【December 2015 No.385】Statement by the Kyodan Moderator Concerning the Recently Passed National Security Legislation

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matt. 5:9)


This past Sept. 19, a set of security-related bills was passed by the upper house of Japan’s Diet. I am deeply troubled by the fact that these bills are in defiance of Japan’s Constitution, and thus, in addition to protesting this action, I strongly demand that my government rescind this action and return to the principle of governing according to our Constitution.


This National Security Legislation is fraught with problems, the most important of which is that it is in violation of the Constitution. Likewise, the Cabinet approved the implementation of the “right of collective self-defense,” which had not been recognized for the past 70 years since the end of World War II, so now the way has been opened for the Self-Defense Forces to participate in foreign conflicts.


Even though very many people protested the ratification of this legislation, the voices and will of the Japanese people were ignored, and the bills were rushed through the Diet. Amid the rising voices of protest, the explanations given by the government concerning these bills was utterly insufficient, thus showing that its explanations were unconvincing and did not have the approval of the Japanese people.


It is for this reason that I strongly urge Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, along with all others who bear responsibility for governing Japan, to do so in a way that genuinely contributes to true peace in the world. I will continue to pray for and raise my voice in support of the repeal of this National Security Legislation. I will likewise endeavor to work for the realization of a peace that is not dependent on military power and that is in the spirit of Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution, which begins: “Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.”


Likewise, I pledge to continue as a “peacemaking” follower of Christ who listens to and obeys the words of the Bible, while continuing to maintain a spirit of remorse for the great suffering our nation inflicted on the peoples of Asia during the Asia-Pacific War (WW II), never forgetting the hardships surrounding our defeat some 70 years ago.

I pray for the grace and guidance of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Peace, upon all the peoples of the world. (Tr. TB)



 (新約聖書 マタイによる福音書5章9節)

去る9月19日、参院 本会議において安全保障関連法案が可決されました。この安全保障関連法は立憲主義に反するものであることを深く憂い、抗議すると共 に、政府に対して、同法を廃し、憲法の理念に基づく政治に立ち戻ることを強く求めます。

そもそも、この安全保障関連法にはあまりに も多くの問題があります。何よりも同法は憲法に違反しております。そして、これまで戦後70年もの間認めてこなかった集団的自衛権の 行使容認を閣議決定し、自衛隊が他国の戦争に駆り出され得る道を開いてしまいました。

また、国民の多くが同法の成立に反対してい たにも関わらず、国民の声や意志を無視して、国会において同法を可決してしまいました。国民の声の高まりは、国会における安全保障関 連法案に関する政府の説明が不十分であると共に、その説明内容について国民の理解と同意が得られていないことを表しています。

それゆえ、今この時、安倍晋三首相をはじめ とする政治の責任を担っておられる方たちが、この世界における真実の平和の実現にこそ寄与する政治を行うことを強く求めます。また、 この度の安全保障関連法が廃止されるために、今後も祈り続け、声を上げてまいります。そして、「正義と秩序を基調とする国際平和を誠 実に希求し」(憲法第9条)、武力の行使によらない平和の実現のために力を尽くします。

また、これからも、アジア・太平洋戦争にお いてアジア近隣諸国に対して多大な苦しみを与えたことを心からお詫びしつつ、70年前の敗戦とそれに関わる苦難の歴史を決して忘れる ことなく、聖書の言葉に聞き従って、「平和を実現する」キリスト者としての歩みを続けます。

世界のすべての人々の上に、平和の主イエ ス・キリストの恵みと導きを祈ります。

2015年 10月20日


総会議長  石 橋  秀 雄

【December 2015 No.385】Messege From the General Secretary: Ashes of Alden Matthews Interred in Tokyo

Alden Ewart Matthews, a former Kyodan executive secretary, died in Florida in 2014. In accordance with his will, close friends of his gathered in October 2015 for the internment of his ashes in Tokyo, which, following the example of his wife Derrith Jane Lovell, were divided and placed in both Aoyama Cemetery and the cemetery of Kyonan Church.


Forty-seven years ago, in late 1968, I became the pastor of Kyonan Church in Musashino, Tokyo. At the time, the families of both the Reverend Matthews and Tokyo Theological Seminary Professor Kumazawa Yoshinobu were living nearby. As a young inexperienced pastor, I was encouraged and mentored by both of these men in a variety of situations.


