Hiroki Fukui (Central Conference 19 Director)
Praise be to the name of the Lord!
I’m thankful for this opportunity to share about CC19 on JCFN blog.
My name is Hiroki Fukui (people call me Fuku-chan in Tennessee) and am serving as the chair of the preparation committee.
Fist I would like to give you the background on CC.
CC is short for Central Conference. Every year it’s held at Judson University in the suburb of Chicago over the Memorial weekend. Central has the connotation of Central = American Midwest, but I’m based in Tennessee, the worship coordinator is from Florida, and the main speaker Rev. Yoshinosuke Nakao is from California, so it is a Japanese speaking conference, which has widened its scope to all over the United States (in the past, we have had participants from Canada and Japan also).
We had the 16th CC in 2018 and were blessed with over 100 participants to encourage each other and build networks. For someone like me, who does not have many opportunities to hear the live message, worship, and pray in Japanese on the weekly basis, it was a true blessing to share the time with brothers and sisters in our heart language.
As for the participants’ demography, we had about 20 children under the age of 7 that needed childcare. The trend seems to be that the early participants of the conference have now become fathers and mothers and are coming back with their children.
Although the conference is held primarily in Japanese, we have many American participants who have heart for ministering to Japanese (main sessions are translated, so we can share the messages together). It touches my heart most profoundly to see brothers and sisters seeking faithfully after God’s will and working for salvation of Japanese people, even though many of them have never even been to Japan.
Above is the brief overview of CC, and below, I would like to share what God is doing in preparation of CC2019.
When I accepted the responsibility of CC2019 preparation committee chair, I had received one vision.
That vision was “God’s Family”.
Huh? Sounds like a cliché retreat theme? But does the word “God’s Family” truly resonate through all corners of our hearts and are we putting it into action? (Personally, I haven’t been able to).
So I took advantage of the committee chair privilege and called upon the committee team members to pray together, decide on the main scripture, and come up with a cool theme (I’m really thankful for the team members who has been gathered together by the Lord. CC for sure would not be possible by a committee chair such as myself, alone…)
We had our first face to face meeting at the end of November during Thanksgiving weekend. We shared a wonderful meal without turkey (normally American Thanksgiving = turkey, but since most people would have eaten it elsewhere, so we intentionally omitted that option. Thus another turkey, following the one pardoned by the president Trump, walked free). Of course we had a discussion about CC as well. In that meeting, the theme scripture was decided.
For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Then the theme was decided in December’s skype meeting (actually it was through Messenger, though). Clap, clap, clap (applaud).
“Ecclesia –God’s Family-“
Well the theme gets pretty swanky when a few theological college students are in the committee, don’t you think?
The next meeting will be on 1/26 (Sat) in Chicago. We are going to serve mochi to those who are coming. My recent favorite is to eat mochi with pickled vegetables (pretty much treating mochi like regular rice). Following that, we will have CC2019 meeting every month.
Lastly I have prayer requests for the readers of this blog. Could you kindly remember in your prayers;
For physical and spiritual protection over the committee members as they serve.
For the work of main speaker Rev. Yoshinosuke Nakao from Santa Clara Valley Japanese Christ Church.
For the glory of the Lord be revealed through CC2019. For protection over its preparation.
For provision of necessary volunteers and participants.
With thanksgiving to all things, and with anticipation for what the Lord will show us, I am looking forward to serving prayerfully.
CC2019 “Ecclesia ～God’s Family～”
5/25（Sat）～5/27（Sat）@ Chicago suburb Judson University.
I will share the registration information as it becomes available.
I’m looking forward to seeing you there!