【April 2017 No.392】3rd Korea/Japan 5-Churches Mission Consultation Meets in Seoul

by  Kato Makoto, executive secretary

The Korea/Japan 5-Churches Mission Consultation was held in Seoul, Feb. 20-21 and used both the headquarters of the Korean Methodist Church (KMC) and the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK). The other three church bodies involved in the consultation were the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK), the Korean Christian Church in Japan (KCCJ) and the Kyodan.

The basic pattern is for each denomination to send three official representatives. The Kyodan sent Rev. Kumoshikari Toshimi, General Assembly secretary, Rev. Kishi Norihide, former chair of the Committee on Korean Church Relations, and myself.

There were three presentations: one each by the KMC, the Kyodan and the PCK, with the first being given by Rev. Yoon Byung-Jo, senior pastor of Morenae Methodist Church. He also serves as vice-president of the Korean Methodist Mission Association and chairperson of the Japan Mission Society.  He presented a case study of joint mission cooperation between Korea and Japan. Rev. Yoon’s conclusions were two-fold.

First, we need to learn from history. As an example, he shared the story of Lee Su-Jung who came to Japan and was baptized by Rev. Yasukawa Toru in 1883 and, while he was in Japan, translated the Gospel of Mark into Korean. That translation was then used by missionary Henry Gerhard Appenzeller in his evangelistic work in Korea, thus making it a beautiful legacy for Japanese and Korean churches.

Second, it is important to pray for and work towards an expansion of exchanges and visitations among both Korean and Japanese churches, including revitalization of exchanges between pastoral and mission-related personnel towards a creative future.

The next presentation was by Dr. Nag Woon-Hae, a missionary sent by the Kyodan to the Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary in Seoul. He spoke on “The Desirable Role of a Pastor in Japanese Churches” and gave the background of the increasing number of Koreans volunteering to serve as overseas missionaries. He also identified the issues involved in sending Koreans to help with the more than 400 Kyodan churches in Japan that are without a full-time pastor. He stressed how important it is for such missionaries to be able to dedicate themselves to evangelism and outreach in the areas of Japan where such churches are concentrated. He gave three suggestions:

1) Make the Kyodan Commission on Ecumenical Ministries the route through which Korean missionaries are sent to Japanese churches;

2) Have a period of training for such people prior they enter Japan. For instance, since Dr. Nag Woon-Hae is in charge of the Japanese worship service at Seamoonan Presbyterian Church, the missionaries could attend the weekly services there for three months to become familiar with the atmosphere of a Japanese church and improve their Japanese language skills; and

3) Create a joint program together with the Kyodan for serving Kyodan churches. Missionaries from Korea need to participate more fully in such a church structure within the Kyodan, and the Kyodan needs to be more proactive in sending missionaries to Korea.

The final presentation, given by Rev. Lee Sang-Cheol of PCK’s Onhye Presbyterian Church, was a report of his ministry since he was called to be the pastor there in January 2009 entitled “Practices and Actual Application of Evangelism.” This church, a typical one in a rural area, had not conducted a single baptism in several years. The vision he had received as he began there was to create a “ministry revered in the community” and a “ministry revealing the benevolence of God.” He began by developing a sense of community particularly with elderly people living alone by taking a bento lunch to give them when he visited. He helped those who could not easily get to health clinics by taking their blood pressure and blood sugar levels and driving them to the hospital when they needed to go. He also began a service by volunteers who take these older people to a famous hot springs nearby, and then in his second year of ministry there began “Rainbow University,” a school for elderly persons that utilizes the talents and resources of local people. In 2014, the church had 12 baptisms, and presently the weekly attendance is about 50.

Following these presentations, we spent time discussing them. This included exchanging our views on the specific proposals of missionary Nag Woon-Hae concerning training. We ended by making preparations for the next planning session for the following such consultation.

(Tr. TB)

第3回韓日5教会宣教実務者会議

報告 加藤 誠

2017年2月20、21日の両日、ソウルにある基督教大韓監理会本部会議室と韓国基督教長老会(PROK)本部会議室において、第3回韓日5教会宣教実務者会議が開催された。5教会とはThe Presbyterian Church of Korea(PCK), Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea(PROK), The Korean Methodist Church(KMC), The Korean Christian Church in Japan(KCCJ), the Kyodanを意味する。

出席は基本的に各教派から3名。日本基督教団からは総会書記の雲然俊美牧師、前韓国協約委員長の岸憲秀牧師、加藤誠幹事。

KMC, Kyodan, PCKから3名の発題があった。最初はユン・ビンチョ牧師(Rev. Byung-Jo Yoon; Senior Pastor in Morenae Methodist Church, Vice President of Korean Methodist Mission Association, Chairperson of Japan Mission Society)から“Case Sharing of Missionary Sending Church to Japan”とのタイトルで発題が行われた。ユン牧 師は結論として次の2点を述べた。(1)歴史に学ぶ。例としてイ・スジョン(Lee Su Jung)は1883年に訪問先の日本で日本教会の安川亨牧師から洗礼を受け、滞在中にマルコによる福音書を翻訳した。その翻訳された聖書をアペンゼラー宣教師が韓国に持ってきて伝道した。それは日韓の教会の美しい歴史的遺産である。(2)両国教会が、今よりもさらに多くの交流と訪問、牧会交流事業を活性化し、創造的未来に向けた宣教同伴者関 係が拡大することを祈る。