Matthews, a graduate of Chicago Theological Seminary, was a missionary sent by the United Church Board for World Ministries, the mission board of the United Church of Christ. Following World War II, he was assigned to Fuzhou in China, where his father had been a missionary before the war. However, the Communist Revolution began soon afterward, and he and his wife were then reassigned to Japan.


Following a time at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Matthews worked with missionary Alfred Russell Stone in establishing the Theological Seminary for Rural Mission, which was headquartered at Hinodai Church in Hino, Tokyo. (The Reverend Murono Genichi was pastor at the time.) Matthews also lectured at the seminary.


With his exceptional character and judgment, Matthews subsequently worked with the Interboard Committee on Christian Work in Japan, the Japan–North American Commission, and well as with the Council on Cooperative Mission (CoC) while serving as a Kyodan executive secretary.


Although it was never said, he could have been called a Kyodan supervisor because during that time, the signature style of his career was the way he appeared in unexpected places at unexpected moments to encourage pastors, pastors’ families, and church council members. Quietly and unacknowledged, Matthews was a pioneer of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in Japan, according to the thinking of the present Kyodan Commission on Mission, and he often offered a listening ear to clergy and laity throughout the Kyodan. (Tr. JS)

—Nagasaki Tetsuo, general secretary

この10月、1年前フロリダで逝去 されたオールデン・エヴァルト・麻修須(マシュウズ)先生の遺骨を、ずっと遺言されていた通り、デリス夫人が眠る境南教会墓地と青山墓地 の宣教師墓所に親しかった者たちが集まって埋葬することができた。

私が武蔵野の境南伝道所に招聘されたのは、今から47年前の1968年末だった。そこに東神大の熊沢義宣先生と教団幹事の麻修須御家族がおられて 私は様々な局面で両先生から学び、励まされた。

麻修須先生はシカゴ大神学部から、当時UCBWM(今のUCC、米国組合教会と複数教派との合同教会)の 宣教師で、戦前父君が伝道された中国・福州に戦後派遣された。しかし、間もなく文化革命が起ころうというころ来日し、京都の同志社を 経由し東京の日野台教会(室野玄一牧師)を 拠点とした農村伝道神学校創設にストーン宣教師らと共働。同神学校の教壇にも立った。

以降、IBC/JNAC・CoC及 び教団幹事として卓越の人格、識見をもって奉仕した。この間、先生の生涯のハイライトは、いわば教団のスーパーバイザー、とは言われ なかったが、その行動は全く忍者風、神出鬼没で、人に分からず知らせず其処此処の牧師・家族・教会役員から、CPE(臨床牧会教育者)とし て「聞き」に通い続けたことだ。だから先生と教会生活は常に一緒であったのに、周囲が先週の礼拝には見えなかった等と尋ねても知らぬ 存ぜぬだった。今日、宣教委員会が考えている「牧会者と家族のための相談室」等の先駆けだった。  (教 団総幹事 長崎哲夫)

【December 2015 No.385】National Laity Conference Held After 65-year Lapse

The Conference of the Kyodan National Laity Organization was held June 9 at Fujimicho Church in Tokyo, thus reinstituting a previously existing but disbanded organization.


After thoroughgoing preparation, the Kyodan National Laity Organization was reorganized. With a joyous desire to share the good news and celebrate communion together, 212 people, including 26 ministers, gathered. This was sponsored by the Kyodan National Laity Organization and supported by the Taskforce on Evangelism Promotion.


The last meeting of the former organization was held 65 years ago, in April 1950, at Fujimicho Church and Tokyo Union Theological Seminary. The All–Japan Laity Conference was organized in 1941, the year the Kyodan was founded, and was called the Christian Laity Conference. After World War II, in 1947, delegates from each Kyodan district formed an organizing committee, with the aim of promoting fellowship, training, and cooperation among Kyodan laity. Its most notable contribution was the creation of a cooperative church building fund and radio evangelism, but in the 1960s it gradually became inactive, and by 1970, it had ceased to exist.


Prior to the reestablishment of the national organization, lay members of Tokyo District created the Tokyo Laity Organization in 2002. At each Kyodan Annual Conference, they met and held preparation meetings. In 2009, a laity conference to commemorate 150 years of Protestant evangelism in Japan was held. This all led to 130 people agreeing to be the organizing members of the new National Laity Organization at a “Lay Fellowship Meeting” held in October 2014.


