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NSKK NEWSLETTER distributed by
The Nippon Sei Ko Kai
(Anglican Episcopal Church in Japan)
Kobe Diocese Holds Service for World Peace at Hiroshima
by the Rev. Naoaki Kobayashi, Hiroshima Fukkatsu (Resurrection) Church
JAPAN 051230-2
December 30, 2005

[The Nippon Sei Ko Kai - Japan] 

NSKK’s Kobe Diocese held a General Service on 9th August 2005 in the atomic-bombed city Hiroshima 60 years after World War II. The Chairman of the Executive Committee for the service reflects on it.

Seven years have passed since I have worked for a church in Hiroshima. Since then, I have been caught by the words “World Peace” deep in my mind. As I was urged to ponder over “world peace”, I organized the present diocesan service. Why do we have to conduct this service? As a chairman of the Executive Committee, I proposed the following three objectives:

① * What had happened in Hiroshima 60 years ago?
② * What does “Peace in Christ” mean for all the Christians at present ?
③ * Remember all the victims of the atomic bombing, and say in our prayers that we would be able to become a “vessel of the Peace of our Lord”

In order to achieve the above objectives, we proposed the following programs:

1. As an option, a study tour to Hiroshima Peace Park guided by volunteers from the Hiroshima Peace Group was planned. Also, two members of the Hiroshima Fukkatsu (Resurrection) Church who are the victims of the atomic bomb were invited to attest their experiences.

2. We invited Mr. Shin-ichiro Kurose, the ex-director of Hiroshima Junior and Senior Girls School, who is a leader of a Civic Movement for World Peace, and have studied about the civic movement for peace from him.

3. Kobe Diocesan Service and Eucharist were held presided by the Bishop of Kobe Diocese. In the service, we prayed for the souls of the victims of the atomic bombs, and also for those who are still suffering from the bombs in Hiroshima as well as in Nagasaki.

The Bishop of Kobe Diocese addressed the following message for peace:

“First of all prayers for building up true peace in Christ is what we all Christians should do. However, it is not appropriate to just say ‘May peace be realized’ or ‘wars must be ultimately ended.’ As sinful human beings, we must sincerely regret our sins; all the sins including insolence, prejudices, discrimination, jealousy, hatred, etc which have caused various conflicts, at the same time, these have injured ourselves as well as others’ feelings. This is the first step towards true world peace. We know that each one of us has different view of life, different view of value or patriotic sentiment. Nevertheless, we will be able to be united in Christ. We all Christians are ordained to become a vessel which could produce Peace in Christ.”

Holy Eucharist was shared by Bishop Uno of Osaka Diocese, Bishop Tani of Okinawa Diocese, Bishop Igarashi of Kyushu Diocese and Bishop Kouchi of Kyoto Diocese.

After the service, I received an e-mail from a church member, which read as follows “I believe that those who attended the present service and events were awakened to a new significance of the fear of the atomic bomb, and turned their steps homeward having kept the true value of peace in mind. I highly and respectfully appreciated it that the present Diocesan Service and events were well organized and conducted.”

Attended by 220 members of the Kobe Diocese and other Dioceses, the offering of エ181,488 was contributed to “The Aid for the Atomic Bomb Korean Victims in Hiroshima and in the North and South Korea”.

After finishing all the schedules, I am convinced that the three objectives which were planned by the Executive Committee have fully accomplished. Whenever we say or hear the words “Peace of the Lord”, the “Peace of the Lord” in this world should be realized on the premise that there would be no war at all, it can only be accomplished by the facts that “Our Father’s Will would have been done” (Matthew 18:14), and “The Kingdom of Heaven would have been realized” (Matthew 20:1). Keeping these in my minds, I strongly feel that I must continuously consider what I can do in Hiroshima , while I say the Lord’s Prayer day in and day out.