2011- ‘Health and Healing’

Health and Healing: Mind, Body and Spirit

Here are the flyerregistration form and brochure  from the 2011 conference.

Welcome to the 2011 Women’s Conference!

A message from Karen Seevers, Chairperson for the 2011 Women’s Conference.

And Jesus continued, “The second most important commandment is like unto it: Love thy neighbor as thy self.” (Matthew 22: 39)

Love your neighbor as you love yourself.  Women, especially Christian women, do a pretty good job of ‘doing for others’: their families, their church, their children’s school, their community…their ‘neighbors’.  Unfortunately, women tend to forget about doing the second part of this ‘most important commandment’ which is to LOVE THEMSELVES. We usually get too busy taking care of everyone and everything else in our busy lives that we forget to take care of us.  Yet this is the second most important commandment given to us by Jesus.

Come join us this year for the Women’s Conference to refresh, renew and relearn!

Held at a hillside mountain retreat center, Amagi Sanso, on January 21-23, the focus will be on Health and Healing: Mind, Body and Spirit. There surrounded by the beauty of nature, with old friends and new, we will take the time to turn inward and reconnect with ourselves. We will take the time to remember how important it is to ‘love ourselves’ through sharing, listening, learning, laughing, meditating, drawing, writing, walking, singing and praying; joining together in an effort to find ourselves again,  to fill our cups, to listen again to the stories of Christ’s healing words.  Come for a time to nourish our souls, to forgive not only others, but more importantly, ourselves.

Join us for this weekend of healing workshops and worship. Mark your calendars to be with us for this time to recharge your batteries, to focus on health and healing your mind, body and spirit. Come join us for a time to learn again to ‘love thy self’ as Jesus commanded us to do.


Karen Seevers

List of Workshops
(Workshop descriptions and Workshop Leader biographies below, or click the links.)

• Walk the Creative Path/Self Discovery Through Drawing: A two part workshop– Kristin Newton
• Mandalas– Rosalyn Hagiwara 1.5 hr minimum time needed.
• Meditative Yoga– Alison Grey
• Foot Washing – Teresa Sherrill
• PrayerSally Witmer
• Shibashi (a form of Tai chi)- Emma Candor
• EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique…releasing emotional stress by tapping)– LoAnne Olson
• Lullabies, Nature and Nurture (Workshop with Harp) – Carol Sack
• Healing Stories in the Bible – Lillian Soga
• Balancing Body, Mind and Spirit with Homeopathy – Myriam Mueller
• Asking the Right Questions (based on the book by Debbie Ford) – Julia Darrigan
• Individual Counseling/Sharing Sessions – Julia Darrigan
• Diet and Related Health Topics (Treasure Hunt Style!) – Karen Seevers

Large Group Sessions-Lead by Susan Townsley
• Healing Stories
• Sharing
• Singing/music
• Journaling

The Labyrinth will be available all weekend. Information will be provided at the display table. (Note: The Labyrinth will be in the gym, which is not heated, but will be lighted with candles and soft music will be playing. Please bring warm socks/slippers and a coat, scarf and gloves.

Nature walk/onsen– a proper hike, taking an hour or more to give time for a leisurely onsen visit at the end, led by Mary Beyler. Proper footwear is a must for off road terrain.

Facials. Every woman wants to look younger, especially when we can’t take our looks for granted anymore. Marion and Kristin will let you in on a secret! Try a facial spa that can take years off your face. (This is a free activity for the women at the conference, first come first serve!)

Snack table will be available throughout the conference.

Workshop Descriptions

Walk the Creative Path/Self Discovery Through Drawing- Kristin Newton and Marion Zoboski

Walk the Creative Path is more than art, its innovation…everywhere we are. These classes will take you through various drawing exercises which will lead you to new discoveries about yourself and nature.

Walk the Creative Path
(Session 1) Self-discovery
(Session 2) Walk the Creative Path: Power of Nature

About Kristin and Marion.

