【December 2016 No.390】Karuizawa Church: Its Unique Community and Ministry

The city of Karuizawa is a famous summer resort in Nagano Prefecture where people go to escape the heat. Nowadays, Karuizawa is invaded by shoppers looking for outlet shopping malls and by tourists from overseas. No one can deny that the center of the bustle is Karuizawa Ginza, a street lined with many famous stores. Karuizawa Church is located on that street. Many famous tourist attractions, such as Karuizawa Tennis Club and St. Paul’s Catholic Church, are concentrated in one small area. Karuizawa Church itself is set back away from the street, so perhaps that is why the building is wrapped in a quiet tranquility—quite the opposite of the hustle and bustle of the street in front of the building. In June 2016, the Reverend Matsumura Saori began serving as the interim pastor of the church.

 

Well over a century ago, the church was started by Daniel Norman, a missionary sent by the Methodist Church of Canada, later the United Church of Canada. The church building was finished in 1905, and the kindergarten was founded in 1916. Architect William M. Vories, who also founded The Omi Brotherhood, Ltd., designed the buildings.

 

Alexander Croft Shaw of the United Kingdom’s Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts is believed to have laid the foundation for Karuizawa’s development as a summer resort, but it was Daniel Norman together with William Vories who built on Shaw’s work to develop the church. The front of the sign at the entrance to the church says, “Kyodan Karuizawa Church.” However, the back of the sign says, “Karuizawa Union Church of Christ.” Just like the Union Church that is next door to Karuizawa Church, the name “Karuizawa Union Church of Christ” speaks of the fact that since the time the church was established, it has been an interdenominational church and has opened its doors to missionaries and Christians from several different denominational backgrounds.

 

This interdenominational tradition has continued until the present time. When summertime comes, there are people who cross denominational lines to attend worship, such as Hoshino Tomihiro, who sojourned for a long time in order to compile collections of art and poetry. Some members say things like, “Because our child is sick, we really like the abundance of natural beauty in Karuizawa, so we bought a villa and have started living here,” or “I was baptized when I was a student, but I have had to relocate so many times because of my husband’s work, so I have been away from church for such a long time. My husband likes the mountains of Nagano, so we chose Karuizawa as our retirement home.” There are also many people who say that they transferred from another church because they were drawn to the environment of Karuizawa.

 

Among the people here, there are some like Masaki Ryuji. He left his job in Tokyo and became the leader of Karuizawa Symphonic Chorus, which performs joint concerts with another chorus group from Ishinomaki, a city that was devastated by the East Japan Disaster. Of course, there are also those who have lived in Karuizawa all their lives. “A long time ago, many middle school and high school students were coming. I have been involved in Karuizawa Church since I was a student,” recalls Ichimura Naoko, who served as the director of Karuizawa Kindergarten until seven years ago.

 

The Reverend Furuya Hironori, who at the time of the interview was the pastor of Karuizawa Church, commented, “Many people visit our church, some for a short time and others for a long time. Our church is located in a summer resort, so I think it should be a place of spiritual rest for pastors and members of other churches.”

 

Karuizawa Kindergarten has cooperated for many years with nearby Kutsukake Gakuso in order to take on the important mission of child education. It has been almost 100 years since Karuizawa Kindergarten first opened. Kutsukake Gakuso is a group home for children from ages 2 to 18 who, for one reason or another, are not able to live with their families. The children can live with the staff members. The home was founded during World War II and has been cooperating with Karuizawa Church ever since the end of the war. The management of Kutsukake Gakuso is carried out by Kobokan, which has the official status of social welfare corporation. Kobokan was founded in 1919, and its purpose is to put into practice social welfare based on the teachings of Christianity. The headquarters are in Sumida Ward, located in Tokyo.

 

“These days there are more and more parents and children who have difficulty forming relationships because of psychological problems. There are more children who cannot live in their own homes due to a variety of circumstances. This is a home for such children. I hope that it can be a place of healing for family relationships,” says Nohara Kenji, director of Kutsukake Gakuso, about its mission. “There are more and more cases that cannot be handled at child consultation centers. We work together with the church like the wheels of a car work together,” says Uno Aogu, a staff member.

 

A childcare professional takes the children to church every Sunday. This activity is part of the Christian nurturing program that is in line with the ideals of Kobokan. The staff members also testify of having been supported by the church. Ando Miwako, who formerly worked at Kutsukake Gakuso, says, “A long time ago, the Reverend Takamori Shigemitsu used to come from the church to Kutsukake to lead a Bible study on Wednesday evenings. Listening to him was like rowing a boat while exhausted. But that experience led to my baptism.”