At the center of this call for the National Laity Organization was the desire to share the grace of receiving Holy Communion. At the meeting on June 9, Fujimori Yuki, pastor of Fujimicho Church, led a Communion Service. Kyodan Moderator Ishibashi Hideo and Yamakita Nobuhisa, a former Kyodan moderator, gave greetings as guest speakers, stating that a burning spirit of evangelism among the laity is the hope of the Kyodan. Akudo Mitsuharu, pastor of Takinogawa Church in Tokyo, said in his presentation that the hope for the reconstruction of the church is that the laity will positively carry out their task as “priest, prophet, and supporter of the King.”


I heard that the reason the meeting was held on a weekday during the day was in hope that pastors would be able to participate. However, to raise and support the next generation, meetings on Saturday or evenings should be considered so that laypersons in all kinds of situations can participate.


Mochizuki Katsuhito, president of Kyodan National Laity Organization and Member of Kamakura Yukinoshita Church in Kanagawa District, comments as follows:


By the year 2030, it is predicted that the population of Japan will decrease to 110 million. Forty percent of the resident communicant members are 70 or older, and so it is predicted that in 7 years Kyodan membership will have declined by 12% and after 15 years by 17%. Likewise, 20% of churches are presently without a full-time pastor. It is not God’s will to have the church decline like this, and so it is in the midst of this trial that this National Laity Organization was founded. As we sing “Victory in the Life of the Resurrection,” it is our fervent desire to work together with our pastors to fulfill the mission of the Church. (Tr. JT)

—From Shinto no Tomo (Believers’ Friend)

September 2015 issue


6月9日 火曜日、東京・富士見町教 会を会場に、「教団全国信徒会結成第1回 信徒大会」が行われた。これは一度失われた組織が再結成された。


 「福音伝道に喜びをもって、みんなで集まって聖餐を祝お う」との呼びかけの下、当日は全国より212名(う ち牧師26名)が 参加した。主催は日本基督教団全国信徒会、後援は教団伝道推進室。 教団における「全国信徒大会」の開催は、1950年4月 に富士見町教会と東京神学大学を会場に行われて以来65年 ぶりのこととなる。

 「教団全国信徒会」の歩みは、教団成立の年の1941年 秋に結成された「日本基督教信徒会」にさかのぼる。戦後、各教区選出の信徒会設立委員により、47年 に再組織、以来「教団所属信徒間の親睦修養並びに協力を図ること」を目的として活動が続けられた。「会堂共済組合」や「ラジオ伝道」 への貢献は特筆すべきことであったが、60年 代に入ると低迷。70年 には実体が失われてしまった。

 全国信徒会再結成に先立って、「東京信徒会」が東京教区信 徒有志により2002年に結成された。同会は06年 より教団総会の度に「信徒交流の集い」を準備運営し、09年には「日本伝道150年 記念信徒大会」を開催した。そうした積み重ねの中で、昨年10月 の「信徒交流の集い」において、130名 の発起人により「全国信徒会再結成」が宣言されるに至った。


 信徒大会の中心には「聖餐の恵みにあずかること」を据えた いとの願いから、藤盛勇紀牧 師(富 士見町教会)に よる司式で聖餐礼拝が行われた。石橋秀雄教団総会議長、山北宣久前 教団総会議長が来賓としてあいさつに立ち、「伝道に燃える信徒の群れの新しい出発は教団の希望」との期待を語った。その後、阿久戸光 晴(牧師(東京・滝野川教会)が講演で、「祭司として、預言者として、王の職務を支える者 として」の役割を信徒が積極的に担っていくことに、教会再建の希望があると結んだ。

 平日昼間の開催となったことについて、牧師の参加をも得て 進めたいとの思いがあったと聞く。しかし、次世代を担う信徒の育成、交わりの形成へと進めるためにも、土曜日や夕刻からの開催など、 あらゆる層の信徒が結集できるような工夫をしていくことが課題と言えるだろう。



