After COVID-19 in Motherhouse Bethel
It started concerning about the COVID-19 in the beginning of February, 2020 in Japan. First, we believed it was not about us but in China. However, like every other countries, the situation quickly changed in March. Many schools had stopped since then and also some people had to cancel their works for preventing from the virus. Then, the Japanese government declared a state of emergency in April.
Here, in the Motherhouse Bethel, Kobe, the lifestyle for Deaconesses is not changed very much. However, Motherhouse Bethel itself, almost all Bethel's gatherings were cancelled or postponed since then. Also, people expecting to use Bethel's hall for their activities and to stay in our accommodation facilities were not able to even come to our place. Then, the Sunday Worship (including Sunday School) of the Bethel Church also had to stop after the declaring. However, we started sending movies for Sunday Worship and Sunday School through Youtube. It was good experience for us to find the other way to keep doing a missionary work even if we had to stay home. We decided the cancellation of Summer Camp by that time which is very important event for us every year. It is pity not having the Summer Camp this year since we had this almost over 40 years. Children became interested in the word of God and recently they sent their own children to us.
Gladly, we could restart Sunday Worship and Sunday School since the declaring was removed in June. Fortunately, congregation came back to the Worship and Sunday School soon after. Though some people and groups gradually started using our place, which was very grateful for us, we have to think about what we can do again from now on as the number of people who are infected with COVID-19 have been increasing again since July. We may be forced to close down again depending on the spread of the infection. After all, we pray for all the people around the world in the various situation. Especially, those who lost dear family members may be comforted.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition,
With thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Dear Lord, the coronavirus crisis scares us. People all over the world get sick because of it. And much more remain at home or at a distance from each other so as not to become infected with the new virus.
We ask you to help us in this situation, because you called us to be close to people and help them in their needs. Help us stay calm and let us show solidarity with those who need special protection now.
Be with the sick and with everyone who cares for them. Be with the families who lost their loved once. Be with the many people how lost their job. Be with the poor how have even not enough food to eat.
Let us share your precious and living word. The word of God will give comfort and strength to those who lost their hope.
Let us believe, that there will be in near future again the opportunity to care for guests and groups in our Motherhouse Bethel.
Over all, let us be thankful for your presence with us and our loved once every day new.
The 23rd Concert of Bethel Chamber Ensemble
The 23rd concert of Bethel Chamber Ensemble was held in the 18th of January in 2020 and this was the first event in Motherhouse Bethel in 2020. We have been giving various concerts once or twice of year since 2003. We performed string quartet in this time which is consisted of four string instruments such as two violins, viola and violoncello. The member were Junichi Harada and Yasuyo Taharaguchi violin, Shaming Li viola, and Kumiko Hosotani violoncello. The program were Haydn Sunrise string quartet and Beethoven string quartet no.8. The beginning of Haydn's quartet expressed really like actual sunrise. You can find out clearly Beethoven's pieces hold two different characters which are intensity and tranquility if you heard his works. The second movement of this string quartet no.8 has beauty which seems to show a forgiveness.
We appreciate many people came to this concert. We will announce the next concert soon. Thank you very much.
See the photos here.
Christmas events 2019
First of all, the advent services were held in the 30th of Nov. and the 1st of Dec.. Rev. Masamitsu Futagawa, pastor of Takamatsu Christ Church, gave us three messages in each service. The main theme was " will find favor in the wilderness".
From his sermons, the wilderness of life; people sometimes have difficulties in their life but that is the time to meet God. You are received the grace, that God face to your difficulties with you. You will find your hope from that experience...
There were also musical offerings; Yasuyo Harada(the 1st and 2nd services) and Junichi Harada(the 3rd service) performed violin, and Junko Ishino played organ for all services.
We appreciate to have several Christmas gatherings in which we celebrated god's birth with people joined with us.
We had the gathering for the Women on the 10th, for the Belakh on the 14th, the Deutsch Anfanger on the 15th and the Deutsch frauen on the 18th. We had really good time and could touch the god's words in those gatherings.
see the pictures here.
Bethel Kitchen 2019 Autumn
The Bethel kitchen was held in the 6th of November.
