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Message to the 34th General Assembly of the United Church of Christ in Japan

WCC general secretary Samuel Kobia salutes the long history of the United Church of Christ in Japan in responding to Jesus' healing ministry as a true sign of liberation through holistic ministries.

14 October 2004

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Saviour.

The 34th General Assembly of the United Church of Christ in Japan (Kyodan)
takes place at a time in history when our world is faced with global concerns like
poverty, violence, conflict and injustice that transcend churches, nations, religions
and cultures. These hold people hostage to fear, insecurity and helplessness. It is
in this divided and broken world that the churches are called upon to provide
witness to overcome violence and divisions in order to create a new humanity.
The World Council of Churches is aware of the long history of the United Church
of Christ in Japan in responding to Jesus' healing ministry as a true sign of liberation
through holistic ministries. Living as we do in troubled times, healing
and reconciliation have special significance. In its mission work the United Church
of Christ in Japan has endeavoured to emulate the example of our Lord, Jesus
Christ, who revealed to us on the Cross his love and ministry of reconciliation.
For he is the one who heals and reconciles.

Next year in May 2005, the WCC Conference on Mission and Evangelism will
take place in Athens. The theme of the conference is "Come Holy Spirit - Heal
and Reconcile". Amongst the conference's objectives are: the need to ensure safesacred
spaces where reflections, theory and stories can be heard and dialogue can
take place; strive to be a sign of reconciliation and healing amongst churches; celebrate
our unity in Christ and our God-given diversity. The United Church of
Christ in Japan has much to contribute to this major ecumenical event. What do
we learn from each other, how do we support each other, and help and correct
each other? The United Church of Christ's contextual experience in the ministry
of healing and reconciliation can be Japan's contribution to the World Mission
Conference.

I pray that you have good and valuable deliberations during the next few days of
worship, Bible study, meditation and celebration. Wishing you God's guidance
and success as you plan for the future,

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General secretary