次に教団韓国派遣宣教師、長老会神学大学校、Dr. ナグネ(Nag, Woon-Hae)から“The desirable role of a pastor in Japanese Churches”との題で発題が行われた。韓国で増加す る海外宣教志願者の背景に触れた後、日本特に教団の400以上ある無牧教会に派遣された場合の留意点について語られた。無牧教会の多い地方の市町村では愚直に宣 教・伝道に従事することを厭わない宣教師の派遣が望まれる。Dr. ナグネからの提案は3点であった。(1)韓国宣教師の日本側受入れ窓口を教団世界宣教部に一本化する。(2)日本に派遣する前にトレーニングを行う。具体的にはセムナン(Seamoonan Presbyterian Church)教会日本語礼拝をDr. ナグネが担当しているので、例えば3か月毎週礼拝に出席し日本の教会の雰囲気及び日本語に慣れていただく機会を提供する。(3)教団との共同的教会形成を目指す。教団の教会形成の業に参加していただく意識を持ち、同時に教団からも韓 国に更に積極的に宣教師を派遣する。

最後の発題はPCKからOnhye Presbyterian Church のSang-Cheol Lee牧師。“Practices and Actual Application of Evangelism”と題して、2009年1月に赴任して以来の活動 の報告を行った。Onhye教会は典型的な田舎の農村教会で何年も受洗者を生み出していなかった。赴任に際して与えられたビジョンは 「敬いの牧会」「神様の福祉の牧会」であった。一人暮らしの老人のために小さなお弁当を訪問して配ることによって住民と繋がりを持っ た。次に病院通いが自由にできない老人のために血圧や血糖のチェックを行い、必要あれば車で老人を病院に連れて行った。近くには有名 な温泉があるのでボランティアを募り入浴サービスを始めた。更に赴任2年目からは地域の財政・人材支援を受けて虹大学という老人学校の運営を手掛けた。2014年には12名の受洗者が与えられ、現在は50名の礼拝出席を得ている。

発題後には協議が行われ、本準備会の役割、ナグネ宣教師からの具体的な訓練の提案への意見交換、次回準 備会の開催について話し合われた。

【April 2017 No.392】Prayer Meetings

One cannot separate the history of prayer meetings from that of the Japanese Protestant Church, which began at the late 19th century. Many churches owe their beginnings to prayer meetings that continued for several days, and many churches held public prayer meetings on Sundays as well as their worship services. Recently, however, as people have spread to various areas and congregations are aging, it is difficult to continue the prayer meetings. The following is the case of a prayer meeting featured for two consecutive times in the periodical, Shinto no Tomo (Believers’ Friend). —KNL Editorial Committee

 

I. “Mutual Pastoring”: The Blessing of Praying Together

by Kubota Takashi, member Osaka Church, Osaka District

Osaka Church has about 200 members and is located in the business district of Osaka City. As the population of the district has decreased over the years, there were periods when fewer than ten members lived within walking distance of the church. Thus, the percentage of members who found it difficult to attend weekday meetings increased.

For many years, Bible classes and prayer meetings were held on Wednesday evenings and Thursday mornings, but attendance had dwindled, so during a year of pastoral vacancy, all weekday gatherings were discontinued. After Rev. Okamura Hisashi came to our church in 2000, we considered what to do about all the weekday meetings and decided to maintain only the Thursday noon worship service and to focus our energy on Sunday activities. However, after that decision, some members voiced their desire to have prayer meetings again, so from November 2000, we started to hold one on Sunday morning from 9:30 to 10 a.m., before the worship service, and called it the “Lord’s Day Prayer Meeting.” Though Sunday school staff persons are unable to attend during that time period, we have been able to provide a program for adult seekers during the prayer time. In the beginning, testimonies given by church members were followed by a time of prayer. And once, the pastor led a study time entitled, “Encouraging Prayer.” Now we alternate between Bible classes and prayer meetings every other week, and once every two months, church members lead the Bible classes.

Once a month, a church member leads the prayer meeting and gives the meditation on the Bible passage. After the leader presents the meditation theme to the others, we split into groups of three or four people, and we share our reflections on the leader’s meditation or our own thoughts. Then each group prays for various requests and finishes with the Lord’s Prayer. Prayer requests are written ahead of time on small pieces of paper, and one piece is handed to each person. Participants have said the following concerning this activity: “Bible verses that I have read many times before have touched me in a new way.” “I have been given a chance to pray for things I had not usually thought of before, and I was very happy to have someone pray for me.”

