March 14, 2011
UCC and Global Ministries staff are in regular communication with Global Ministries mission personnel in Japan.
Credit: UCCJ/Kyodan, Ishinomaki, Japan.
Congregations across the UCC lifted prayers and raised funds
on the first Sunday of Lent in support
of our sisters and brothers in Japan
impacted by the catastrophic earthquake and resulting tsunami which struck
Friday, March 11.
The comprehensive disaster in Japan continues to unfold as the
cooling mechanisms at four nuclear power reactors have mal-functioned, causing
explosions and some radiation contamination.
One Great Hour of Sharing emergency funds are on the way to
the United Church of Christ in Japan.
Listed below is information which has been received from our
partners as of Monday, March 14.
United Church of
Christ in Japan
Teruki Takada, staff to the Commission on Ecumenical
Ministries of The United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ) expressed
appreciation for the solidarity and prayers of the United Church of Christ and
Global Ministries. Initial reports from
UCCJ indicate 35 UCCJ church buildings have sustained damage from moderate to
catastrophic in scope.
The UCCJ established the Relief Planning Committee on March
12, composed of five church leaders who are responsible for response
planning. Committee members reached Sendai on Sunday evening,
March 13 to begin a consolation, assessment and planning visit. On Monday afternoon they visited Rikuzen Furukawa
Church, north of Sendai. They are making their way up the devastated
northern coast by vehicle attempting to locate and visit with local church leaders.
Church World Service
RESPONSE: CWS has been in contact with the Japan Platform, a
coalition of 32 non-governmental organizations, government service agencies and
media outlets. CWS may provide support and channel contributions to individual
members of the Japan Platform. The Platform has historically been a vital
partner to CWS in previous lobbying efforts towards the Japanese government for
disaster risk reduction activities in Afghanistan.
Eight member non-governmental organizations of the Japan
Platform have already started assessing needs and initiated emergency response
activities. These members include Association for Aid and Relief Japan,
Adventist Development and Relief Agency, Civic Force, Institute of Cultural
Affairs, JEN, Japan Rescue Association, Nippon
International Cooperation for Community Development and Peace Winds Japan. CWS
is also coordinating with other ACT Alliance members in the Asia-Pacific region
as the international response to this disaster scales up.
"Building upon accumulated CWS and ACT Alliance
experience in the region, CWS hopes to mobilize support to Japanese NGOs that
are on the ground," Komino said. "Contributions from partners and
supporters will be used to fill critical gaps in meeting the basic needs of
victims in and around the evacuation sites."
Church World Service is also prepared to support, if needed,
efforts of faith-based partners in Japan,
including the National Christian Council of Japan
and the United Church of Christ of Japan.
ARI – Asian Rural Institute
in Northern Japan, the Asian Rural Institute
(ARI) is an international training ground for grassroots rural leaders. Global Ministries and One Great Hour of
Sharing provide scholarship support for students from partners around the
Facebook page reports all of the staff families at ARI are safe and over half
have evacuated due to concern about radiation leaks at the Fukushima Nuclear
Power Plant 100 kilometers away. Several
of the buildings on ARI’s campus have sustained damage from the
new class of international participants is due to arrive in a few weeks. It is still to be determined if they will be
able to begin their training as scheduled.
The Rev. Charles Buck, Conference Minister of the UCC Hawaii
Conference, reports extensive damage to the villages of Miloli`I and Napo`opo`o
on the Island of Hawaii.
Support to meet emergency needs has been offered from both the
Conference and One Great Hour of Sharing.
As more information about specific response plans is
received we will share it here.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
1. Pray for the
people of Japan
and the tsunami impact area, their leaders, and all emergency response workers.
2. To assist people
impacted by this disaster, please make a gift payable to your congregation
marked for “Pacific earthquake/tsunami” with the request they be sent through
your Conference office on to Wider Church Ministries.
Send gifts, made out to
Wider Church Ministries and marked in the memo portion “Pacific
earthquake/tsunami” to Wider Church Ministries; 700 Prospect Avenue,
Cleveland, OH 44115.
Make a secure online donation to the International Disaster Relief fund. Please note Pacific earthquake/tsunami in the Comments box.
Thank you for your
compassion and support.