Kristin Newton was originally invited to Japan on an artists’ exchange program as a glass artist, and completed many architectural glass commissions in Japan, Hong Kong, and the U.S. before focusing on art and creativity workshops. She is a certified Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain teacher and has been teaching her popular workshops for 20 years. She studied for 12 years under Betty Edwards, the author of “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” and holds a degree in Fine Art. She created an art school in Tokyo, as well as exhibited her artwork, and taught workshops in a number of locations worldwide for a number of clients, including Ogilvy & Mather, SAP, AIG, UNITAR Hiroshima, Fuji Electric and many more.

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Mandalas -Rosalyn Hagiwara

This is a chance to experience creating a mandala. You will be given pastel crayons and a piece of paper with a circle on it. After a brief meditation, allow the colors to call to you and move freely on the paper. No ability to draw is required. No thinking necessary. This is pure self-expression in a judgment-free environment. The mandala (or circle) is a symbol of wholeness, or perfection. You may be surprised at what you produce! The mandalas will be made in silence, but we will take some time at the end of the workshop for participants to share mandalas.

Rosalyn Hagiwara was raised in England, Australia and the U.S. and has lived in Japan for over 20 years. She runs the Unicorn Center for personal growth and relaxation in Ogikubo, and has studied and painted mandalas since 1998.

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Meditative Yoga: Toe Touching Not Necessary!- Alison Grey

“You must be so flexible to teach yoga.” people said to me – until they saw me do yoga. Then they said, “How can you teach yoga when you can’t even put your arms in a straight line?”Maybe it’s because yoga isn’t about having a flexible body.

Yoga is about ‘yoking’ the body and the mind. Can you be aware of your body, conscious of your breath and the feeling in your limbs? Great! You can do yoga too!

In this workshop, we will start with a short sitting meditation to lead us into a moving meditation. I will lead you through simple yoga poses which we will do slowly and consciously, to leave you feeling refreshed, relaxed and ever so slightly stretched. Participants will need to bring a pillow and at least two blankets from their rooms.

Alison Grey has attended many workshops in yoga and has taught pre and post natal yoga for a short time at a yoga studio in Kichijoji. She enjoys finding out about other body work as well, including Feldenkreis. She has been practicing Christian meditation since she found out it existed.

Alison presented a talk on yoga to the Centre for Feminist Theology and Ministry in Japan, which had a similar theme to this year’s Women’s Conference (Health and Healing), but, unfortunately, involved less blankets!
Alison is also interested in fair trade and has worked hard to promote it here in Japan. She is also deeply involved in the feminist movement and is the organizer of the Feminist Theology Circle, a discussion group. She has been attending the Women’s Conference since 2006 and was part of the organizing team in 2009. Alison has been in Japan for eleven years and has an eight year old son. Other interests include creative and explorative writing.

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Foot Washing – Rev. Teresa Thompson Sherrill

Come luxuriate in God’s love for us! Using a simple Mennonite liturgy and the Holy Scriptures from John 13, we will have an opportunity to wash each other’s feet. This liturgical foot washing time reminds us of Jesus, our Lord and Teacher who emptied himself, taking on the posture of a servant. We will be able to kneel before one another and serve one another with cleansing water and words. Then celebrating our freedom to serve, we will paint each other’s toes outrageous colors and proclaim God’s forgiveness and rejoice with each other as God wants us to do!

Rev. Teresa Thompson Sherrill, an ordained Mennonite minister, lives in Higashi Kurume with her delightful family, husband Mike, kids Isaiah (13), Jeremiah (11) , Sophia (8) and Moses the super dog (1). Teresa enjoys her PTA position as Spiritual Life Coordinator at Christian Academy in Japan, as well as the opportunities for service that God brings into her every day life. Teresa also sings in one the Hallelujah Gospel Family’s groups and performs twice a year. This year Teresa has been stimulated by three different opportunities to be challenged by the teaching in Isaiah, at a Beth Moore BS, at BSF and at her church, KBF and is looking forward to what life challenging lessons God reveals there.