In addition to this, from 2012, at 7 p.m. on Thursdays, interested members began the “Prayer Meeting,” and it became an officially recognized church activity in 2013. From June 2015, it was moved to 7 p.m. on Fridays. The person in charge of either the Sunday prayer meeting or Bible study leads the Friday meeting, using the same Scripture. We meditate more deeply on the Bible passage and sing worship songs for about one hour. Friday attendance easier for some people whose workplace is close to the church but who are unable to attend the Sunday meeting, and interested seekers also attend.

I attend both the Sunday and Friday meetings and am greatly blessed by them. While preparing, there is both joy and pain, but I am encouraged by the words of thanks I receive from the participants, and I feel the work of the Holy Spirit in this. Prayer itself is God’s work of salvation.

Of 120 church attendants, 25 to 30 participate in the Sunday Bible class and prayer meeting, and about five or six attend the Friday meeting. We stay aware of each of the prayer needs of Osaka Church and are encouraged by the prayer lives of everyone involved. To maintain healthy lives of faith, we wish to continue this blessing of “mutual pastoring” through the morning program, and we wish to do whatever possible to make the entire church a praying congregation. (Tr. WJ)

—From Shinto no Tomo (Believers’ Friend), January 2017 issue

Summarized by KNL Editor Kawakami Yoshiko

明治期に始まる、日本のプロテスタント教会の歴史は、祈祷会と切り離せない。何日も祈 祷会を続けて形成されていった教会が複数あり、多くの教会が公的行事の主な柱として、聖日礼拝と週日の祈祷会を守ってきた。しかし近 年の、教会員の居住地の拡散と、高齢化などにより、祈祷会の継続が難しくなっている面もある。その中での祈祷会の例を、信徒の友誌の 記事から二度に分けて、ご紹介する。(KNL編集部)

 

 

 

祈り合う「相互牧会」の恵み        大阪教会 久保田拓志 くぼた たかし/大阪教会員

大阪教会は大阪市内中心部の商業地域にあり、会員数は200余名です。かつては都心部 での人口減少のため、徒歩圏内に住んでいる教会員が10人以下という時期も長く続きました。平日の諸集会に出席することが困難な教会員の割合も増加しました。長 年、水曜日夜と木曜日午前に行われていた「聖書講義・祈祷会」への出席者数も減少したので、1年間の無牧の時に、平日の諸集会は休会 となりました。2000年に現在の岡村恒牧師が赴任した後、平日の諸集会について検討し、教会員の高齢化と居住地域の遠隔化など から、木曜の正午礼拝以外の諸集会はとりやめ、日曜日の礼拝に集中する決断をしました。しかしその後、祈祷会だけはぜひ再開したいと いう教会員の熱心な求めがあり、2000年11月より、聖日の礼拝前の午前9時30分~10時に「聖日祈祷会」を開始しました。その時間帯の教会学校教師・奉仕者は、この祈祷会に出席することはで きませんが、成人求道者の入門プログラムとしても用いられています。 当初は信徒の証しを聞いた後に祈っていました。そして月1回 は、牧師が「祈りの奨め」と題する学びの時を持ちました。現在は、交互に聖書講義と祈祷会を行い、2カ月に1回は信徒奉仕者が聖書講 義を担当しています。

祈祷会の司会と、祈祷会の中で行われる聖句の黙想も、毎月1回は信徒奉仕者が担当し ています。まず担当者の黙想を参加者と分かち合った後、3~4人のグループに分かれて、担当者の黙想から感じとったことや自らの黙想 を分かち合います。その後グループ単位で祈祷課題を祈り、最後に主の祈りを全員で祈ります。祈祷課題は、あらかじめ小さな紙片に印刷 して準備し、無作為に参加者に1枚ずつ配ります。参加者からは、「これまで何度も読んできた聖書の言葉が、新しく響いてきた」「普 段、あまり思い浮かばない課題について祈る機会が与えられ、自分のためにも祈ってもらえることがうれしい」という声を耳にします。

これとは別に、2012年から有志が木曜日午後7時に始めた「お祈りの会」が、13年からは正規の行事と なり、15年6月よりは金曜日午後7時から開催されています。その週の聖日祈祷会あるいは聖書講義を担当した奉仕者 が、同じ聖書箇所を用いて司会進行を担います。同じ聖書箇所をより深く黙想し、ワーシップソングを歌いながら共に祈る1時間のプログ ラムです。諸々の事情で聖日礼拝に出席することが難しい教会員、勤め先が教会の近くにあり、以前から関心を寄せていたという求道者な どが、参加しています

私は聖日朝と金曜夜の、双方の会で奉仕をさせていただき、豊かな恵みを与えられてい ます。準備の段階で聖句と向き合い、喜びばかりではなく苦しみも味わいますが、参加者からの感謝の声に励まされ、聖霊の導きを感じて います。祈ることそれ自体が神の救いの業であると思います。

