2016年 1月31日 リコンサイリングサンデー

THE WESLEY WELCOME ウェスレー教会のおもてなし
Louie Lu
I work for an internet company that prides itself on unhackable security. As such, the same is expected for my work password. “wpfac2gether” became my login password after getting married in late 2014. It stands for “we pray for a church together” and every time I type this into my computer, it’s like saying a small prayer to God to help us find a church community where we can both feel connected and welcomed. Like any newlyweds looking for a new church to settle down, the process could be likened to online dating. While finding an online profile that looks charming, friendly, and grounded is easy; it leading to a match in person is…non-trivial. As visitors we feel like rookies on our first date, while the churches we visit are like veterans of online dating. Its hard to know if we should “make it official” after first 3 dates or start over with another church. And if that’s not complicated enough, being a gay couple dramatically limits our suitors. Thus needless to say, I thought I would have this password for a while.
私は現在侵略不可能なセキュリティを開発しているインターネット関連の会社で働いています。その為、私の仕事でのパスワードも同じようなセキュリティが要求されています。2014年に結婚した後、“wpfac2gether” を会社のシステムにログインする時のパスワードにしました。それは “we pray for a church together” (教会が見つかるように共に祈ろう)、を短くしたものです。このパスワードをコンピューターに打ち込むたびに、私たち二人を迎え入れ、メンバーとして連なりあえる教会が見つかりますように、と小さな祈りを神様に捧げるようにしていました。落ち着くことができる教会を探すどの新婚のカップルも経験するように、このプロセスはインターネットで相手を見つけるデートサービスによく似ています。紹介記事だけ見ていると魅力的で友好的でしっかりした相手を見つけるのは簡単なのですが、そこから実際のカップルになれるというのは、実はとても稀なのです。選んだ教会を初めて訪れる時は、私たちにとっては初めてのデートのようなものなのですが、教会の方はまるでその道のベテランのように見えてしまいます。そして3回目のデートの後でその教会に決めるべきなのか、それとも別の教会でまた一からやり直すべきなのか、その判断はとても難しいのです。しかもその上に、ゲイのカップルであれば、候補となる教会はおのずと限られてしまいます。言うまでもありませんが、私はこのパスワードを当分の間は使い続けることができると思っていました。
Prior to getting married, I was part of a church that prides itself on fighting for social justice. Unfortunately I later found out equal rights for LGBTQ people didn’t fall under the Church’s social justice mission. While some of my former pastors had intolerant attitude on this issue, it didn’t stop me from worshipping and making some wonderful friends there (some of whom are here today). Although at times it was lonely being the only out and self-affirming gay man. When things were getting serious between me and my fiancé, I realized the transition into marriage means we’ll have to find a gay affirming church to set down roots together. And that became our new year’s resolution for 2015.
I had heard about Wesley, but never visited. On our first visit, two things stood out to me:
1. Many of the folks here have been here for a while, some longer than my existence on earth; but
amazingly they still love each other and are closely knit.
2. Folks here were very welcoming and quickly made us feel a sense of belonging despite our
I fortuitously ran into my friend Doug and he warmly welcomed and introduced us to many of his
friends. Instead of fading away after fellowship, we were greeted by warm welcomes and tasty snacks.
1. 会衆の多くがこの教会に古くから連なる人たちであり、中には私がこの世に存在していたよりも長い間教会に関わってきた人たちもいること。しかも驚きべきことには、そうした人たちが今もなお互いに愛しあい、親密な関係を築いていること。
2. 人々が私たちをすぐに受け入れ、違いがあるにも拘わらず、ここが私たちの教会と感じることができたこと。
I would say what sealed the deal for Jose and I was our experience at Family Camp last summer. Though it may not seem like much, it was a big step of faith for us to spend an entire weekend with a bunch of people we didn’t know. And yet, we felt this sense of belonging from the moment we arrived to the moment we packed up. I can’t really put my finger on one particular thing but to name a few: we had a cabin prepared for us before we arrived; we had the master fishing guru Steve at our camp who helped us with our first catch the next day; even though many in our camp have been going together for decades, they showered us, the new kids on the block, with delicious home-made munchies, heart-felt conversations and epic stories from the past; we made new friends over hearty meals, beautiful hikes, fun and games; and most importantly, the camp belonged to my alma mater. What is there not to like?
That weekend was like a divine provision where God affirmed us that he had prepared a home at Westley for us. So over the next couple of months, I plugged in and started to help out several ministries that are close to my heart. As 2015 came to a close, God answered my prayer for a church home for Jose and I and we became members here. And even though I’ve changed my password since, I still hold “wpfac2gether” as a prayer in my heart, but replaced the C for church with C for child. We look forward to growing our family here at Wesley like many before us; and hope to extend the same hospitality to others. Thank you.



