Local church

Daily Reading for December 2 • Channing Moore Williams, Missionary Bishop in China and Japan, 1910

The conviction has been growing for some time past, that steps must be taken to meet the natural desire which the Japanese have for some voice in the management of the evangelistic work in their own country. The more the work grows, and the greater the number of converts, the stronger will this feeling become. The converts gathered by the missionaries of the three Church Societies in Japan—English and American—see other bodies of Christians giving a large amount of control to the Japanese, and naturally expect that they should be allowed to take part in the management of the work.

But apart from this natural desire of the Japanese, which cannot be disregarded, the best interests of the missions require that the Japanese should be made to feel, at the earliest time possible, that the responsibility of evangelizing their own country rests on them; and there can be no doubt that they will take a deeper interest in what is done, and throw themselves more heartily into the work when they realize that it is their work, and that they have a voice in the settlement of the manner in which it is to be done. With this in view, a conference of delegates from the three Church Societies laboring in Japan was called by the Bishops in July to try to arrange, by personal consultation, some plan by which the three societies might work more together, and bring the Japanese converts into closer union. The conference was most harmonious, and there was a marked unanimity of opinion that every effort should be made to draw the converts gathered by the different societies into the closest relations, so as to form one Church. A provisional constitution and canons (very few in number) were drawn up, and it is earnestly hoped that the Churches in America and England will approve our action, and give us authority to use the canons until such time as the Church in Japan shall be prepared to enact laws for itself.

From the 1886 annual report of Bishop Channing Moore Williams, quoted in An Historical Sketch of the Japan Mission of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. (New York: DFMS, 1891).

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