【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)

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