Doug Clark

Let me start with a quote from Romans 12, verses 9~12 from my Revised Standard Version
“Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
9 愛には偽りがあってはなりません。悪を憎み、善から離れず、10 兄弟愛をもって互いに愛し、尊敬をもって互いに相手を優れた者と思いなさい。11 怠らず励み、霊に燃えて、主に仕えなさい。12 希望をもって喜び、苦難を耐え忍び、たゆまず祈りなさい。
I needed to persevere because when I first came to Wesley about 19 years ago, it seemed
Wesley was a church addressing many needs but not the issue of LGBT inclusion in the United
Methodist Church.
The then pastor and student pastor spoke about the church being for everybody, but as I was learning as a graduate student in teaching at San Francisco State University, one needs to be explicit in instructions and meaning. I knew other United Methodist congregations were tackling the issue of inclusion head on, and so I was confused.
What did “everybody” mean when at that time the New York Times and other newspapers the had story of the Rev. Jimmy Creech at the First United Methodist Church of Omaha, who was in trouble for his support of lesbians and gays in his church. I thought it was strange that as the UMC was undergoing a struggle over these issues and Rev. Creech was being put on trial for his support, we at Wesley didn’t mention anything about Creech’s trial and the schism it was causing.
I left Wesley and at the urging of Methodist pastor Lloyd Wake became involved with the Pacific Asian Center for Theology and Strategy at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Through this work I got to know the community at the Presbyterian Church in Chinatown, whose support has been so helpful to me. Later, during Doug Norris’s time here at Wesley, I met Ernie Murata and Barbara Hiura at an East Bay event related to churches and LGBT issues, and they both urged me to return.
私はウェスレーを去り、同じメソジストのロイド・ワケ牧師の勧めによってバークレーにある太平洋神学校のThe Pacific Asian Center for Theology and Strategy (太平洋・アジアの神学及び方法論研究所)と関わるようになりました。このことを通してチャイナタウン長老派教会に連なるようになり、その教会での支援は私にとって大きな支えとなったのです。その後、ダグ・ノリス牧師がウェスレーに居られた時、イースト・ベイでの教会とLGBTに関するイベントでアーニー・ムラタとバーバラ・ヒウラに会い、二人の強い勧めでウェスレーに戻ってきました。
So it’s important to recall this passage from Romans and to be patient in tribulation. We can change and make a better church. It’s not always a rapid process, but we will continue to strive for a better, more inclusive future.



Emily Chou

Hello! My name is Emily Chou, and I am part of MYF (the high school youth group) here at Wesley. I am a senior in high school and have been a member of our church’s Reconciling Committee since fall 2013. Today I am going to share with you what being an ally of the LGBTQ community means to me.
こんにちは! 私の名前はエミリー・チョウです。ここウェスレー教会の高校生のユースグループであるMYFのメンバーです。私はハイスクールのシニアで、2013年の秋からこの教会のリコンサイリング・コミッティーの一員として仕えてきました。今日はLGBTQのコミュニティの仲間(味方)であるということがどういうものであるか、ということをお話ししたいと思います。
When I was in seventh grade, I was part of choir at my school, and through that came my introduction to my school’s theatre community. In choir, I became friends with a boy about three years older than me, and after around a year of friendship, he messaged me a poem that he had written about his sexuality. I felt honored that he trusted me enough to reveal such a personal aspect of his life. Now, I’ve grown up in a time that is generally more accepting of those who identify as LGBTQ, so it wasn’t as big of a shock to me; openly identifying myself as an ally of the LGBTQ community seemed like the most obvious choice. But it was still something I was learning about. Since then, I’ve made a number of close friends, some of which identify as part of the LGBTQ community, and our friendship hasn’t changed because of it. It simply opened my eyes and broadened my understanding of our similarities and differences.
Growing up in the church, I’ve been taught since I was a toddler that to truly love God is to spread His love to others. Because of this, I felt that being an ally to the LGBTQ community and those that share my faith was to represent God’s unconditional love for each and every person, regardless of sexuality, gender, race, or any other variation among different groups of people. I’ve found that in being accepting toward everyone, no matter their sexuality, I’ve introduced them to our kind of faith in God that is rarer than we would like it to be. I’ve been able to show my LGBTQ friends that God doesn’t discriminate against His children, because we are all created in His image. I’ve been able to proudly tell them about my church, and our strong belief and declaration that all people are welcome here. I’ve been able to offer them unconditional support by showing them that they shouldn’t feel afraid or ashamed to be themselves, because to be surrounded by God’s people is to be surrounded by people that allow them to be themselves in their truest form. We are all equal in the eyes of the Lord, and to judge another person based on something that makes them unique or different from us is to assume that we are more worthy than they, and that we have the wisdom and judgment that only God has.
To be an ally is to simply love our neighbors without exception. It is to provide a safe space for our brothers and sisters to be themselves unapologetically. It is to be an advocate for their rights, happiness, safety, and freedom in a world that tries to diminish their voice. It is to show them the love and acceptance we are freely granted simply for identifying as straight. It is to lead by example and to care more about their character than the sex of the person they love. It is to treat them the way you would treat anyone else while challenging the prejudice that is still too present in our society.
To me, being an ally of the LGBTQ community is to believe in the power of love, especially God’s love, above everything else

