Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Dec. 9 Dr. Linda Semlitz, dir of Tokyo English Life Line

Greetings on the first Sunday in Advent (for those practicing a Christian faith and looking towards Christmas). Along with light-filled greetings on the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, and finally best wishes for a happy holidays and the satisfactory completion of the Year’s unfinished business and housecleaning (literal and spiritual) especially for all you humanists, Buddhists and Scots among the friends and members of the Unitarian Fellowship of Tokyo.

from the moderator, Peggy Kanada


Next Meeting December 9 (2012)

3:00 International House  

   We welcome Dr. Linda Semlitz, director of TELL, who will talk about Tokyo English Life Line and its suicide prevention and counseling work, and a little about her personal journey as a psychiatrist and NGO administrator. Mary Donovan will lead us in songs for Christmas and the holiday season before the talk.


January 13, speaker not confirmed

 And we have confirmed for February 10 (2013) --John Amari, who works within an intellectual property organization. He will talk about’ “Intellectual Property and the Right to Community Identity.  Should the terms "Parmigiano" and "Champagne" be used exclusively by people who live in those regions or also by similar producers who use the same processes and ingredients??Originally a  fight between old Europe and North America, as intellectual property laws and values spread, the issue will become more important in Asia, Africa, and South America.

Nov. 10 Charles McJilton of Second Harvest

While possibly a third of food in Japan is thrown away because it is not perfect, pristine and presentable - or because of industry standards of disposing of food long before its expiration date, many in Japan, the elderly, children of single mothers, out-of-work immigrants and, yes, also, the homeless, do not get enough healthy and safe food to eat.

That was the message of Charles McJilton who spoke with us on November 10th.   And the organization he leads, Second Harvest, is trying to do something about it.  Already more than 250 food companies pass goods to his organization to be redistributed through the hot meal, emergency food package and food bank programs that has been set up by Second Harvest.

Charles told us how he got a look up close at Japan's poverty by living in a "blue sheet" cardboard shack along the Sumida River for 18 months, getting to know first hand about the pride, the honesty and the life style of those who make there homes out of cardboard and plastic and live invisibly in plain sight.   And how he decided that although he was not responsible for them being in that situation, he could decide to respond to it, and how with others built Japan's first food bank.

He also told stories of his efforts to get food to the areas in need during the Tohoku disaster, and how one of the problems of helping those in need get the food they need is not finding the food, but finding the needy and the organizations that can (and are willing) to deliver the food to them.

As always, his talk was enjoyable and inspiring.   http://www.2hj.org/

Comment by Chuck Olson

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