The Rev. Erik and Tauna Roth are new ELCA missionaries in Japan. Erik is the pastor at Tokyo Lutheran Church. In this entry from their blog, he talks about his first Sunday in the pulpit at the congregation. To support the Roths, or another of the ELCA’s over 200 missionaries, go to www.ELCA.org/missionarysponsorship.
Last Sunday I preached for the first time at Tokyo Lutheran Church! I thought I would be nervous, but I felt comfortable preaching because I could feel the presence of the Spirit. I also played Martin Luther in a skit during the Japanese service. The skit was about Martin Luther arguing with the pope about the sale of indulgences. It was fun, and even though I couldn’t understand what the narrator said, everybody laughed and had a good time. A new and original skit is performed every year during a special “children’s blessing” worship service. Last year was David and Goliath.
On Sunday there are four services: children’s service, English service, Japanese service and an evening Japanese service. There is also a coffee/tea time following both services. My main impression so far is that the congregation is very excited and eager to be a part of God’s mission. I am looking forward to getting to know people better.
This week I am focused on getting an English Bible study going. The Bible study is open for people of all English abilities and we are going to be looking at the Christmas story/stories. I am not really sure what to expect, but I’ve been told English Bible studies have been very popular in recent years.
Tauna and I are also looking forward to attending an overnight Bible Camp with the Hongo Student Center this weekend in Chiba. We looked at pictures of the conference center where the camp is going to be and it looks amazing. Look for some great ocean view pictures on our next blog entry! After the camp, we are going to have a busy week getting ready for a Thanksgiving pot-luck at Tokyo Lutheran Church.