Sarah Hasegawa & Melissa Duval

If, ten years ago, Wesley UMC had decided to become a reconciling church, I would have seen, heard, and rejoiced in it as a welcome and inspiring act of love and equality.
But Wesley's decision has ended up holding a much more personal meaning than that, in a way that my self of ten years ago would not have been able to predict.
Seven years ago, Melissa and I became a couple. Knowing how important Wesley was to me and to my family, she made the effort to come to church with me and to learn about the place and the people I considered my second home. I introduced her to the Sunday School teachers, the Girl Scout leaders, the church camp counselors, the adopted aunties and uncles and grandparents who have filled my life here. I told her about singing praise songs barefoot in this very sanctuary, the youth group sleepovers in the pews, the festival preparations in the kitchen. Every time we visited together we could feel the warmth and support of everyone around us, and we counted our blessings repeatedly, so very grateful that Wesley was accepting of us -- just as we were.
We proposed to each other on our fifth anniversary, and with an engagement of course comes the planning of a wedding. Even though we had seen Wesley host a same-sex marriage, I was uneasy about trying to have our marriage here -- the thought of asking one of the United Methodist pastors I knew so well to risk losing their job to officiate our same-sex marriage seemed like an unreasonable request to make.
To realize this meant I wouldn't get married in my home church didn't upset me as much as you might think; it came along with the mental territory of being in a same-sex relationship. You recognize that there are certain situations in which your welcome can be different from that of a heteronormative couple. It was just one of those things that we're conditioned to think: churches and same-sex marriages don't really go together.
My mom came home one evening after working in the church office. She said that she had mentioned our engagement to Reverend Keith, and that he was so very happy for us to hear the news. This made me smile. Then she added:
"He also said, 'Please let them know that they can have it here, if they want.'"
And as my chest tightened and my eyes filled with tears, I suddenly realized that it really did matter to me, a lot, that it was ok for me to be married here in my home church.
Nobody had ever told me it *wasn't* ok...
...but nobody had actually said, until that moment, that it *was* ok.
And that is what made all the difference. And that is why we can be married to one another in March, here, by one of Wesley's pastors, in the presence of our friends and family, in my second home.
That is why it isn't enough just to be not-hostile, why it isn't enough just to be pleasantly standing by.
Wesley's decision to be a reconciling church means that this congregation boldly, visibly, radically, clearly declares to the world that it *is* ok. So that there can be no mistake that we are welcome -- that all are welcome.