We tried to cook Spanish cuisine in this time. Spanish people like to have seafood just like Japanese. Therefore, Spanish cuisine could be similar as Japanese food in that sense. We cooked 5 dishes, which are Paella, Sopa de ajo,
Natillas, Ensalada de Zanahoria and Empanadilla. Ms. Atsuko Kamata taught us how to cook those foods and Sr. Setoguchi also helped for us. We enjoyed not only cooking but eating them for lunch after that.
We are planning to do Bethel kitchen in 2020 and will give the information soon here.
Thank you very much.
The Afternoon Concert
The afternoon concert was held in the 20th of Oct. Ms. Chihoko Kostner, pianist and songwriter, performed for us.
We appreciated her performance in which sang God's love. Also, she used video for her performance. Some people came to concert after finished their Sunday service not only from Kobe but Osaka. We suppose people were healed from her performance. This concert was the last of her concert tour in Kansai area 2019. We pray for her activities in the future.
Thank you very much.
Seminar 2019 has finished.
The 3rd Seminar was held in the 29/9/2019 and it was the last seminar in 2019.
The title was "How to attend to children with the learning disabilities and its fundamental understanding ."
Leaning disabilities is a neurological disorder. In simple terms, a learning disability results from a difference in the way a person's brain is "wired." Children with learning disabilities are as smart or smarter than their peers. But they may have difficulty reading, writing, spelling, reasoning, recalling and/or organizing information if left to figure things out by themselves or if taught in conventional ways.
A learning disability can't be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong issue. With the right support and intervention, however, children with learning disabilities can succeed in school and go on to successful, often distinguished careers later in life.
The main content was how to attend and understand children with LD. Dr. Kei'ichi Takeda introduced us what kinds of disabilities in listening, reading, watching, writing were caused to children, and also the tendencies. It is no solution if the parents led their kids with LD do lots of things even if they can not do well. Therefore, parents and their teacher should find each appropriate way to each children with LD. Dr. Takeda also taught us various cases.
For instance, watching way to a child who got trouble with reading, and providing tablet learning.
Thank you very much for supporting our seminar. We will have a plan to do seminar 2020 and tell you details soon after.
Summer School 2019 for pre-school students
The summer school for pre-school students was held from 9/8/2019 to 10/8/2019.
8 students and their family joined in the summer school.
We studied bible stories, made handcrafts and sang hymns during during the summer school. All students spent nice time each other though some of them took part in it for the first time.
We just thank God that we could have such a nice summer school without any problem. Also, we appreciate many volunteers helped us so much. Already, we are looking for the next summer school.
See you next year !!
See the photos here.
Summer School 2019 for primary and junior high school students
The summer school for primary and junior high school students was just finished last week. It was scheduled for three days, from 1/8/2019 till 3/8/2019.
First of all, we are very glad no one injured and have any trouble during the school. The number of participants was 25, and also 9 volunteers, mainly university students who had experienced the summer school when they were students, helped very much.
The theme 2019 was " Walk along with God !"
Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,the guards stand watch in vain. (127-1, psalm)
But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” (4-6, James)
Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. (20-32, Matthew)
On the first day, Mr. Masahiro Fujino, researcher of Parantica Sita(Asagi Madara), gave us a lecture
about the butterfly. He brought some Asagi Madara and let them fly in the hall. He taught us about the ecology of Asagi Madara. Surprisingly, one of them flied from Kyoto to Yonagunijima(near Okinawa) for only five days and its distance is about 1700km! We made a model of Asagi Madara in the end of the class.
On the second day, students made kaleidoscope. Each kaleidoscopes has different pattern. Also, they decorated its outside by themselves. All of them are very beautiful.
Students studied bible stories throughout the summer school. The studies were classified by the ages and they learned respectively.
They had spent enjoyably for three days. They stayed for a while reluctantly after the last meeting. All sisters are already looking forward to meeting them again in the next summer 2020.
see the pictures here !
Bethel Kitchen vol.9
The Bethel kitchen was held in 5/6/2019.
The title was "the menu of Japanese food for the raining season". We cooked four dishes which were Sutamina-Oinari, Ebi-shinjyo-wan, Natsuyasai-assariduke and Furutsu-Gyunyu-Kan. We invited Ms.Atsuko Kamata again as a lecturer and also Sr. Setoguchi helped for that. Though the number of participant was only five and their work increased each other, they could carry out work in cooperation with other people. All dishes were just fantastic and they enjoyed eating them at lunch.