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Prayer – Sally Witmer

Prayer; so much a part of our lives in so many intimate and personal ways. We pray in words, in song, in silence. We pray when we are sad, scared, sick…and we pray when we are happy, joyful, and filled with thanksgiving. Sometimes we may feel so weary, we need someone else to pray on our behalf. And sometimes sadly many of us have even questioned if God is really listening. Despite our many traditions and styles of prayer, we all have one common goal, modeled by Jesus: to transcend our selves, to find freedom and peace, to find God through prayer. Come join me. Together we will share, go deeper, and focus on the kind of prayer and thanksgiving that brings true transformation and joy.

Sally Witmer is from the San Francisco Bay Area, but has been living in Tokyo with her husband and 3 girls for 4 ½ years. Sally first came to Tokyo as a short-term missionary 24 years ago and fell in love with Japan. She has a BA in psychology and a Masters degree in social work, with an emphasis on mental health and counseling. Though she has been in part-time counseling (both staff and volunteer) and has taught for over 24 years, her first love is prayer, praise and worship. Before coming to Japan, she co-led an inner healing prayer ministry together with her husband. When her second daughter almost died from a serious blood disease and subsequently had a miraculous recovery, Sally embarked on a new journey in learning how God uses prayer to bring freedom, transformation and restoration to us –-and through us, to our world.

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Shibashi – Emma Candor

Shibashi is a gentle, beautiful and flowing qigong exercise routine that is both a joy to do and deeply relaxing. It is based on the best movements of Tai Chi Qigong. (Shibashi means 18 movements in Chinese.) It is a gentle, beautiful and flowing exercise routine that is both a joy to do and deeply relaxing. Shibashi is done standing up and is designed to improve the general health and wellbeing of the practitioner (e.g. better breathing, reduce stress, better digestion, etc.) It uses various combinations of very easy to learn and remembered movements. Some of the movements have lovely names such as “Flying Dove Spreads Its Wings” and “Painting a Rainbow” and “Looking at the Moon.” Come join us and learn more!

Emma A. Cantor is a Regional Missionary of the Women’s Division in Asia. Her ministries focus on women, youth and children. She got her MA degree in Women and Religion and Feminist Theology at the Institute of Formation and Religious Studies and an alumna of the Institute of Women’s Studies of the St Scholastica’s College. She started young as a deaconess of the United Methodist Church and has been into different ministries including her involvement as Women’s Desk Program staff at the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. Through the NCCP and CCA Womens’ Desk she has traveled to Japan for the joint programs between NCCJ, NCCP and CCA. She is a co-founder of the BATIS Center, a woman center for Filipinas who worked in Japan as entertainers. Batis Center is supported by Kyodan and other institutions in Japan.

Emma travels throughout Asia, working with church women and youth as part of her area of responsibility, promoting leadership development, women’s empowerment, and children’s ministries. She is deeply committed to teaching women how to be well physically, as well as spiritually, socially, and emotionally. For many years, she has incorporated shibashi/tai chai in her work and outreach to Asian women and youth as part of her ministry to teach them about well being and spirituality along with meditation and body movements.

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EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique)- LoAnne Olson

Ever wanted to be free of a feeling that hinders you? EFT (Emotionally Free Technique — try it on anything) or Meridian Tapping combines the wisdom of the ancient Chinese with the understandings of modern psychology to help us find that freedom.

We will talk about the basis for this incredible technique for physical and emotional heath. Then we’ll apply it so you have a simple new tool to use anytime, anywhere.

EFT a healthy energetic state and also helps attract more positive things into your life.http://www.thetappingsolution.com/

LoAnne Olson was born and brought up in Tokyo. Her parents were church planters and also did audio visual evangelism. After, graduating from CAJ, LoAnne went to university in California and has a degree in education with a music emphasis.

Thirty years ago LoAnne came to Tokyo with her husband and infant daughter. While teaching English, they developed a successful Amway organization in Japan, Korea and China. Health is the most important part of their business.
They teach that a healthy energetic state is the foundation for life.
She loves listening to people, music of all types, playing with her Golden Retriever, Jaqui, sewing and walking.

