As the news from Japan worsens, I send my heartfelt sympathies to all those struggling to cope with this terrible disaster.
As the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) president, I traveled to Japan last August to meet with our religious partners there. The warm hospitality offered to my wife, Phyllis, and me left us with a beautiful and lasting impression of their country and culture. My heart goes out to the people of Japan for what they are enduring now.
As soon as the UUA received word of the tragedies of Friday, March 11, we reached out to our religious partners in Japan: Rissho Kosei-kai, Tsubaki Grand Shrine, the Konko Church of Izuo, the Tokyo Dojin Church, and the Japan Chapter of the International Association for Religious Freedom. We have worked in close partnership with these outstanding organizations for many decades, and have been in contact with them since Friday. I can only imagine the overwhelming sadness and fear they are experiencing, even as they try to determine their next steps.
To this end, the UUA/Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) Japan Relief Fund has been established to support the recovery efforts of our religious partners in Japan, as they consider the specific efforts to take to support the work of recovery. I encourage anyone wishing to contribute to this crucial effort to read more about the UUA/UUSC Japan Relief Fund here.
For several months, the Rev. Eric Cherry, the UUA’s Director of International Resources, has had a trip to Japan scheduled for later this month. The situation on the ground is still extremely volatile, but as I write this, Eric intends to make the trip if at all possible. If he is able to make the journey, he will convey my sincere condolences and profound hope for swift recovery on behalf of the entire Unitarian Universalist Association.
We at the UUA will hold the country of Japan in our hearts, as we work to support them in their time of great need.
Rev. Peter Morales
President, Unitarian Universalist Association
The Unitarian Universalist Association is a faith community of more than 1,000 self-governing congregations that bring to the world a vision of religious freedom, tolerance and social justice. For more information on the UUA, including recent press releases and news articles, please visit our online press room.