 

Because Karuizawa is a summer resort, there is a big difference between the number of worship service attendees in the summer and the number of attendees in the winter. At the same time, as mentioned earlier, the size of the church is also affected as people move into the area and transfer membership to Karuizawa Church from other churches. Such unique circumstances mean that this church faces unique challenges. Through education, Karuizawa church is involved in mission work that is targeted to match this unique local community. (Tr. KT)

 

—From Shinto no Tomo (Believers’ Friend), April 2016 issue

       (Summarized by KNL Editor Kawakami Yoshiko)

p5

 

 

 

北陸新幹線が開通してから便が増え、首都圏からの足が一層便利になった軽井沢。日本を代表するこの避暑地に、近年では大規模なアウト レット目当ての買い物客や海外からの観光客が押しかけるようになった。そのにぎわいの中心はなんといっても名店が軒を連ねる「軽井沢 銀座」通り。教会はその道沿いに建つ。一帯には軽井沢テニスクラブや聖パウロ教会などの有名観光スポットが集中する。

取材に訪れたのは紅葉の名残りがまだ美しい昨年の晩秋。人混みで通り過ぎそうになったが、小さな看板が教会の場所を教えてくれた。会 堂は一歩奥まっているせいか、表の喧騒とは逆に静寂に包まれていた。近江兄弟社の創立者であり、建築家でもあるウイリアム・M・ ヴォーリズの設計である。

この日はたまたま幼児祝福礼拝の日。教会学校の生徒や隣接するダニエル・ノーマン記念学園「軽井沢幼稚園」の園児、長年協力関係にあ る児童養護施設「興望館沓掛学荘」の子どもたちが元気な姿を見せる。

説教に立った古屋博規牧師はその子どもたちに、「今から百数十年前に神さまはノーマン先生をこの地に送って教会を建ててくださいまし た。その神さまによって愛されていることを忘れず、心も体もしっかりと守っていただきましょう」と、教会の歴史を振り返りつつ語る。

ノーマン先生とはカナダ・メソジスト教会(のちのカナダ合同教会)派遣のダニエル・ノーマン宣教師のこと。同師の手によって教会は 1905(明治38)年に、幼稚園は1916(大正5)年に創設された。

軽井沢発展の基礎を築いたのはイギリス海外福音伝道会のアレキサンダー・クロフト・ショーだと言われるが、その後に続いたノーマン宣 教師や前述のヴォーリズもまた功労者である。

教会の玄関に掲げられた看板の表には「日本基督教団軽井沢教会」とあるが、裏には「軽井沢合同基督教会」とある。隣接するユニオン チャーチもそうだが、軽井沢教会も設立の当初から超教派の教会として、さまざまな教派的背景を持った宣教師や信徒に開かれていたこと を物語る。

実は、この伝統は今に引き継がれている。詩画集の製作のために長期逗留する星野富弘さんのような人が、夏場ともなれば教派を超えて礼 拝に訪れる。また、会員の中にも、「子どもが病気のため、緑が豊かな軽井沢が気に入って別荘を買い、住むようになりました」「学生時 代に洗礼を受けましたが夫の仕事の関係で転勤が続き、かなり長く教会から離れていました。山が好きで信州が気に入っている夫と、終の 住処として軽井沢を選びました」と、軽井沢の環境にひかれて他教会から転会してきたと語る人も多い。

中には真崎隆治さんのように東京に仕事を残しつつ、軽井沢シンフォニックコーラスの団長となり、東日本大震災の被災地・石巻市の合唱 団と合同演奏会などをしている人もいる。もちろん、地元出身の信徒も。「昔は中高生がたくさん来ていました。学生のころから軽井沢教 会との関わりがありました」と語る市村直子さんは7年前まで軽井沢幼稚園の園長を勤めていた

こうした教会のあり方について古屋牧師は、「教会には短期・長期でいろいろな方が訪れます。避暑地にある教会として、信徒や牧師のた めの魂の静養の場所になればと思っています」と語る。また、開園100年を迎える軽井沢幼稚園と、近隣にある沓掛学荘との協力を通し て長年取り組んできた児童教育も大事な使命と考えている。

沓掛学荘は満2歳から18歳までの、家族と一緒に生活できない子どもたちが職員とともに暮らす子どもの家。戦時中に創設され、戦後 は軽井沢教会と協力関係を持ちながら歩んできた。運営主体の社会福祉法人興望館は1919年に福祉実践のために、キリスト教主義に基 づいて設立され、東京の墨田区に本部がある。

施設長の野原健治さんは沓掛学荘の使命をこう語る。「最近は心の問題で関係がうまく結べない親子が増え、いろいろな事情で自分の家で 暮らせない子どもが多くなりました。ここはそんな子どもたちの家として、家族とのつながりが回復される場となることを願っていま す」。また、施設のスタッフ宇野仰さんは「児童相談所では対応できないケースが増えています。教会とは車の両輪の関係です」と語る。

