running, so we are making do with candle light. The aftershocks are quite bad, and there are more tsunamis, however our area is of high enough elevation that we are safe. Because phone calls and emails will not yet go through, we do not have information regarding damage sustained.” (reported by phone)
3/13 – “This morning the power was turned back on. We were finally able to receive news on the television. The phone lines are working again. By God’s grace we were able to hold the worship service. This morning I was able to visit our seekers and church members, and they were all safe. Due to the tsunami, mud was piled up around the city, and cars had been swept about and gathered here and there. The road along the ocean was in terrible shape.” (reported by email)

4. Rokunohe Church

All the members are all right, and there is no damage to report.

5. Morioka Church (Rev. Shoichi Kubota)

The Kubota family members are safe. The church members are all okay. The church building has no damage. However, several we haven’t been able to contact seceral inactive members who live in other areas (Ofunato, Iwaki and Sendai).

6. Ishinomaki Church (Rev. Keizo Shiratsu)

Rev. Shiratsu and his family are safe, they continue to live at the refugee shelter set up in the Hebita Elementary School. The church building is greatly damaged(from the tsunami), and we won’t be able to have worship as always on the 20th. The water came up into the church, and walls of the parsonage area collapsed. Clothing, books were mostly made unusable, and there are no utilities. The food at the shelter has been limited mostly to things like candy and chocolate, but we got one rice ball each yesterday (March 18th).

7. Sendai Church (Rev. Yoshida) (Rev. Yoshida is reporting for his church and also for the groups Sendai Church is working to build up, Sendai Eiko, Fukushima and Shiroishi Keiyaku.)

As far as we know, all the members are all right. But worship on the 20th will not be the same as always.
Sendai Church: We are abbreviating the service and having a special message. We aren’t able to celebrate communion because we can’t get the elements. We won’t have any evening service, but instead we’ll be sorting commodities for distribution, cleaning up the church, and discussing where we go from here.
Sendai Eiko: There will be an abbreviated service and an elder will give a special exhortation. Then there will be a discussion of how we will proceed.
Fukushima: Worship will be abbreviated and held by those able to gather. Candidate Kurihara will send a message by fax that will be read.
Shiroishi: Those who can gather will have a prayer meeting.
Our prayer requests:
• Pray for the members’ health and daily life to be supported
• Pray for guidance concerning the future of the churches
• Pray for wisdom for the churches to be able to discern how to be involved best in the relief activities.
The needs and outlook of the churches:
Many commodities for relief are being delivered in Sendai City, but how to use these best is an important issue for us. Next week the representatives of the Diaconal Action Committee are scheduled to meet with us and the members of the city wide pastors’ association.

8. Sendai Canaan Church (Rev. Keisuke Yoshioka)

All of the church members are okay. We plan to have the worship service as always on 3/20. On 3/13, the pastor led worship with about 20 people in attendance, including those who had taken refuge in the church.
Our prayer requests:
• Pray that the condition of the elderly will be maintained after the earthquake.
• Pray that the church will be used well after we’ve finished serving as a shelter.
The needs and condition of the church:
The church members are all well and healthy. We hope to be able to distribute commodities to those who are unable to line up at the markets. It seems like it will be 3 months before our gas is restored, so we continue to be unable to use the bath. The physical condition of the elderly and the children will be an issue. It would be a great help to be able to get an electric water heater.

9. Higashi Sendai Church (Rev. Akira Tateishi)

Life continues with members who have moved into the church for refuge. We will have a normal worship service [on Sunday].

10. Kita Nakayama Church (Rev. and Mrs. Sakamoto)

All the members are all right. We plan to have a normal worship service on the 20th.
Our prayer requests:
• Pray for the physical and spiritual health of our members.
• Pray that the seekers will come to worship with new eagerness.
• Pray that the members will rise up united for God’s glory.
• Pray that the damaged church building will hold up in the face of ongoing aftershocks. The building was built with materials imported from Canada by volunteer from the USA, and it is built more simply than normal Japan earthquake standards.
• Almost all the members come to church by car; pray that they’ll be able to get the fuel they need
• Pray that water will be restored to one of our members who runs a beauty salon. Pray that she’ll be able to reopen her business soon.
• Pray that as we go shopping with shortages of many items, we will be able to give a good testimony.
• Please pray for our church members, some of whom have family members who are still missing.

