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Global Missions - Japan <newsletter>

 

Rev. Toshimasa & Rev. Claudia Genung Yamamoto

 

Reverend Claudia Genung Yamamoto is a missionary with the Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church assigned to the National Christian Council (NCCJ) in Tokyo, Japan.

 

Claudia’s responsibilities include working at the NCCJ as editor of a newsletter known as the ”Japan Christian Activity News.” The quarterly, sometimes triennial/biannual newsletter covers various Christian related social issues in Japan, such as human rights for foreign migrant workers, peace issues, Buraku concerns, acculturation of Christianity, the homeless, women, and inter-religious dialogue. As part of her work at the NCCJ, Rev. Yamamoto is also the international church liaison and is active with the NCCJ related Christian Peace Network.

 

Rev. Yamamoto is president of the Tokyo Ecumenical and Interfaith Council, a part-time pastor at West Tokyo Union Church, involved with foreign migrant workers in the Tokyo area, and a board member of Second Harvest Japan. She is active in an ecumenical feminist theology center and discussion group, is chairperson of the Women’s Conference for 2006 and facilitates a bimonthly Bible study in her home. Claudia stays involved by organizing support groups for parents of children with special needs and proofreads newsletters for a Tokyo-based Asian women’s shelter.

 

A native of Redwood City, California, Claudia was an associate minister at Kailua United Methodist Church in Hawaii from 1988-1992. She has a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from the University of the Pacific and a M. Div. from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. While in seminary, Claudia worked at the Pacific Asian Center for Theology and Strategies, and as a youth director at Wesley United Methodist Church in San Jose, California. Rev. Yamamoto is currently studying for her D. Min.

 

Claudia and husband Toshi, a former GBGM missionary, are the parents of two sons, Kai Gabriel and Koh Michael.

*text from The Advance — a General Board of Global Ministries Website

A Letter From Claudia:

 

Dear friends;

 

Greetings name of Christ Jesus! I continue to serve as a GBGM UMC missionary in Tokyo, Japan. My place of assignment is at the National Christian Council in Japan (NCCJ).  I am the international Church Liaison and editor of the NCCJ newsletter.  (Please see the website  http://ncc-j.org/ and click on News to see Japan Christian Activity News which contains articles that I have written as well as other work I am involved with at NCCJ.) My work involves many things such as promoting peace issues in the churches as well as networking and community organizing within the community. At NCCJ, I am enjoying helping to organize events for guests when they come to Japan. This year is the 150 year celebration of Protestant mission work in Japan.

 

The UCCJ, the Lutherans, and other denominations have various events to celebrate so there have been many guests attending various events. One September guest was the US Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori.  We organized a small gathering of Japanese women clergy as well as at an ecumenical dinner and discussion with her at NCCJ. Becky Asedillo from GBGM’s Asia Pacific desk will come to Japan in December to attend various meetings and meet UMC missionaries so I look forward to taking her to Hiroshima Peace Park.

 

I also work as the pastor of the West Tokyo Union Church. Our church is very active with Asian Rural Institute and we often sell ARI products, invite ARI speakers, and donated needed items to ARI on a monthly basis. (See http://www.ari-edu.org)  I spoke at the opening ceremony at ARI and often our church people go to ARI to volunteer. Our church helps at a local women’s shelter for formally abused women and their children. Various other ministries include the homeless in Japan through Second Harvest Japan and foreign migrant women in the wets Tokyo area.  Much of this work overlaps with NCCJ concerns as the church is an associate member church of NCCJ.

 

As many of you already know, Toshi is still involved at NCCJ on various committees but he is not the NCCJ general secretary anymore. He was offered a position at a Methodist related university in Kobe, Kwansei Gakuen (http://www.kwansei.ac.jp) and decided it was a new ministry opportunity for him. He is a chaplain and professor of Christian Foundations.  Each of his classes has over 300 students as the university is large, almost 23,000 students. However, he keeps his ties to Tokyo through tri-monthly visits on weekends to attend meetings and see us. He is on the NCCJ Article 9 peace committee, North Korea committee, World Religions for Justice and Peace, YMCA Board, and preaches at a UCCJ church in Tokyo. We actually see each other more now than when he worked as general secretary since he has less traveling overseas and meetings to attend.

 

Our boys are fine. Kai is age 18 and graduates in June.  He is hoping to go to a university in California where I have a few relatives. Koh is age 12 and in 6th grade.  Both our sons are taller than we are as you can see by the photo attached.

 

We do appreciate all your prayers and support.  Blessings be on you as we soon enter  the Advent season.  Let us pray and work for peace.

 

In Christ,

Claudia

 

Sunday Services

• Japanese | Sunday 9:00 a.m.

• English | Sunday 10:45 a.m.

• Evening | Sunday 5:00 p.m.

 

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