【December 2020 No.408】Executive Council Reports Show Virus Pandemic’s Effects

The 9th Executive Council meeting of the 41st General Assembly Period (2019-2020) was held on Oct. 26, with the core leadership (moderator, vice-moderator and secretary) meeting together with the executive secretaries and a few of the council members at the Kyodan office, while most of the other members attended online.

In his report, General Secretary Akiyama Toru reported that due to the Corona Virus pandemic, it was decided not to publish the 2021 Kyodan Yearbook and that the various reports concerning the 41st General Assembly Period would cover a two-year period, with the extended year being handled as an appendix. The Kyodan office will not be hiring any new personnel, and due to the financial situation, the bonuses provided for the executive secretaries were reduced. Likewise, he reported that a studio concept is being considered with which to produce YouTube and other such productions for youth evangelism.

In the report on the Committee for Reviewing the System of Clergy Development, chairperson Sugahara Tsutomu presented a three-page document entitled “A Discourse on Clergy in the Kyodan,” which explains the debate about the status of clergy. In response to various questions, Sugahara stated that this document “isn’t something that deals with all of the issues surrounding the status of clergy but is for the purpose of coming to an agreement on the most important parts related to it in the Confession of Faith and the Church Constitution.”

Agenda items related to finances included a second revision of the 2020 fiscal year budget, as well as the 2021 budget. Uda Makoto, chairperson of the Commission on Finance, reported that most of the meetings were conducted online and that cuts to the summer bonuses of the general secretary and executive secretaries, along with the 10% reduction in assessments from the districts had been actualized. Since the districts were unable to utilize the money in the evangelism fund for 2020 for that purpose, due to the restrictions of the pandemic, the remainder of those funds are expected to be returned.

The discussion that took up the most time during the Executive Council meeting concerned the Kyodan Board of Publications. Secretary Kumoshikari Toshimi reported that in order to improve the operations and finances of the Board of Publications, a “Board of Publications Operations Improvement Team” was established and an outside consultant by the name of Kato Masasumi, who is an expert in the field, has been added to that team. The approximately 1.3-million-yen expense for the consultant will be paid from the Executive Council budget. (Tr. TB)  —Kato Makoto, executive secretary


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