Marlene & Wayne Kamiya

Good morning everyone. My name is Marlene Kamiya and this is my husband Wayne. We have been on the reconciling committee for the past 4 years. We wanted to share from the perspectives as parents.
I personally was raised in a very strict church (fire and brimstone) in N.D. The night before I was flying to North Dakota to be with my mother who was dying, I learned that our daughter was gay. She was telling me about her friend being gay and I'm not sure why but I asked, "You're not gay are you"? Well, she didn't lie to me. I guess I was in shock and already quite emotional over my mother so I'm not sure it was really registering. I actually had thought she was always a little "boy crazy". When I returned home we of course had many conversations. My love for her has always been so strong, but I was just trying to understand?! Bless her heart, she put up with me asking every now and then, "Are you sure?”
Because of my faith upbringing and the church’s stand on LGBTQ people, I needed to understand and know as a Christian, that my daughter would have salvation. My journey to find answers began with our church’s reconciling committee. With the leadership of Pastor Jeffrey and many others, reading the Bible and taking a closer look at the clobber passages, language, the context, and intention brought a clearer understanding. It makes me angry that the bible has been used to discriminate against and hurt so many LGBTQ people.
私のそれまでの信仰的な環境とLGBTQの人々に対して教会がとっていた立場から、私の娘にも救いが与えられる、ということをクリスチャンとしてはっきり理解し、確認しておかなければならなかったのです。私のこの問いに対する答を見つける旅はウェスレーのリコンサイリング・コミッティーから始まりました。ジェフリー・ホール牧師を初めとする多くの方々のリーダーシップと、同性愛を否定していると言われる聖書の箇所(Clobber Passages)をその言葉と背景と意図から詳しく学ぶことによって、より明確に理解できるようになりました。これまで多くのLGBTQの人々を差別し、傷つけるために聖書が利用されたことを思うと、とても腹立たしい気持ちになってしまいます。
Wayne and I both love our daughter and are so very proud of her. It is hard for me to understand how any parent could abandon their children ever, and when a child shares the truth to his or her family is a time
when support and love is so important. God created all of us and loves each of us. He doesn't make mistakes. We are all His children.
As parents we are so happy that we belong to a church full of open minded, loving, non-judgmental, accepting people. We were so happy that we as Christians, gained a much more complete understanding and interpretation of the clobber passages that are being used to condemn and hurt so many LGBTQ people in the world, and that we could be 100% accepting of LGBT people without feeling like we were compromising our Christian faith in any way.
開かれた心を持ち、愛に溢れ、決めつけず、いつも迎え入れてくれる人々に満たされたこの教会に属していることを私たちは親として本当に幸せに思います。そして世界中の多くのLGBTQの人々を非難し傷つけることに利用されているClobber Passagesを今は正しく理解し、解釈できたこと、更にはキリスト教の信仰をゆがめると思うことなくLGBTQの人々を心の底から受け入れることができるようになったことをクリスチャンとしてとても嬉しく思います。
As a church member, and as chair of our reconciling committee, I have never been so proud of our church, the church I grew up in, and the church that my father spent so much of his life serving in. It was truly a great day in the history of this church when we voted unanimously on October 21, 2013 to become a reconciling church.
Marlene and I are so proud to be members of this church, and to stand with you all to do what is right, and to live up to what we say in our welcoming statement…
Wesley United Methodist Church proclaims without reservation God’s unconditional love and grace and affirms the dignity and worth of every person as created in the image of God. We are a Reconciling Church welcoming into the full life of the church all persons regardless of age, ethnicity, economic circumstance, gender identity and sexual orientation. We welcome all who wish to worship God.
All of this gives us great hope for the future of our church and the future of our children and our world as we all continue to proclaim in word and deed, God’s all-inclusive love.


Rev. Izzy Alvaran

On behalf of Reconciling Ministries Network – over 700 churches and faith communities and over 32,000 Reconciling United Methodists – I congratulate you on your third anniversary as an open, affirming, Reconciling Church!
I had the privilege to read in advance the transcripts of everyone’s testimony today. Their stories brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for your powerful witness! You have touched my heart, for I am a gay United Methodist clergy who is proudly out to my bishop and the church, and to my family. I am still standing today, struggling for change in our church’s policies against persons like me because of you. You are my family!
私は皆さんの今日の証しの原稿を予め読ませて頂きました。皆さんのお話は私の目に涙を誘うものばかりでした。本当に素晴らしい証しを有難うございました! 皆さんのお話は私の心に深く響きました。というのも、私自身が合同メソジスト教会の牧師であり、ゲイであるからです。そしてこのことは私の年会の監督(Bishop) にも、メソジスト教会にも、そして家族にも既に明らかにしていることなのです。私が今ここに立って私のような人々に対するメソジスト教会の方針を変えるために働くことができるのも、皆様のおかげです。皆様は私の家族なのです。
A lot of people ask me what it means to be a Reconciling Church. You see, our denomination, the United Methodist Church, has laws and policies that discriminate against a certain community – my community – lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender, intersex, asexual, and queer persons. We are not allowed to be ordained if we “practice” our homosexuality. Our weddings cannot be held in our churches and cannot be officiated by our pastors. We cannot spend official church money for the “promotion” of homosexuality. We are second class members of this church.
In choosing to be a Reconciling Church, you are standing up and telling our denomination: Stop the harm! We say no to discrimination against our children and loved ones. In the love of the Divine we are all reconciled – our whole person, our relationships, our families. A Reconciling Church is a bright
rainbow in our communities that offer hope and safe space for all people. A Reconciling Church is committed to struggle against discrimination in our church, and will continue to live out our biblical and Gospel mandate to love all people – and we mean ALL people.
If there is one word that is woven through the stories we heard today, it is LOVE. It is the love of parents for their child. The love of one person for another in a committed relationship. The love of a church for all people. All inspired by the unconditional love of the Divine for all of us. In the midst of hate and discrimination, we bring love. When we hear talk of schism and separation, we come to the table with our faith stories rooted in love. When we read the news and hear stories of our children committing suicide because their families and their churches cannot accept them for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender – we respond with a warm embrace and offer them our love. Even as we stand up and advocate in the streets, in the ballot box, in the policy-making bodies of our church, we do so because we are driven by love for all those turned away by society and our church.
Today, we celebrate the love that knows no bounds. Today, we celebrate the love of men for other men, the love of women for other women. Today, we celebrate the love of every person for their gender identity as transgender persons. Today, we celebrate love for the “other” – the ones in the periphery, in the margins. Today, we celebrate your love for the church – never giving up hope that change will come – that love will always triumph in the end. AMEN!