11. Sendai Megumi Church

All the people of our church are all right (9 communicant members, 4 guest members, 2 children, one seeker). We plan to have a normal worship service on the 20th.
Our prayer request: Pray for us! That is the best way to support us!
Our needs and outlook:
• On the 15th and 16th, the OPC members and volunteers from the Kanto area delivered supplies to us. We distributed these to members, some churches in Sendai and to the refugee center near the coast.
• On the 19th, another shipment from them is scheduled to arrive with more goods.
• Even though these goods arrive, we don’t have gasoline to distribute them.

12. Watari Church (Rev. Shigeo Hayashi)

Rev. and Mrs. Hayashi are okay after the earthquake. The church and kindergarten building are okay. The roof of the Hayashis’ home was damaged.

13. Yamagata Church (Rev. Kazuhiko Yaegashi)

Rev. and Mrs. Yaegashi and the members are all right. There doesn’t seem to be any damage to the building.


East Kanto Presbytery

1. Hitachinaka Church ( Rev. Kan Hon Lee)

The members and families of the church are all okay. The church building also seems to be all right. We were able to have our regular schedule of meetings on Sunday the 13th, and also our Wednesday morning Bible reading time and prayer meeting. However, there is still no water,a nd every day we have to find a place that has a well where we can get some. Like everywhere else, we have a problem getting gasoline for the car. But as we consider the great loss in the damaged places, what we are dealing with are mere inconveniences, and we’re hanging in there.

2. Inage Kaigan Church (reported by Rev. Eiji Mikawa)

The liquefaction problem has directly impacted many church members. In some places there is still no water or sewage, and port-a-potties and other public toilets must be used. Because the water pipes don’t work, people have to haul heavy containers of water. Because of the rolling power outages, those who live in high-rises have to climb many flights of stairs. All the stores have shortages of goods, and it is very difficult to buy gasoline. But everyone is hanging in there as they consider the difficulties that are being faced by those in the northeast area.
In addition to this problems of daily life, as a church, those who life a distance away and have to deal with interruptions due to power outages of train service on the Keiou Line and who don’t have adequate gasoline are unable to attend meetings. This week’s evangelistic worship had half the normal attendance, and the prayer meeting attendance was only about one third of normal. I’ve been encouraging people by email and other means not to overdo things and to attend to their daily needs first. And I remind them that even though distance may separate us and keep us from gathering, we are still one body. We are praying for the day to come when we can again gather, see each others’ faces and sing God’s praise together, but until that time, those who can gather will sing twice as loud on behalf of those who can’t be there, and they’ll pray and encourage each other. We are very grateful for your prayers.

3. Hanamigawa Church (Rev. Tasuku Ushioda)

There is no damage here.

4. Tsukuba Mikotoba Church (Rev. Masuo Miyazaki)

When the earthquake struck, we shook strongly for a long time and ran outside, but the roof tiles from the house next door came crashing down in the driveway and we we shocked at the power of the quake. Fortunately, our car was at the far side of the driveway and was undamaged. Because of the strong aftershocks that came continually, we didn’t sleep a wink that night. We were without water and worried about the church members being able to use the toilets on Sunday, but we were able to get buckets of water from our neighbor’s well. Inside, the TV crashed to the floor. Other than that, it seems like the AC system is down. Including the pastor and his wife, there was no injury among any of the members, and we have pretty much confirmed that everyone is all right. But we have to deal with things like the fearfulness members who live in high-rise apartments feel after the violent shaking they experienced and the inability to get gasoline, which members rely on in order to come to church. And we are postponing the spring mission trip planned for 3/27-28 for the presbytery young people to come and work here.