2030年 問題では日本の人口が1億1000万 人に減ると言われています。教団現住陪餐会員の70歳 以上の構成比は現在40% に達し、信徒数は7年 後には12% 減、15年 後には17% 減と予測されます。無牧の教会が2割 に達しようとしていますが、教会の衰退はみ心ではありません。この試練の中で全国信徒会が立ちあがりました。「復活の生命の勝利」を 高らかに賛美し、福音宣教のために牧師を助けて元気に戦い抜きたいと祈り願います。信徒の友編集部 (信徒の友9月 号より)

【December 2015 No.385】Workshop on Preaching Encourages New Pastors

A joint Summer Workshop of the Task Force on Evangelism Promotion was held in conjunction with the “C-course Assembly” assisted by the Commission on Ministry, Aug. 11-13, with Tokyo Union Theological Seminary providing the meeting place.


“C-course” refers to ministerial candidates covered by Article 3, Section 6 of the ministerial examination regulations. C-course is for candidates not attending a seminary or theological school. This workshop was for C-course examinees and for those who have been licensed five years or less. The total number is believed to be almost 300 people, with 28 of them participating in this workshop. Including staff, there were a total of 45 people in attendance.


The focus of this year’s workshop was on preaching, something that had not been done for five years. Koizumi Ken, Associate Professor of Tokyo Union Theological Seminary, gave a three-hour lecture entitled “Discovering and Overcoming the Challenge of Preaching.” Kyodan Moderator Ishibashi Hideo’s lecture, “Preaching that communicates the faith based in the atonement,” examined the central challenge of preaching. Also, Professor Ishikawa Ritsu of Doshisha University Department of Theology lectured on “How to Read the Bible,” through which participants learned about the attitude that preachers should have as well as some tactics for Bible reading. In addition, Narita Iushi, pastor of Banjo Church, took up the concrete challenge of how to read and preach from the Gospel of John in his lecture, “The Gospel of John as Inspiration for a sermon.”


In the evening, retired instructor Kato Tsuneaki gave a lecture entitled ”Living message makes people alive,” in which he described his own experiences as a preacher. Also, in his lecture on “Building the Church through preaching,” Pastor Ogushi Makoto of Chiba Hokuso Church spoke of his church planting experience, when he was first broken by the Word of God and then healed.


During the case study, sermons by well-known preachers were anonymously introduced and then analyzed and evaluated. This was followed by a lively discussion and exchange of opinions. The comments given were based on each person’s viewpoint about what a sermon is. During the short time of this discussion, the participants felt released from the daily pressure of preaching. However, it also became very clear that many participants have been suffering from a complex about preaching sermons.


During the morning and evening worship services, Pastors Ojima Seishi and Osumi Keizo gave the participants encouragement and comfort.(Tr. KT)


—Miyamoto Yoshihiro, pastor

Numazu Church, Tokai District

From Kyodan Shinpo (The Kyodan Times), No. 4827






この研修会は、教師検定規則第3条6項による者(いわゆるCコース及びその受験者)と准允後 5年までの者の研修会である。その総数は300人弱いると思われるが、参加者は28名。スタッフを含め総勢45名であった。


しかし、それだけではなく、説教の中心課題を見据えるために「贖罪信仰を語り伝える説教」と題して石橋秀 雄教団議長に、また、「聖書の読み方」と題して同志社大学神学部石川立教授の講演を受け、参加者は説教者としての姿勢と聖書を読む工夫を学んだ。更に、具体的にヨハネ福音書を どのように読み、説教するかの課題のために「説教の源泉としてのヨハネ福音書」と題して成田いうし牧師(磐上)の講演も行われた。

牧会夜話では、加藤常昭隠退教師によって「生きた言葉、生かす言葉」と題して説教者としての自身の原体験を、また、大串眞牧師(千葉北総)によって「説教による教会形成」と題して、開拓伝道の中で御言葉によって打ち砕かれ、立ち上がらされた 経験を語ってもらった。

ケース・スタディでは、よく知られている説教者の説教(複数)を、名を伏せて批評してもらった。活発な意 見が交わされ、各自の説教観からの批評が集中した。このことは参加者が、日頃、自分が説教をすることの重圧から解放されるひと時と なったが、説教に対するコンプレックスを抱えている現実があることをも浮き彫りにした。

朝夕の礼拝では、今回も小島誠志、大隅啓三両牧師から慰めを受けた。(宮本義弘報) 新報4827号

【December 2015 No.385】Discriminated-against Buraku Coalition Meets in Germany

by Torii Shinpei, delegate                                                                                                   Buraku Liberation Center


The discriminated-against Buraku in Japan, the Dalit of India (outcasts), and Germany’s Sinti Roma held a conference, Sept. 24 -27, 2015, at the Christian Studies Institute on the outskirts of Stuttgart, Germany to create international solidarity. This occurred through the invitation and sponsorship of the Southwestern Germany Christian Gospel Council, a committee of the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS).


