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)
executive secretary of general affairs,
acting general secretary
“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。