The two characters used to write Ishinomaki (石巻) literally mean “stone” (石) and “whirl” (巻). Our logo visually incorporates these elements of our city name. It is made up of three stones representing the three commitments of the New LIFE Center: compassion, community and communion. Let us explain…
石 stone 1: compassion
The first stone represents our commitment to live compassionately, serving the whole person, both the tangible body as well as the invisible soul. The New Testament word “compassion” literally means to be “moved in your guts”. It is an emotion that is felt in the face of suffering. Jesus is the quintessential example of a compassionate person. He was moved with compassion when he saw the crowds wandering aimlessly without any spiritual leadership. Jesus was moved with compassion when the crowds who were listening to his teachings had no food to eat. Jesus was moved with compassion when he witnessed a widow grieving the loss of her one and only son. Jesus wept with those who wept. He touched those who no one else would touch. In the New Testament gospels, compassion is always followed by action. As a ministry center, it is our desire to follow Jesus’ example of compassionate action.
石 stone 2: community
The second stone represents our commitment to community. We have three specific communities in mind. Ishinomaki is our new “neighborhood”. Just as Jesus, the God-man, took on flesh and bone and entered our world, our “neighborhood” so to speak, we are committed to having a presence and to participating in the life of our immediate geographical community. Secondly, recognizing that we are one small part of a larger redemptive narrative that God is writing, we desire to partner with the larger community of Jesus followers. We embrace cooperation with like-minded followers of Jesus who want to see God’s kingdom advanced in Ishinomaki. Lastly, we desire to live in genuine community as a team, striving to trust, respect, love, challenge, confront, forgive and inspire one another. Together we are committed to walking with Jesus by faith, to being a voice of hope and to expressing the dynamic love of God through word and action.
石 stone 3: communion
The third stone represents our commitment to restore broken people to God so they can experience a deep, soul-satisfying communion with the Creator and Ruler of all things. Humans are wired for intimate relationship with God. Unfortunately, the first humans rebelled against God, and this relationship was severed. The bible describes this reality as spiritual death. Our relationship to God, others, our inner self and even creation was marred by sin and its destructive influence. However, this is not the end of the story! The Bible displays God’s relentless pursuit of humanity. It is a narrative of renewal, restoration and redemption through God’s one and only Son, Jesus Christ. We are committed to communicating this Jesus story so that those who respond in faith can experience new life and be restored to communion with the Triune God.
These are our three commitments. The stone of compassion leans on the stone of community forming the Japanese character「人」hito, “person”. Encircling this character is the final stone representing the person’s return to communion with God.