A Word from Our Pastor and Interns 2009 June

A Word from our Pastor and Interns

Akiko Miyake-Stoner and Eric Eide are completing their Field Work with BMUC as of the end of May, 2009. Eric will continue working with us in his capacity as Youth Minister, but Akiko will no longer be at BMUC. As part of their seminary education at the Pacific School of Religion, students are required to do “Field Work.” This is an internship that students arrange with local churches (or other agencies), where they are able to put into practice some of the things they have been learning; most students as PSR do their Field Work during their second year; this is the case with both Eric and Akiko.
Their Field Work assignments were defined differently. Eric wanted exposure to general ministry, so his duties included a lot of preaching, leading a study with adults, some visitation and youth ministry. Akiko also did some preaching, but her interest was focused on working with older adults and social justice issues, so Akiko has been involved with our UMW and Faith and Action Committee. Akiko also led a prayer group, a Lenten Study and several activity sessions for older adults. Both of them helped to plan and implement several worship services.
I believe it is a very important part of the ministry of any local church to offer the opportunity for students to learn about what it is like to work in a church. Because BMUC is also an “ethnic church,” we have a specialized type of ministry that is unusual because of its emphasis on culture and history. Internships are essentially a time of learning, when students should be free to be able to make mistakes. Eric and Akiko have brought us the gifts of who they are — their unique abilities, life experiences and personalities — but also their enthusiasm, the insights of their recent schooling, and their commitment to God. We have been blessed by Akiko’s graciousness, gentleness and desire to challenge her own faith and the faith of others; Eric has brought his generosity, a loving spirit, and his passion for healing the wounds of the brokenhearted. I am sure for all of you this year has been a wonderful opportunity to get to know Akiko and Eric, and to benefit from their ministry with and to us. I hope that you will make an opportunity to express to them your appreciation for their work and their future in ministry.
—Rev. Naomi

Dear BMU Family,
I feel so grateful for the way you have encouraged and welcomed me into your community during this past year. My Field Education at BMU has been a memorable one, full of experiences and wonderful people that I will continue to hold dear in the years ahead.
Thank you for bearing with me through my first sermon, my first Lenten study, my first prayer meeting, my first committee meeting! Your support and patience with me has been such a gift. I really appreciate all the feedback you have given to me, as well, which has been so helpful in my growth and learning.
I’ve really enjoyed UMW craft group; the great music ministry, including the choir and Okazu; the amazing spreads during fellowship time; the conversations; and the generosity I have been shown. Oh, and thanks for so many rides to and from church!
God has certainly blessed me by opening the door to being able to get to know you this year and get a sense of local church ministry. I, like you, am certainly blessed by Rev. Naomi. She has been a great mentor for me and has challenged and encouraged me in many ways.
Thank you so much again for the ways in which you have nurtured me. I feel honored to have shared this time together.
With much gratitude and fondness, Akiko Miyake-Stoner

It has been an exciting year working alongside of all of you in ministry at BMU. From regular Wednesday evening events with the MYF and JYF to a BMU Basketball Orientation to a Harry Potter Night to Turkey Lock-In to Youth Workdays and Shopping for Telecare families to Caroling and the Christmas Play to Interviews with the Survivors of the Japanese Internment Camps to Skits for the Day of Remembrance to the Celebration of Boy’s and Girls Day to Oscar Night to 30 Hour Famine to the Easter Family Fun Night to Easter to Looking at Issues of Environmental Justice to a Mother’s Day Family Fun Night to Birthdays to Phone calls to Sports games to concerts to the joys and tears of life to so much more.
I know that we have struggled together, made triumphs and made mistakes together, grown together, laughed together, cried together, and journeyed over these past two years together. There are things that have been great and things that I wish could have been different, but through it all it has been a joy and blessing to come to know each one of you. Each one you is amazing, with gifts and talents, and ways that you strengthen and bless this community.
I hope that you each can be continually reminded the difference you make in the lives around you and catch glimpses of all the ways you are loved by your creator, family, and those within this community.
As we part ways for the summer know that you each will be in my thoughts and prayers and I will look forward to seeing you all again in the fall for another exciting year together. Wish you each the best always and joy on journey!