UUA President Visits Areas Devastated by March 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami
Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association Congregation of North America (UUA), and his wife, Mrs. Phyllis Morales, attended a memorial service on March 10 for the victims of the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan. The service was held at the Kamaishi Dharma Center, in the city of Kamaishi, in Iwate Prefecture, to commemorate the first anniversary of the disaster. Rev. Masahiro Nemoto, director of Rissho Kosei-kai's External Affairs Department, accompanied them from Rissho Kosei-kai's headquarters.
In his address at the ceremony, Rev. Morales said UUA members had been deeply concerned about the survivors of the disaster ever since it happened. He emphasized the importance of people of faith showing warmheartedness and compassion, inspired by their faith, to people in trouble. After the ceremony, Rev. and Mrs. Morales went to the city's Unosumai district, where many people had died in the tsunami, and prayed for them.
On the morning of March 11, Rev. Morales spoke at the Ceremony for the Repose of the Dead and Prayer for Reconstruction at the Sendai Dharma Center in Miyagi Prefecture. That afternoon Rev. and Mrs. Morales also attended one of the simultaneous memorial services held by the Sendai Dharma Center at 10 venues in the city. At 2:46 p.m., the time of the earthquake a year earlier, they prayed for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami.
Rev. and Mrs. Morales were in Japan March 3-12. On March 4 Rev. Morales conferred with Rev. Yasutaka Watanabe, chair of Rissho Kosei-kai's Board of Trustees, at Rissho Kosei-kai's headquarters in Tokyo, on religious organizations' roles in support of the victims of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. On March 5 in the Great Sacred Hall in Tokyo, Rev. and Mrs. Morales participated in the celebration of Rissho Kosei-kai's 74th anniversary. On March 8 they visited the organization's Hiroshima Dharma Center.
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