The Organization and Work of the NCCJ

—Aminaka Shoko, general secretary, National Christian Council inJapan

 

The NCCJ is composed of 14 member as well as 16 associate member denominations and organizations and is supported by their contributions and membership fees. Positions are assumed after the National Christian Council inJapan’s General Assembly confirms nominations made by NCCJ officers and the general secretary. At the beginning of this general assembly triennium (2012-2015), the Kyodan’s nominated Rev. Kobashi Koichi as moderator and myself, Rev. Aminaka Shoko, as general secretary.

 

The NCCJ’s Japan Ecumenical Disaster Response Office, which was established at the encouragement of overseas churches after the 2011 Great East Japan Disaster, continues its important work. Kyodan pastors support JEDRO by serving in the positions of executive director (NCCJ Moderator Kobashi), executive assistant (Rev. Tonosaki Takashi), and steering committee chair (Rev. Omura Sakae). We are extremely grateful for the number of responses we receive from overseas to the steering committee’s continuing requests for donations to project needs in the disaster-stricken area. We have been blessed to work together through the pain of this disaster with Church World Service, a member of the Action by Churches Together (ACT)Alliance.

 

The Division of Christian Education, Christian Literature Publishing Society, and Center for the Study of Japanese Religions each are responsible for these specific areas. Organizations send delegates to 15 committees as they see fit, and then once the number of members on a particular committee is set, if it is deemed desirable that additional members be added from non-member organizations, that can be done up to a maximum of the original number of committee members. This is a feature of a council based on trust. Each committee is uniformly allotted 73,000 yen, and if that sum is insufficient, sending organizations and committee members give of their own time, energy, and finances. The issuing of statements and other actions taken are largely done under the name of the committee chair.

 

The general secretary is employed through a delegation agreement, and the only full-time employee receiving NCCJ-provided benefits is the office manager. NCCJ is otherwise administered by part-time staff: one accountant (3 days a week), one assistant accountant (2 days/ a week), one communications officer (1.5 days a week), and one volunteer.

 

In December 2012, “The Inter-religious Conference on Nuclear Issues” was held in the northeastern cities ofKōriyamaand Aizu-wakamatsu, with 87 delegates from 11 countries and numerous regions withinJapan. The “Faith Declaration from Fukushima 2012” was issued, and a petition was presented to the government and various organizations. A form of ecumenicalism, this conference was based on “The Asia Inter-religious Conference on Article 9*,” a gathering of Catholics, Buddhists, and other religious organizations.

 

The NCCJ General Assembly’s theme of “Keep on Walking Together” represents our walk with Christ and our walk with others. There are various views concerning evangelism and social activism. We are all sinners and are only able to act through repentance and faith in the forgiveness given by our crucified Lord.We hope to fulfill our mission while praying that not our thoughts but God’s thoughts are revealed.

_____________                                                            (Tr.RB)

*Constitution ofJapan:Chapter II.RENUNCIATION OF WAR

 

NCC役員・総幹事は推薦を総会が承認する形 で任 を負う。今総会期は日本基督教団から小橋孝一牧師が議長として、網中彰子牧師が総幹事として推薦され歩みだした。東日本大震災発生後、海 外諸教会の要望により震災対策室を立ち上げ、JEDRO(Japan Ecumenical Disaster Response Office)は活動を続ける。室長は小橋議長、補佐に外崎孝牧師、運営委員会座長は大村栄牧師が 務 め、教団の牧師たちが支えている。被災地の要望を受け運営委員会を経て海外へ献金依頼を発信し続け感謝すべきことに多くの応答をいただい てきた。ACTと協力関係にあるCWS(Church World Service)とも災害という痛みを通して共に働く恵みを与えられている。

15の委員会は派遣制度で団体が人員を申し 出、 その数を超えない条件で加盟団体以外にも推薦委員を依頼出来る。信頼を前提とした協議会の特徴である。各委員会に一律年間73,000円を分配するが足りないところは派遣母体や委員本人が時も力も財も捧げている。声明等を出すのは委員長名 によ るものが多い。

総幹事は委任契約で、_社会保険料等__NCC__が負担して雇用する_正規職員は総務1名のみ。他に会計パート1名週3日、会計補助1名週2日、広報1名1.5日、1名のボランティアで運営される。

2012年12月に「原子力に関する宗教者国際会議」 を郡 山・会津若松で開催し11地域87名の参加があった。「福島信仰宣言」と政府等への「嘆願書」を発表した。これは「9条アジア宗教者会議」 とい うカトリック、仏教等諸宗教者との集まりを基に開催したもので、エキュメニカルの一つの形でもある。

総会テーマの「共に歩み続ける」には主と共に、人と共にという意味が込められる。福音 伝道 と社会運動の関わりには様々な意見がある。私たちが皆罪びとで、十字架の主によって悔い改め、赦しを与えられた信仰によってのみ活動出来る。

人の思いではなく神の思いがあらわれるよう祈りつつ使命を果たしたいと願う。

網中彰子(NCC総幹事)

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