【April 2018 No.397】Tokyo Youth Plan First Ecumenical Program (EcuPro) in 2017

by Sugino Nozomi, member of Tokyo Kiyose Catholic Church
Representative, Ecumenical Project Executive Committee

 The youth of the Tokyo area—Catholic, Japan Evangelical Lutheran, and Kyodan—have had some connection with each other by attending each other’s events over the years. In that connection, we (the youth of the Tokyo area churches) decided to do something together on this 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

 It was this initiative that became the genesis of “EcuPro” (short for Ecumenical Program, which is an inter-denominational gathering of young people). The first official EcuPro event was held at Seijo Catholic Church in Tokyo on Aug. 19, 2017 with over 120 people in attendance, and we were able to schedule a meeting for 2018.

 We realized that we probably have not known enough about each other, including our faith. As one of the founders of EcuPro, I realize that this became part of our motivation. In an era when there is violence and repression in the name of religion, we considered that perhaps it is important for our generation to understand our religion correctly and to try to understand each other. We felt it necessary, especially at this historic milestone, for the young people to come together.

 The Ecumenical Project Executive Committee was established in February 2017. We planned “joint worship” and “conversation sessions” as the two pillars of this effort. In planning a joint worship service, the most difficult thing was the matter of the sacrament of communion, which the Catholic Church calls the Eucharist. We recognize that it might have seemed reckless for us as immature young people to tackle this question of communal sacrament, which has been a challenge all around the world. But this is precisely why we came to consider this a most appropriate theme for working toward a mutual understanding of the contours of our faith.

 Our long discussion resulted in the decision not to hold the sacrament together during worship but to share bread together. However, when we sat at table together, it was indeed a precious time. We would learn about the differences between us. We could make something together, and we could experience at least in some small scale what is so hoped for in ecumenical work.

 The 2017 program consisted of a joint worship service, “sharing bread” (the huge loaf we had all baked together), and a conversation session. On the platform at the service were Kyodan pastors, Catholic priests and sisters, and Japan Evangelical Lutheran Church pastors. Together we deepened our understanding of our various denominations and shared our common challenges and hints for Christian living. (Tr. NB)

—From Shinto no Tomo (Believers’ Friend), December 2017 issue




すぎの  のぞみ/東京  カトリック清瀬教会信徒、








1       合同礼拝

2       パンの分かち合い


3       トークセッション


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