聖日礼拝出席者約120名の内、毎週25人~30人が朝の「聖書講義・祈祷会」に、金曜日の会には5~6人が参加しています。今、大阪教会に与えられてい る祈りの課題の1つ1つを意識して、それぞれの生活の中で祈り続けるよう励まされています。今後は、お互いの信仰が健やかに守られる ように祈り合う「相互牧会」の恵みを、この朝のプログラムで共有したいと願っています。教会全体が祈りの群れとして整えられていくよ うに、工夫を重ねていきたいと思っています。(信徒の友2017年1月号)川上善子KNL編集委員長まとめ

【April 2017 No.392】Continuing the Journey of my Father and Grandfather

by Tamada Makoto, pastor Nagano Oomachi Church

Local Committee Member of The Japan Christian

Council of Evangelism Among The Blind

As the son and grandson of pastors, I had no desire to be a pastor and tried my best to run away from the call. However, I now serve as a pastor. And having observed the lives of my father and grandfather, I consider ministering to the blind my life work.

I was raised as the only son of Tamada Keiji, the founding pastor of Ashiya Sanjo Church in Hyogo Prefecture. My father’s father was also a blind pastor. Moreover, my mother’s grandfather, Kumagai Tetsutaro, was also a blind pastor. Thus, I am a third-generation pastor. When I graduated from high school, and again when I graduated from university, my father encouraged me to become a pastor. However, I did not want to become a pastor and dismissed his encouragement. More than anything else, I wanted to work in film animation. As a university student, I frequently visited Toei animation studios, sharing my desire to become a producer. I asked to be employed, but I was not hired.

Due to the introduction of a friend of my father, an advertisement company gave me employment. Unfortunately, I had no opportunity there to work in animation, and my background did not prepare me for the extreme competitiveness of the advertisement industry. Furthermore, I was struggling in my personal relationships with my peers and gradually losing confidence in my ability to continue working there.

When I was 37, the company president bluntly asked me, “Do you have the confidence to continue working in this company?” Immediately I answered, “No.” In response to my answer, the company president said, “Okay. In that case, if there’s work you want to do, I’ll introduce you to a company that will fit your desire.” Again, my response was quick. “I’m going to seminary to become a pastor.” That was the moment when God took over my life.

I think one of the reasons for my decision was the persistence of the pastor of my local church and the moderator of The Japan Christian Council of Evangelism Among The Blind (abbreviated as MODEN in Japanese). Both had continued to ask me when I was going to quit my job in advertising and become a pastor.

After my decision to become a pastor, I told my parents. Surprisingly, my father expressed opposition. I suppose my father did not want me to experience the difficulties he had dealt with as a pastor. After convincing my father of my conviction, I quit my job. After 14 years in advertising, I entered Japan Bible Seminary in Tokyo and graduated in 2004. Following graduation, I became the pastor of Yamura Church in Yamanashi Prefecture.

In the beginning, I struggled. Sermon preparation, ministering to an entire congregation, and encountering the different ways of thinking of congregants with no Christian home background were challenging. However, I was encouraged by the fact that many students from a neighboring university were attending the church. Like my father and grandfather, I was also involved in ministry to the blind. Since my father had once served as moderator of MODEN, I had been in and out of the offices from the time I was a child.

After serving at Yamura Church for nine years, I accepted a call to Omachi Church in Nagano Prefecture, where I am now serving my fourth year as pastor. Our church has one blind couple, and I serve as adviser to an association of visually impaired laity in Nagano.

My work with MODEN started when I entered seminary. I realized then that I have a personal awareness of the burden the visually impaired encounter and should help shoulder it. Since coming to Nagano, I also became chair of the International Exchange Office of MODEN. In August 2016, we successfully hosted its national retreat here in Nagano.

If my father and grandfather had not been blind, I doubt that I would be involved in evangelism to the blind as I am. However, I now consider my ministry to the blind to be my life work.

In my father’s later years, he suffered with manic-depression, and in November of 2000, he took his own life. At first I thought of my father as being weak. However, in August 2014, I suffered from the same condition. I took an 18-month leave of absence from my responsibilities at Oomachi Church. A period of pain and suffering continued, and I felt like a failure as a person. I felt that there was no place for me in the ministry and seriously considered retirement. At that time the reality of the words my father had left in a note became clear to me. He wrote these words to my mother before his death: “Suicide is in opposition to the providence of God, but this disease is forcing me to do it. Please forgive me.”

According to my mother, my father’s strong sense of pride kept him from ever accepting the fact of his blindness, which had come in mid-life. However, my grandfather, who became blind as a child, wrote a tanka poem conveying the conviction that even if he could be born again, he would choose to be born blind so he could better serve other blind people. As I reflect on my father’s and grandfather’s words, I often ask myself what my words would be if I were to become blind.

