Motto: Our United Methodist denominational mission statement is, “Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”
Blaine Memorial United Methodist Church was founded as the Seattle Japanese Methodist Episcopal Church in 1904, under the leadership of Rev. G. Tsuruda, to serve the needs of the Issei- Japanese immigrants in the Pacific Northwest. In 2000, the fulfillment of a vision came to pass, as Blaine built the Patricia Chikamoto-Lee Family Center, that allows not only for a variety of ministry opportunities for the church, but also community service organization projects and events.
Blaine’s current senior pastor, Rev. Derek Nakano, shared that before the church became the historical and community institution it is today, the early church served the Issei and Nisei generations by starting an English language night school. The church also provided much needed social services as they helped people find jobs and housing, learn English, and even offered financial support. “As the church grew it became a center for social and cultural connections,” said Rev. Nakano.
Today the church continues to serve the needs of the local and global community through fundraising and service, working to support ministries to the homeless and hungry, new church development and revitalization, food projects and resourcing in Africa, rebuilding in Japan, and sending mission teams to places as near as Native American reservations in Yakima and Arizona to medical, educational and rebuilding missions to Jamaica, Honduras, and Guatemala, explained Rev. Nakano.
Blaine members and friends have been historically, and continue to be today, leaders in the Asian American and greater Seattle communities.
“While certainly not trying to take any credit for this per se, I believe it speaks powerfully about how the ministry of Blaine Memorial UMC has — through its history and legacy — established, imprinted and multiplied a DNA that challenges our members and friends to see the needs and concerns in our community and know that we have been given gifts and abilities, and power by God, to be a vehicle for bringing hope and healing, newness and restoration to the concerns of our community, nation and world.”
Blaine Memorial UMC will receive the Outstanding Organization award on May 16.
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