The Buraku Liberation Center sent Mizuno Matsuo and I, Torii Shinpei, to Germany as delegates. Mizuno Matsuo is the first intern from the BLC and is currently working at the Tokyo office of the Buraku Liberation League. I am a teacher at Omi Kyodaisha Elementary School, but I also have heavy responsibilities as the chairperson of the Steering Committee at the Buraku Liberation Center.


The conference began every morning with worship and continued with sharing about the historical backgrounds of each community together with the realities of discrimination each face. To this was added reports as to how education is being directed towards providing solutions to these issues, all with the goal in mind of deepening our mutual understanding. More than anything else, however, at this time of marking 70 years since the end of World War II, it was a great blessing to deepen the joint bonds of respect for human dignity that transcends nationality.


Having taken part in this international conference, I have several thoughts.

1) I am grateful for EMS’s concern and the invitation coming from that.


2) Related to this concern, due to EMS’s gift of funds, as the forerunner of this conference, there is a connection to the joy of issuing the Japanese-English bilingual publication of the Buraku Liberation’s sermon collection, Let There Be Light on Humanity, for which I am grateful.


3) In the midst of a long history of the continuing condition of discrimination and the church’s struggle to deal with this, I think coming to understand that the Dalit of India, Germany’s Sinti Roma, and the discriminated-against Buraku of Japan have areas in common as well as quite different situations is very important for future thinking about international solidarity.


4) Also, I sensed that this kind of work would be an incentive to further the responsibility being shouldered by the Kyodan’s Buraku Liberation Center.


5) Finally, it was a great privilege to gather together with priceless persons, such as the family of Bobby, Sinti Roma’s guitarist; Paul Schneiss, who formerly served as a Kyodan missionary, and his wife Kiyoko; and all the staff of EMS. I am earnestly thinking that I want to continue to kindle the flames of solidarity in the Lord from here on as well. (Tr. RT)

部落解放センター ドイツ訪問

日本の被差別部落とインドのダリッド(アウトカースト)、そしてドイツのシンチ・ロマSinti Romaが国際的な連帯をつくろうと2015924日から27日 にかけて、ドイツのシュタットゲルト郊外のキリスト教研修施設で協議会を行った。これはEMS(Evangelical Mission in Solodarity)の主催・招聘によるものである。 部落解放センターは水野松男さんと私、鳥井新平を代表としてドイツに送ってくださった。水野松男さんは部落解放センターの第一回研修生 で、現在は部落解放同盟東京都連で働いている。私は、近江兄弟社小学校で教員をしながら、部落解放センターの活動委員長の重責を担わせて いただいている。 協議会は毎朝、礼拝からはじまり、それぞれの歴史的経緯や差別の実態、それにむけての教育における取り組み等の様子が報告と対話を織り交 ぜながら進められ、お互いの理解を深めることができた。なによりもまず、戦後70年の節目のこの時に、国を超えて人間の尊厳を尊重し合う連帯の絆を深められたことは一番の恵みで あった。今回の国際会議に出席していくつかの思いをもった。
このことは、今回の会議に先駆けてEMSの 献金により、部落解放説教集「人間に光あれ」の日英両文が出版できたことの喜びにつながり、有り難い。
インドのダリッド、ドイツのシンチロマ、日本の被差別部落と長い歴史の中で差別を受け続けている状況と教会におけ る取り組みなど、共通する部分とかなり状況が違う部分とを理解することができたということは、今後の国際連帯を考える上でとても大切なポ イントだと思った。
最後に何ものにも代え難い人との出会いは、大きな収穫だった。シンチロマのギタリスト、Bobbyの家族、以前教団の宣教師として働かれた ポール・シュナイツさんと清子さん、EMSの スタッフの皆さん。主の交わりにあってこれからも連帯の火を燃やし続けたいと切に思った。(鳥井新平報)

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