Meito Christ International Church
We are an interdenominational, multicultural congregation of Christians who
meet together to worship God. Everyone is welcome. Children’s Sunday School
classes are held from 4:00 p.m., worship is at 5:00 p.m. and a time of
fellowship follows the service.
For a map to Meito Church that gives you a
closeup view go here.
Takayanagi Meito-ku Naogya 465-0034 JAPAN
Meito Christ International Church
“Who are we…?”
MCIC Mission Statement:
Spread the Gospel of Christ to all in the Nagoya area by serving
the spiritual needs of the English-speaking community.
Meito Christ International Church (hereafter known as MCIC) is an
English-speaking international, inter-denominational congregation in Nagoya,
Japan who gather in worship to praise and grow as disciples of Jesus Christ. It
is a congregation that has grown to weekly worship with children’s Sunday school
during the fall, winter and spring and other programming. MCIC has been
worshipping for over 10 years and has provided a place for English-speaking
people in Aichi Prefecture in central Japan to grow in faith and discipleship.
We desire to share in our faith, life, actions and worship the good news of
Jesus Christ to all.
MCIC is in partnership with a local Japanese congregation: Nagoya-Kibo
Lutheran Church and the Tokai district of the Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church
(JELC) and has largely depended on Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
missionaries to provide pastoral leadership in the past.
Although Lutheran in past and present partnership, from its inception, MCIC
has been and continues to be an international and inter-denominational place
where all Christians are welcome to worship and grow together in Christian
faith. Because of our inter-denominational Christian Protestant background, we
respect personal conscience and how it may dictate how much a person
participates in our fellowship.
Therefore, MCIC does not have a process of membership. Rather on an annual
basis and/or when a person inquires we invite those who desire to make a pledge
of time, talent and/or financial resources to MCIC. We also have an
Associate Membership program for attendees to be an associate member
with our local Lutheran partner Nagoya-Kibo Lutheran Church, but yet wish to
MCIC as Congregation:
As stated above, our congregation is richly blessed with a mix of
nationalities and Christian experience.
Our average attendance per Sunday is about 30 persons but has varied greatly
over the years and can vary considerably from week to week. Furthermore, our
attendance fluctuates depending on the season, for example, when attendees
travel to their country of origin during the year-end holidays.
We are by nature an international congregation and thus are accustomed to the
work of expatriates and their lifestyles which lead many of our congregation to
be transient. In general, about half of the households are long-term residents
of Japan and the other half — 3 years or less. By and large, we have attendees
who are young single students and teachers who tend to stay in Nagoya for 6
months to 2 years. We have adult professional technocrats who come to Nagoya
(often with families) on 2 – 4 year assignments. Relatively permanent
expatriate residents of Nagoya (our largest percentage of regular attendees)
tend to be heavily weighted with University professors and long-term teachers.
Many of these permanent residents are also dual nationality families. We have
Christian missionaries who have attended wanting to worship in English. We also
have and come to expect many visitors who are with us for very short time
In terms of nationalities we are largely — about 50 % — North American but
have attendees from all over the world. Therefore, MCIC tends to be a
fellowship with the majority in the age range of (30 – 50). Currently we have
no one attending who is retired.
MCIC Congregational Organization:
We have a simple organizational structure for the smooth operation of our
worship. There is a congregational council which includes two elected
positions, President and Treasurer. In addition to these positions, other
members sitting on the council include: the pastoral leader; a liaison with
Nagoya-Kibo Lutheran Church — usually a native Japanese speaker and one person
representing our music/worship leadership (presently our band leader).
We do not have a constitution and are not an official religious non-profit
organization or congregation under Japanese law, but do have a bank account. We
rely on our partner Japanese congregations when has been an issue.
In general, issues that need to be decided are discussed among the leaders by
email and conversation. Issues are brought before the entire congregation when
necessary about least once a year, or as a need arises. Whoever attends can
vote with a simple majority being our collective decision. We usually prefer to
reach a consensus.
The MCIC Community and Location:
MCIC uses a building provided by our partner, Nagoya-Kibo Lutheran Church.
It is located in Meito Ward, in the eastern section of the city of Nagoya, in
one of the city’s nicer residential neighbourhoods.
Nagoya has an excellent public transportation system and well maintained
transportation infrastructure which is continuously expanding and improving. We
are a 10 minute walk from Fujigaoka station, the last stop on the Higashiyama
Subway line. Fujigaoka is served by numerous bus routes and the Linimo
line (Magnetic Levitation Train line), which runs out further east to
neighbouring Nagakute Town.
Nagoya is Japan’s fourth largest city and third largest metropolitan area
after the Kanto (Tokyo) and Kansai (Osaka) regions. The greater Nagoya area is
home to approximately 3 million inhabitants of which approximately 5,000 are
native English speakers. Also it is home to international corporations such
as Toyota, Brother, and many other firms involved with the
automotive and aerospace industries including Boeing. Several
international schools serve the Nagoya English-speaking population and two in
particular, Nagoya International School and International Christian Academy of
Nagoya, have a long relationship with attendees of MCIC.