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Lullabies, Nature and Nurture- Carol Sack

Every culture perhaps from the beginning of humankind has instinctively sung comfort, protection and belovedness to loved ones, big and small. What are the characteristics of a lullaby? What are the gifts that a lullaby can give? These and other questions will lead this workshop, as we listen to and look at images essential to these grace-filled love songs. We will experience a number of Celtic and other lullabies offered live on the Irish harp. We will look to ways to nurture the child within each of us, and we will explore the question: “How can I be a living lullaby in this world?” Please bring a blanket and two pillows along to this workshop.

Carol Sack has been a missionary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America since 1982. Her passion lies in various areas of conveying human dignity. She and her husband have had the privilege of working with the mentally challenged, with persons in prison, with the homeless and with those who are ill or dying. From all she has learned and grown, and she is very grateful for the many life teachers she has met through these endeavors. Currently she is involved in the field of Pastoral Harp through a project called Lyra Precaria. She and her colleagues offer prayerful presence through voice and harp, mainly to persons who might be ill or dying.

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Healing Stories from the Bible- Lillian Sogo

Focusing on Psalm 139 and Jesus’ healings in the Gospels, we will relate them to how we have been healed in our own lives. Please bring your Bibles for sharing in discussions of healing, and with open minds and hearts join in a meditative healing chant.

Lillian Sogo was raised on an Iowa farm. Hard work came naturally to her with caring for animals as well as teaching Sunday School; both ultimately preparing her for her future life.
After college graduation in 1952, she first came to Sendai to teach for 3 years at Miyagi Gakuen Jr. and Sr. High Christian School for girls. It was often called the “Brides’ School,” learning flower arrangement, tea ceremony, and cooking along with academics an English.
At the Student Center for university students, she met her future husband who, in 1955, went to study in the U.S. Later she took a freighter around Asia stopping at many port cities, crossing India by train to visit a Leprosy Hospital and Hindu homes and traveling around Egypt and Europe. She writes, “ I think one of the most exciting parts of this trip for me though, was crossing the Atlantic on a big rolling and pitching in a North Atlantic winter storm!”
She and her husband were married in Oregon and had their first daughter in Cody, Wyoming hospital outside of Yellowstone National Park on their way to Michigan. There she worked on the university hospital psychiatric ward. In 1959 they returned to Sendai but after a year moved down to Tokyo to live and work on the International Christian University (ICU) campus with our two daughters. Lillian commuted to Tokyo in the evenings to teach at ELEC and at Japanese universities.
They took a leave to go back to the states (Michigan and then Indiana) in order for her husband to get his doctorate degree, returning to ICU and the communist-style student uprisings in 1966! Frustrated, her family moved back to the states (Salt Lake City and then Iowa city) with their then four children. It was there that she went to graduate school for a degree in Library Science. Their next move was to Vancouver, Canada where they settled down for the next 20 years. During that time, she taught ESL to adults and eventually, in 1887, went back to study Theology to become an ordained pastor of the United Church of Canada.
When she retired, she and her husband returned to Nagoya where she joined the CCEA (Cross-Cultural Education Assn.), taught English and Bible classes and first attended the Women’s Conference.
The final retirement brought them back to Sendai. She calls Canada and Japan their home living in both places for several months at a time. She still teach a women’s English class when in Japan and preaches in Vancouver in summer.

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Balancing Body, Mind and Spirit with Homeopathy-Myiam Mueller

Being Healthy means being in balance: mind, body and spirit. Homeopathy is a holistic therapy that considers the patient with all his physical, emotional and mental symptoms. The word homeopathy dates back from the Greek word homoios meaning similar, and from pathosmeaning suffering. Samuel Hahnemann , the German physician who began homeopathy in early 1800s, taught that effective drugs must produce symptoms in healthy people that are similar to the diseases they will be expected to treat. Today this principal is known as the “Law of Similars” and is the basis for the use of the term homeopathy (“similar suffering”). Homeopathy considers disease states to represent disturbances in the body’s internal balance of a self-healing spiritual energy, called its “vital force.” The homeopathic approach to treating sickness, then, is to bring the body back to ‘order’ and ‘balance’ by using remedies with similar symptoms and not according to the law of opposites (allopathic).