10月25日 「私を憐れんでください」 ジョン・ビジテーション先生















 2007年の夏、私は初めてのサマーキャンプを共同企画しました。そして、それは私が UJCC(フレズノ合同教会)でキース先生と一緒にインターンをさせていただいた同じ夏でもありました。

そして、この時すでにキース先生と先生の行うミニストリーにくっついて大部分の夏を過ごしていましたが、私はいつのまにか、自分が 日系人サマーキャンプ(略してエイジアン・キャンプ)を手伝っているのに気づきました。




















栄光と平和が皆さんと共にありますように。 アーメン。


2015年 7月26日「神の国はパン種のようなものである」ディビッド・コウ牧師





先週のパン種のたとえ話では、ある女性が台所で、裸足で、パンを焼いていたとき、神の国が存在したということを、私たちは知りました。そして神の国は、誰もがパンを分かち合うことが出来た小さなガリラヤの村の共同キッチンに、存在したのです。 本日は、イエスが話した神の国のたとえ話の続きを読み進めたいと思います。

今日の聖書では、神の国が畑に隠された宝のようであると語られています。重要なことは、「宝」が畑にある点です。それは一般的に理解しやすい事柄だからなのです。毎日人々は、その畑のそばを通り過ぎていきます。幾人かの人々はおそらくすでに宝を目にしていたことでしょう! なぜなら宝はその畑にあったのですから。













私にとって、グラント・エレメンタリー・スクールとセント・ジェームズパークで行うcom(e)passion ミニストリーは同じです。予想していなかった宝を畑で見つけるようなものなのです。








今年の2月に私はAtonさんとRoyさんと共に初めて校長のPaulette Zades先生に彼女のオフィスでお会いしました。この最初のミーティングで私たちは彼女の生徒に対する情熱を感じ、またウェスレーからの援助の申し出好意的である事を知りました。私たちの当初の計画は文具を提供するか、学校にクリスマス・ギフト・バッグを送るという事でした、しかし、校長は1歩先を望み、放課後のリーディングプログラムのボランティアができないかと尋ねられました。それは私たちにとって少し背伸びをするような事でしたが、しかし、私たちは信仰をもって飛び込むことに決めました。




 セントジェームスパーク ミニストリーも同じです。山本一牧師が後でシェアしてくれますが、私は人々の人生に確かに何かしらの違いを生み出すんだということを言いたいのです。

 既にブライアンの話は以前話しました。ブライアンはホームレスでしたが、私たちは彼と昨年パークで出会いました。ウェスレーの仲間の助けを得て、彼は今ホームレス状態を脱し、完全に自立をしています。彼はフルタイムの仕事をBoston marketでしており、フレズノのpharmacy tech schoolの一年目を丁度終えたところです。







私たちはサンノゼの全ての問題を解決することはできないかもしれません。しかし私たちは一つの学校を助ける事ができます。また一人のホームレスの人生を変えることができます。このことが神の国の実現、そしてウェスレーの未来に繋がると思うのです。そして、あなたがその一部を担ってくださる事を心から願っています。 アーメン