Next bethel kitchen will be on Autumn 2019 and we will inform it soon.
Thank you very much.
Special Worship for 34th Anniversary year of the founding
Special worship for 34th anniversary year of the founding was held in the 19th of May, 2019 in the Motherhouse Bethel.
First, we had a worship service at the chapel in the 4th floor, and Dr. Joachim Drechsel, coming to Japan from Marburg Germany, especially for this anniversary worship, gave a sermon for us that title was "the greatness of the living God".
After the service, we had a tea party. Sisters and fellow workers sang hymns. Mr.Junichi Harada and Ms.Yasuyo Harada performed violin duo for us as a guest performance.
We appreciate many people who always pray for us and our activities attended this special worship.
Thank you very much.
Seminar 2019, one of very important events for us, was held in the afternoon of 7/4/19 at motherhouse bethel. We have three seminars in a year, dealing with one particular theme.
We invited prof. Keiichi Takeda, adviser of Osaka Medical college LD center and professor emeritus of Osaka Kyoiku University, and gave a lecture for us, titled "Aiming prosperous communication! Support children who have speech defect."
Prof.Takeda explained in great detail about how the children are seen, communication with them, how you attend to them, and examples of the children's movements (by video).
Thank you very much for joining with us. Especially, we are glad some young mother came and took an interest of those theme.
Next seminar will be on 16/6/19 and start in 2p.m.
"How to attend to children with developmental disorder and its fundamental understanding. Approaching to Autism spectrum disorder."
Visited to the Bethesda Diaconisse Motherhouse.
Sr. Etsuko Tsujino visited the Bethesda Diaconisse Motherhouse in Tokyo in March 2019.
All diaconisses there are quite old now same as sisters in Motherhouse Bethel. Now four diaconisses still work in Tokyo and two of them work in Tateyama Chiba. We invited them to Motherhouse Bethel in 2004 and 2006 for the meeting called "All Japan Diaconisses Congress". We had really nice time with them at that time and has been keeping touch with them since then.
Sr.Tsujino were able to meet three of them. She was very pleased to meet them as a same diaconisse though it was a short time.
Here is their Homepage
Paraguay Harp Concert
Paraguay Harp Concert held in 16/3/19 and Edouard Klassen ,born in Paraguay and lives Canada, performed for us. He played many hymns and christian songs. We also enjoyed his talking between performances. We were very impressed about how he first met music; he was brought up in countryside town where was nothing. His father bought a little radio in town and he was very impressed the sound came from a little box. That experience was his starting point to be musician.
Mr.Klassen came to Japan for the first time and had touring for nine concerts after touring in NewZealand in February.
Thank you very much.
We introduce his Homepage here.
All Christmas gatherings in 2018 finished.
After the advent services, we had six Christmas gatherings in December including Christmas services in the Bethel church.
First was for German lady(Deutsch Frauen) in the 12th. One of ladies gave flute performance for us. Next was for Berakah's gathering in the evening of 15th. Not only people who attend normal Berakah's gathering but also new people came for it. We had organ player whose name is Ms. Etsuko Amakawa (Organist in Ashiya reformed church)as guest and performed for us. The gathering for Beginner's German class(Deutsch für Anfänger)was in the 16th. We listened the story of Father Siegar Koeder who was also famous German painter and some of his pictures have been hung in motherhouse bethel.
After that, there were the Christmas service and the Christmas eve service in the Bethel church. See the page of Bethel church.
The Advent Services 2018
The Advent Services was held in the 1st and 2nd of December, two services in the 1st and one service in the 2nd as usual. We had Rev. Akio Hashimoto, professor of the Kobe Lutheran Theological Seminary, giving messages titled "My Lord, my God in eternity." We felt his firm faith to God from his messages. Also, we were impressed to his mission telling young students what he learnt in various European countries. Junichi and Yasuyo Harada gave violin performances during these services. We appreciate many people joined with us. There are some photos down here.
