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Home > Interpreter Magazine > Archives > 2011 Archives > March-April 2011 > Japan Resources

Responding to Disaster in Japan


Since ancient times, natural disasters have sparked that question.  For people of faith, the question becomes “Why, God?”  They are asking it again in the wake of the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami and continuing nuclear threat in Japan.

Many United Methodists encourage accepting the unknowable and seek to make the question, “Where is God in all of this?” They will then point to the psalmist’s litany that God’s steadfast love endures forever, God’s promise that “I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:16, NRSV) and Paul’s assurance that nothing “in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:39, NRSV)

Below are links to United Methodist News Service commentaries written after the 2004 tsunami in Indonesia and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Additional links to commentaries about Japan will be posted in the coming days.  Add these to your websites as you wish.

Commentary:  Tsunami raises ‘where,’ not ‘why,’ question about God

Commentary:  Tragedies provide chance to respond in faith  

Commentary: God is present amid suffering in Haiti

Blog:  ‘I am with you.’

Also available is “God, why?,” a CD and discussion guide for a two-session study, produced by United Methodist Communications after the 2004 Indonesia tsunami.

Other helpful links:

FAQ: Japan earthquake and response, United Methodist News Service.

Continuing news coverage of the Japan disaster, United Methodist News Service.

UMCOR responds to Japan emergency, UMCOR/General Board of Global Ministries.

On-line giving link, UMCOR/General Board of Global Ministries.

Worship resources, General Board of Discipleship.

Resource list for helping children cope with disaster, General Board of Discipleship.

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