After a short introduction into homeopathy and its natural approach to healing, Myriam will talk about the holistic view of symptoms, which is an important step in understanding how deep disturbances affect the body, mind and spirit.

Myriam Mueller, who grew up in Germany, focused her studies in mathematics in the direction of medicine, taking physiology as her minor. After she came to Kobe in 1998, she became interested in alternative ways of healing after several encounters with local physicians in Japan who would indiscriminately prescribe antibiotics for seemingly every illness. She began to search out other forms of healing and had an “open ear” for people of difference cultural backgrounds and the many different approaches to bringing the body into balance, or HEALTH. Her love for holistic healing started first with the discipline of Shiatsu. In 2003 she began studying homeopathy through a correspondence course at the School of Homeopathy in the UK. Over the next 8 years, Myriam studied under many internationally renowned teachers. She began promoting homeopathy; first to her neighborhood and later expanded her practice. She continues to promote homeopathy on the local and national level, and is Co-founder of the “Japanese Society of Classical Homeopathy”. Besides supporting a natural way of healing, she also feels that homeopathy has helped her be much more tolerant of the life stories of her friends, neighbors and acquaintances, which in turn helps make being a foreigner easier in the conservative Japanese society.

Myriam is passionate about helping others restore their health using the natural approach of homeopathy and will share the homeopathy concept and the holistic symptoms in her workshop. With the flu season fast approaching, she will also share some symptoms and practical remedies to help keep us balanced and healthy! To read more about Myriam and her work go to http://www.myriam-mueller.net/english/about-me/

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Asking the Right Questions (based on the book by Debbie Ford) – Julia Darrigan

Ever wonder why the things you want to do are the things you do last, or not at all? Julia will lead us through some quiet journaling using some of the “Right Questions” as our guide, along with some small group sharing.

Individual Counseling/Sharing sessions- Julia Darrigan

Conferences such as this often bring up feelings and reactions that sometimes surprise us, or that we wish we had an opportunity to work through in greater depth. Julia will offer some individual sessions that will allow you to explore anything that comes up for you during the conference. Sign up will be available at the conference.

Julia Darrigan has been a school counselor for 35 years, both in public high schools in California as well as a K-12th grade counselor in international schools. She is currently serving her 12th year as a middle school counselor at The American School in Japan. She earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling from California State University in Sacramento, California and has Bachelor of Science degree in Social Welfare. She especially enjoys working with women who are searching for ways to improve the quality of their lives or who want to explore what is really important to them.

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Diet and Related Health Topics (Treasure Hunt Style!)- Karen Seevers

It’s all around you, everywhere! You read about it, hear it on the news! Every conceivable health related topic is there for the taking! Coffee is bad for you, coffee is good for you! Vegetable oil is good for you; vegetable oil is bad for you! Eat meat! Don’t eat meat! Drink 8 glasses of water a day; take a multi-vitamin, get 6, 7, 8 hours of sleep! How can we keep up! What is the right thing to do? Let me take some of the guess work out for you. All weekend, you will find (like a treasure hunt) here and there, little treasures bits of the latest health related information, most with web site references for you to follow up on. ‘Find’ them all, and you will be well on your way to becoming an informed, health conscience woman!

See Karen’s bio as part of the planning committee write ups.

JANUARY 21-23 2011

The schedule for 2011 is a little different from previous years, with a focus on bringing forth the talent from within our communities. To this end we will be offering  a larger number workshop sessions. All related in varied ways to this year’s theme, Health and Healing, the workshops will be led by the talented women residents of Japan, many of whom are Women’s Conference regulars. Please see Workshops and other activities for more detailed information.

Friday, January 21st
2:00pm Registration Begins. Settling in Journals First Floor, chapel building
2:30-4:30pm Conversation, signup for Saturday activities.Set up labyrinth (in gym) Fireside Room
4:30-5:55pm Welcome & Orientation. Workshop Introductions. Chapel
6:00pm Dinner Dining Hall
7:00-8:30pm Common Session 1. Chapel
8:30pm Free time or labyrinth, conversation, snacks, ofuro
Saturday, January 23rd
7:00-7:30am Morning stretch/exercises
8:00am Breakfast Dining Hall
9:00-10:30am Common Session 2 Chapel
10:30-11:00am Coffee and Fellowship Break Snack Table
11:00-12:00pm Workshop Session 1 Various
12:00pm Lunch Dining Hall
1:00-2:00pm Workshop Session 2 Various
2:00-3:00pm Workshop Session 3 Various
3:00-5:30pm Nature walk/Onsen/free time Various
Choir Practice
Sunday Worship Prep.
6:00pm Dinner Dining Hall
7:00-9:00pm Common Session 3. Followed by planning meeting for next year’s Conference – all ideas welcome. Chapel
9:00pm Free time or labyrinth, conversation, snacks, ofuro
Sunday, January 25th
7:00-7:30am Morning stretch/exercises
8:00am Breakfast Dining Hall
8:30-9:15am Room cleaning, check out, luggage to main lobby
9:30-10:45am Worship with Holy Communiion. Chapel
11:00am Hand in your evaluation
Alternative #1 11:00am Pick up obento and bus for Shuzenji leaves at 11:30am
Alternative #2 11:00am freetime / cleaning up
Alternative #2 12:00pm obento lunch Dining room
Alternative #2 1:00pm Workshop Session 4 Fireside or other room
Alternative #2 2:30pm bus for Shuzenji leaves at 2:44pm

12:35pm express to Mishima, Yokohama, Tokyo12:40pm local to Mishima (for Shinkansen and local JR train connections)A chartered bus will be reserved to meet these trains on time.Local buses run about hourly throughout the afternoon, and cost 800¥. Bus to catch the 15:39 Odoriko (express to Yokohama and Tokyo) from Shuzenji leaves Amagi Sanso at 14:44

PLEASE NOTE: The conference will be conducted in English. We regret that there is no childcare available; only nursing infants may come with you.

*Note: The Labyrinth is a walking meditation and a path to prayer that is being rediscovered and used in various forms around the world. Available throughout the weekend, the labyrinth is a replica of one laid in the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France about 1220.

Amagi Sanso address:Yugashima 2860, Izu-shi, Shizuoka-ken 〒410-3206Telephone: 0558-85-0625; fax 0558-85-1705Toll free: 0120-85-0625website:http://www.amagisanso.com/

Karen Seevers         Chair, Workshop  Coordinator

Karen Seevers has been a teacher and coach at the American School in Japan for over 30 years. She has attended West Tokyo Union Church on and off since she arrived in Japan in 1975, serving as its Chairperson for the last two years.  She has a vast knowledge and interest in health issues since her bout with breast cancer in 1995 which kept her in the states for one year for treatment and rehab.  She first attended the Women’s Conference when she came back to Japan in 1996 and has returned each year since.  She has taught physical education and health in all grades, has given health related lectures and forums, has taught adult fitness and swim classes and has organized large scale school and non-school related events.  She and her husband, John, have two boys, 23 and 25, who both grew up in Japan and have a deep love for this county.  At the end of each school year, abandoning the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, they spend their summers in Nebraska on the farm where John grew up, being with family, friends and their 10 horses!  There, Karen stays busy cooking, reading and sharing the joys and love of her horses to young and old.

Susan Townsley      Co- Chair, Group Session Planning

Susan Townsley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She has served churches in Maine, New York and Connecticut.  Before moving to Japan, she worked for her denomination as the Regional Minister for churches in Connecticut, with duties including pastoral search and call, care and oversight of pastors, leadership development and conflict consulting.  Her husband works for General Electric, her son is as ASIJ and her daughter is at a boarding school in the US.  She loves to read, to walk with her dog, and to play the flute.