MCIC Worship & Fellowship:
Worship is the most important aspect of MCIC. Our worship is held each
Sunday evening at 5:00 p.m., with Sunday School starting at 4:00 p.m. The
service is typically music-based, drawing on the wealth of musical talent in our
congregation including piano, guitar, banjo, drums, etc. We alternate between
two different hymnals; the Lutheran Book of Worship (LBW), and the Baptist
Hymnal (BH) and occasionally use With One Voice (WOV – a Lutheran hymnal
supplement). We also on occasion project or distribute hymns or songs.
The service follows a Protestant liturgical order (Gathering, Word,
Proclamation, and Sending) using a PowerPoint projector (the projector belongs
to our present missionary), with changes based on the church season and with
Holy Communion (Lord’s Supper) in general twice per month. We use the revised
common lectionary (RCL) of our partner the JELC, but do not hold to it and are
quite comfortable using a variety of scripture. Our Holy Communion is open and
offered to anyone who is baptized at any age but leave the choice and frequency
of communing to each person. With regards to children, it is the decision of
the parents. In the past our missionary pastors have never had to preside at a
funeral of one of our attendees, and have only rarely been asked to preside at a
wedding or baptism.
Our service includes a children’s sermon every Sunday. The service is
followed by a fellowship time with donations of snacks, baked goods and drinks
from the attendees. MCIC also purchases refreshments. We also have a “potluck”
(a meal with food provided by attendees) after worship periodically throughout
the year, especially on the last Sunday of November around US Thanksgiving (our
largest event of the year) and on Easter, but also at other times.
MCIC Sunday School:
Our congregation currently has one children’s Sunday School class led by
attendees who rotate responsibility. The class is for children from about age 5
to 5th grade which averages 6 attendees (varies considerably) in the
fall, winter, and spring but adjusts based on the number and ages of our
children. Presently we use the One Room Sunday School curriculum
published by Cokesbury from the US. In lieu of a junior high/high school class,
the missionary pastor began an Adult Bible Study that averages 3 attendees. Lay
leaders are encouraged to and have led Sunday school, adult classes and
Christian fellowship at their homes or at our location.
Our goal is to become a financially independent inter-denominational
Part of the background for this goal is as follows: In 2009, the JELC and the
ELCA decided to no longer have a missionary in the Nagoya area with the present
missionary scheduled to leave in the summer of 2010. MCIC has always depended
on Lutheran missionaries as pastoral leaders. (Prior to that decision, we had
become aware in 2006 that a future Lutheran missionary might not be sent and
thus began to focus on preparing ourselves for that possibility.) We separated
our budget from our partner Japanese Lutheran church, and began to develop our
own mission and budget with the goal of becoming a financially independent
inter-denominational church, yet still remaining in a partnership with the
Unfortunately, the timeline to reach our goal has changed for a host of
reasons including a drop in attendees because of the global recession of
2008-2009, an increase in the number of English Christian worship alternatives
in the community, and a decrease in the number of missionaries. At present we
are not financially independent and we cannot afford to pay the full salary of a
MCIC Facilities & Office Equipment:
Our building is owned by the JELC and is available through our partner
Nagoya-Kibo Lutheran Church.
The building is a two-story building with the first floor divided into a
narthex, sanctuary, fellowship room, kitchen, storage room, and men’s and
women’s toilets. The second floor contains a small office and missionary or
Japanese parsonage consisting of one small bedroom, one large bedroom, laundry
room, kitchen, dining-living room, toilet and bath/washroom, ample storage space
and a small balcony. In the past, our missionary pastor has resided in the
parsonage. On the church property there is a parking lot for approximately 5
cars and some bicycles.
We are not charged rent however we provide an annual gift to Nagoya-Kibo
Lutheran Church which covers all utilities and maintains the building. In the
past we have also taken responsibility for professional cleaning and occasional
professional carpet cleaning. Our worship and fellowship space has wall to wall
We lease a copy machine and own a colour computer printer.
MCIC Programs (other):
In addition to the programs mentioned above we have a Women’s Bible Study
which meets twice a month during the fall, winter and spring. This Bible study
which meets under our umbrella and uses this facility is led by the attendees.
Our missionary pastor in the past few years has not been responsible for
leadership but has unlocked and locked the doors and been the communicator to
MCIC and Nagoya-Kibo Lutheran church regarding any needs or concerns.
We receive a weekly offering, of which 10% is given to various charitable
organizations on a rotating monthly basis or as needs arise. The criteria we
use for the charitable organizations are that they serve human needs, have a
history of service and are regularly audited. We generally avoid those
organizations with strong particular Christian affiliations simply because we
draw from a cross section of Christian experiences and denominations. However
we have supported a variety of Christian based organizations. Besides this
monthly tithe we receive special offering requests that we take on a
case-by-case basis. For example, we have taken a special offering for the
Gideons annually. However, as the Gideons are a para-church Christian
organization we do not believe it is appropriate to use our tithe for that
purpose. In those special cases we provide a special offering envelope.
The remaining portion of our offering has been used for our minimal
expenses. In 2008 – 2009 we chose to give a gift to the JELC of 50% of our
offering via Nagoya-Kibo Lutheran Church towards the pool that supports the
Lutheran missionary presence in Japan. We made that commitment for one year
only. The remaining amount we continue to save for our goal of becoming
708 Takayanagi-cho, Meito-ku, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan 465
Phone: +81-(0)52-771-5267 +81-(0)52-771-5267
Home page: www.meitochurch.org
Byron J. Peterson
E-mail: byron @ my.email.ne.jp