Reverend Gordon Goichi Nakayama
Report on March 26, 2014 meeting with the Anglican Church
By Judy Hanazawa
On March 26, 2014 community activist Leslie Komori and member of the GVJCCA Human Rights Committee Judy Hanazawa met with representatives of the Anglican Church. Together we discussed how the Church can participate with the Japanese Canadian community to address Reverend Nakayama’s offences and engage in a community process of truth sharing, reconciliation and healing.
Church representatives were: Dr. Peter Elliot, Christ Church Cathedral Rector and Dean; Dr. Ellen Clark-King, Christ Church Cathedral Archdeacon; Douglas Fenton, Christ Church Cathedral Assistant to the Bishop (by teleconference); Moses Daebin Im, Holy Cross Japanese Canadian Anglican Church
The Anglican Church is prepared to engage with the Japanese Canadian community to express their apology, and offer their participation in a healing and reconciliation process with individuals and community. They offer their pastoral response to survivors. This response is one where the Church engages on an individual basis with a survivor. It would include personally meeting and talking with the survivor and hearing the survivor’s story. It is to address together what could be done to resolve the individual survivor’s concern and determine the way the Church can assist. It will also be necessary to first determine what the need is, before identifying how the Church can fulfil its commitment to support survivors who require private professional counseling.
The Anglican Church will draft a letter/article from representative Douglas Fenton to survivors and the Japanese Canadian community to be published in the May 2014 bulletin. They agree the letter can also be forwarded to other publications like the Nikkei Voice, and the NAJC for distribution to Chapter organization newsletters across Canada. It will also be available for publication in the Anglican Journal. For survivors living in other areas and provinces, Douglas Fenton will make himself available to contact church representatives in other areas so that survivors can be supported by a local pastoral response.
If there is a future Japanese Canadian community gathering, the Anglican Church is available to attend if asked. It may be appropriate for Bishop Melissa Skelton to be available to speak to the community.
The next meeting with Anglican Church representatives is scheduled for Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 5pm at Christ Church Cathedral.
Reverend Nakayama Follow up Information
The March bulletin article about Reverend Nakayama called for truth and reconciliation for those people affected by Reverend Nakayama’s actions. We realize last month’s article may have brought up painful memories about the experience with Reverend Nakayama. There may be many kinds of responses for those who were sexually offended as young people by Reverend Nakayama. Some people and their families may not want to talk about it at all. The working committee would like to assure everyone that there are no expectations. Everyone has a choice. We respectfully acknowledge the truth about what happened, extend our support and invite people who do want to discuss the past to talk with us. We hope to move forward towards reconciliation with the Anglican Church and offer support along the way to those people who want it. If there are any questions or concerns, please contact working committee members Leslie Komori at 604 551 6676 or Judy Hanazawa at email@example.com or 604 808 6379. For those living in other areas or provinces who wish to access counseling support, please contact Judy Hanazawa at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will see who is available to assist you in your area.
The following points are offered by counselors who have worked with people who survived sexual offences:
• It is never the survivor’s fault.
• Seek support if you need it. People cope in many different ways. Some people choose to talk with close friends or family. Also, you could briefly write down your life story, including what happened with Reverend Nakayama. Maybe another person could read your story. There are many ways to digest the difficult experiences of the past and whatever you choose is up to you.
• But if painful memories intrude on your thoughts, interfere with your day to day life, or if you find you are being hard on yourself, or angry for no reason, professional support could help. Some people may think it is a sign of weakness to seek help from others but it actually takes strength and courage to go through this process of healing.
• If you don’t know where to start, there are many organizations that offer information and support. You could also choose to talk to a counselor. In the end, you make the decision about what you want to do.
• There is really no easy way to talk about painful memories and this process will probably be upsetting. But if you remain steady, working with this process, the events can finally become the past, and you can experience a sense of peace.
Here are counseling services you can contact if you wish
Jennifer Scott, RCC, RSW, BC-DMT – West Van Counselling 604 763-5340 cell. Jennifer does short term counseling sessions and her fee is based on a sliding scale. www.westvancouselling.com
This is a list of clinical counsellors with experience with sexual abuse: counsellingbc.com/counsellors/practice/abuse-emotional-physical-sexual-88
This is a Phone in service: Victimlink 1 800 563 0808
VictimLink BC is a toll-free, confidential telephone service available across BC 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.It provides information and referral services to all victims of crime and immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence.