Where Do You Worship?

CONTRIBUTED BY JOELLE YAMADA

One of the hardest things for me about the “moving” military life is having to search AGAIN for a place to worship with my family.  It’s an exhausting and time-consuming process because you generally have to wait a week before you can try a different one.  Whether temple, synagogue, mosque or church, finding a place to go that meets your needs can be tough.  I’ve been here for 7 months and have been to 4 different services.  I’ll tell you about those, but mostly, I’m hoping you’ll comment and tell us where you go and what it’s like.  Maybe we can help each other speed up the search!

So these are the places I’ve attended:

The Harbor — Fridays, 6pm.  Style:  Mildly contemporary.  Format:  Potluck, Coffee Shop time, Service.  Kids:  Room for the kids to play during the service and a class for 3-6 year-olds during the service.

OIC Seventh-day Adventist Church — Saturdays, 9:30am-12pm.  Style:  Traditional.  Format:  Children’s classes & adult class before main service which begins at 11am.  Kids:  Class before and children’s story during the service.

Calvary Chapel — Sundays, 8:30am & 10:30am.  Style:  Contemporary.  Format:  Services happen twice on Sundays with children’s classes running concurrently with main adult service.  Kids:  Have their own service but are welcome with their parents in the main service (rows reserved in the back).

Project 196 — Sundays, 7pm.  Style:  Contemporary.  Format:  No classes, just main service.  Kids:  Welcome to sit with their families — no separate child care.  UNFORTUNATELY, this service is going to be canceled after this Sunday night (Nov 25).

Please tell us where you go and fill us in — even if I’ve already mentioned it!


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32 Comments
  • May 19, 2015

    Wanted to updated my post from last year– The Pagans of Okinawa are currently meeting on Camp Foster.
    Here is our website: https://www.okinawapagans.com
    Here is our Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/spiritualokinawa/

    Reply
    • March 25, 2016

      I recently attend a english bible study in Okinawa 611 World Mission Church on Sunday at 9:30am -11am.
      Address: 568 Minamiuebaru Nakusuku-son, Okinawa, 901-2424
      Contact phone number: Sam Bernald # 080-4054-5032; Anna lee # 08064946363

      Sunday bilingual service (jap& eng onstage) : 11 am -1pm

      The church basically is a local church with a “small scale” international ministry. The senior pastor of the church is a old japanese pastor who studied in Hawaii during his college and finished bible school in Australia.
      And the on-stage translator speaks fluent american english, it is easier for english speaker to listen 🙂

      anna lee
      Reply
  • August 22, 2014

    For Pagan worship, there is the Ryukyu Open Circle located in Religious Building 753 on Kadena Air Base that meets every Saturday at 1500!! http://www.facebook.com/ryukyuopencircle

    Reply
  • June 19, 2013

    Abby, I know when we were in Okinawa from 05-08 the Harbor was very active in the community on base and off. We had many events that raised awareness for issues in the unreached parts of the world and many mission trips. They still send mission teams to Thailand at least once or twice a year. I believe they still pursue those same values of a community on mission. “A ship isn’t meant to stay in the Harbor” and the Harbor is a place to grow and go out.

    Grant
    Reply
  • June 19, 2013

    Just looking around on this site and found this page, got nostalgic as I was the worship leader for Project 196 for its 2 year life…sad that we had to cancel the service. My family and I are returning in September and hope to find a new community to worship and share life with…

    Grant
    Reply
  • April 22, 2013

    We are moving to Okinowa soon and I am looking for a church that is involved with the community and is not so insular. Is there any churches like that?

    Abby
    Reply
  • October 2, 2012

    Haisai-Pastor Rick
    my name is Akira Higa.
    thank you for your kindnes and honesty.
    I live in Naha City Okinawa Japan.
    平安と祝福を祈ります。

    Reply
  • August 8, 2012

    I was wondering if anyone can tell me what time service starts at the LDS church near Futenma? Or a phone number to it so I can call?

    Sarah Payne
    Reply
  • September 14, 2011

    Yomitan international church is a great church to visit. It is a non-denominational, spirit-filled church. Here is the website: http://www.yicasia.org/sitemap-alphabetical.html

    Reply
  • September 13, 2011

    Calvary International Church of God in Christ.