5. Chishirodai Church (Rev. Kazuo Takase)

Books in the pastor’s study and those on his wife’s bookshelf as well are dishes were strewn all over. But by the night of the 11th, we confirmed that all the church members were all right. On the 13th, all the people we contacted were in church.
We were scheduled to do the grave cleaning at Kasamori Cemetary, but that was postponed to the 27th. We had been warned by a preofessional evaluation that the Chishirodai Church building might not withstand the force of a #5 quake (on the Japanese intensity scale), but it survived this #5 all right. Aftershocks were continuing, and I and the elders agreed that if one happened during worship, we would all file outside, but there turned out to be none during the service. Right after worship, we continued with a special prayer meeting for the victims of the quake. There continued to be countless aftershocks from the 13th through the 18th. My wife had a bad cold and wasn’t able to attend worship, and in fact couldn’tget out of bed until the 17th. But according to the contact made with all the members, everyone is all right. However, they have many family members, friends and acquaintances in Fukushima, Miyagi and Iwate and they're worried about them.

6. Choshi Eiko Church (reported by Rev. Yoshinobu Kobayashi)

The church building and Moe Day Care Center and all the people connected with them have no losses. All the lifelines are fine, except it’s difficult to get gasoline.

7. Katsutadai Church(Rev. Takashi Yokota)

Other than scattered books and papers and an elevator that shut down, there is no great damage to the church building. But the roof tiles of the parsonage were a little damaged, and though we contacted a builder to work on it, he had no more plastic sheets to put over it, so if we have rain, the roof may leak. Among the members, other than some who don’t have water, everyone is pretty well. We were able to have worship on the 13th (Rev. Shin Ishimaru preached).

8. Funabashi Takane Church(Rev. Akira Komine)

There is no damage, and we even escape the planned blackouts. Maybe it’s because there are a couple of big emergency hospitals nearby.

9. Matsudo Koganehara Church(Rev. Yasushi Sekiguchi)

All the members are all right. The elevator shut down, but we’ve gotten it repaired. All the gas stations in Matsudo and Kashiwa have long lines. Hoarding is continuing. The public transportation system is also confused. Planned blackouts have yet to be implemented. I sent the following information to the members:
1. Sunday schools will be held at home, 2. We will have Sunday service, but those who need a lot of gasoline to come should just go to a church nearby (and not worry about the denomination). The audio recording of the service here will be on the Internet right away. 3. I’ll make a bulletin, and I’ll send it by email to those members that can receive it that way. 4. We’ll postpone the special collection planned for “Tohoku Evangelism.” 5. We’re canceling the church study session (on worship and prayer). Above all, let’s not overdo things. We’ll pray together and put our strength together to overcome these difficulties. We’ll pray for all those in the Northeast and Kanto areas who are in the damage zones as well as for one another. To God be the glory! (3/18/2011)

10. Kohokudai Church (Rev. Megumu Okamoto)

On the day of the quake, books tumbledoff the shelves onto the desk, the locker door flew open and stuff fell out to the floor. But there was no broken glass and the building did not sustain damage. All the church members and seekers also experienced things falling around them, but even as the aftershocks continue, everyone is all right. However, here are some who had damage to roof tiles and need to get them fixed. We’re wondering when those power interruptions are going to be implemented! There’s no gasoline, and terrible lines at any station that is open. There’s also a shortage of food and other supplies. We have not lost our water supply. Transportation systems are off. Maybe because of the gas shortage and ned for picking up, or maybe for other reasons too, worship attendance was down on the 13th and also for the prayer meeting on the 17th. We’ve canceled some meetings. There are families preparing to take in people who are fleeing from Fukushima because of the reactor problems. We are praying for those who experience great loss.

11. Misato Church (Rev. Hirotsugu Mochida)

All of the members are all right. Dishes broke and books fell, but that was about all. We have continual supplies of water and electricity. There are some members who aren’t able to get to church because of the inadequate gasoline supplies.

12. Shin Urayasu Church (Rev. Takayuki Ashida) [repeated from bulletin #2]

The neighborhood around the church has been severely affected by the liquefaction of the ground. But the church is all right. (Inage Kaigan and Shin Urayasu buildings are on land reclaimed from Tokyo Bay. The roads have been severely damaged by liquefaction, and it will be difficult for some of the members to attend the worship services.)

**(Eastern Presbytery, Central Presbytery, Shikoku Presbytery There were no reports included with this bulletin.)

March 19, 2011.