事実、毎週日曜日に保育士が子どもたちを引率して教会に通うのも、興望館の理念であるキリスト教保育の一環としてである。かつて沓掛 学荘に勤めていた安藤美和子さんは、「昔、教会の高森茂光牧師が水曜日の夜に沓掛で聖書研究会をしてくれました。疲れて舟をこぐ状態 で聞いていましたが、受洗へとつながりました」と、職員も教会に支えられてきたことを証しする。

軽井沢は避暑地ゆえに夏と冬の礼拝出席者数の差が大きい。他方、前述のように転入会者もいる。こうした特有の課題を負いつつ、教会は 教育を通して地域に密着した宣教を行っている。(信徒の友2016年4月号)

【December 2016 No.390】A Half-Century of Working With Nihongo (Japanese Language)

by Timothy D. Boyle, retired missionary Penney Farms, Florida

As a newly retired missionary and ongoing translator and copyeditor for the Kyodan Newsletter, I have been asked to reflect back on my years in Japan. I first began studying Japanese as a junior in college as part of a program at the East-West Center in Hawaii in 1967. Becoming a missionary and spending most of my adult life in Japan was not yet on the radar screen, but that is where God was leading me behind the scenes. I was sent as a “J-3″ (3-year-term missionary to Japan) in 1971 to Sapporo in Hokkaido, and it was there that I sensed a call to the ministry. I returned to the US with my new wife, Yuko (Juji), in 1974 (Yuko is her given name, but she has gone by the nickname of Juji since her youth. Her maiden name was Kurosu, which sounds like the English word “cross,” which in Japanese is “juji.”), and then we returned as regular missionaries in 1982 first to Hokkaido, then to Tsukuba Science City, where we spent the bulk of our ministry, and finally to Kansai area, where I served two years at the Buraku Liberation Center and 6.5 years at Kwansei Gakuin University.

 

There are many highlights I could share (along with a few “lowlights” I would rather not), but since this has to be short, I will just briefly introduce two. Just about the time we went to Tsukuba in 1986, Juji began having trouble with her muscles and was diagnosed with a rare neuromuscular condition called Isaacs’ Syndrome. (Well, actually, that would qualify as a “lowlight”!) This has resulted in regular stays in the hospital for treatment ever since, which has opened up numerous opportunities for her to minister to fellow patients. One was a young lady by the name of Yuki, who had a malignant brain tumor. Juji became good friends with her and her parents. Yuki loved Christmas lights, and Juji was able to get special permission for Yuki to be brought by ambulance to the church on Christmas Eve, first to see the lights and then for the choir to sing for her prior to the candlelight service. Before she died about five weeks later, she indicated that she would like to become a Christian. We were able to bend the rules Tsukuba University Hospital had about religious activities in the hospital, and so I was able to baptize her right there in her hospital bed. Her parents were so moved by the experience that they too wanted to receive baptism and follow Christ.

 

As Yuki’s father was a high-ranking prefectural government employee, there were many who came to Yuki’s memorial service, where I gave the message. It was held in a big funeral hall, which would normally have a Buddhist ceremony. But this was to be a Christian ceremony, and so the stage was set up with a large, floral cross. My goal in the message was to get the over 500 people in attendance to think about what “filial piety” towards their true “parent” is. Oyakoko is an integral part of Japanese culture, where duty towards one’s parents is emphasized. The English translation, “filial piety,” is not a phrase Westerners normally use, but it really flows right out of the fourth commandment: “Honor your father and mother.”

 

Yuki had been a daughter who demonstrated such “filial piety” towards her parents, and so I wanted to emphasize that while showing such respect and devotion to one’s earthly parents is very good, there is one thing that in the end is even more important—that of showing oyakoko to our true oya (parent), namely the God who created each of us in his own image. Funerals, along with weddings, are perhaps the points of contact with the general population who have no background of Christianity where we have the greatest opportunity to plant seeds that the Holy Spirit can use to draw people to Christ. I have no way of knowing whether God has used that particular event to play a role in drawing some of those people there to Christ, but I think it likely that he has or will, as I am aware of many anecdotal accounts of Japanese coming to faith through seeds planted by sensitive messages at Christian funerals.

 

Along this same line, I have always endeavored to find linguistic and cultural points of contact that can serve as vehicles for communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ to Japanese in as natural a way as possible. The other highlight I want to mention is the book I put out first in Japanese and later in English on how the makeup of so many of the Chinese characters that Japanese use in their language perfectly illustrates biblical truths. The publisher of the original 1994 Japanese version came up with the title that translates in English as Bible Stories Hidden In Chinese Characters, and 5,000 copies were printed in two editions. This is quite a large number for Japanese Christian books, but it is now out of print. I self-published the original English version several year later, and just last year put out an updated version under a new title, The Gospel Hidden In Chinese Characters. It includes the Chinese readings as well as the Japanese so as to have a broader appeal. I hope some day to be able to rewrite the Japanese version and make it available again.

