Unitarian Fellowship of Tokyo March 12,
Dear friends and members of the Fellowship,
Fellowship Meeting March 12:
International House of Japan --near
Roppongi and Azabu-Juban stations. 3:00 to 5:00 (and join us for supper
afterwards in the cafe)
As we announced earlier,
Magdalena Iwamura will be our main speaker.She will talk about
"Baroque Style and Design in the 17th and 18th centuries>>an
early example of Globalization." She will use slides/visuals.
Magdalena trained in sculpture, crafts and
art in Dusseldorf and Kassel before a second degree in education in order to
teach art in German high schools. She taught three years in Germany and then 10
years at the German School Tokyo,in Yokohama.
Later she transferred to the architectural
firm IWAMURA ATELIER of her husband to do design related work.
Since 2011 she has taught
"European Art History" and "Historical Context of Design"
(Soushoku bunka) at universities in Tokyo. Starting in 2015 she also
enjoys teaching drawing at the Faber Castell Academy within Itoya.
Stan Yukevich (our Fellowship member) will
also make a short presentation on March 12 about the art critic,philosopher,
poet/novelist, and painter John Berger (1926--Jan 2017), who is famous
for his book and BBC TV series "Ways of Seeing."
We had a small
gathering on January 8, but we set to work on polishing a couple of places in
the Charter of our organization (that had been approved May 2016).
I hope all members approve of the changes.
Please email me with any dissensions or comments. All
suggestions will be considered but not all can be incorporated into the text
(as was the case last Spring).
We will vote to approve the slightly modified Charter
at our March (not February) 2017 regular meeting.
The full text is attached.
Main changes to the Charter are in Point
II and Postscript
Point II now says:
the Unitarian tradition we have no requirements of doctrine or creed. We
welcome all English speakers who seek intellectually stimulating presentations
(by a broad range of speakers) and interactive discussions on topics about
religion, culture, social justice and world
We are a small group who share a common search for meaning or truth through the
free and friendly examination of spiritual, moral and existential aspects of
religion, philosophy and cultural traditions. We are all on individual paths of
inquiry and commitment to others (and society), no matter what our starting
respect each person who comes to Fellowship and extend hospitality and
friendship to all.
we will not tolerate threats of violence, sexual harassment, or malicious
gossip. (The moderator and core members shall meet and take speedy action in
And we added to our postscript at the end of the main
points of our Charter.
The modified postscript now reads:
David Rankin’s (Unitarian/Universalist Association of North America) list of
“What do Unitarian Universalists Believe In?”
religious expression and individual conscience.
reason and personal conscience above any institutions.
search for truth.
experience [that sees no inherent conflict between secular and sacred].
dignity of each and every human being.
application of religion/faith in social involvement.
of love [and of finding non-violent solutions].
the democratic process and transparent governance.
To which we
add our obligation to preserve and support the interdependent web of existence
of all living beings on the planet.
look to the UU Covenant of Congregations that posits that Unitarians draw from
many sources;: direct experience, words and deeds of prophetic women and men
working for social justice and peace, wisdom from the world’s religions
(including Jewish and Christian teachings and other traditions including
Buddhism), and the Humanist teaching to heed science and reason.
On January 8 we looked at our Charter partially because our
topic for discussion was "Unitarians and Prayer" and we talked a bit
about "Who do we (Unitarians/personally) pray to?" especially the
non-theists or humanists amongst us.
We decided to talk more about the topic at a later
meeting and recommend two essays in the Church of the Larger Fellowship
Sunday, February 12
3:00 to 5:00
International House of Japan (see their website or
call them for directions in English).
Near Roppongi and Azabu Juban subway stations.
Update: We are currently confirming our speaker for February.
Unitarian Fellowship of Tokyo
December 11、2016 Sunday 3:00-5:00 International House...
