Pastor Ishida Motomu is scheduled to be sent as a missionary from April 2020 to Sycamore Congregational Church in El Cerrito, California, which is on the West Coast of the USA. His commissioning service, sponsored by the Commission on Ecumenical Ministries, was held on Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019 at Nishinomiya Church in Hyogo District. Commission on Ecumenical Ministries Executive Secretary Kato Makoto officiated at the ceremony, during which Commission on Ecumenical Ministries Secretary Kondo Makoto gave the sermon. Kondo had also been sent as a missionary to Pine United Methodist Church on the West Coast of the USA. He spoke about his experiences and about the joy and thankfulness he felt because he could serve as a pastor at a church attended by people of Japanese ancestry. In addition, he told about the diversity and the possibilities of his work. At the reception following the ordination ceremony, many encouraging messages were given, beginning with Hyogo District Moderator Furusawa Keita's congratulatory address. These messages showed that Ishida had faithfully served Nishinomiya Church as its pastor and was loved by many people.
Yoshioka Yasutaka, who is currently at Sycamore Congregational Church, is scheduled to finish his five years of service as a missionary at the end of March 2020 and return to Japan. (Tr. KT)
—Kato Makoto, Kyodan executive secretary