    Tue: Praise Team rehearsal @ 6:30pm

    Wed: Bible Study @ 7pm

    Sunday: Sunday School @ 9:30am
    Worship Service @ 11:00pm

    Kids have worship concurrent with adult services.

    Minister William Pollard
    Reply
  • May 9, 2010

    The pastor at Central Baptist is reformed.

    Reply
  • July 14, 2009

    I’ve been attending the Harbor since arriving on island 15 months ago and I can honestly say that I have not found genuine community like it in all my past churches. It meets Fridays at 6 for dinner and coffee then a contemporary service at 730. Sunday nights it also meets for coffee at 6 and worship at 630. The congregation is mostly young families and military. Great atmosphere and awesome, Christ-centered worship and teaching. Located just outside of Kadena Gate 3.

    http://www.okiharbor.com

    Jim
    Reply
  • July 13, 2009

    I wouldn’t necessarily it’s worship. It’s more the pagan equivelent of bible study, in my opinion. Though we do do sabbats (holidays) and esbats (moon cycle stuff).

    http://www.witchvox.com/vn/vn_detail/dt_gr.html?a=jpxx&id=34149 these guys, actually. And yes I help run it. lol

    Lisa
    Reply
  • February 21, 2009

    Our family just joined New Beginnings near Foster. Some info on the ministry: It is a non-denominational Christian church. Sunday morning service begins at 11. The children are broken up into different age groups so they can be ministered to at their age level. Women’s ministry meets the first Friday night of the month. Men’s ministry meets the third Friday night of the month.

    Gwynne
    Reply
  • September 16, 2008

    Heather, I don’t know about college age in particular, but Calvary Chapel offers a variety of Womens Bible Studies – they meet at different times during the week to accomodate morning or evening schedules. I’m sure you will find that other young women attend!

    Reply
  • September 15, 2008

    Does anyone attend the Okinawa Covenant Church? Can you tell me what it is like? (We are very new to the reformed faith)

    Sheena
    Reply
  • September 14, 2008

    I am 18 years old, and i am new to the island, is there a college age bible study or youth worship on Kadena AB?

    Tyler
    Reply
  • March 25, 2008

    Bambi we are also LDS and I would love to know a little more about the ward there. Will you email me ([email protected]) off the site? Thanks!

    Heather N.
    Reply
  • January 27, 2008

    Anybody know of any Christian churches on island who have a Saturday evening/night service?

    Joelle
    Reply
  • November 27, 2007

    Hi, Jennifer! You know that the Nice Jewish Girl here had to pipe up. I’m not very religious, however the Rabbi on Camp Foster is pretty orthodox. I know there are Shabbat services each week, and he sends out an email to you (if you’re on the list) to tell you about the week’s Torah teachings. Rabbi (Lt.) Kevin Bemel can be reached at kevin.bemel @ usmc.mil. I’m sure he’d be happy to put you on his weekly email list and you can attend services as you like.

    Also I know I’m bringing my hubby & daughter to a kids’ party & pot luck Hannukah dinner on Friday (12/7) – if you’re close to Foster maybe you’d be interested in joining us and meeting some of the local members of the tribe? 😉 If you’d like to go, email Barb at barbfernandez @ hotmail.com by 12/3 so she knows you’re coming. The dinner is kosher-style dairy, so no meat dishes. Tell anyone else you know who might be interested.

    Reply
  • November 26, 2007

    I know from research that there are no synagogues here on Okinawa, but does anyone go to one of the base services? I know there has to be at least a few Jewish families on island!!

    Jennifer
    Reply
  • November 26, 2007

    There are Jewish as well as Islamic services at the base chapels. I’m not sure of all island bases and my internet is acting up but here are a couple of helpful links w/ the service times.
    Kadena:
    http://www.kadenachapel.org/other_faith_groups.htm
    Camp Lester:
    http://www.oki.med.navy.mil/Chapel/Schedule.html

    Caroline
    Reply
  • November 26, 2007

    Here’s the site for all the services offered at Kadena:

    http://kadenachapel.org/

    Reply
  • November 26, 2007

    We go to the Sunday evening Catholic service at Chapel 1 on Kadena. The current priest that I really like is on leave. Mass is at 5:00 and is pretty casual.