From the Vice-moderator, Rev. Ken Iwasaki, and Head Stated Clerk, Rev. Yoshinobu Kazama, of the Reformed Church in Japan (RCJ), General Ass’y Diaconal Action Committee Chairman Rev. Nobukazu Toyama

Notice of Reorganization to support those in the area impacted by the Great East Japan Earthquake

On March 15, the stated clerks and RCJ General Assembly Diaconal Action Committee (DAC) gathered along with others who had experience in the response efforts connected with the Great Hanshin Earthquake; they discussed how to respond now, and they set up an Emergency Response Headquarters (ERH) that included others besides those who had gathered. The main functions include activities like gather and dispensing information, collecting, caring for and disbursing funds, and the implementation of concrete relief activities. As the other document describes, the parameters of fundraising have been written and accounts to receive gifts opened. The support will focus on both working at the affected sites and addressing the needs of those who have become refugees.

After that, at the request of the DAC, an expanded committee for emergency strategic response was assembled. We expect that as time goes on the situation of the affected areas will evolve, so it is necessary to make many decisions rapidly to respond appropriately. This expanded committee will represent the denomination to communicate both within and without the country. We have then reorganized the entire structure including the response headquarters.

It is a blessing that GA Moderator Rev. Takashi Yoshida was uninjured. He will continue to bear the responsibility as moderator for us. But he is living in Wakabayashi-ku of Sendai City, right in the middle of one of the heavily devastated areas. As a general assembly, we have arranged things so that our moderator can focus on spending his energy serving for the spiritual care of those before his eyes. Also, as the head of the ecumenical organization, the Christian Church Alliance of Sendai (this includes the Catholic Church too), he is in a position to work for the relief of various churches. Please be in prayer for the moderator, the pastors that are directly involved working in the affected area, and for the Northeast and East Kanto presbyteries.

In addition, we are faced not only with the earthquake, but also with the danger from the nuclear plants. Precisely because of these things, we desire to make a balanced response of support. The addresses are included in the form that describes the new organization. Those who desire to lend support, please first make inquiries to the responsible person. We request that you avoid directly contacting the moderator, and direct your inquiries instead to the head stated clerk.

The Expanded Emergency Response Committee (honorifics omitted)

Chairman: Yoshinobu Kazama (head stated clerk, domestic contact, moderator contact)
Vice Chairman: Ken Iwasaki (vice moderator, publicity)
Makio Nishi (secretary of the DAC, secretary of the ERH)
Shouichi Fukui (elder of Tokyo Oncho Church, son of Sendai Church, fund-raising)
Takayuki Ashida (secretary of RCJ Committee for International Ecumenism,
communication with overseas groups)
Domestic matters contact is Yoshinobu Kazama at <>
Overseas matters contact is Takayuki Ashida at <>

Emergency Response Headquarters staff:
Chairman: Nobukazu Toyama at <>
Secretary: Makio Nishi at <>
Committee treasurer: Kyoko Kimura at <>
Project treasurers: Kyoko Kimura (domestic fund-raising, inquiries)
Masaki Sugiyama at <>,
Shouichi Fukui at <>
Fund-raising period: 3/20~6/30/2011 (First stage)
[Domestic] Send offerings to “Taikai Shitsuji Katsudou Iinkai”
Yuucho Bank, account for furikae #00210-4-65619
or “Shukyo Hojin Nihon Kirisuto Kaikakuha Kyoukai”
[International] Account Name : NOBORU NOMURA
Beneficiary Address : 1-22-8 Uenosaka,Toyonakashi,Osakafu,JAPAN
Multimoney Account Number : 92575001
Account Type : SAVINGS
Bank Address : 2-3-14 Higashi-Shinagawa,Shinagawa-ku,Tokyo
Bank Address-Country Name : JAPAN
Information oversight: Ken Iwasaki
Gathering info (communication channel for assembling info about individuals’ safety,
damage suffered, needs)
Northeast Presbytery: Kenji Kando at <>
East Kanto Presbytery: Hirotsugu Mochida at <>
Eastern Presbytery: Motoi Chigasaki at <>
Central Presbytery: Yuuya Kinoshita at <>
Western Presbytery: Shouichi Nezu at <>
Shikoku Presbytery: Motonori Matsuda at <>
Distributing info (news releases, etc.):
Assembling news, etc.: Ken Iwasaki at <>
English Translation: Lawrence Spalink at <>
Email distribution, etc.: Keisuke Sakai at <>
Support activities oversight: Makio Nishi
Summarizing affected area info: Takashi Yoshida (the local organization is not yet in place)
Contact with local areas: Makio Nishi, Toshitoku Karami, Kazuo Torii, Hidetoku Hashitani, Keiichi Yamanaka
Relief commodities: Minoru Yoshida at <>
Volunteer registration: Shuji Toyokawa at <>
We need not only those who go to the affected zones, but those who provide support from behind
Response to those needing refuge: Shouichi Nezu at <>
At this time there are no concrete requests for refugee response, but we are establishing the contact person, gathering info and exploring the possibilities.