Holiday songs and opera(with Emiliano Blasi) along with Readings in the Christmas/Holiday Spirit Emiliano Blasi, an Italian singer who teaches Italian and music at a school near Yotsuya and has an interest in Buddhism, sang for us Christmas songs and a little opera, while we had a discussion of Mozart and other things in English, Japanese and Italian. We wish Emiliano the best in his career in Tokyo and look forward to hearing from him again. http://emilianoblasi.com/aboutme/
Dear friends and members of the Unitarian
Fellowship of Tokyo,
You may know that your
moderator made a trip with a group from International Association of
Liberal Religious Women (founded by Unitarians in 1910 and now the oldest inter
religious women's group working for peace) to Fukushima on Oct 23 and 24.
We met with several people and groups
including A3 (the supportNPO for mothers in "safe" Koreyama 40 kilo
from Nuclear Power Plant #1) and Pastor Kawakami Naoya (United Church and
Touhoku Help NPO).
The Japanese press,officials,TEPCO
and cowered Fukushima Medical Association are not reporting the true radiation
effects and problems and the delayed cleanup situation.
Pastor Kawakami based in Sendai continues
to work with local people suffering from the effects of the earthquake,tsunami
and especially radiation now more than 6.7 years ago.
He sent me this recent article --translated
into English--that appeared in the Spanish paper El Mundo in March 2016.
See you on November 13 (International House
3:00) for our speaker Paul McCartin on GMO's and genetic engineering.
Paul McCartin "Genetic Engineering and Patents on Life"
Paul serves now as the coordinator for Justice, Peace, and Ecology for the
Catholic Society of St. Columban in Japan. Born and raised in Australia he
was ordained in 1978 and came as a missionary in 1979.
are an important topics to understand more fully and possibly
to take action for our planet's future.
invite a friend to come.
plan a music centered meeting for December 11th that will
include our Italian friend (classically trained in Opera as well as
popular singing) Emiliano Blasi.
Our September meeting with Nahid Nikzad drew a large
I think we all learned a lot starting with basic
information such as that her area in the north of Iran not only has the
Caspian Sea but has green rice paddies, mountains and the Fujisan of Iran--Mt.
Damavand which you see on the screen behind some of us in the photo i attach
We learned much about women (and the present legal
system which is indeed repressive since the Revolution which had started with such
high hopes for democracy and rights in 1979). We also gained
insights into the high standards of education still for Iranian women and how
many actually lead their lives in the private as well as public spheres in
recent years. A brief discussion about activists and even American
counter-productive policies. We ended with a love song (in a positive take on
the richness and optimism of Persian culture and people).
Please look for Nahid`s upcoming performances of
Contact her for details including
sept 16, 7pm cafe near Sasazuka station.
Michael Berman (PhD candidate in the Dept. of
Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego and a visiting
researcher at the University of Tokyo).
He spoke about empathetic listening:
"Training interfaith chaplains and volunteers for continuing work and
service by religious groups in (still hurting) Tohoku."
It was an interesting discussion about
practical aspects (and theoretical basis) for "Compassion."
Michael spoke on empathetic listening--"Sharing
Suffering--training for interfaith volunteers and chaplains in contemporary
Japan. He gave us a brilliant discussion of a group of religious volunteers who organized support for Tohoku victims, who shared training but also faced a difficult problem. Most of the volunteers were Buddhist priests, who have day jobs to keep their temples going. However, because of concerns of separation of church and state, the group was not allowed into many care facilities if they wore their religious costumes or framed their counseling in religious language. They had to agree to approach the counseling as "ordinary people." And the majority of them found that the strain of trying to counsel and console outside of their traditional roles was very wearing, and many needed help themselves within two years.
As always, we had a lively discussion about the implications of this. Thank you Michael. Blog site apologies. Because of illness and some other confusions, this blog did not give advance of the last two speakers, both of who were excellent. Gomen nasai. I recorded both, and if I can deal with some technical issues may be able to get the recordings up on a private youtube site for members who missed it. I especially would like to get up the recording of our singing Persian music taught and led by Nahid in September.