Build up the body of Christ. Support the Pentecost Offering.

New Winds Blowing in Hokkaido

A Letter from Thomas Goetz, long-term mission volunteer in Japan

Summer 2023

Write to Thomas Goetz

Individuals: Give to E074285 in honor of Thomas Goetz’s ministry


Subscribe to my co-worker letters

For in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26-28 (NRSV)

Dear friends,

This passage from Galatians highlights the inclusive nature of the Christian faith. It emphasizes that through faith in Christ, we are all united as children of God, breaking down divisions of ethnicity, social status and gender. Our unity in Christ is the focus.

Ms. Kikue Harada

In this season of cherry blossoms and warm weather, I extend warm greetings and express gratitude for your continuous support and prayers. The United Christian Church in Japan (UCCJ) is pleased to announce the upcoming “18th National Conference of the Committee on Discrimination Issues in the Japanese Christian Church,” scheduled to be held in Sapporo this June. This conference, organized by the Committee on Discrimination Issues in the Japanese Christian Church, addresses gender discrimination issues within the church and provides a platform for learning and interaction.

The conference, themed “Living as Myself,” will take place at the Hokkaido Christian Center June 25-26. The first day will feature Ms. Kikue Harada, a member of the Ainu ethnic group, as the speaker, sharing her thoughts on the theme. The second day will consist of workshops where participants can express themselves, listen to one another, and share their experiences.

Each of us is a precious and loved individual, granted life by God. Despite differing opinions that may make us feel criticized and uncomfortable, we should view our differences in age, experiences, occupations and gender as opportunities to complement and learn from one another. The unique experiences and knowledge of each person are invaluable treasures. It is essential to approach others with curiosity, understanding and humility, respecting their lives and rejoicing in life together. This allows us to fully live as ourselves, a gift from God.

Let Galatians 3:26-28 serve as a reminder that, in the context of the upcoming conference, we are called to embrace one another with love, respect and acceptance. Please pray for the participants to celebrate the unity we have in Christ and create an environment where all can feel valued, heard and supported as they share their unique experiences and perspectives.

To live out the transformative message of Galatians 3:26-28, let us embody the reconciling love of Christ in our relationships and interactions with others. As Saint Paulinus of Aquileia once said, “Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est” – where there is caring and love, God is always there. May we express kindness and empathy in our relationships.


Thomas Goetz

Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

  • Subscribe to the PC(USA) News

  • Interested in receiving either of the PC(USA) newsletters in your inbox?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.