Regardless, as I pastor my church, I want to continue my ministry with MODEN. I believe that this will further enrich my church ministry. (Tr. JS)

From Shinto no Tomo (Believers’ Friend), Nov. 2016 issue

盲人牧師 の父と祖父の歩んだ道に続いて玉田  真

長野・ 大町教会牧師

日本盲人キリスト教伝道 協議会地方委員

 

祖父と父が 牧師だった私は、他の仕事を希望し、牧師にはなりたくないと逃げ回っていました。けれど今、なりたくないと思っていた牧師の仕事に、 私は就いています。そして、

盲人だった 祖父と父の生きざまを見て、盲人伝道を自分のライフワークと考えています。

 

私は兵庫県にある芦屋三条教会の初代牧師だった玉田の一人息子で、牧師の子どもとして育ちました。私の父は盲人牧師でした。さらに母 方の祖父熊谷鉄太郎も盲人牧師でしたので、私は3代目の牧師です。

私は高校と大学の卒業時に父から牧師になることを勧められましたが、牧師にはなりたくないと断り続けました。アニメーションの仕事に どうしても就きたかったのです。大学生のときに東映動画をたびたびに訪ね、プロデューサーになりたいので採用してほしいと頼み続けて いました。しかしそれはかなわず、父の友人の紹介で、ある広告会社に入社しました。そこでは、残念ながらアニメーションの仕事を担当 することはありませんでした。しかも、平々凡々と育った私に「生き馬の目を抜く」と言われる競争の激しい広告業界は合わず、社内での 人間関係に悩み、次第にその仕事を続けていく自信を失っていきました。

そんな私が37歳になったあるとき、社長から直々に「お前はこ の先、この会社でやっていく自信があるのか?」と問われ、即座に「ありません」と答えました。その返答に社長から「そうか。それ ならお前がやりたい仕事があればそれに合った会社を紹介するぞ」と言われました。しかし、私は即座に、「神学校に行って牧師にな ります」と答えていました。私が神に捕らえられた瞬間でした。

そ のきっかけの1つに、私が当時通っていた教会の牧師や日本盲人キ リスト教伝道協議会(盲 伝)主 事の牧師から、「玉田君、君はいつ会社を辞めて牧師になるん だ」と言われ続けていたことがあったと思います。私は早速、この旨を両親に伝えました。すると、意外にも父は反対しました。恐らく盲 人の父には私の知らない苦労が多々あり、今更息子に牧師の苦労をさせたくないという強い思いがあったのでしょう。そんな父を説得し、14年半勤めた広告会社を退職して日本聖書神学校に 入学、2004年に卒業して、山梨県の教会に赴任しました。

谷村教会では最初の任地ということもあり、毎週の礼拝説教や牧会、牧師の息子の私とクリスチャンホームとは無縁の信徒の考え方の違い など、大変苦労しました。その反面、近隣の大学の学生が大勢来てくれたという良いこともありました。また、祖父や父が関わっていた盲 伝の奉仕もしました。盲伝は父が議長を務めていたこともあり、幼少のころから出入りしていたのです。

谷村教会に9年間務め、次の任地である長野県の大町教会に転任し、現在4年目となります。大町教会には盲人の夫妻がおり、盲伝関係で は長野の盲信徒会の顧問の奉仕をしています。

盲伝での働きは、「これは盲人の大変さを知っている自分が担うべき仕事だ」と思い、神学生のころから始めたものです。教会に赴任して からは国際交流部の部長もしました。今年8月に長野で開かれた全国修養会も、無事に終えました。

父 と祖父が盲人でなかったら、私は今のように盲伝に関わることはなかったと思います。盲人伝道は私のライフワークだと思っています。

実は、盲人牧師であった私の父は、晩年そううつ病を長年患い、2000年の11月にその病がもとで自死しました。その父 を私は心の弱い人だと思っていました。しかし、そんな私も2014年の8月にうつ病を発症し、1年半大町教会の牧師を休職 しました。つらく苦しいとが続き、自分はもう終わった人間だ、もう牧師に戻 れないと思い、一時は本気で隠退も考えるほどでした。そのとき初めて、父が母に残した遺書「自殺は神の摂理に反することだが、病 気がさせることなので許してほしい」という言葉のリアリティーを思わされました。

母によると、プライドの高かった中途失明者の父は、最後まで自分が盲人であることを受け入れられなかったと言います。それに対して、 幼少のころ失明した祖父は自伝で「得べくんばまたもめしいと生まれ来て見果てぬ夢の後を追いなん」と詠みました。たとえ自分が生まれ 変わったとしてもまた盲人として生まれ、全ての盲人たちのために尽くしたい、という思いが込められた詩です。もし私が盲人となったら 果たしてどちらの思いになるでしょうか。常に考えさせられています。

 いずれにしても、私はこれからも教会の牧会を主軸としながら、盲伝の奉仕を続けたいと願って います。そのことが教会の牧会をさらに豊かにすることを信じて。 (信徒の友2016年11月号より)

【April 2017 No.392】Activities of the Mission Schools Council Today

The present council is called the “Mission Schools Council,” abbreviated as “MSC.” As the name suggests, it is based on the key words “mission” and “school” and is a council that supports missionaries and about 40 Kyodan-related schools. Last year it mainly carried out the activities listed below.

