The Church of the Twelve Apostles, Hokkai District established in 1978, grew out of the ministry of coffee shop evangelism started at the Good Hour coffee shop in downtown Sapporo in 1971. From the very beginning of the church, the coffee shop Ecclesia/Branch has functioned as an adjoining ministry. While taking in the natural beauty of nearby Tsukisappu Park, customers can enjoy both their food and meaningful conversation. The coffee shop helps to lower barriers (in Japanese “Shikii wo Hikuku suru,” which may be translated “everybody can drop in easily”) and allows people to get closer to the church in an unthreatening way. Although some consideration is being given to taking a regular day off each week, there are presently two paid staff and a number of volunteers from the church who keep the coffee shop operating every day, including Sunday afternoons. (Tr. RW)
by Himukai Kyoji, pastor, Teine Hakobune Church
interim pastor, The Church of the Twelve Apostles
From Shinto no Tomo(Believers’ Friend)
Worship at Kakogawa Higashi Church, Hyogo District always begins with the singing of Hymn 162 in the Kyodan’s hymnal Sanbika 21: “How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity”. The catch phrases on the church’s website introduce it as “a fun church” or “a church where you can relax as if you were in a tea room”.
In fact, until 1989, the initial church sanctuary actually was a coffee shop called Again. The church bought and renovated the shop and, at first, all church activities were held in the one building. In 1996 the church acquired the neighboring clothing factory, which later functioned as a preparatory school, and joined the two buildings together, shifting the sanctuary to the factory. The part that formerly was a coffee shop is now used for tea and coffee, for conversation, and for pot luck parties. It is well known, and even today, people come in off the street, thinking that it is actually a commercial coffee shop.? (Tr. RW) ?
by Takasaki Hiroshi, pastor, Kakogawa Higashi Church?
From Shinto no Tomo (Believers’ Friend)