March 19, 2011

Great Eastern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund Offering Request

From Chairman Nobukazu Toyama of the Reformed Church in Japan Emergency Response Headquarters

(Greetings and thanks to churches outside of Japan.)

On the occasion of the Great East Japan Earthquake, the General Assembly Diaconal Action Committee has established an Emergency Response Headquarters as described elsewhere, and right away we are having a fund-raising campaign. For now, we are asking for offerings during the initial response period, which will end on June 30, 2011, and we propose to use these gifts for the time being to help meet the daily necessities of those located in the damaged areas. The aid will of course be extended to the Reformed believers, but also to many other victims in those areas and to those beyond the scope of our denomination.

We will send additional information at a later date concerning the timing and extent of ongoing offering campaigns for the actual rebuilding efforts in the region. And we will issue reports from time to time to you concerning the offerings received and their disbursement.

Later on, the financial assistance will become a more important matter for the reconstruction and repair of the churches and homes of the Reformed and other churches and believers’ homes along the Pacific Coast where such great damage occurred. We can’t let down our guard either about the subsequent nuclear power plants’ situation, and we foresee the need also to expand assistance to the growing area from which people have to seek refuge. We humbly request everyone’s prayers and cooperation.

Fund-raising period (stage 1): 3/20~6/30/2011

International offerings can be sent by wire or by money order to:
Account Name : NOBORU NOMURA
Beneficiary Address : 1-22-8 Uenosaka, Toyonakashi, Osakafu, JAPAN
Multimoney Account Number : 92575001
Account Type : SAVINGS
Bank Address : 2-3-14 Higashi-Shinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo
Bank Address-Country Name : JAPAN

* * Please be sure to insert in the communication space, “Great East Japan Earthquake.” For fund transfers with no place to insert this information, please send an email to Takayuki Ashida at <>. As a rule, receipts will not be issued, but if one is needed, please advise by email.

March 18, 2011

Call to prayer for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake

Praise the name of God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the head of the church.

On the afternoon of Friday, March 11, an extremely powerful earthquake struck East Japan, many lives were taken, and immense damage was done. Many believers from among the churches of the Northeastern Presbytery and other groups fell victim to this. As the reports continue to come in, the extensiveness of the damage and suffering breaks our hearts.

I believe you already have received the first and second reports about the victims and damage issued by the General Assembly Diaconal Action Committee and have read the letter from our Moderator Rev. Takashi Yoshida, himself a victim of this event. And I believe that many devout prayers have already been offered at the worship services on March 13 and the weekday prayer meetings.

At this time, the Diaconal Action Committee has issued an appeal for emergency offerings. As this campaign is launched beginning this Sunday, March 20, I call on the the churches to remember again in times of prayer those who were victims of this great earthquake. I earnestly ask you to please implement this request.

March 18 in the year of our Lord 2011

Reformed Church in Japan
Stated and assistant clerks group
Head Stated Clerk, Yoshinobu Kazama

March 16, 2011

From the Reformed Church in Japan Diaconal Action Committee

Notice of Establishment of “Emergency Response Headquarters” for assistance to those suffering from the Great East Japan Earthquake

On March 14 the General Assembly stated clerks and Diaconal Action Committee (DAC) gathered [in Tokyo] along with members of the headquarters staff from the Great Hanshin Earthquake [1995] to discuss how to respond in the present situation, and we set up an “Emergency Response Headquarters.” In the case of the Hanshin quake, in addition to the denominational committee, we set up such a headquarters right in the affected area, but this time, we have set up such a committee within the structure of the DAC, and we have included in this response committee others besides the members of the DAC. General Assembly Moderator Rev. Takashi Yoshida, himself in the directly affected area, was unable to attend, but we were able to reach him by phone and receive his affirmation for this course of action.