Bethel kitchen vol.8
Bethel kitchen vol.8 was held in 31/10/18. The menu was "Pumpkin Pie". Sr. Natsuko Setoguchi, be in charge of cooking in motherhouse Bethel, often made some cakes for people visiting here. The pie is one of them. Also, Minestrone was added with it as the side menu. Ms.Atsuko Kamata, former lecturer of cooking school and works in the kitchen of motherhouse bethel once a week, joined with us as a lecturer. Sr.Setoguchi also took part in it.. We appreciate that we could have fun time together. See some photos here.
The 22nd concert of Bethel Chamber Ensemble
Bethel Chamber Ensemble had the 22nd concert in the 5/10/2018. This concert was supposed to be in July but was postponed because of the heavy raining. We were glad quite many people came to the concert even though it was Friday night.
The member were Junichi Harada(Vn), Yasuyo Taharaguchi(Vn), Li Shaming(Va), Yuko Noda(Vc), Tomoki Matsumoto(Cb). They performed works of Rossini, Mozart and Dvorak. They explained those pieces and also instruments especially contrabass.
They will have concerts next year. Thank you very much.
see photos here.
The last seminar, one of three seminars, was finished in 9/9/18. We invited Ms.Ikuko Nagahara, director of Mana maternity hospital in Hiyodoridai Kita-ku Kobe, in this year.
The theme of this year was "Look at your life!", then the title of the third was "Look at your life, we aim for the god's will." She talked about not only the work of her maternity hospital but new activity, called "the door for small life". This place is for women who face to their difiiculties, for instance, people who get unexpected pregnant, thinking abortion, abusing your baby, having a birth but can not foster a baby and so on. Throughout three seminars in this year, what she strongly said about is the importance of the educating to young students what is sex to prevent those problem. Therefore, she has given the lecture in many school as much as possible. If you are interested, visit her website here. Also some photos in seminars here.
summer camp 2018
Summer camp were held in August, 2018.
There were two divisions, one was for primary students and junior high school, and the other was for pre school kids.
The first one was held from 2/8 to 4/8 and 21 students joined in this year. They studied bible texts, sang some hymns and made handcrafts. Mr. Masazumi Fujiwara, physics lecturer in University, taught them how to make a microscope using a pet bottle, then they observed a sliced onion by their handmade microscope.
The second one was held from 17th to 18th just after the OBON vacation. Five kids attended the camp with their mother and father. They enjoyed bible story, sing some hymns and making handcrafts.
We are really pleased that they enjoyed our camp, and also some volunteers helped us very much.
We are looking forward to meeting them next year.
See the same photos, here.
Bethel Kitchen Vol.7
We had the 7th Bethel kitchen in the 13th of June, 2018, making HongKong domestic cuisine. Ms. Kayo Murakami, cook in Motherhouse bethel, used to stay in HonkKong for a certain time and learned it from friends there. They made 4 dishes for this time. Everyone really liked them and a few people went to ChinaTown in Kobe directly to get special ingredients so that they would cook them in their house.
see some photos here.
Special worship for 33rd anniversary year of the founding
The special worship for 33rd anniversary year of the founding of the Motherhouse Bethel was held in the 20th of May, 2018 in Motherhouse Bethel.
First, the worship was held in our chapel and Rev. Hidehiko Fujita, the pastor of Mission Covenant Church of Kobe, gave a massage for us which was "a developing knot in new situation.". Also, Sister Etsuko Tsujino, representative of Motherhouse bethel, and Sister Tomoko Yamazaki, pastor of Bethel Church, report about themselves continuously. Sister Kuniko Kamata made her testimony during the service.
After the worship, we had a tea party and MAKI & LILY, duo gospel group, gave their performance. They sang not only standard gospel music but Mozart motet and their original music.
Thank you very much for attending our worship. We are very pleased for that.
See some photos here.
Bethel Kitchen vol.6, 2017
The Bethel kitchen was held in 4/10/2017. It was 6th bethel kitchen. Though we planned to have it twice this time as many people informed us of the participation, eventually 12 people took part in it. Therefore, we did it once in the 4th of Oct.
The menu was RInderroulade, (German beef roll).
It was apparently quite familiar in German family. The participants seemed to enjoy cooking it with us.