 

As I close this brief article, I want to say that while I feel I have been able to make important contributions to the mission of Christ’s church in Japan, I can add my voice to that of many other missionaries I have heard who all testify that we have received so much more than we have been able to give during our years of working with the Japanese people. That no doubt will continue to be true in the future, as we plan to return to Japan every summer to spend time at our cabin at Lake Nojiri in Nagano.

日本語との半世紀の付き合い

ボイル・ティモシー、引退宣教師

 

引退した宣教師として、また、(英語の)教団ニュースレターの翻訳者と編集者の一人として、日本に於ける私の人生を振り返って、記事を書くことになりました。日本語を勉強し始めたのは大学3年生の時、ハワイ大学付属の東西文化センターのプログラムに参加したことです。当時は宣教師となって、それ以降の人生の大部分を日本で過ごすことは全く考えていませんでしたが、知らない内に神が私をその道に導いていました。1971年に「J-3」と呼ばれていた3年間の短期宣教師として、札幌に派遣され、そこで牧師と成る使命を感じました。1974年に結婚し、新しい連合いと一緒にアメリカに帰りました。雄子にとっては、初めてアメリカに渡ることになったが、8年後正式な宣教師として再び北海道に戻り、その次につくば学園都市に移り、21年間宣教活動をしました。そして、最後に、関西に引っ越し、部落解放センターで2年間と関西学院大学で6年半働きました。

数多くの思い出がありますが、スペースが限られているので、2つだけを紹介します。1986年につくばに移った頃、雄子は筋肉の病気にかかり始めたのです。後には、「アイザクス症候群」と診断されましたが、これは非常に珍しい難病で、筋肉が硬直する病気です。結果として、治療のため毎年入院する必要があります。こうして、いろいろの患者と接触し、キリストの愛を示しながら彼らを支える多くの機会が生まれて来ました。その中の一人は脳腫瘍を患っていた若い女性でした。有紀さん、そして彼女の両親と親しくなりました。有紀はクリスマスのイルミネーションが好きで、クリスマスイブに救急車で教会に来られるように働きかけ、特別な許可を得ました。燭火礼拝の前に、聖歌隊が集まり、彼女のために特別なコンサートをしました。5週間後、彼女が亡くなる前に、クリスチャンとなり洗礼を受けたいと私たちに伝えました。筑波大学病院では、宗教活動は一切禁じられていますが、特別に許可を得られ、病室で洗礼式を行ないました。両親もこれに感動し、自分たちも洗礼を受けて、キリストに従う事を決心しました。

宣教活動の中で、この同じ概念を適用しようと努めて来ました。それは、日本人がイエスキリストの福音をなるべく自然な形で受け入れられるように、その意味が伝わっていく言語的文化的接点を求めて来ました。これに関わるもう一つの宣教活動ハイライトは私が書いた本のことです。「漢字に秘められた聖書物語」と題したこの本は1994年に出版され、その後に英語版をも自己出版という形で出しました。数多くの漢字の部首の意味とその字の全体的な意味を考えると、聖書的な真理をうまく例証するということを解説する内容です。日本語版は5000部印刷され、随分前に売れ切れとなりました。キリスト教関係の本としては、かなり多い数だそうです。最初の英語版の在庫もなくなり、去年、それを書き直して、新しい形で出版しました。題をも変更し、「漢字に秘められた福音」にしました。そして、英語を読める中国人も使いやすいように、解説する感じの中国語の読みをも付けました。今度は、新しい日本語版をも作りたいと思っています。

この短い記事の締めくくりとして残したい言葉は、日本におけるキリスト教会の宣教活動に貢献できたとは言えても、他の宣教師が証言するように、日本の皆様に与えたことより受けた方が遥かに多かったと思います。これからも同じことになるのではないかと思います。というのは、野尻湖のキャビンに毎年の夏を過ごしに戻ってくる計画だからです。

 

 

【December 2016 No.390】Students Recall Experiences During Youth Mission 2016

From Aug. 13-20, a joint Kyodan and Presbyterian Church in Taiwan Youth Mission event was held under the co-sponsorship of the Kyodan’s Commission on Ecumenical Ministries and Committee on Education. This year, youth from Taiwan came to Japan to explore the theme “Let’s share Jesus Christ together.” Along with Japanese youth, we visited the Tohoku Disaster Relief Center, Emmaus, and participated in the Tohoku District Junior/Senior High Camp in Inawashiro and the National Christian Youth Alliance retreat in Karuizawa. There were seven participants from Taiwan and seven from Japan.

