The South Carolina Synod sent Rev. Robert Byrne as the first ‘exchange pastor’ to the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church (JELC) (see article in the September/October 2008 S.C. Lutheran, p.7; available online at http://www.sclutheran.org/ > Publications).
Pastor Byrne has created a blog at http://scepreports.blogspot.com, and is keeping a journal online so that all of us can keep up with what’s happening in his ministry in Japan. In his introductory paragraphs, he wrote:
On October 1st of 2008 this pastor will be the 1st ‘exchange pastor’ from the South Carolina Synod of the ELCA to be sent for six months to serve the JELC, or Japanese Evangelical Lutheran Church. I will serve throughout the country of Japan at the direction of the JELC in both churches and social institutions. I will serve on the streets working with the abused, the disadvantaged, and the outcasts as well as in the member churches and related institutions.
Check out Pastor Byrne’s blog and keep this ministry in your prayers!
St. John’s sponsored an outreach project for the six months Pastor Byrne and wife, Christine, were in Japan. The Byrnes will served Japanese congregations from October 2008 until March 2009 in the five Districts of the JELC. Various church groups within our church family will be sending cards, etc., to the Byrnes as an encouragement and affirmation of this ministry. Each group will be responsible for one of the six months. Our entire church family can participate by praying for Pastor Byrne and Christine as they minister to fellow Lutherans in Japan.
This St. John’s – Japan Outreach project is in keeping with the long history we share. The first Lutheran missionary to Japan, James A. B. Scherer, was ordained and commissioned at St. John’s on November 22, 1891.
THANK YOU for the energy, effort, and enthusiasm for this outreach ministry.
Dr. Rev. Counts and Donna, Coordinators