1. Sending students to a SMJ (Special Ministry to the Japanese) discovery camp in New York, USA

    Between July 22 and Aug. 9, 2016, the seven middle-school students sent to the U.S., mainly from the East Japan Disaster area, spent invaluable days at a Bible camp held in New York. I believe they gained special understanding in addition to developing friendships with treasured companions.

2. Providing “Extension Worship Services”

    Within the Mission Schools Council are related schools where no missionaries are serving. Missionaries were sent to those schools to share in worship services with them. Worship services conducted by missionaries from overseas are a refreshing experience for both the receiving school and the missionary, and each receives a great blessing.

3. Supporting “Japanese language study”

    Some of the missionaries appointed to schools are suffering because they cannot speak Japanese. This support program began from the desire to provide a chance for these persons to study Japanese. Presently, three missionaries are using this system and studying Japanese for a year. Missionaries who study and acquire Japanese are hoping that this will help them be more effective in their work at the various schools.

4. Publishing the “MSC Diary”

    The Council is presently drawing up a “MSC Diary” to introduce its work for distribution to related schools. It is hoped that through this, more people will come to know the work of the MSC.

At the past annual meeting, held Feb. 2, 2017, I was impressed by how intently the participants from the schools listened to the report on last year’s activities. During the round-table time, there was a frank sharing of thoughts with periods of serious discussion. In her presentation, Asia Rural Institute (ARI) President Arakawa Tomoko spoke earnestly about the background of and the principles upon which the school was founded: namely, to receive students from countries around the world and teach them the importance of “living together.” Some years there have been students from over 20 countries living together at ARI. President Arakawa’s words “living together” were profound and thoroughly echoed in the depths of our hearts.

We value the thoughts expressed by everyone at this meeting and intend to utilize them for the good of the related schools and the missionaries. We ask you to continue to support the Mission Schools Council through your thoughts and prayers. (Tr. RT)

                             —Haruna Masashi , staff

                               Mission Schools Council Office

_________________________

*Editorial note: In Japan, schools founded by missionaries are called “mission schools.”

「宣教協力学校協議会の今

宣教協力学校協議会 事務局

春名将資(はるなまさし)

 当協議会は英語で“Mission Schools Council”、略して“MSC” と申します。その名の通り、宣教(宣教師)と教団関係学校(約40)

というキーワードをもとに、キリスト教系学校に赴任しておられる宣教師 の皆様の支援や加盟学校への支援活動を行っている協議会です。昨年度は主に、以下のような事業を行いました。

 

・アメリカ“SMJ discovery camp”への東日本大震災被災学校を中心とした中学生の派遣

2016年7月22日~8月9日の間、日本から7名の中学生をアメリカに派遣し、ニュー ヨークで行われたバイブルキャンプで掛け替えのない日々を過ごしました。大切な仲間と共に友情を育む中で、キリストの愛に触れて、大 切なものを持ち帰ってくれたなら幸いです。

 

・宣教師不在の学校へ宣教師を派遣して礼拝を実施する“出張礼拝

当協議会には、宣教師の方がいない加盟校があります。その学校に宣教師 を派遣して礼拝を共にしました。外国からの宣教師による礼拝は、受け入れ学校にとっても宣教師にとっても新鮮で、双方に大きな恵みが 与えられています。

 

・宣教師の方の日本語習得を支援する“日本語研修”

学校に赴任された宣教師の中には日本語ができずに苦しんでいる方もおり ます。そのような方に、日本語を学ぶ機会を提供したいとの思いで始まりました。現在は、三人の宣教師の方がこの制度を利用し、一年間 日本語を学んでいます。学ばれた宣教師の方が日本語を習得し、各学校でより良い働きができる手助けをしたいと願っています。

 

・“MSCだより”の発行

当協議会では、現在行っている活動を紹介する“MSCだより”を作成し、加盟校に配っています。少しでも多くの方に、便りを通じて MSCの活動を知って頂ければと思っています。

 

去る、2月2日に行われました総会では、昨年度の活動の報告がなさ れ、出席頂いた学校の皆様が熱心に聞いておられたのが、とても印象的でした。懇談の時間には皆様による率直な思いが分かち合われ、深 い議論がなされる場面もありました。総会の最後には、アジア学院校長の荒川朋子(あらかわともこ)先生に発題を頂きました。世界各国 から学生を受け入れる学院創設の経緯や理念、“共に生きること”の大切さを真摯に語って下さいました。多い年には、20か国以上の方々が共同生活をなさっているアジア 学院。荒川先生がおっしゃる「共に生きる」という言葉は重く、ずっしりと心の奥深くに響きました。   

