Letters from Bill and Ann Moore
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Rev. Bill and Ann Moore
Ann and William will next be in the USA, based in Pasadena CA, June - December 2013. Email them or the Mission Connections office (Rachel.Anderson@pcusa.org) to extend an invitation to visit your congregation or organization.
About Bill and Ann Moore's ministry
When it comes to reaching people with the gospel in Japan, Bill and Ann Moore are willing to buck the odds. In a country with a tiny Christian population that’s centered in the cities, they have been charged with developing a new church in a rural/suburban community.
The Reformed Church in Japan (RCJ) is a longstanding partner of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Like other denominations in Japan, its congregations are mostly in urban areas. The RCJ’s Western Presbytery invited Bill and Ann Moore to begin a congregation in Nishitani, a rural and suburban community just north of the Osaka/Kobe metropolitan area. Bill is the organizing missionary and is responsible for evangelistic outreach, pastoral care, preaching, and organizational leadership. Ann directs the Sunday school and is involved in the women’s organization and the leadership council.
The Moores are encouraged by the progress of the new church development in Nishitani. “With God’s help, we have been able to reach people with the good news and incorporate them into Christ’s church,” Bill says. “Families who are not members are sending their children to Sunday school and participating in church events.”
Download a prayer card that lifts up the work of Bill and Ann Moore in Japan
Bill and Ann Moore say the congregation serves a traditional Japanese community. It is home to six Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines. The new church development, which is a chapel of the Itami Reformed Church, is Nishitani’s first Christian house of worship. The congregation met for a decade at the office of Dr. Haruki Kondo, an elder at the Itami church who opened a medical practice in Nishitani. Dr. Kondo and his wife, Toshiyo, sensed a call to begin a practice in the community in order to help the new congregation. “This valued medical contribution to the community has given visibility to the chapel and provided opportunity for evangelism,” Ann says.
In late 2011 the Nishitani congregation moved into its own building with funds contributed by its members, other Japanese Christians, and supporters in the United States. “In challenging economic times it was miraculous to see how God worked to provide the resources for the building, which we were able to complete debt-free,” Ann says. “Now we are able to enlarge our ministry by having programming during the week.”
Without the ministry of the Moores this new church development would not have been possible. “There is a serious shortage of pastors in Japan, so maintaining existing churches takes precedence over organizing new ones,” Bill says. “Also, our salary support by the PC(USA) has enabled the partners to help fund the construction of the chapel.
Japan is the world’s third largest producer of goods and services in the world and the fourth largest importer and exporter. Japan has a large industrial capacity and is home to some of the largest and most technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronics, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemical substances, textiles, and processed foods. Japanese workers enjoy a high standard of living. More than 127 million people live in Japan, making it the 10th most populous country in the world. Most people in Japan consider themselves adherents of Shintoism, Buddhism or both. Fewer than 1 percent are Christian.
About Bill and Ann Moore
Many Japanese people are spiritually hungry, and some are open to the Christian faith, Bill says. As the Moores try to reach these people, they consider themselves “ambassadors of Christ,” a phrase used by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:19-20. “As ambassadors for Christ,” Bill says, “it is a blessing to share with them in word and deed the sacrificial love of God that has reconciled us to himself and in doing so satisfies our spiritual hunger and empowers us to lives of service and witness.”
Bill grew up in Korea, the son of Presbyterian missionaries. He is a graduate of Davidson College and Union Presbyterian Seminary. Before entering mission service he was pastor of Little Falls Presbyterian Church in Falling Waters, West Virginia. He is a member of Shenandoah Presbytery.
Ann is a native of Korea and earned a bachelor’s degree from Meiji University in Japan. She has worked for a Japanese trading company and as an English tutor. She is a member of Little Falls Presbyterian.
Bill - April 24
Ann - March 12
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We were with you in Montreat in 1985. In 1986 we spent 8 months as volunteers teaching in Taiwan at the Bible College in Hsinchu. Dot arranged for two of her students to come to Queens U. in Charlotte; both spent four years and graduated. We found your August 2009 newsletter with your family picture. We are distressed by the suffering in Japan, and we admire the bravery and responsibility of the Japanese people. We assume that you and your congregation are safe. May God bless your ongoing Christian work. IN HIS NAME, J & D
Peace to you Bill & Ann. Our congregation has been praying for the people of Japan and especially for our mission co-workers. At tonight's session meeting we lifted you and your family and your ministries to God in prayer. May God surround you with strength, stamina, and hope for the days to come. Rev. Marie Buffaloe and session of Derry Presbyterian Church, Hershey, PA
Dear Bill and Ann, I choose to project that you are safe and well, but can only imagine the anxiety in your hearts concerning so much loss and tragedy around you. I so appreciate the article about provided by the PC(USA), and feel thankful to "see" you. Our little church included you in our prayers yesterday. May you feel strength in caring for others and yourselves, and wisdom in making decisions that extend ministry and compassion to those around you. Peace, Lynn
Dear Ann, I have been spending time today praying for Presbyterian mission personnel and mission partners in Japan. I see here that today has been your birthday. I can only hope that God granted you a glimmer of joy and hope in the midst of the tragedy and destruction in Japan. Please know that there are people praying for you in Argentina. In Christian solidarity, Katie Griffin Rev. Kathleen M. Griffin Professor of Church History University Institute - ISEDET (www.isedet.edu.ar) Mission Co-worker with the Presbyterian Church (USA) Buenos Aires, Argentina