This announcement is limited to reporting on the formation of the Emergency Response Headquarters, but we will deliver in time for announcement on Sunday a separate message indicating where to send funds and a prospectus for their use. Additionally, we continue to discuss the nature of the support we should offer, taking into consideration the needs for support and the securing of evacuation facilities. At present, transportation systems are shut down, and there is no way to know how long this urgent situation will continue. We will remain in close contact with those in the affected area, establish our course of action, and apprise you of this in a subsequent communication.

We expect that the DAC will be presenting you with many requests. We will be working closely with the denominational moderators and clerks, and request that the whole denomination continue to pray earnestly and cooperate in this endeavor.

The Emergency Response Headquarters organization
Chairman: Nobukazu Toyama (oversight, liaison with denominational moderators and clerks, etc.)
Secretary: Makio Nishi (communication with subcommittees, etc.)
Treasurer: Committee Treasurer: Kyoko Kimura
Project treasurers (oversight of bank accounts, response to inquiries)
Domestic: fund-raising: Kyoko Kimura
International fund-raising: Committee for International Ecumenism (presently contacting them to confirm this)
Information: Gathering info (communication channel for assembling info about individuals’ safety, damage suffered, needs)
Northeast Presbytery: Kenji Kando
East Kanto Presbytery: Hirotsugu Mochida
Distributing info (news releases, etc.): Ken Iwasaki
English Translation: Lawrence Spalink
Internet information: Keiichi Yamanaka
Overseas church contact: Committee for international ecumenism
Relief activities: On-site activities: Kenji Kando, Norio Sakamoto, Akira Tateishi, Keisuke Yoshioka
Contact with local areas: Makio Nishi, Toshitoku Karami, Kazuo Torii
Coordinator of volunteer activities: Minoru Yoshida

Monday, March 14, 2011, 4:40 PM

Report #2 of damage suffered in the Northeast Japan Pacific Coast Earthquake**

To all the Reformed Church in Japan presbytery stated clerks:

We give reverence to the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord of comfort and hope.

This is a revision of the damages report previously released with updated and corrected information about damages experienced by the RCJ churches as of 4:40 PM, March 14.

We copy here a portion of the message sent by Sapporo Church pastor Rev. Kenji Kando to the Northeast Presbytery churches:

I give thanks that I have been able to confirm the safety of all the pastors. The Reformed churches are praying for you all, keeping in mind the damages suffered in the area. I am relieved and encouraged to hear the reports of how you are making efforts to support one another in this situation. I am sure your hearts ache as you endeavor to determine the safety of the elders and church members. At Sapporo Church, we are working to assemble a master list of all church members that will make it possible to report as a single database the safety and circumstance of everyone…I pray that the Lord will strengthen and uphold all the pastors and elders. May he us even in these things for his glory.

This report of damages is being sent by the RCJ’s DAC [for distribution] to the RCJ General Assembly Stated Clerk, Rev. Yoshinobu Kazama. We covet your prayers as we continue to engage with this matter on behalf of the General Assembly. For now, we respectfully request that all related information should be sent to the DAC secretary, Rev. Makio Nishi (Nada Church).

email: <>
Tel.: 078-861-2313 Fax: 078-861-2314

In the Lord,

Reformed Church in Japan
Diaconal Action Committee
Chairman, Nobukazu Toyama
Secretary: Makio Nishi

** [translator’s note 1: The name of this horrendous natural disaster has not yet been firmly established, so although it is referred to here as the Northeast Japan Pacific Coast Earthquake, it will be referred to subsequently as the Great East Japan Earthquake, and may still change again. It refers of course to the gigantic quake that struck at 2:46 PM local Japan time on March 11, 2011, and also includes damage from the subsequent tsunamis and nuclear events. This report #2 in built on the information in report #1 and simply adds more detail to that.]

[translator’s note 2: I thank Mr. Stephen Lauer for his work to translate into Japanese some of what follows. Please direct any requests for clarification to me at <>.]

Northeastern Presbytery
1. Sapporo Church (Rev. Kenji Kando)
No damages reported.

