【April 2020 No.407】160th Year Celebration of Protestant Evangelism in Japan: Second National Convention of Kyodan Laity Held in Tokyo

On Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, the Second National Convention of Kyodan Laity convened at Fujimicho Church, with 155 ministers and lay members in attendance. It was a celebration of the 160th Year of Protestant Evangelism in Japan.

In the first part of the celebration worship service, Kyodan Moderator Ishibashi Hideo gave a sermon on the theme “The Restoration of the Life and Power of Evangelism,” stating that “The compassion of the Lord has flowed into the Kyodan’s history, and along with gratefulness for God’s having led us, we embrace hope.” He ended the message strongly, saying: “Let us unite and move ahead with the motto ‘Let us pray together; let us proclaim together; and let us present our offerings together.’”—a promotion of the Kyodan’s basic evangelism policy. Following the worship service, Mochizuki Katsuhito, chair of the National Laity Association, appealed for “two persons to invite one non-believer to church.”

During the second part of the program, a lecture followed by a forum, Rev. Masuda Shohei explained the theme of the convention: “Youth Evangelism.” Then Oshima Shigenori, pastor of Hatogaya Evangelical Free Church, Evangelical Free Church of Japan ascended the platform to speak on the subject “Joyful Worship with Devoted Young People.” He asked the question: “During our history we have evangelized youth, but haven’t we neglected to connect them to faith? During my college days, one of the church elders asked me to pray for him, and I clearly remember now praying with no knowledge of how to pray.” Through reading Luke 24, which tells how the eyes of two men on their way to Emmaus are opened and they return to Jerusalem and begin to evangelize, we receive hints as to how we can be changed through fellowship.

By introducing examples of youth worship, with the theme “10 persons reaching 1,” Rev. Saito Atsushi presented various images of youth leading worship. At the forum that followed, questions and opinions were received regarding the lectures and the examples, during which a vital appeal was made for the young and old to spend time together. The conveners of the Tokyo Convention of Kyodan Laity appealed for messages of 160 written characters, and 76 persons responded. In the Commemorative Pamphlet, the voices of lay persons in the 160th year of evangelism were recorded, which will connect them to the 200th year of Japan’s evangelism. (Tr. RT)

—Suzuki Isao, Mejiro Church member

North Subdistrict, Tokyo District

From Kyodan Shinpo (The Kyodan Times) No. 4916

プロテスタント日本伝道160年記念 全国信徒会第二回大会








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