The Nippon Sei Ko Kai

The Nippon Sei Ko Kai is described by its own Archbishop as a small church community in the life of the Japanese nation. Yet it has made a powerful witness in its willingness to give of itself for the good of those who suffer as a result of the earthquake and tsunami.  The NSKK is a wonderful and faithful church and our prayers are with the NSKK and all who are struggling to recover from the devastation.

In particular we should note the wonderful work the NSKK has done in supporting others in their distress. From the NSKK Online News of last year:

On January 12, 2010 near the capital of Haiti, Port au Prince, a devastating earthquake occurred that claimed the lives of over 200,000 people and impacted more than 3,000,000 people.

15 years ago, Japan was on the receiving end of aid from numerous countries in support of the January 17 2005, Hanshin Awaji earthquake, which centered on the city of Kobe, killing 6432 people and burning 118,000 homes.
The devastation of the Haiti earthquake immediately brought back memories of the horrific Hanshin Awaji earthquake and as such NSKK decided to immediately donate ¥500,000 to Haiti through the American Episcopalian Church’s Relief and Development Fund. In addition, through the 11 Dioceses of NSKK, each church will be asked to collect donations which will also be sent to Haiti through this same American Episcopalian Church’s Relief and Development Fund. The current deadline for donations is the end of February 2010.

In addition we cannot help but think the earth the suffering. In 2009 there were continuous natural disasters throughout the Asian region, and NSKK donated as follows. These monies were collected from individual churches in addition to funds from the Provincial Emergency Disaster Support Fund. We continue to pray for the peace of those in the devastated areas.

• August 2009: Taiwan Typhoon and Floods ¥161,154 to the Taiwanese Anglican Church
• September 2009: Philippine Typhoon and Floods ¥769,273 to the Filipino Anglican Church
• September 2009: Samoa Islands Typhoon and Tsunami ¥865,609 through the Anglican Church of Australia
• September 2009: Sumatra Earthquake ¥707,624 through the WCRP/NCC

Now, with the divastation of the past weeks in Japan, it is the duty and joy of all of us to come to the aid of Japan by our prayers and donations.

I have been interested to note that the most recent news items on Episcopal News Service and the Anglican Communion News Service give the title of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai as "The Nippon Sei Ko Kai (The Anglican Communion in Japan)."

The name, "Nippon Sei Ko Kai" 日本聖公会, Nippon Seikōkai, apparently means, "Japanese Holy Catholic Church."  The NSKK English language newsletter website gives an English title, "Anglican Episcopal Church in Japan."  In the past the NSKK was often referred to in English as "The Holy Catholic Church of Japan." 

The title used on the Anglican Communion web pages, "The Anglican Communion in Japan" involves an interesting twist on the ongoing question of the relation between the regional / national churches of the Anglican Communion and the whole - the Anglican Communion as a worldwide fellowship.

The name, "The Anglican Communion in Japan" only makes real sense if there is something called the Anglican Communion of which the NSKK is its local representative.  The NSKK is a branch office of something else, the Anglican Communion.

The Anglican Episcopal Church in Japan is not particularly better as a title, but at least the reference is to "church" and "church" can be meant to refer to the NSKK itself, of which "Anglican Episcopal" is a modifier. 

I kind of like the phrase, "The Anglican Communion in Japan." How would it be for The Episcopal Church to say "The Anglican Communion in The United States of America and a number of other countries."  If that were the way we were listed on the Anglican Communion website it would settle the issue - TEC is the Anglican Communion in these parts.  But I don't like the phrase enough to want to see it used.

The NSKK is a church, a real church. It is the church in Japan that is part of the fellowship called the Anglican Communion. It is a constituant member of the Anglican Communion.  But it is not a local franchise of some other entity.

1 comment:

  1. I blogged about a visit to the NSKK in Tokyo, here, in 2009. A very warm community.


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