March 11 was the second anniversary of the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake. There were several services on that day to remember the disaster and to recognize how far we have come. Below are just a couple of those services.
On March 11, a group of foreigners gathered for a memorial service in Sendai. They came together to pray for the souls of friends, family members, and those they did not know who lost their lives in the disaster. A priest from Hokkaido presided over the service. Those who attended the ceremony that day were Catholic or married into a Buddhist family or had no religious beliefs at all but they gathered none the less. One of the attendees said “it is not important what religion we are but that they pray from their hearts for those that were very important to them.” That is exactly what they did. They lifted up the souls of the ones they loved with tears and love in their hearts. It was a beautiful service.
The 2nd Anniversary Holy Communion and prayer service for those killed by the Great East Japan Earthquake was held in Koriyama at St. Peter & St. Paul Church. The service began at 1:00 pm, about 80 people gathered from all over the country, and prayed together. The sermon was given by Fr. Francis Hasegawa while Bishop John Kato of Tohoku Diocese presided over the service. After the service, at 2: 46pm (the time of the great earthquake two years ago) we observed a moment of silence for all the lives lost on March 11th.
Japan & Taiwan
Thirteen people from the Episcopal Church of Taiwan came to visit the devastated area in Tohoku. They spent five days seeing Ishinomaki, Kesennuma, Rikuzentakata, Natori, and Shinchi. They were touched by the stories of the victims they met in those areas. Bishop Lai Ronchin said “I’m sorry that it took us two years to visit these wonderful people.” But he was encouraged by the strong spirit of the victims and the good things that have come to them over the past two years.
Shall we Dance?
A lay minister from the Diocese of Osaka frequently volunteers at Shinchi base. It just so happens that he is a dance teacher. On his last visit he taught come of the residents of that area to dance. Needless to say there was lots of music and laughing on that day.
Every month at the Shinchi base they have a “Hot Corner.” It is a time for the people of St. Francis church and Sendai Christ church to enjoy tea, treats and one another's presence. On the 22nd of March one of the staff of the Sendai Office joined in on the festivities. She said that she had a great time singing and dancing with the 30 people that were there.
I am so sorry to be late on updating you all. Thank you for your patience!