今回の総会を通して皆様より頂いた思いを大切に、加盟校や宣教師の皆 様のためになる取り組みを今後も推進していきたいと思っております。これからも、宣教協力学校協議会(Mission Schools Council)をよろしくお願い致します。

注)主に海外からの宣教師によって設立された学校を日本語では、「ミッ ションスクール」と言います。

【April 2017 No.392】Districts Report on the Kumamoto-Oita and Tottori Earthquakes

. The Kumamoto-Oita Earthquake: Challenges for Kyushu District

Ten months have passed since the Kumamoto-Oita Earthquakes. (On Thursday, April 14, 2016 a destructive earthquake occurred.) The situation remains serious, but we in Kyushu District clearly feel the Lord’s hand amid the hardships. Our two main challenges are continuing support for disaster survivors in the region and providing aid to disaster-affected churches, congregations, and pastors.

   1. Support for Disaster Survivors in the Region

Kyushu District and the General Assembly of the Korean Christian Church in Japan (KCCJ) collaborated to establish the “Volunteer Center Elpis (“hope” in Greek) Kumamoto,” and our work there continues. At the time of establishment there were great numbers of disaster victims taking refuge in shelter facilities. We started up “Dream Café” within the shelter in Mifune-machi, which was being managed by the Kumamoto YMCA, and provided entertainment and a listening ear to the weary-hearted. Another popular activity offered by district pastors was a series of handcraft classes, some geared to children and others to adults. These activities continued until the shelter closed at the end of October.

On Dec. 14 we began to serve at the Minami-kinokura temporary housing complex (55 units). The trust we had built up in the preceding months has been a great help in this work. On Dec. 23 we held a Christmas gathering at this location. By request from the residents, the gathering featured a Christmas message by Elpis Director Kim Sung Hyo (pastor of KCCJ Kumamoto Church), a handbell concert by students from Fukuoka Futaba Senior High School, as well as a meal, sweets, and some cake to take home. Those who attended kindly said, “This wasn’t just like an ordinary party; it really moved our hearts.” We plan to continue to hold café events at several temporary housing complexes and, through these, we plan to provide a listening ear and support for daily living.

   2. Support for Disaster-Affected Churches

Fifteen district churches suffered structural damage from the series of earthquakes, and church members and pastors were also deeply impacted. As a district we provided early support of ¥200,000 to each church member whose home suffered damage, and we are taking steps to respond to the needs of our pastors, who have labored with such devotion from the very first days—for example, by making health maintenance programs available to them.

Regarding church buildings, we commissioned W. M. Vories & Company Architects Ichiryusha to assess damages. As a result we estimate the costs of repair and rebuilding will be ¥180 million.

It remains difficult to find a local building contractor who is available to perform the necessary repairs or to rebuild. The rainy season and several typhoons since the earthquakes have caused the cracks and distortions in walls to grow more pronounced. We pray earnestly for the earliest possible resolution of these issues.

For the above reasons, the Kyodan initiated and is now promoting the “Donation Campaign for the Support of Reconstruction of Churches and Other Buildings Impacted by the Kumamoto-Oita Earthquakes” (target amount: ¥180 million).

                  —Umesaki Koji, moderator, Kyushu District

*                                          *                                   *

II. The Tottori Earthquake in Higashi Chugoku District

On Friday, Oct. 21, 2016, at 14:07, a strong earthquake occurred, the epicenter of which was in central Tottori Prefecture. At Kurayoshi City, the tremor was measured at magnitude 6 on the seismic intensity scale.

The three Kyodan churches in Kurayoshi were all significantly damaged. Kurayoshi Church developed several visible cracks in its walls, but we believe the damage was not severe. Agei Church experienced damage in many spots, including the collapse and cracking of concrete sections of its exterior wall as well as falling plaster and cracking of the interior walls. We anticipate that much repair will be needed here.

In terms of structural damage, Kurayoshi Fukkatsu Church suffered the greatest impact. The church’s perimeter wall and announcement board both collapsed; window sashes fell from the second floor; the main entrance door was toppled; plaster fell from walls; the floor was skewed; and many of the building’s doors are now creaking due to structural distortions. Temporary repair has been done with plywood and blue vinyl sheets, but the damage appears to be too severe for repair and continued use. We have gathered council members of the three churches to discuss the future.

Destruction was not, of course, limited to church buildings. The homes of many members of these churches also suffered major damage. And just when we were finally returning to “normal” daily life, the region was hit by two heavy snowfalls in the new year. This caused water damage at Kurayoshi Fukkatsu Church, where the damaged roof had been a concern since the earthquake. At the sight of numerous roofs covered with blue-sheets while awaiting repair, one cannot help but feel the anxiety of many people.