2. Aomori Church
The church members are all safe.

3. Hachinohe Church (Rev. Fujimoto reporting)
3/11 – “We are in the midst of a power outage, and only the water is running, so we are making do with candle light. The aftershocks are quite bad, and there are more tsunamis, however our area is of high enough elevation that we are safe. Because phone calls and emails will not yet go through, we do not have information regarding damage sustained.” (received by phone)
3/13 – “This morning the power was turned back on. We were finally able to receive news on the television. The phone lines are working again. By God’s grace we were able to hold the worship service. This morning I was able to visit our seekers and church members, and they were all safe. Due to the tsunami, mud was piled up around the city, and cars had been swept about and gathered here and there. The road along the ocean was in terrible shape.” (received by email)

4. Rokunohe Church
3/12 – “We are in the midst of a power outage. There is no damage to speak of. All church members are safe.” (In phone conversation with Mr. Matsuda)

5. Morioka Church (Rev. Kubota)
3/12 – The Kubota family are safe. The church building is safe, and we are at home on standby. The power is out. The roads are jammed with traffic. The stores are all closed.

6. Ishinomaki Church (Rev. Shiratsu)
3/13 – Rev. Tateishi (pastor of East Sendai Church) visited the city of Ishinomaki by car. Rev. Shiratsu and his family are safe, they have taken shelter in the Hebita Elementary School [serving as a refugee shelter]. Portions of the church building are awash [with water from the tsunami]. The building is greatly damaged. (reported by phone call from Rev. T.)

7. Sendai Church (Rev. Yoshida)
Pastor Yoshida and his family are safe. The waters of the tsunami came to the mid point between the Sendai Church building and the Kasumigame Self-defense Force Fort, but they did not come to the area around the church building. (reported by Rev. Yoshioka) Rev. and Mrs. Sudo are okay. About 30 people came to church for a prayer service on Sunday. At this time, it’s been ascertained that about 80% of the members are okay, but some have relatives and acquaintances who live in the area of Wakabayashi-ku next to the ocean, and are anxious since we can’t get near that area. The church building has some damage and there are cracks in the walls. We are keeping guard in light of ongoing aftershocks.

8. Sendai Canaan Church (by phone from Rev. Yoshioka)
The Rev. Keisuke Yoshioka family is okay. There doesn’t seem to be any great damage to the building and the members are okay. We will have church on 3/13. Six neighborhood families are taking refuge in the church. All utilities are back on except gas.

9. Higashi Sendai Church (by cell phone from Rev. Akira Tateishi)
Rev. Tateishi is okay. In the church building, the organ fell over and things are strewn around. It’s hard even to get into the study upstairs. Since power is off, he’s trying to get information from a portable radio. “Utilities are all down, and I’m waiting in line to get some box lunches. I’m not in a refugee center, but at the church. Because of the power failure, I can’t watch the TV news and have to rely on the radio to access the little information that’s available. It appears that there is more information about damages in other locales. I’m worried that I can’t get through to a church member who lives near Matsushima. [an area hit by a tsunami].” Added on the 13th: “9 church members have taken refuge here at the church and we are facing this difficulty together. Power continues to be off.” [Subsequent communication indicated that they are quickly running out of supplies and need to receive basic necessities.]

10. Sendai Eiko Church
The Rev. Lee family is okay.

11. Kita Nakayama Church
Rev. and Mrs. Sakamoto are okay. The church building is all right.

12. Sendai Megumi Church
Rev. and Mrs. Ogata, Rev. and Mrs. Uomoto, and Rev. & Mrs. Cummings are okay.
Electricity is off.

13. Watari Church
Rev. and Mrs. Hayashi are okay after the earthquake. (The Yokotas from Shiga Prefecture were visiting when it struck.) The church and kindergarten building are okay. The roof of the Hayashis’ home was damaged.

14. Shiroishi Keiyaku Church
Rev. and Mrs. Shojiro Ishii are okay. Their home has no utilities working; walls around the property collapsed, but there is no damage to the house. Eight people gathered for worship on 3/13 (including the Yokotas).

15. Fukushima Church (Candidate Kenji Kurihara)
Mr. Kurihara is okay. His wife and children are presently visiting her parents in Shizuoka Prefecture. The church members are okay. No utilities are working, but the church building is all right. Because of the nuclear plant accident, church members worshipped privately at their homes. Mr. Kurihara made his way to Yonezawa, further away from the radiation zone.

