Friday, March 11, 2011

Remember the Church in Japan

As with our brothers and sisters in New Zealand, now our prayers turn also to those in Japan.  Recently a young man from our area was called to a position in Niigata and is scheduled to leave in about a week (his blog, for those interested in following his work this coming year, is "Mission in Japan.")  I was curious about whether our sister church in Japan was affected there, so using the internet I was able to determine that at least in this city the effect seems to be on the lighter side (as far as the earthquake is concerned.)  However, the Japan Lutheran Church also has a church in Tokyo where the damage is much greater. 

The USGS has a map indicating the intensity of the quake in the various cities of Japan.  Although the epicenter appears to be off the coast to the north-east, the greatest affect seems to be in the major metropolitan area around Tokyo and a bit south of there.  The Lutheran Church in Japan has several congregations throughout the island and I have not yet determined where all of them are in relation to the damaged areas.  This denomination is composed of 35 separate congregations, numbering 2,645 members.  Wikipedia has an article about the church and its background, as well as a list of the cities where the various congregations are located.

Hopefully more information will be available soon, especially on the condition of our brothers and sisters in the Lutheran Church in Japan.  Not only is the earthquake a great concern, but the tsunami is of equal if not greater concern.  One map indicates that the effect of the tsunami was mainly in the area of Sendai to the north-east.  There does not appear to be a congregation in the city of Sendai.

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