【February 2017 No.391】Acting General Secretary’s Report: Administrative Changes Anticipated in 2017

There is still no one in the general secretary’s office. Following the resignation of former General Secretary Nagasaki Tetsuo at the end of his term, which coincided with the 40th (2016) Kyodan General Assembly, no one has been selected yet to fill the position. Moderator Ishibashi Hideo gave a formal apology to the assembly for being unable to select a replacement and then proposed that Executive Secretary of General Affairs Dohke Norikazu serve as acting general secretary. After various opinions were voiced, that resolution passed. In the two months since then, the general secretary’s office has quietly been awaiting its next occupant. When discussion of the situation arose at the recent Executive Council meeting, the first of the 40th Biennial General Assembly (GA) period, Moderator Ishibashi replied, “Not yet.” Therefore, unless a special Executive Council is called, the position will remain open until at least the next meeting of the council, scheduled for July.

 

Even though the position of general secretary remains unfilled, the everyday operations of the Kyodan headquarters, the Board of Publications, and the Board of Pensions continue. Of the various things that would be done by the general secretary, those that can be accomplished at the office level are first discussed in the joint meeting of the various secretaries. Important decisions are then passed on to the core leadership of the Kyodan (moderator, vice-moderator and secretary) for final resolution. This is particularly so in areas involving relationships with non-Kyodan entities both domestically and abroad. When it comes to the operations of the other two boards, the Board of Publications and the Board of Pensions, as executive secretary of general affairs, I (Dohke) work with each of their boards of directors by attending their meetings to insure their smooth operation. However, it is our hope that the next person to serve as general secretary will be found soon.

 

Of the items related to Kyodan operations decided at the first Executive Council meeting of this GA period, held Dec. 12-13, 2016, Chief Financial Officer Kera Yuji, who has served in this position for three terms (12 years), will be stepping down at the end of March 2017. He was instrumental in computerizing the finances of the Kyodan during a period of turmoil in the handling of finances. Thus, we are all very grateful to God for his faithful service. Momose Kazunari, a layman who has served for more than 30 years as an accountant in the Board of Publications, will be his successor and will begin his four-year term on April 1. We are thankful to have such an appropriate successor.

During this present GA period, there are a total of ten task force committees operating under the Executive Council. The “Task Force on the Future of the Kyodan,” which was established during the previous (39th) GA period, was replaced by a new one entitled the “Committee on Evangelism Strategy.” It, however, is not simply a committee designed to think about evangelistic strategies but one that considers these with structural and financial reforms in mind. As the average age of Kyodan membership increases due to the aging population, the overall strength of the church in terms of numbers and finances weakens. Thus, there is a need to consider how evangelistic outreach can be most efficiently accomplished within this present context. The work of the three boards that make up the Kyodan headquarters, the branch office in Osaka (the Buraku Liberation Center), and the various agencies, such as Christian centers, are critical to this task. The operations of the Kyodan offices are, of course, different from the business world, which focuses on profits. We are, after all, a faith community, and so the Kyodan offices operate within that context as we engage in and support evangelism. For instance, the staff of all three boards meets together each morning, with each person taking turns in leading the morning prayers and worship. It is so important to begin each workday with prayer and to end it with thanksgiving. (Tr. TB)

 

—Dohke Norikazu,

executive secretary of general affairs,

acting general secretary

道家紀一(総幹事事務取扱)

 

“がらん”とした総幹事室が続いています。日本基 督教団第40回教団総会において前の総幹事、長崎哲 夫が任期満了で退任した後、後任の人選が行えませんでした。総会議長石橋秀雄は、人選に至らなかったことを議場に謝罪し、総務幹事道 家紀一を「事務取扱」として選任することを議場に問いかけ、様々な意見がなされる中で、決議しました。それから約2ヶ月、総幹事室 は、次の住人を、静かに待っています。先の40総会期第1回常議員会では、議事日程で質問が出たものの、「未だ人選に至らず」と石橋議長は答えました。 直近の常議員会は7月ですから、少なくとも、臨時常議員会でも開かない限り、総幹事は不在となります。

総幹事は不在ですが、事務局、出版局、年金局は、それぞれの日常業務を行っています。これまで総幹事が 決裁して来た事項の内、比較的事務局レベルで決済できる案件は幹事会で協議しています。重要な決済については、幹事会で協議した後 に、三役(総会議長、総会副議長 総会書記)に諮っています。とくに、教団以外の国内外の諸教会(教派)や諸団体との関係について は、三役に決済を依頼しています。事務取扱を担っている総務幹事道家は、他の二つ部局(出版局・年金局)の理事会に出席して、三局の 業務が円滑に行われるように努めています。しかし、一日も早く、次期総幹事が人選されることを祈っています。

2016年12月12-13日に行われた第1回常議員会で決議されたことで執務機関に関連することは、3期12年に亘って財務幹事を務めて来た計良祐時幹事が、2017年3月末をもって退任することです。教団の財務処理が混乱する中、コンピューター化の導入に大きな力を尽 くした幹事です。これまでの働きを主にあって感謝したいと思います。財務幹事の後任には、出版局で30年以上に亘って長く経理の職務を担って来た百瀬一成氏を、2017年4月1日より4年任期で任用することが決まりました。信徒の財務幹事となります。相応しい方を迎えられ 感謝しています。

 

今総会期は、常議員会の下に10ヶの特設委員会が設置されましたが、39総会期に設置された「教団将来構想検討委員会」を引き継ぐ仕方で、新たに「教団伝道対策検討委員会」が設 置されました。単に「伝道方策」を考える委員会ではなく、教団の機構改正や財務について検討する委員会になると考えています。少子高 齢化の影響で教会の教勢が落ちて行く中にあって、どのように効率的に教団全体の伝道体制を整えてゆけるか。事務局を中心とした教団三 局、大阪分室(部落解放センター)、各センターの働きが求められます。教団の事務執行体制は、合理性と利潤を追い求める企業とは異なりま す。信仰共同体としての教会の働き(伝道の業としての事務執行)です。毎朝、三局の職員は、幹事と職員とがローテーションによる司会 を務め、日毎の糧にしたがって、朝の礼拝をささげています。祈りをもって始業し、感謝をもって終業する一日を大切にしています。

 

 

 

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