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This page last updated 18 July 2005
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Letters to AO

EVERY WEEK WE PUBLISH a selection of letters we receive in response to something you've read at Anglicans Online. Stop by and have a look at what other AO readers are thinking.

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Letters from 11 to 17 July 2005

Like all letters to the editor everywhere, these letters are the opinions of the writers and not Anglicans Online. We publish letters that we think will be of interest to our readers, whether we agree with them or not. If you'd like to write a letter of your own, click here.

The Anglican Men's Society

The celebration has just concluded in Brisbane, Queensland, of 100 years of the Anglican Men's Society in Australia - formerly the Church of England Men's Society.

Two Branches were established in 1905 on opposite sides of this great continent- in Kalgoorlie in Western Australia and in Queensland at St.Mary's Church, Toowong, Brisbane.

Members gathered from across Australia to mark the occasion and dedicate a plaque fixed at St Mary's. A magnificent Eucharist was held in St. John's Cathedral, Brisbane with the new Primate of the Anglican Church in Australia- the Most Reverend Dr Phillip Aspinall- Celebrating ( his first official function since his election as Primate the previous day!)

Installed as the new National Chairman of AMS was the Bishop of Bathurst, the Rt.Rev'd.Richard Hurford who succeeded the retired Bishop Colin Sheumack.

The National Conference of AMS is held each year in different Diocese across Australia - Melbourne in 2006, Tasmania 2007- and they are wonderful occasions of Christian comradeship and social enjoyment. The singing of the men gathered at morning Eucharists and Evensong is inspirational - the now almost anthem of AMS, "Guide me O Thou great Redeemer" especially impressive.

AMS Members strive in Witness, Fellowship and Service to be faithful to their Risen Lord.

Trevor G Cowell
Christ Church, Illawarra, Longford, Tasmania
Perth, Tasmania, Australia
13 July 2005

Books of Homilies?

Can you help me with locating the "Books of Homilies" referred to on p. 875 of the 1979 BCP (US)? I ran a search for it on the A/O web site but was not able to find anything.

Thanks for your help.

Bill Barger
St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church (ECUSA)
Ooltewah, TN
13 July 2005

[Ed: if you can help Mr Barger, please contact him directly.]

An Okinawa story

I have written the following to mention some things I learned while serving in Okinawa during the last decade of the 20th century, and also to mention August 15, 1945, the date marking the end of World War II.

History is written and related by the victor and seldom do we hear from the conquered, the victimized, or the underside of history. The outstanding exception to this truth may be the story of the People of Israel, and the story of Jesus the Messiah who overcame the heritage of every conceivable oppression. These stories are passed on to us in the Holy Bible.

I wish to share some experiences I had in Okinawa that relate to the principle I quote from Dr. Kodera. Before doing so, please permit me to present my personal prologue.

Born in Canada, I remember as a child, learning to be proud of living in a country that belonged to 'The Commonwealth of Nations' under the British Crown. Part of the religious and social fabric of my life that seemed to be a seamless before World War II included 'The Church of England in Canada', and the 'State Prayers' in Morning Prayer that we used to pray for 'His Majesty King George VI' in the Anglican Japanese Church of the Ascension in Vancouver, B.C.

After we had been evacuated from our homes and 'relocated' to the gold-mining 'ghost town' in interior B.C., we continued to say our prayers at St. Paul's Anglican Church, Slocan City, for 'all sorts and conditions of men', and our patriotic prayers for our country and our King.

In the post-war period, in 1955, 'The Church of England in Canada' became 'The Anglican Church of Canada' by action of General Synod held in Edmonton, Alberta. The name changed but continued to reflect and maintain the historic connection.

In 1956 I was ordained a Deacon and appointed as the Assistant Curate of St. Barnabas' Church, Calgary. Alberta. Subsequently I served several rural Missions and Parishes in the Province of Alberta (Diocese of Calgary) exclusively in the English language, and participated in the Councils of the Diocese, Province and National Church for almost 10 years.

In 1966 I was invited to St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Seattle, a Japanese-American bi-lingual congregation, where I served for 25 years.

In 1991, in the beginning of my retirement years, I was invited to serve in Japan for 9 years. For six and a half years I experienced serving in the English-language congregation of All Souls' Church, Okinawa, a ministry of the Diocese of Okinawa, Nippon Sei Ko Kai, to many American families. Before I left, the congregation had become somewhat bilingual. Also, while there I was eased into celebrating the Holy Eucharist in Japanese on Saturday mornings at the Okinawa House of the Community of Nazareth. Most of the Sisters understood only Japanese, but some knew English, so I began by Celebrating in English. After I devised a phonetic Japanese transliteration of the liturgy I began to celebrate in Japanese. This became a doorway into exclusive Japanese language ministry to which I was invited in St. Andrew's Church, Aomori, Diocese of Tohoku, NE Japan where I served for my final two years of active ministry.

Now here is my Okinawa story. It was my honor and privilege to serve in All Souls' Church, Okinawa, that had been built within the decade after the end of World War II, and dedicated 'In Memory of Those of Every Nation Who Died In the Battle of Okinawa 1945' During my ministry the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Okinawa was commemorated in 1995. We recalled the 84 days of the battle: (April 1 to June 23, 1945). Every day of that period, in 2 daily Services, each lasting over an hour, at noon and in the early evening, we conducted a Service of 'The Reading of the Names' of over 234,000 persons -- those of every nation who died in the battle of Okinawa 1945.

In preparing for this observance we discovered that the beginning of the battle, April 1, was Easter Day in 1945. With the permission of Bishop Paul Saneaki Nakamura, we began the Service of 'The Reading of the Names' by lighting the Paschal Candle to recall Easter Day, April 1, 1945, although April 1, 1995 was in the middle of Lent.

Over the years I recall visiting Cenotaphs and attending Remembrance Day (Memorial Day) observances, but I cannot ever recall seeing memorial cairns or observances commemorating everyone of every nation -- on both sides a particular battle or war. The history of colonial oppression experienced by Okinawa in her past, between China and Japan, and then being the location of the first land invasion of Japan by the US Forces, and the Okinawa people caught in the middle of the battle, may be part of the reason that on the Island of Okinawa all who perished are commemorated. The end of the war is remembered on different days in the respective areas when hostilities ceased. The actual end of the war in Okinawa occurred on June 23rd 1945, when the suicide of a Japanese General marked the end of military conflict.

The Cornerstone of Peace in Okinawa, composed of row upon row of granite slabs arranged to simulate waves of the Pacific Ocean in the Peace Park at the Southern end of the Island of Okinawa are engraved with the names of American military service personnel (army, navy, air corps, marines), British military, Japanese military, Korean colonial persons brought to serve the Japanese military, and the vast numbers of non-combatants of Okinawa -- parents, infants, children, youth, and grandparents. We obtained many volumes of names that were engraved. Scores of volunteers of many nations recited the names during the daily Services. On the 84th day of the battle, June 23, we read the last names. Each year ever since, additional discovered names have been read and added to the list kept in the church's columbarium.

The only official Holiday of Okinawa, held each year on August 15, called 'Irei no Hi' (Day of Great Souls) -- is set aside by the Prefectural Government to Pray for Peace, and remember the end of World War II (August 15, 1945 -- VJ Day).

The Reverend Timothy Makoto Nakayama
St. Mark's Cathedral, Seattle - Diocese of Olympia
Seattle, Washington, USA.
14 July 2005

Earlier letters

We launched our 'Letters to AO' section on 11 May 2003. All of our letters are in our archives.


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