Sister Setoguchi(Sr. Nelly) taking in charge of this time commented,
"This was the 6th Bethel kitchen. 11 people joined with us for the Bethel Kitchen. Some people were first time with us and some other have participated since the 1st Bethel Kitchen. We had such a fun time, cooking and eating it together. The menu was German beef roll. Ms. Takatsu, used to work in the kitchen of Motherhouse Bethel about 30 years ago, taught me the recipe.
- Rolling sliced onions, sliced bacons, and pickles by thin beef, and grilled it. And put gravy sauce on it. Some vegetables served together with it. It would be pleasure for me if you put it in your family recipe as it is not difficult to cook it. I am looking forward to meeting you in the next time.
Some participants wrote a questionnaire for us in the last,
" I appreciated learning the recipe which is the
arrangement of pickles and mastered, like German food. "
" I will cook it straight away for my family."
" Now, people spend a busy life and we tend to cook easy
and eat easy. I was really glad that we had such a
precious time to think deeply having real meal and
cooking in a real way"
We will plan "Bethel Kitchen" twice a year and advertise it in this homepage and newsletter.
Thank you very much.
*see some pictures here.
Summer School 2017
We had the summer school in August 2017 and finished successfully with our blessings.
FIsrt, the summer school for primary and junior high school students started and 16 people took part in it. They stayed here for 3 days. They studied bible text, making moss terrarium, and listening the lecture about the history of Kobe city especially during war time and the city emblem. Everyone worked hard for each program and made good friendship during the time. Therefore, they finished the school, promising to meet next summer.
The summer school for pre-school children was held in 18th-19th August just after OBON vacation(japanese summer vacation). The participant is that two 5 years old, two 4 years old and one 1 years old children with their mother and father. They did short worship, singing, handicraft and puppet play.
Some volunteers helped us for the summer school very much.
We appreciated them. We hope to meet everyone in the next summer here in Motherhouse Bethel.
Thank you very much.
The 21st concert of the Bethel Chamber Concert
The Bethel Chamber concert was held in the 10th of June 2017. This time was performance of flout traverso, baroque violin, soprano and organ. The organ used in this concert is in motherhouse bethel was made by the organmeister Mr. Ikuo Nakai. This was the first time performed the organ in public concert though it has used in various services. The audience seemed enjoyining the sound. Ms. Yuki Mori, soprano, is still 4th year student of Tokyo fine arts university. She had attended summer school in motherhouse bethel during her school time. We are glad that she came back here and gave her performance for us.
Bethel Kitchen vol.5
Bethel Kitchen vol.5 was held in the 7th of June 2017. This was 5th time. Following the previous time 'featuring flour', we made 'Sui-Gyoza' and also 'Mizu-kimuchi' as a relish.
The number of participant was 7 people and almost all were followed from last time. We could learn how to use flour in various ways and had nice time together.
The next kitchen will be on this autumn. We will announce about the detail later in this HP.
Special worship for the 32nd anniversary year
The special worship for the 32nd anniversary year was held in the 21st of May 2017. We are very pleased that many people attend it and keep in their mind about us.
We had Rev. Akihiro Kitsunai, pastor of Mikage Lutheran church, for its sermon. Mr. Yoshiya Horiuchi, Ms. Etsuko Sawamura and Ms. Yoshiko Sawamura gave us special service for singing, which was beautiful harmony.
We would like to make steady progress in this 33rd year, praying the god.
Bethel Chamber Ensemble the 20th concert
The concert of Bethel chamber ensemble was held on the 11th of February 2017. The weather on that day was not too bad but quite cold though it expected to be heavily snowing according to weather report.
This concert series has continued since 2003 and the concert this time was string quartet. They performed three pieces, the collaboration work of three Russian composers (Glazunov, Lyadov,Rimsky-Korsakov), Beethoven and Debussy. The number of audience was nearly 100 and some of them left good comments for the concert.
Thank you very much.
2016 the Advent Services
The advent services were held in the 3rd and 4th of December. There were three services, which were brought by Rev. Michio Ebihara, the former senior pastor of the Mikage lutheran church. He just retired the church in this September 2016 and gives classes in Kobe lutheran theological Seminary and Kobe lutheran bible institute now. The services were on the theme of "Look this person".
Mr. Junichi Harada and Ms.Yasuyo Harada performed violin during services.
