【October 2019 No.404】National Federation of Kyodan Women’s Societies Holds 50th Assembly

by Watanabe Taeko, chair of Preparatory Committee

50th Anniversary Central Committee Conference

This year’s National Federation of Kyodan Women’s Societies’ (NFKWS) National Assembly, held June 7-8, marked the 50th anniversary of the first NFKWS National Assembly. The theme was “Living in Love and Truth: Listening to the Gospel of John.” Participants came from locations that ranged from Hokkaido to Okinawa. Including the ecumenical guests, more than 900 participants met in one location, Makuhari Messe, Inc. International Conference Hall. At this year’s conference, participants were told, “Let’s bridge the generation gap and connect!” It had been decided that the second day of the conference would be Saturday, in order to make participation easy for everyone, including women with young children as well as women who are employed.

 

After the opening worship service, there was a ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary. As participants listened to a cello performance, they watched “The 50-Year Journey of the NFKWS” on a large screen in the Conference Hall. It was a time to look back once again on the organization’s history. After that, participants attended the breakout session of their choice. The five breakout sessions planned by the committee in charge of NFKWS activities were entitled “Listening to what the Bible says about Peace,” “The Church and Evangelism,” “The Environment and Our Children,” “Solidarity with our World,” and “The Blessings of Growing Old.” During the evening “Federation Hour,” each district gave a report on its activities. Every report was thought-provoking, and participants felt that they shared each other’s tasks. At the close of the first day, a soloist led the entire assembly in singing a hymn together.

 

After the morning prayer on the second day, Saya Church (Shikoku District) Pastor Shinoura Chifumi spoke on the assembly theme in a message about the women mentioned only in the Gospel of John. These comments were among the many received on the follow-up questionnaire:  “It was a powerful lecture that was also easy to understand. It echoed in my heart.” “I received the words as words spoken for me, and it was encouraging for me.” “God loves me, and every single person has been given a gift.”

 

The hearts of all the participants were touched when their youngsters sang children’s gospel hymns. After that, the participants separated into these three groups for a time of fellowship: “A Deeper Look at the Theme,” “Lectures for the Younger Generation,” and “Fellowshiping Freely.” This year there was a program for the children called “Did You Know That? / A Story About When You Were Born.” The planners realized that there was a wide range of participants, so they prepared many ways to get them involved. The closing communion worship service was a special time to recognize the blessings of being in fellowship with the Lord.

 

It is our hope that in every activity on the schedule, this conference expressed thankfulness and praise to God, who has led the NFKWS throughout its journey. We are also mindful of our position that we are an autonomous organization within the Kyodan, an organization of church women who are in solidarity with, and involved with, the mission of the Kyodan. We will move forward and continue to have hope! During this conference, we experienced the solidarity of church women who are involved in churches throughout the nation. All participants will take this solidarity to heart, listen to and follow the Word of God, and enthusiastically work for the Lord, wherever the Lord sends them. That kind of strength was given to us at this NFKWS National Assembly. Let us be thankful for the grace of God, which is greater than we can imagine!

(Tr. KT)

 

全国教会婦人会連合50周年全国集会

 日本キリスト教団全国教会婦人会連合は、6月7日~8日に50周年全国集会を開催。主題「愛と真理に生きるとはーヨハネによる福音書に聴くー」。会場の幕張メッセ国際会議場には、北海道から沖縄まで、そしてエキュメニカルゲストを加えて900人を越える参加者が一堂に会した。今回の集会は、「世代をこえてつながろう」と呼びかけ、若い子育て世代や有職女性も参加しやすいよう2日目は土曜日に設定した。

 開会礼拝の後は、50周年セレモニー。チェロ演奏に聞き入りながら、会場の大スクリーンに映し出された「婦人会連合の50年の歩み」を見て、改めて歴史をふり返る時となった。その後、婦人会連合の活動を担う小委員会が企画した5つの分科会「聖書から聴く平和」「教会・伝道」「環境・子ども」「世界との連帯」「老いと祝福」の中で、希望した分科会に参加。夜には連合アワーとなり、各教区よりの報告を受けた。それぞれの活動に思いをはせると共に、課題を共有した。最後に独唱と会場一体となった賛美で1日目は終了。

 2日目は、朝祷の後、篠浦千史牧師(四国・さや教会)による主題講演。ヨハネによる福音書だけに登場する女性を取り上げ、メッセージが語られた。アンケートには、「わかりやすく、力強い講演で心に響いた。」「自分に語られた言葉として受け止め励まされた。」「神さまが私を愛し、一人一人賜物が与えられている」等多くの言葉が寄せられた。

 心和んだ参加者の子どもたちによるキッズ賛美・ゴスペル(あなたをたたえ等)の後「主題を深める」「若い世代のための講演」「自由に交流を」の3グループに分かれ、交わりの時をもった。今回、子どものためのプログラム「しってる?うまれたときのおはなし」も実施、幅広い参加者を意識していろいろな形で関われるように準備を重ねた。最後に閉会礼拝・聖餐式、全員であずかる聖餐は、主につながる恵みを実感する格別の時となった。

 全日程を通して、婦人会連合の歩みを導いてくださった神への感謝・賛美を表す集会になったことを願う。そして教団の宣教にかかわる教会婦人の連帯する組織として、教団内自主活動団体の立ち位置を覚えつつ、今後も希望をもって歩んでいきたい。この集会で体感した全国の教会に連なる教会婦人の連帯を心にとどめつつ、参加者それぞれが御言葉に聴き従い、遣わされたところで活き活きと主のために働く。そのような力が与えられた全国集会であった。私たちの思いを越える主の恵みに感謝!(50周年全国集会準備委員長 渡辺多恵子)

  • 共に仕えるためにPDF

    牧会者とその家族のための相談電話

    International Youth Conference in Kyoto

    日本基督教団2017年度宣教方策会議

    公募・公告

    エキメニュカル協力奨学金 申込書類一式

    日本基督教団年鑑2019年版

    よろこび

    日本基督教団 伝道推進室

    東日本大震災救援対策本部ニュース

    教団新報 archive

    教日本基督教団 文書・資料集 申請書等ダウンロードコーナー

    月間 こころの友