【April 2018 No.397】Executive Council Considers Restructuring Proposals

 The 4th Executive Council meeting of the 40th General Assembly Period (2016-18) was held Feb. 5-6 at the Kyodan headquarters, with 26 members present. Executive Secretary and Acting General Secretary Dohke Norikazu gave the general secretary’s report, in which he reported that 80,720,000 yen was sent to five churches as part of the relief efforts following the Kumamoto-Oita earthquake.

 Commission on Ecumenical Ministries’ Executive Secretary Kato Makoto then reported that about two-thirds of the approximately 40 schools that are members of the Mission Schools Council have no resident missionary at present and thus are appealing for missionaries. He also reported that while the office of the Committee on Continuing Relief Strategy for the Great East Japan Disaster will close its office in March 2018, committee members will continue to commute from Sendai to continue their work.

 Next, during the report of the Committee on Evangelism Strategy, Chair Sasaki Michio explained the interim report of the subcommittee that was established to look into structure and finances.

 •Its recommendation is to revise the original proposal to have each division debate and decide its own plan. Instead, all items related to Kyodan restructuring and finances would be decided by one committee.

 •Likewise, in order to reduce costs, no special commission (task force) will be established, and the number of committee members will be reduced. The present committee will be restructured and a general affairs section and evangelism section established.

 •The General Assembly will become a body that deals mainly with legally required agenda items over a two-day period in a format of about 200 delegates so that church facilities will be adequate.

 •Other agenda items will be dealt with in a separate meeting of the Mission Policy Conference, which will then be passed through the Executive Council to the General Assembly for ratification.

 •A fund called the “Nationwide Evangelism Promotion Fund” will be established to strengthen local churches and help churches that have not reached a certain level.

 These changes are being made to reflect the average loss of yearly income of some 5 million yen, and thus the goal is to decrease the overall church apportionments from 250 million yen to 200 million per year and the annual personnel costs from 150 million to 100 million yen so that it is sustainable over the next ten years.

 The matter of shared expenses for the National Christian Council in Japan was also discussed, and Moderator Ishibashi proposed that the Kyodan increase its contribution by 900,000 yen to make it a total of 9 million yen. The Kyodan discusses its portion on a yearly basis, although the NCCJ’s General Assembly decides on a three-year budget that does not change over its three-year general assembly period. Thus, there is a mismatch, which is why this proposal was made. Commission on Finance Chair Aizawa Toyoshige then reported his committee’s opinion that no supplementary budget be made when an item is going over budget, for clarification purposes.
(Tr. TB)

—Kato Makoto, executive secretary



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