    Reply
  • November 26, 2007

    Sorry, obvious typo in my previous comment: meant to type in “his sermons”! 🙂 Next time, I’ll use the “preview” function!
    -Lan

    Lan
    Reply
  • November 26, 2007

    Hi there. We go to Keystone Church of the Nazarene located near the intersection of Hwys. 24 and 58. We really enjoy the contemporary music mixed in w/the somewhat traditional Methodist service. Pastor Robert Dunn is a joy to listen to – very down to earth and incorporates practical life aspects to her sermons. There is an 8:15am and 10:45am service on Sundays. A variety of Bible Study classes begin at 9:30 every Sunday. There is a nursery and children’s church for the 10:45am service 3 weeks out of the month. The last week is a family-oriented service where children are encouraged to participate. For more information, here’s their website: http://www.keystonenazarene.org/webpage/home/home.htm
    Good luck!
    Lan

    Lan
    Reply
  • November 25, 2007

    I like the simplicity of our church. We go to Calvary Chapel (a non-denominational Christian church). Pastor Rick Barnett, who makes me laugh, goes through the Bible a few verses at a time – week after week. I almost feel like he’s a reporter who manages to dig up the who, the what and the why of whatever particular piece of ancient text we’re looking at that week. And somehow the things he discovers make it make sense to me and my life. I walk away feeling like I’ve gained something. That makes me wanna come back. The contemporary music, casual dress, laid back atmosphere and in-depth teaching all seem to mesh together to create a meaningful experience that I like. For a closer look at Calvary’s beliefs check out http://www.calvaryokinawa.com/whatwebelieve.htm .

    Caroline
    Reply
  • November 25, 2007

    Great info, all! Keep it coming! 🙂

    Joelle
    Reply
  • November 25, 2007

    We are LDS, otherwise known as Mormon, and are very lucky that no matter where we go in the world everyone is on the same lesson and learning the same thing. We can call back home and talk to our parents/family about the lesson we had (of course with the time difference we had the lesson the day before) and we all understand what the other is talking about. It is always nice to know that when we move we will just have different people sitting around us and not have to worry about what they will be teaching, if it is different than the last place, or finding a new place to worship. There is a 1 hour sacrament that the family sits through together, then 2 hours of class time. The kids from 18 months up have there own class they go to and the adults have there own classes (1 hour together = Sunday School and 1 hour the men (priesthood) and women (Relief Society) seperate for the class. There are a couple different churches on the Island and you go to the one in your area (There is one by Futenma for Foster, Futenma, and Kinser area; 1 in Awase (Sord of by Toys R Us) that Awase area and Kadena area meet at; and 1 in Okinawa city (by Main City Mall) that Camp Shields on North meet at.). http://www.mormon.org can give you info. on the basic belief and http://www.lds.org is the official church website.

    Bambi
    Reply
    • March 4, 2013

      Hey! I’m part of a YSA ward in Orlando, Fl. I’ve been trying to grow purple sweet potatoes, but the ones I get from the asian markets wont grow no matter what I do with them, and always wind up just molding up. I think they treat them with something to prevent growth. I was just wondering if you could possibly send me an email letting me know you got this message! It would be really awesome if you could send some of them purple spuds, I would cover shipping 😀

      Thanks,
      –Ryan

      Ryan
      Reply
  • November 24, 2007

    We attend All Souls’ Episcopal:
    http://www.allsoulsokinawa.org.

    It is located 5 minutes from Camps Foster and Lester. Worship is a traditional Episcopalian service at 8:00 and 10:00 (family service) on Sundays, with Sunday School for all ages from 9:00-10:00. Children may attend a children’s church during the sermon portion of the 10:00 service. Nursery care is also available. For those who speak Japanese, there is a Japanese translation simulcast (on headphones) during the sermon. Other programs and special events exist as well: weekly coffee hour after the 10:00 service, monthly potlucks, fall festival, Christmas service project, women’s teas, mother’s day brunch, etc. There is also a day school program on MWF for children ages 2-5. If you’re looking for a liturgical worship service (that your pre-reading children can memorize/know what to expect), this is one of your only English-speaking options on island!

    Services also exist on most of the military bases on island.

    JenniferV
    Reply
  • November 24, 2007

    Okinawa Covenant Church
    The only English speaking reformed church on Okinawa.
    http://www.okinawacovenant.org/

    Kristi
    Reply