It has been 60 years since Hiroshima Christian Center was built at its present location in 1957. Programs directed at evangelistic outreach to the area, fighting against buraku discrimination, and especially programs for children had already been begun before World War II by missionaries from the US and local Christians living in the area, but the major part of the center’s founding work was done by Mary Francis Jones, a missionary. The current building is the upgraded version of what was constructed with contributions from the Methodist Women’s Society in the US. In the literary text of the Cornerstone Ceremony, Jones wrote: “All the people of Hiroshima, through a new spiritual birth, are all equal persons, and our desire is that their God-given personalities and rights will be mutually recognized.”
Now is the time when we must hereafter reaffirm this message. This desire and prayer has been expanded to include a nursery school, childhood education and care for the elderly, and from last year, the additional undertaking of providing meals, tutoring, and other services for children caught in difficult living situations. These all show how the needs of the area in each era are being sincerely addressed.
Commemorative activities included a worship service led by Director Nishijima Yoshihiro and a concert by the Kontrapunct Ensemble (an orchestra comprised of Japanese and Korean people living in Hiroshima who use Western instruments and instruments originally from the Korean Peninsula). This was followed by a refreshing time of fellowship with homemade sweets made by the staff and greetings from those who attended. The 82 attendees were people from churches, former employees, and related persons in the area. Including the staff, there were 106 people present, so it was a successful event. We thank God and all the people who supported us as we look forward in hope to new activities and renovation. (Tr. RT)
—Rev. Nishijima Yoshihiro, pastor,
Hiroshima Ushita Church
From Hiroshima District Newsletter, Issue No. 116: “Peace Sunday”
日本キリスト教団 広島牛田教会 牧師：西嶋佳弘