The second Commission on Ecumenical Ministries meeting of the 40th General Assembly Period was held Sept. 11-12, 2017 in the Kyodan meeting room. From this time, the representative of the Japan Christian Social Work League on the Commission on Ecumenical Ministries, Nagasawa Michiko, was replaced by Miyamoto Kazutake.
Proceedings began with a report by Rev. Hayashida Yoshiyuki on the Japanese Church in Kaohsiung, Taiwan about his work there, which spanned many years. This was followed by a report on overseas mission personnel that was accepted and approved, including the following notes.
•Rev. Kuyama Yasuhiko will retire from his position at Centenary United Methodist Church in Los Angeles at the end of March 2018.
•Rev. Yoshioka Yasutaka of the Sycamore Congregational Church returned to Japan from Sept. 19 through Oct. 19 to extend his visa.
•Rev. Zama Yutaka of the Vancouver United Japanese Church will complete his term on June 30, 2018.
•The Rev. Chibana Sugako will return to the Pirapo Free Methodist Church in Paraguay on Sept.12.
•Missionary Kawai Nozomu was not able to go to his assignment at Pine United Methodist Church in San Francisco, California, USA, because his visa application was not accepted even after waiting for one year.
The main items discussed were as follows.
1) The memorandum of understanding concerning mission cooperation between the Gereja Masahi Injili di Minahasa (GMIM, the Christian Evangelical Church in Minahasa) in Indonesia and the Kyodan was reviewed. There are four GMIM churches within Kyodan (all in Kanto and Chubu districts), and the Commission on Ecumenical Ministries desires to promote this mission cooperation with GMIM.
2) Participants for the EMS International Youth Workshop to be held from June 27 to July 6, 2018 will be sought, but each youth will be required to contribute ¥100,000 towards expenses.
3) Last year, youth were sent to Taiwan and Germany, and the commission wants to continue sending Japanese youth to international places and gatherings.
At the end, CEM member Wayne Jansen shared a paper, “The Reformed Church in America and the United Church of Christ Working Together.” (Tr. WJ)
From Kyodan Shinpo (The Kyodan Times)
—Nishinosono Michiko, secretary Commission on Ecumenical Ministries