2016 Summer School
2016 Summer School was held in August. There were two classes in this year, one is for primary and junior high school students, and the other is for pre-school children.
The first class was held for three days in the beginning of the August and 15 student participated in that. The high spot was that Ms. RItsuko Koreeda who gave her assistance to Mother Theresa for more than ten years, came and gave the speech about Mother Theresa and her activities.
Also, there were bible studies, games, and singing hymns during the school.
The school for pre-school children was held after the first one and it was for two days. It need accompanied by a parent. The only two families participated in it in this year. We wish more children will join us next year. There were bible stories, games, watching videos and singing hymns during school.
You can see some photoes from here.
Bethel Kitchen vol.3
The bethel kitchen vol.3 was held in 1/6/2016.
We have started "the bethel kitchen" since last year under the concept of " using safe things in your house ". We made the cake called "Cake Pignion" used piñon nuts, which is one of cakes Sr. Setoguchi often made for guests. 10 people joined together and we had such a fun time.
We also made sandwiches for lunch while waiting for baking cakes.
The next Bethel Kitches will be in this autumn. Thank you very much.
The 19th Concert of Bethel chamber
The 19th concert of Bethel chamber ensemble titled "the journey in Europe by original instruments, ~Renaissance to Baroque~, was held in 28th of May. The member, Michio Isaji and Junichi Harada baroque violin, Maki Onishi viola da gamba, and Yuriko Yoshitake cembalo, performed pieces from 1500s to 1750s.
They also explained those music in detail before they played, which was quite helpful for audience who do not know them very much. The ensemble was mature and the sound resonated in the hall. One of audience made a comment like "Apart from the busy daily life, we could spend peaceful time through the music".
Thank you very much.
Special Worship in celebration of 31st anniversary of its foundation
We had the special worship as the title says in 15/5/2016.
Dr. Joachim Drechsel came to here from Germany especially for this service and preached in the worship. And also, there was the ceremony for ordination for new representative. Sr. Etsuko Tsujino has assumed its role.
Then, Sr.Tomoko Yamasaki,the former representative, will concentrate her work as a senior pastor in the Bethel Church.
After worship, we had a tea party. Ms.Yuki Mori(soprano, 3rd year of Tokyo University of the Arts), Mr. Ayumu Yasui(organ, 3rd year of Tokyo University of the Arts) and Ms.Yoko Nagashima(lecturer of Toho gakuen College music department, she had performed as mezzo-soprano singer for more than 20 years in Germany. ) performed for us. It was such a fantastic music. We all are very grateful for them.
please have a look some pictures here.
Three sisters in Germany !
Sr. Tomoko Yamazaki, Sr. Etsuko Tsujino and Sr. Edeltraud Kessler have been in Germany since 13/4/16. They will visit four motherhouses there, such as Elbingerode, Marburg, Altvandsburg, Bleibergquelle, and Gunzenhausen. They will attend seminars and also give the presentation introducing the current situation of Motherhouse Bethel. They will be back to Japan in the end of April.
Please pray for their safe journey.
Here are some photos from Germany.(４/２３)
The Advent Services in 2015
The Advent services were held in the 28th and 29th of November at the Motherhouse Bethel, the first and the second service in the 28th, and the third in the 29th. All three services were brought by Rev. MItsuo Nakajima, the former senior Pastor of the Higashi-Naruo lutheran church, who retired there in 2015 but still serves as a part-time pastor at the same place and other churches. The services were on the theme of "the Rejoiced Chiristmas".
Mr.Junichi Harada performed violin in the 28th and Ms.Kimiko Matsui performed organ in the 29th during the services
The concert for babies and kiddies
The concert for babies and kiddies was held at the Motherhouse Bethel in 23/11/2015. It was duo concert for violin and marimba, that Ms.Yasuyo Taharaguchi played violin and Ms. Rie Aishin did Marimba. They played some excerpts from Bizet Carmen, and animation songs such as Tonari-no-Totoro and Disney. Surprisingly, their friend, Ms Noriko Tanaka mezzo soprano singer, joined with them and sang "A Whole New World". The children made maracas with plastic ball and acorns, and performed "Omotya-no-TyaTyaTya(Japanese nursery song)" all together at the end of the concert.