 

First we went to Sendai, where we visited the towns of Arahama and Yuriage and saw the current conditions of these disaster-stricken areas. Together we prayed for their rapid recovery. After visiting the Tohoku area, we went to the town of Inawashiro in Fukushima and participated in the Tohoku District Junior/Senior High Camp. During the camp, Kataoka Terumi, a member of Wakamatsu Sakaemachi Church and a representative from the Tohoku District Nuclear Disaster Relief Task Force, IZUMI, spoke to the group about the nuclear disaster, emphasizing how parents want to protect their children. Following the lecture, the Taiwanese youth shared the problems of nuclear power in Taiwan. We then visited Kirisitan (hidden Christian) remains in the area and learned about the history of Christianity in Japan 400 years ago.

 

On Aug. 17, a typhoon blasted through, but we were able to arrive in Karuizawa to participate in the National Christian Youth Alliance retreat. On the second day of the retreat, Kyodan missionary Nag Woon-Hae spoke of his work in Korea. Then at the evening worship, Chang Ya-Chun, one of the Taiwanese participants, shared her faith and told us how Jesus had brought change in her life through the witness of a missionary from the U.S.

On Aug. 19, the last day of the Youth Mission event we returned to Tokyo and met General Secretary Nagasaki Tetsuo. He told us of how his own experience as a young person at a retreat had led to his call to ministry and how he has continued to serve Jesus. Both Japanese and Taiwanese youth were encouraged by his witness. Together in Christ, we were able to create wonderful memories and, surmounting our history, make good friends through this joint mission program.

—Sho Khi-Kho, second-year student,

Taiwan Theological College and Seminary

 

*          *          *

I was richly blessed by God through this Youth Mission event. It was a time of rich fellowship that went beyond the boundaries of denomination and nationality. I was able to learn much from the messages of pastors and participants, and each part of the program helped me encounter God.

Because this camp was the first time for me to visit the East Japan Disaster area, the lecture at Inawashiro on nuclear energy was very impressive. I was overwhelmed by fear as I heard information that I had not known and was confronted with the fact that I had made no effort to get that information. News regarding nuclear energy has gradually declined and, while living in Tokyo, my own awareness had practically disappeared. Along with a renewed sense of the danger of nuclear energy, I became keenly aware of the danger of forgetting what we know about it. As we confront this issue, we need to consider what God is trying to tell us and continue to pray about it. It has been a pleasure to meet other members through this experience, and I thank God for the deep fellowship we have had with one another. Through our devotionals and free time together, we were able to think and share about the church and God. We talked about our studies and our families, about our world and politics. There were no boundaries as we shared and prayed together. Even if our churches and countries differ, I strongly feel that we are all members of God’s family, even though we are now separated.

 

As the last part of our program, each group shared an action plan for what they would do as Christian youth following our return home. We were to do this in the context of our individual faith, church, and setting. Rather than simply keeping what I have learned at this camp to myself, I have a renewed desire to share the joy I feel in God with those who surround me. I am convinced that God continues to work wherever we are and will use each of us as his instruments. Finally, along with thanksgiving for God’s blessings throughout this experience, I want to express my thanks to all who were a part of the planning, preparation, and support of this Youth Mission event. (Tr. JS)

 

—Uchida Ayumu, Omiyamae Church

Second-year student, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies

                                From Kyodan Shinpo (The Kyodan Times), No. 4848

ユースミッション2016 蔣 記剛(Sho Khi-Kho)

8月13日 から20日にかけて、教育委員会主 催、世界宣教部共催の日本基督教団(UCCJ)と台湾基督長老教会(Presbyterian Church in Taiwan)の日台ユースミッションが行われました。今年は 台湾青年が日本を訪問し、共に東北教区被災者支援センター・エマオを訪問し、東北教区中高生キャンプ(猪苗代)と軽井沢での全国教会青年同盟修養会に参加しました。今度のテーマは「共に主イエスをシェアしよう!」でした。 台湾から7名、日本から7名の出席でした。

は じめに、日台青年たちは仙台に行って、荒浜と閖上(Yuriage)を訪問し、被災地の現況を見に行きました。一緒に 一日も早く被災地が復興するようお祈りしました。

東 北の訪問の後、福島の猪苗代に行って、東北教区中高生キャンプに参加しました。キャンプ中、会津放射能情報センターい ずみの 代表である片岡輝美さん(日本基督教団若松栄町教会)が原発事故に関する講演をして下さいました。親として、自分の子供たちは自分で守ると述べておられました。 講演後、台湾青年も台湾原発の問題について分ち合いました。その後、猪苗代キリシタン史跡を巡り、400年前の日本キリスト教の歴史を学びました。

