【June 2018 No.398】WCC Conference on World Mission and Evangelism Held in Tanzania

by Hironaka Yoshimi, staff

Commission on Ecumenical Ministries

 The Conference on World Mission and Evangelism of the World Council of Churches (WCC) was held March 8-13, 2018 in Arusha, Tanzania. The theme was “Moving in the Spirit: Called to Transforming Discipleship.” Among the over 1,000 participants were 10 persons from Japan, including Ms. Nogawa Inori (Kunitachi Church) and Mr. Miura Hiroto (Sendai Kita Church) who were sent by the Kyodan’s Commission on Ecumenical Ministries.

 The conference consisted of worship, Bible study, speakers, and workshops on social and church issues. Especially on March 10,  there were speeches on the theme “Mission from the Margins,” about persons with handicaps, minority peoples, immigrants, women, etc., with discussion. “Margin” here refers to persons in weak positions who are squeezed out of society. It was also noted that while, undoubtedly, careful consideration of those persons who are marginal in society is exceedingly important, the use of such words as “margin” and “minority” itself places ourselves in the center so already discriminates against other persons. l sensed that I wanted to be a person who, while habitually looking at who I am, will not forget to imagine things from another person’s standpoint.

 At the conference there were also participants from Islam and other religions. There are diverse religions in Japan, and even if a person is of another faith, loving that person as a “neighbor,” I felt, is an important part of living as a Christian in Japanese society.

 During the conference we came in touch everywhere with the intense praise and dancing of persons from churches in the area. Although I think there are appropriate ways for each individual and culture, observing this form of offering praise to the Lord with all one’s heart and spirit became a chance to consider my own attitude about praising the Lord. (Tr. RT)


 2018年3月8日から13日にかけて世界教会協議会(The World Council of Churches:WCC)の世界宣教伝道会議(Conference on World Mission and Evangelism )がタンザニア、アルーシャにて開催された。テーマは「霊に導かれて 進むこと―変革をもたらす主の弟子となることへの招き」(Moving in the Spirit: Called to Transforming Discipleship)。 全体で1000名 以上、日本からは10名 が参加し、日本基督教団世界宣教委員会からは野川祈さん(国立)と三浦洋人さん(仙台北)を派遣した。

 会議は礼拝、聖書研究、社会と教会が抱える課題についての発題と ワークショップから成り、特に10日 は周縁(margin)か らの宣教(Mission from the Margins)というテーマで障がいを抱える人、少数民族、移民、女性等から発題があり、討論する時間があった。ここでいう周縁とは社会から弾き出された弱者を指していた。確かに周縁に置かれている人々に眼差しを 注ぐことは極めて重要であるが、「margin やminority という言葉を用いること自体が、center にいる自分達とそうでない人々を既に差別してしま う」という指摘もあった。常に己を省みつつ他者の立場から想像することを忘れない人間でありたいと感じた。


 会議中至るところで現地教会の方々による迫力のある讃美やダンスに触れた。心を込めて、精神を尽くして主に讃美を捧げる姿をみて、文化や個人各々に適した方法があると思うが、主を讃美する態度を省みる機会となった。(廣中 佳実 世界宣教部職員)

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