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125 Years of Ministry – The Challenge Ahead

By Carolyn Tokunaga

As Centenary celebrated its 125th Anniversary, we took a trip back in time to review the legacy left by our Issei and Nisei pioneers. We revisited their dreams, challenges, and vision. We witnessed the resilience of their spirit, the values passed on, and the ministries unfinished. Their vision is the legacy left in our hands. The challenge is to expand Centenary’s ministries, to minister to not only our members but the community and beyond. They left us a foundation that needs to grow if Centenary is going to survive long into the future.

We “honor the past” by keeping Centenary the vibrant church envisioned by our forebears.

We “engage the present” by creating programming and ministries relevant to today’s people and the environment in which we live.

In doing so, we “impact the future” by making disciples for Christ who are willing and able to follow his example of love and inclusion.

The immigrant Issei reached out in mission, evangelizing among the neighboring Japanese population. The Nisei endured displacement and exile but returned to rebuild the church they left behind. Two generations who with faith and resilience left Centenary in our hands to be nurtured and to grow.

Centenary is at a crossroads as we emerge from our pandemic hibernation. This is an opportunity to chart a course for the future.

A huge multi-use complex is being built at 4th and Central. Are we ready to minister to those living there? Is there relevant programming to entice people to walk through our doors? We are strategically located in an area that is evolving and changing. Are we ready?

This is our challenge – to continue the legacy of our elders, to expand their vision, to always move forward, to grow spiritually and in love, to welcome and embrace the stranger. You are asked to change one soul at a time, to love God, to do good, and to be aware of the harm you do to others.

We invite you to join us in this challenge to keep Centenary the beacon of faith that it has been for 125 years through your prayers, participation, and financial support.



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