17日に台風が突撃しましたが、無事に軽井沢に辿り着き、全国教会青年同盟修養会に参加しました。修養会の2日目 には、日本基督教団のナグネ(Nag Woon-Hae)宣教師が韓国でのご自身の働きをお話して下さいま した。そして、夜の礼拝では台湾青年の張雅鈞(Chang Ya-Chun)姉が、自らの信仰はアメリカの宣教師によって、イ エス様に変えられたものであることを証しました。

ユースミッション最終日の19日に、東京へ戻り、長崎哲夫総幹事にお会いしまし た。長崎総幹事は、ご自身が青年の頃に参加した修養会の経験を通して、献身の決意をし、主イエスに今まで仕えていることを証してくだ さいました。日台青年共に励まされました。今回の日台ユースミッションで、主イエスにあって、日台青年はよい思い出を作り、歴史を越 えたよい友達に出会えました。

 

 

 

今回のユースミッションを通して、私は神様からたくさんの恵みをいただき、教会や国境を越えた素敵な 交わりのときが与えられました。先生方のメッセージやプログラム一つ一つから多くのことを学び、神様と向き合うことができました。

私にとって東日本大震災の被災地を訪れるのはこのキャンプが初めてだったため、猪苗代での原発に関す るレクチャーは特に印象深いものでした。自分の知らなかった情報の恐ろしさに圧倒され、今まで知ろうとしていなかった自分にも気づか されました。原発に関する情報を耳にする機会は徐々に減っていき、東京で暮らしているうちに頭の片隅へと追いやられていたのです。改 めて原発の恐ろしさと、それを忘れてしまうことの恐ろしさを痛感しました。この課題を通して神様が何を語ろうとしているのかを考え、 祈り続けていかなくてはならないと思いました。

またこのキャンプで他のメンバーと出会い、深い交わりを持てたこと は本当に嬉しく感謝なことでした。デボーションや自由時間には、教会や神様のこと、勉強・家族のこと、そして政治や世界のことまでい ろいろなことについてシェアし祈り合うことができました。教会や国籍は違っても、神様の家族であるということを離れている今も強く感 じます。

プログラムの最後には、それぞれの場所に帰ったあとクリスチャンの青年としてどう行動していくかとい うことを、自分の信仰・教会・社会(世界)の三つの視点から考えてシェアする、アクションプランのグループ発表を行いました。この キャンプで学んだことを自分の内に留めるだけでなく、周りに神様の喜びをシェアしていくという思いを新たにしました。これからも神様 がそれぞれの場所で働いてくださり、一人一人が神様の器として用いられていくと確信しています。最後に、このキャンプのために準備し 支えてくださった方々、そして守ってくださった神様に心から感謝したいです。

大宮前教会

東京外国語大学2年 内田歩(うちだあゆむ)
(教団新報4848号)

【December 2016 No.390】PCT and the Kyodan Convene 15th Joint Consultation

The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) and the Kyodan held a joint church consultation, Aug. 22-25, in Taiwan. This was the 15th such biennial consultation of the two churches and alternates between the two countries. This time it was held in the city of Guanziling in southern Taiwan. The theme was “Imitating Christ: Becoming Humble Servants of God” (Micah 6:8, I Cor. 11:1).

 

There were 49 persons in attendance, including 22 from the Kyodan. The program consisted of an opening worship service, two morning prayer meetings, six plenary sessions, and a closing worship service, after which a joint declaration was released. Those attending included not only cabinet members, general secretaries, and program secretaries from both churches but also participants from the various districts, missionaries assigned to both countries, and in particular, young people who took responsibility and participated actively, thus giving me a great sense of hope.

 

The themes for the plenary sessions were: “The Current State of the Church and its Task/Challenges,” “The Future of Young People in the Church,” “Reflections on Mission Activity/Humaniterian Aid,” “Mission among the Native Peoples,” “The Challenge of Participating in International Organizations,” and “Reflections and Prospects of the PCT and Kyodan Mission Agreement.”

 

There were presentations from both churches, followed by discussion. Based on the joint trust that has been built over the years, there were frank discussions on how we can cooperate and deal with the real problems confronting us. I felt that the discussions presented a challenge for the Kyodan to sincerely confront these problems. The fact that the deliberation in preparation for the joint declaration extended far beyond the scheduled one hour to almost three hours is an indication of that challenge. It is a reminder of the difficulty as well as the blessing of a united church in mission together with a denominational church.

