【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)

【April 2017 No.392】International Forum Considers the Mission of the Church in Taiwan Today

by Kato Makoto, executive secretary for Ecumenical Ministries

 

Sponsored by the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT), the International Forum on the Mission of the Church in Taiwan Today was held Feb. 14 -17 at the Presbyterian Bible College in Hsinchu. In addition to the 42 participants from overseas, there were about 150 other participants from around Taiwan. The Kyodan was represented by Moderator Ishibashi Hideo and myself. Aminaka Shoko, general secretary of the National Christian Council in Japan was also in attendance.

 

The opening worship service was led by Rev. Suda Tada, moderator of the PCT, who is from the indigenous Sediq tribe. He preached on the theme “Dining Together,” taken from Luke 15:11-32. In the following session on “Today’s PCT Context,” Dr. I-Chung Lai, assistant professor at Mackay College for Medicine and Management and executive director of Taichung City’s International Affairs Committee, gave a presentation on the current political situation. This was followed by a presentation by Prof. Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao, professor of sociology at National Taiwan University, entitled “The Paradigm Shift and the Current Social Issues in Taiwan.” The final morning presentation was by Rev. Dr. Cheng Yang-En, professor of Church History on the faculty of Taiwan Theological College and Seminary, who spoke on the topic “Missional Response to Today’s Taiwanese Context: A Historical Perspective.” The afternoon session featured the keynote address by Rev. Dr. Collin Cowan, general secretary of the Council for World Mission, entitled “Discerning the Role of the PCT in the Unfolding of Taiwan.”

 

The focus of Day 2 was “simultaneous panels” in which participants were divided into panel discussion groups. During the morning session, panel discussions were held in two separate rooms at the same time: one on Gender Justice and the other on the Role of Youth in the Church. During the afternoon and continuing into the morning of the third day, participants were divided into three groups in separate locations to discuss the topics of Economic Justice, Climate Environment, and Inclusive and Life Affirming Community. I served as the moderator for the discussion on Inclusive and Life Affirming Community, and I learned of the situation in the PCT concerning sexual minorities. The youth spoke openly of the seriousness of the issue and how no consensus could be reached. We all came back together for the afternoon session for two more panel discussions: one on the Meaning of Partnership and the other on the Role of the Ecumenical Movement in Supporting the PCT.

 

On the fourth and final day, following the adoption of the Listening Group Report, Kyodan Moderator Ishibashi Hideo led the closing worship. Overall, I would say that this was the largest in size and most serious in content of all of the PCT’s international conferences in my memory. (Tr. TB)

報告 加藤 誠

 

2017年2月14日(火)から17日(金)まで台湾、新竹(Hsinchu)にあるPCT Presbyterian Bible Collegeを会場にしてInternational Forum on the Mission of the Church in Taiwan Todayが開催された。参加者は海外から42名、台湾国内から150名。教団からは石橋秀雄教団総会議長、加藤誠世界 宣教幹事が参加した。尚、NCCからは網中彰子総幹事が参加した。開会礼拝は台湾基督長老教会総会議長のRev. Suda Tada。彼は原住民のSediq族出身である。Luke 15:11-32からDining Togetherと題して説教が行われた。

その後はToday’s PCT ContextのセッションにおいてPoliticalな面についてMackay College for Medicine and ManagementのAssistant Professorであり, the Taichung City GovernmentのExecutive Director of International Affairs CommitteeであるI-Chung Lai博士が発題し、次にThe Paradigm Shift and the Current Social Issues in Taiwanと題してProfessor of Sociology in National Taiwan UniversityのProf, Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiaoが発題した。最後にMissional Response to Today’s Taiwanese Context: A Historical Perspectiveと題してProfessor of Church History, on the faculty of the Taiwan Theological College and Seminary のRev. Dr. Cheng Yang-Enが発題した。午後のKeynoteではCouncil for World MissionのGeneral Secretary であるRev. Dr. Collin CowanによりDiscerning role of PCT in the unfolding Taiwanと題した基調講演が行われた。

二日目のメインはSimultaneous Panelsであった。参加者名簿には予め参加するパネルディスカッションが割り振られていた。午前は二つの会場を使いGender JusticeとRole of Youth in the Churchのパネルディスカッションが同時に行われた。午後は3つの会場を使いEconomic Justice, Climate Environment, Inclusive and Life Affirming Communityの3つのディスカッションが三日目の午前のセッションまで行われた。筆者はInclusive and Life Affirming Community のModeratorをさせていただいたが、PCTの青年が積極的に発言をしていた事と現在PCTでは性的マイノリティーの問題が深刻で収集がつかない状況であることが複数の発言により教 えられた。午後は一同に集まりPanel on Meaning of PartnershipとPanel on Role of Ecumenical Movement in supporting PCTのディスカッションが行われた。

4日目の最終日はAdoption of Listening Group Reportの後石橋秀雄教団議長による閉会礼拝が行われた。

私が記憶する限りではPCT主催の国際会議としては、規模においても内容においても大きく重い国際会議であった。

【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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