ARI Sunday

One of the ways that ARI connects with and supports local churches in Japan is through something called ARI Sunday. ARI Sunday is a Sunday when a local church invites an ARI Staff member, volunteer or participant to come and share with them. We preach, share testimonies, give lectures or share about our work and communities. Sometimes we are even asked to talk about the mission and vision of ARI herself. As we do this, the connection between the church and ARI grows stronger. Churches learn much about the lives of people from around the world, the struggles and what God is doing. We, the ARI community members also are glad to share our thoughts and experiences and hope we are benefiting the ministry of the churches. This is also a great time for us to raise support, awareness and sell some of our yummy cookies and jam!
But the beginning of this connection is deeper. ARI Sunday started in the 60’s in Tokyo near the seminary where the ARI program had begun. At that time churches held Asia Sunday on the last Sunday of June. It was a time for the Japanese church to remember and support their brothers and sisters in Asia through connecting with people from Asia. (If you do not know much about the history of WWII in Asia or why we talk about Asia as if it is different than Japan, it would be good to look up as it will help you understand relationships between Asian countries today!)
The Asian Rural Institute was actually started because of the idea that the Japanese Church needed to work for peace and reconciliation, especially between Japan and it’s Asian neighbors. Although the damage of war can not be undone, reconciliation is possible. ARI is one vision of how that can be achieved. The hopes being that peace and reconciliation happen not just between Japan and others, but in countries throughout the world. Through local rural leaders from 20+ nations coming, living together for 9 months, with all of their cultural, religious, linguistic, ethnic and national differences, a hope exists that a new sense of love, peace and reconciliation may be born in their own hearts and from there into their own communities.
As places around the world struggle with racial division and strife, ethnic and tribal conflict and misunderstanding, ARI is a places that seeks to show a different way to live. And as we continue to participate in ARI Sundays here in Tochigi and throughout Japan this year, we pray the church will also be a place where brothers and sisters can live together in harmony. A place where the body of Christ can stand together as one. Won’t you join us in this work?

A young Laos UMC pastor sharing with supporters.

A young Laos UMC pastor sharing with supporters.

Sharing at ARI Sunday range from sermons to testimonies to talks about work and communities

Sharing at ARI Sunday range from sermons to testimonies to talks about work and communities

Mama talking.  From Liberia, she serves in a UMC church in her home area.

Mama talking. From Liberia, she serves in a UMC church in her home area.

Advertisements

About proverbs169

I am going to Japan with my wife Satomi to find out all that God has in store for us. I've also found out a secret to ministry, Be flexible! Proverbs 16:9
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s