 

The location of this consultation was a hot spring area developed by Japanese during the colonization of Taiwan. On a field trip, we visited Hatta Yoichi Dam, also built during the colonization, has been a great benefit to agriculture/farming in southern Taiwan. Remembering and understanding the history of the Japanese colonization of Taiwan, I feel that we must return to the theme of our consultation as the Kyodan and PCT continue our mission journey together. (Tr. JS)

—Murayama Moriyoshi, member

Commission on Ecumenical Ministries

From Kyodan Shinpo (The Kyodan Times), No. 4848

「教団と台湾基督長老教会との教会協議 会」報告

 

台湾基督長老教会Presbyterian Church in Taiwan(以下PCT)と教団の教会協議会が8月22日から25日まで台湾で行われた。今回15回を数える協議会は二年に一度、台湾と 日本で交互に開催されており、今回は台湾南部の關子嶺(Guanziling)で「共にキリストに倣い、へりくだって神に仕えるしもべとなる(ミカ書6章8節、コリントの信徒への手紙一 11章1節)

をテーマに開催された。教団からの参加者22名を含めて合計49名で、開会・閉会礼拝、二回の朝の祈り、六回のセッションを持ち、共同声明が発表された。

 

両教会・教団の三役、総幹事、担当幹事、だけでなく、教区から送り出された出席者、それぞれの派遣宣教師 に加えて、青年たちが活き活きと役割を担って主体的に参加している姿に希望を見出す思いがした。

 

「教会の現状と課題」、「教会青年の未来」、「宣教活動の振り返り 災害救援と復興、「宣教活動の振り 返り 原住民宣教」、「国際組織への参加の課題」、「PCTと教団宣教協約の振り返りと展望」がセッションのテーマで、両教会から発題があり、討論がなされた。PCTと教団がこれまで築いてきた信頼関係に基づいて、これから具体的な問題に協力してどう対処して行くのか、 という課題に教団が誠実に向き合うことが求められていることを感じた話し合いであった。共同声明の協議に、予定の一時間を大きく超え て、三時間近く費やされたことからも伺えるだろう。合同教団が教派教会と共に歩む難しさと豊かさを覚えたい。

 

今回の会場は、日本の植民地時代に開設された日本式の温泉地であった。フィールドトリップは、日本統治 時代に作られ、台湾南部の農業に大きく貢献した八田與一ダムの見学であった。 台湾が日本の植民地であった事実を理解した上で、現在、これからのPCTと教団の歩みを協議会のテーマに立ち返って歩むことが求められているのではないだろうか。村山盛芳(世界宣教委員)(教団新報4848号)

【December 2016 No.390】2016 Kyodan General Assembly Reelects Current Officers

The 40th Biennial Kyodan General Assembly was held at the Hotel Metropolitan in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Oct. 25-27. Of the 400 delegates minus the 10 from the Okinawa District who failed to register for the assembly, 366 delegates were registered as present at the beginning of the assembly. As this represented a quorum, the assembly began as scheduled. However, the absence of the Okinawa District delegates continued to be a sore point, as Okinawa District has elected to keep its distance from the Kyodan.

 

There were 32 mandatory items on the agenda along with 19 non-mandatory items. The first item was that of recognizing the deliberation schedule, and Moderator Ishibashi made several proposals on how to deal with a number of the agenda items. For instance, since Article 12 of the constitution mandates that any proposed constitutional revisions be made public at least three months prior to the General Assembly, agenda item 42 on the revision of Article 9 and related bylaws could not officially be brought forth—a situation for which he offered an apology. However, the proposer of the revision, Kyushu District Moderator Umesaki Koji, stated that since this was a provision that had been passed by the Kyushu District Annual Assembly, not dealing with it at all would leave matters dangling. The agreement after deliberation was to print the proposal in the church newspaper Kyodan Shinpo, and with that provision, the proposal was tabled.

 

Another issue was the call to establish a place for thorough discussion on the communion service within the Kyodan as well as to rescind the removal of Kitamura Jiro’s ministerial credentials. The Kyodan leadership, however, stated that this proposal could not be carried forward because the final decision had already been rendered in accordance with the rules of discipline. While voices of protest echoed through the hall, the decision to end discussion on this topic was passed. Likewise, the agenda item to restore the 1.2 million yen that had been cut from the Solidarity Fund for Mission in Okinawa was discussed together with the agenda items related to finances, but it was not adopted at this time.

 

This effort to combine related agenda items at the beginning of the proceedings has only been done in the last few assemblies. As there are over 50 proposals to deal with in three days, such streamlining of the process is vital, and the result was evident in the pace and management of the discussion among various points of view.