Betsy Longacre-Terada            Registrar

Betsy came to Japan for the proverbial ‘two years’ and stayed for 20! During that time, she has taught English in Japanese schools and colleges, specializing in teaching English to children. For the past 6 years, she has taught the methods and materials class in the teacher-training certificate program at Jumonji Women’s College in Saitama. Her family moved to Koganei City in 2000, the year her daughter, Natalie (now age 16) started kindergarten at The American School in Japan. This same year she started to attend West Tokyo Union Church, where she has served on the Steering Committee as Worship Coordinator for the past for 5 years.  Her first Women’s Conference was in 2006. She has enjoyed coming back to the conference each year since. This year she is excited to be a part of the planning committee as registrar, editor, and general all around ‘gopher’! Her interests include yoga and being a volleyball mom to Natalie and her team.

Rev. Claudia Genung-Yamamoto     Worship Coordinator
Advisor and Historian

Rev. Claudia Genung-Yamamoto is a United Methodist missionary assigned to the National Christian Council in Japan (NCCJ) where she edits a Christian newsletter and works with an ecumenical peace committee.  She has been pastor of West Tokyo Union Church in Mitaka, Tokyo for almost 17 years. Claudia was born and raised in Redwood City, Calif. and first came to Japan in 1976 on a year-long Christian student exchange program. After college, she worked and lived in a Japanese orphanage as a missionary. After graduating from seminary in Berkeley, Calif., Claudia (and her husband) were pastors in Hawaii where son, Kai (now age 19), was born. She was a little over seven months pregnant with her second son, Koh (now 13 years old), when she was chair of the 1991 Women’s Conference for the first time with the help of the West Tokyo church women. The theme was “Prayer and Healing.” She later chaired the conference again in 2003 with the help of the West Tokyo Women. The theme was “Come, Holy Spirit!”   Her very first Women’s Conference at Amagi Sanso was in 1982 and she has helped off and on with the worship ever since.  Claudia will move to Kobe in August, 2011 where her husband is a chaplain and professor at Kwansei Gakuen. She will be assigned to the Jesus Band Church at the Kagawa Memorial Hall where she hopes to start a new church and be involved in social action ministry in the community. Claudia’s interests are liturgical dance and feminist theology.

Debbie Umipig-Julian            Music Coordinator

Debbie Umipig-Julian is a United Methodist Missionary assigned to the Christian Coalition for Refugees and Migrant Workers (CCRMW or Nankiren in Japanese) where she is the Social Worker. Her work covers mostly case work management on issues and concerns of foreign migrant workers and asylum seekers and their families.  This is her fourth Women’s Conference and second time to serve as Music Coordinator.  She and her husband (UMC volunteer) have two boys; Matt, age 7 and Josh, age 5.

Sarah Oba        Treasurer

Sarah Oba has enjoyed working with Women’s Conference for the past six years as treasurer and general information.  It is a real blessing to see the unique volunteer collaboration and sisterhood which emerges each year among the committee members and the conference participants.  It is certainly a depiction of I Corinthians 12 working as the body of Christ.  Sarah serves as a missionary of the Presbyterian Church USA.  She works in two locations in Tokyo; administrative offices in the Japan Christian Center and also Wesley Center. The Wesley Center is a foundation that is devoted to working on issues of gender equality, children and youth, and refugee concerns – especially building awareness.  Dedicated in April 2010, Wesley Center is a place that brings people together for discussion and fellowship.  Over the years, Women’s Conference has been a time of spiritual reflection and personal growth.  A real bonus for Sarah has been attending the past 2 years with her eldest daughter Fiona, who is a senior this year.   She hopes that her younger daughters Manna and Eden will attend in the coming years.  (Eldest son Isaku is not eligible to attend Women’s Conference, but is a junior at UBC in Vancouver.)

Julia Hargreaves        Webmistress

Julia Hargreaves is a British Climate Scientist who has worked for a Japanese government research agency in Yokohama for 9.5 years. She has no religious credentials whatsoever, but is numerate and can also use computers. She has attended the Women’s Conference almost every year since a woman in the small Anglican congregation in Yokohama Christ Church told her about it. It is a complete antithesis to her daily life. She was co-chair of the Women’s Conference of 2009, and also helped out for the 2010 conference.

To contact us please email us at amagi2011@gmail.com

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