Today the church remembers Channing Moore Williams, Missionary Bishop in China and Japan, 1910.This quiet, shy, patient, and scholarly priest first entered Japan as a missionary in 1859 after several years's experience in China. He was greeted with hostility. His only colleague, John Liggins, was severely beaten by a mob and had to return to America. Williams carried on in his inimitable ways, and gradually gained the confidence of the Japanese people. He lived in stark simplicity, adopted a distinctly Japanese lifestyle, and became a master of the Japanese language. Williams was a native of Virginia. The American Civil War brought great personal grief to him, as well as a dearth of missionary funds. When peace came, he toured America, raising money for his work, was ordained bishop, and returned to Japan. Gradually the Lord's work prospered there. St. Paul's University (Kyoto), St. Luke's Hospital (Tokyo), and numerous lesser institutions were started. Perhaps the greatest joy in Williams's life came with the organization of the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (The Holy Catholic Church of Japan) in 1886. On his gravestone some Japanese friends placed this touching epitaph: "During his fifty years in Japan he taught Christ's ways and not his own." In all things, may we seek Christ"s ways, not our own ways. Amen.
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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant Channing Moore Williams, whom you called to preach the Gospel to the people of China and Japan. Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom, that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.