Greetings from the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church (JELC)
By Pastor Brad Bellah
The longest Companion Synod relationship for the South Carolina Synod is with The Japan Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Our relationship began in 1892 when Saint John Lutheran Church in Charleston, SC commissioned a missionary to that area.
Today, that relationship continues strong! JELC Bishop, George Oshiba brought greetings from himself and 9 other members of the JELC, including 8 pastors. Bishop Oshiba shared his own relationship with the USA in that his father, also a Lutheran minister, named him after the first president of the US, George Washington, with whom he shares a birthday.
Pastor Naoki Asano, who also served as a pastor on the SC Synod in years past, also brought greetings and thanks for the relationships developed when he served here.
Bishop Oshiba also pointed out that a number of the pastors who attended this assembly from the JELC were of the “TNG“ or is he referred to them, the next generation. They were younger pastors. It was quite astonishing to note that two of the pastors are also first generation Christians!
The Bishop concluded his remarks by recounting a traditional Japanese tea ceremony greeting: “Treasure every moment, for it never recurs.”
This is Christ’s Church. There is a place for you here.
We are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. Liberated by our faith, we embrace you as a whole person–questions, complexities and all. Join us as we do God’s work in Christ’s name for the life of the world.
ELCA South Carolina Synod
1003 Richland Street
Columbia, SC 29201