Amid this situation, it was decided that the congregations of Kurayoshi Fukkatsu and Agei churches will hold joint Sunday services from April. There is still a mountain of challenges facing us, but we hope to move ahead steadily.

(Tr. DM)

 —Okuda Nozomu, pastor, Agei Church, Higashi Chugoku District

[From Kyodan Shinpo (The Kyodan Times).  Summarized by Kato Makoto, executive secretary.]

「熊本・大分地震」「鳥取地震」教区報告

「熊本・大分地震」から10箇月が経っ た。事態は尚、深刻だが、私共九州教区はこの苦難の中に、主の御手をはっきりと感じている。

九州教区の課題

課題は、地域の被災者 支援、被災教会・信徒・教職の救援、の2つである。

地域の被災者支援

九州教区と在日大韓基督教会総会が共同で「ボランティアセンター・エル ピス(Elpis)くまもと」を 設立し、この働きに当っている。発足時期が避難所に大勢の被災者が身を寄せつつある時だったので、熊本YMCAが管理する御 船町(

みふねまち)避難所でのカフェ開設「ドリームカフェ」による娯楽提供・傾 聴活動に取り組んだ。教区内教職による子ども・大人をそれぞれ対象とした工作教室も非常に好評で、活動は10月末の避難所 閉鎖まで忠実に続けられた。

仮設での奉仕は12月14日に南木倉 (みなみきのくら)仮設団地(55戸)から開始 したが、避難所で結んだ信頼関係が大きな助けとなっている。23日には同地で クリスマス会を開いた。住民の方々に請われて「エルピス」センター長の金聖孝(Kim Sung Hyo)牧 師(在日大韓熊本教会)がなしたクリスマス講話、来援の福岡雙葉学園(高校生によるハンドベル演奏に加え、食事や菓子、ケーキの贈り物もあり、「ただ騒ぐものとは違う、心に沁みる集まり だった」との感想をもらった。

今後も複数の団地でカフェ開設を軸に傾聴および生活支援活動を続けてゆ く予定である。

被災教会への支援

今次震災では15の教会がその 建物に被害を受け、信徒・教職もまた、その生活に大きな打撃を受けた。教区では、早期に信徒宅の被害1件当り20万円を支出 し、当初より献身的に働いて来られた牧師方には保養プログラムを提供する等の対応を進めている。

教会建物については「被災度区分判定」を一粒社ヴォーリズ建築事務所に依頼、その結果を基に補修・再建費用を1億8000万円と試算し た。

被災地では現在も尚、施工業者をつかまえることが難しい状況だが、壁の 亀裂も建物のひずみも震災以降の梅雨の大雨や台風の襲来を受けて、その傷の度合いを増している。一日も早い手当てをと願うや切なるも のがある。

このために教団が「熊本・大分地震被災教会会堂等再建支援募金」(目標 額1億8000万円)を呼び 掛けている。

(九州教区議長・梅崎浩二)

 

「鳥取地震」

2016年10月21日(金)14時7分、鳥取県中 部を震源とする地震が発生し、倉吉市内で震度6弱を観測し た。

倉吉市内にある教団に属する3教会もそれぞ れに大きな被害を受けた。倉吉教会は、建物の壁面に亀裂などが見られるが、大きな被害には至らなかったようだ。

上井教会は外壁コンクリート部分の剥落、亀裂、内壁の剥落、亀裂などが 多数あり、修理を要するものと考えられる。

教会建物に関して言えば、倉吉復活教 会の被害が一番深刻だった。外壁、掲示板の剥落、2階の窓のサッ シの落下、玄関扉の倒壊、壁のはがれや、床面のズレ、建物全体のゆがみによるものであろう扉のきしみなど多くの被害があった。現在は ベニヤ板、ブルーシートなどでの応急処置を終えているが、このまま修理して使い続けるということはかなり難しいだろうと考えている。3教会の役員が 集まって今後のことについて話し合う機会も持った。

もちろん建物だけではなく、連なる教会員の中にも大きな被害を受けた方 が多くいる。それぞれにどうにか日常を取り戻しつつあった矢先、今年に入って2度の大雪は、 かねてより屋根の傷みを指摘されていた倉吉復活教会でも雨漏り被害をもたらした。街中にまだまだ多くの残る未修理のブルーシート屋根 を見るにつけ、多くの方々の不安を思わざるを得ない。

このような状況の中、4月からは倉吉 復活教会と上井教会との合同 礼拝とすることも決断した。まだまだ多くの課題が山積しているような状況ではあるが、着実に進んで行きたいと願っている。

(上井教会牧師奥田望報)(新報より要約:加藤誠)

  • 共に仕えるためにPDF

    宗教改革500周年記念事業

    International Youth Conference in Kyoto

    公募・公告

    日本基督教団年鑑2017年版

    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