Being Covenant

Post a Comment » Written on January 30th, 2011     
Filed under: Family, missions
Yesterday was the annual gathering of all seven churches that make up the Tokyo District of the Japan Covenant. We converged on the Meguro Covenant Church for a time of praise, business, learning and fellowship. The theme for the learning segment was Covenant Identity. I was asked to talk about Covenant Identity from the U.S. ECC perspective since that’s where the Japanese Covenant has her roots. Then two other co-workers shared from their perspectives; one who has been in the Japan Covenant all along and one who came in from another group. I talked about Covenant Affirmations, Covenant Distinctives, requirements for membership in a Covenant church and then talked about a Covenant view of scripture and why we choose not to use terms like “inerrancy” and “infallibility”. Finally I talked about why the Covenant is not a creedal denomination.

I appreciated what the other two had to share. They are my co-workers and friends. And even as I resonated with much of what they said, I found myself profoundly disagreeing with certain elements of what both of them shared. And yet at the end of the day I felt more closely knit to them than I did before the gathering. I guess that is about as good of an example as I can imagine of what it means to be Covenant!

When we were enjoying some food and free time at the end I got to talking with Mr. Naito, an elderly gentleman who has been a member of the Meguro Covenant Church for years. He was there all through my youth when we were a part of that church. The conversation turned to my parents and he mentioned that soon after they arrived he took them on a tour of Kamakura. I immediately recalled one particular photograph in my father’s collection. The note on the negative holder said it was taken in Kamakura and it shows my parents and a Japanese young man who appears to be their guide. I managed to pull it up on my iPod right there and showed it to him and sure enough… it was him! He didn’t even remember having their picture taken that day and had never seen the photo before, but it was unmistakably him. I never cease to be totally excited by all the little discoveries I keep making as a result of digitizing and publicizing my dad’s photos. This particular photo had already made it into my final selection of favorites. My dad is wearing a somewhat Al Capone’ish overcoat and my mother’s coat has pockets big enough to carry medium sized animals! I think I might ask Mr. Naito to make a day trip to Kamakura with Hydi and me when it gets warmer!

Mr. Naito, Mom and Dad in Kamakura; February 1956

Mr. Naito on the far right, sitting next to me.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog