Responding to Devastation in Japan
Dear diocesan family,The story in Japan is still unfolding, as we have seen the stunning pictures of the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami, and now there is an ever-increasing risk of nuclear incidents. The Most Rev. Nathaniel Makoto Uematsu, the archbishop of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (the Anglican Church in Japan), is seeking to put structures in place so that the Church can minister and assist those who are affected by this dire situation. Archbishop Nathaniel has also called upon us to pray. As he so faithfully reminds us, "Prayer has power. I hope and request that you pray for the people who are affected, for those who have died and for their families. Pray for the people involved with the rescue efforts, and in particular pray for Tohoku and Kita Kanto dioceses and their priests and parishioners during this time of Lent." I hope you will make room in your daily prayer for the people of Japan, and ask our Lord to strengthen our brothers and sisters in the Nippon Sei Ko Kai. The full text of Archbishop Nathaniel's letter is available here. You can also visit Episcopal News Service for continued updates. For those seeking to make financial contributions, Episcopal Relief & Development has established a response fund.
I join you in continuing prayers of intercession and support.Faithfully,
Shannon S. Johnston
Bishop of Virginia
The following prayer has been circulating throughout the Internet (amended here) and is offered for your use.Most merciful and compassionate God,
Giver of life and love,
hear our prayers
and let our cries come unto you.
Dear Father of all,
We weep with your people in Japan.
We hear the cries of orphaned children and laments of bereaved parents.
We feel the desperation of those searching for loved ones.
We behold the silence of vanished villages.
We are overwhelmed by the enormity of it all.
Our hearts are hushed, our minds are numb.
Let not our hands be stopped, our voices dumb.Lord Jesus Christ,
Open our hearts to feel your compassion
Galvanize in us the act of continued giving.
Bond us to our sisters and brothers in need.
O Holy Spirit,
Comfort and heal the injured, the bereaved, the lost.
Strengthen the aid workers and medical personnel.
Bolster the resolve of governments and those with power to help.
Open through this tragedy pathways to partnerships and peace.
In Your holy name and eternal life of love and mercy, we pray;
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