The election of the core leadership for the next two-year term was held, and all three members were reelected: Moderator Ishibashi Hideo for his fourth term, Vice-moderator Sasaki Michio for his second term and Secretary Kumoshikari Toshimi for his fourth term. This was followed by the election of the other executive council members, with 10 of the 27 members (5 clergy and 5 laypersons) being replaced. Thus, several members who have worked diligently for the restoration of the Kyodan to normalcy have now passed the baton to a new generation. They will be working with the core leadership to deal with the numerous issues that challenge the Kyodan as it faces an important crossroad—most importantly in the area of finances and the necessary restructuring that accompany this.

 

One task not accomplished at this assembly was that of naming a replacement for General Secretary Nagasaki Tetsuo, who has resigned from his post. For the time being, General Affairs Secretary Dohke Norikazu will serve as acting general secretary, but hopefully a new person can be found to fill this important post soon. The new head of the Board of Publications, Shindo Atsushi, is a 30-year veteran of the Board of Publications’ staff, and this is the first time that a staff member has been elected to that position. He will carry out the important function of publication evangelism.

 

It is not an exaggeration to say that the Kyodan has entered an era of changed emphasis, one that stresses cooperative evangelism. My prayer is that this 2016 Kyodan General Assembly Period will be one in which we step out in faith, believing in the promise of II Cor. 12:10, “For when we are weak (for Christ’s sake), we are strong.” (Tr. TB)

—Dohke Norikazu, executive secretary of general affairs

Acting General Secretary

「第40回日本基督教団総会を終えて」

日本基督教団 総幹事事務取扱 どうけ道家のりかず紀一

 第40回日本基督教団総会が、去る10月25日~27日にかけて、池袋・ホテルメトロポリタンで開催された。議員定数400名-ただし沖縄教区選出議員10名は未登録―のうち、開会時に366名の出席者の登録を確認、定足数を満たしており、総会は開会された。沖縄教区が教団と距離を置いて、議員 の選出がないことが続いていることは大きな痛みである。

扱われる予定議事は、法定議案が32議案、法定外議案が19議案であった。冒頭の議案1「議事日程承認に関する件」では、いしばし石橋議長より幾つかの議案の取扱いの提 案がなされた。議案42「教憲9条を改正し、伴って関連教規条項を改正する件

は、教憲12条に「教憲改正の場合は総会の3箇月前に公表する

と定められているにも関わらず、公表することができず、上程できない事態に至ったことについて率直に謝罪 が述べられた。しかし、提案者である九州教区総会議長のうめさき梅崎こうじ浩二議員より「教区総会決議に基づく議案なので、全く扱われなかったということではお さまりがつかない」との発言があり、協議の結果、「新報に議案を掲載し、併せて謝罪文も掲載すること」を条件に、上程されないことが 承諾された。

また、議案33と議案44の「北村慈郎教師の免職処分撤回を求め教団内に聖餐の在り方について慎重かつ十分な議論する場の設置を求 める件

は教憲に抵触する議案であること、戒規施行細則に従って「最終審判」が出されているこ とを理由に上程できないことを宣した。議場からは反発の声が上がったが、上程しないことで承認された。さらには沖縄関連議案である 「沖縄連帯金120万円を元に戻す」議案は、財務関連議案で扱われることになった。

総会の冒頭で議事の整理が行われるようになったのは、ここ数総会期である。三日間で50を超える議案を扱うには、このような議 案整理が必要であり、いろいろな意見もある中で、議事運営を滞りなく進めることにおいて一定の成果が見られ始めた、といえようか。

1期2年の任期を終えた三役(議長 副議長 書記)の選挙が行われ、いしばし石橋ひで秀お雄、ささき佐々木み美ちお知夫、くも雲しかり然とし俊み美が再選された。石橋議長と雲然書記は4期目となる。佐々木副議長は2期目とな る。続けて行われた常議員選挙は、三役再選とは異なり、27名中10名(教職5名 信徒5名)が入れ替わった。教団の正常化に尽くして来た何人かの議員がその働きを終えて、次の世代に 交代する時期に来ているといえる。再選された三役と共に、大きな曲がり角に来ている教団の様々な課題への取り組みを担って行くことに なる。特に財政問題とそれに伴う機構改正は必須なことであり、待ったなしである。

このような状況であるが、今総会では退任したながさき長崎てつお哲夫総幹事の後任を選任するに至らなかった。総務幹事どうけ道家が暫く事務取扱を務めることにな る。一日でも早く新しい総幹事が選任され、事務局の体制を整えたい。出版局長には、出版局職員歴30年を超えるしんどう新藤あつし敦が選任された。職員からの選任は初めてのことである。出版伝道の重責を担うこととな る。

今日、教団は立場を越えて伝道協力する時代に入ったといっても過言ではない。「弱い時 にこそ強い主

(コリントⅡ12:10)を信じて歩み出す「第40総会期」であることを祈る。

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