16. Yamagata Church (Rev. Kazuhiko Yaegashi)
As of the morning of 3/12, Rev. and Mrs. Yaegashi and their son Morris (who is in Sendai) are okay. There is no electricity. Unable to contact church members yet as of this AM.

East Kanto Presbytery
1. Hitachinaka Church (reported by Rev. Kan Hon Lee to Larry Spalink)
One church family went to a refugee center. Rev. and Mrs. Lee are fine. It is difficult to make contact with other church members. [Subsequently, I had direct contact with Rev. Lee, and he said that everyone from the church is fine, though they do not have water at the church and they have continued to have many strong aftershocks. More people than normal attended worship on Sunday morning.]

2. Choshi Eiko Church (reported by Rev. Yoshinobu Kobayashi)
Larry Spalink was able to speak with Rev. Kobayashi soon after the quake struck. There are church members (and missionary Rev. Young) living in Choshi, Hasaki, Kamisu and Kajima. Rev. Young’s area received the alarm of imminent tsunami approaching and made his way to high ground, later going to the Suigo Bible Camp in Itako City. [Rev. Young is presently staying in the CRJM Guest House and is safe.]

3. Inage Kaigan Church (reported by Rev. Eiji Mikawa)
On 3/12, reports came in of much damage in the vicinity due to liquefaction of the ground, and many places had water damage. But the church building has not been affected. Many dishes scattered and shattered on the 2nd floor parsonage, and the study is a mess with books strewn about. These can be cleaned up easily enough, and we give thanks that we experienced no injury to our persons. At this time, I have made contact with about half the church members.
On Monday, 3/14, I can report that all church members are all right. Because of severe damage to roads and disruptions to commuter train service, worship attendance on 3/13 was only about half the normal crowd. We rejoice as we saw each other’s faces and thanked God for his protection.
Some places still have no water, and from today, planned blackouts for three hours each, twice a day are supposed to be implemented. There is limited sales of gasoline and heating oil, and shortages of instant foods, bread, toilet paper, and other daily necessities. I’ve been able to clean up the broken dishes and pick up the scattered books.
I give thanks that the church members and building were spared and that we were able to worship together. We prayed together at our morning and afternoon services especially for the churches of the Northeast Presbytery. We experienced only minor damage, but we will continue to pray for God’s protection for the Shin Urayasu Church in the difficulties they face and especially the churches, pastors and members of the Northeast Presbytery who have been placed in extremely trying circumstances and experienced great losses. We in the East Kanto Presbytery want to consider what we can do. [Rev. Mikawa is moderator of the East Kanto Presbytery.]

4. Shin Urayasu Church (Rev. Takayuki Ashida)
The neighborhood around the church has been severely affected by the liquefaction of the ground. But the church is all right. (Inage Kaigan and Shin Urayasu buildings are on land reclaimed from Tokyo Bay. The roads have been severely damaged by liquefaction, and it will be difficult for some of the members to attend the worship service tomorrow.)

5. Misato Church (Rev. Hirotsugu Mochida)
In the second-floor parsonage, dishes from the cupboard and books on the shelves in the study were strewn about. I have been able to ascertain the safety of almost all the church members.

6. Tsukuba Mikotoba Church (Rev. Masuo Miyazaki)
There was no injury or damage to the church building. Water is not working, and we are receiving it from the house next door.

[No reports here at this point from Kohokudai Church, Funabashi Takane Church, Hanamigawa Church, Chishirodai Church, Katsutadai Church or Matsudo Koganehara Church.]

Eastern Presbytery
1. Toyo Senkyo Church (reported by Rev. Jeong Soek Gho)
There are cracks in the outer wall of the church building.

2. Nagano Church
There was an earthquake measuring a strong 6 on the Japanese intensity scale at around 4:00 AM on Saturday, March 12, but there is no damage to people of property there.

[No reports here as yet from the numerous remaining churches of the Eastern Presbytery.]

Shikoku Presbytery
There were reports of the tsunami warning issued for Kochi Prefecture, but there has been no damage sustained by the churches there.