The Promotion Committee for the Movement to Support Retired Ministers'
100-yen-offering campaign has continued for 35 years, with the prayer
that in some small way it might provide financial support for retired
pastors and their families who have given their lives in ministry.
Beginning in one church in Hokkaido in 1973, it became a movement of the
entire Hokkai District in 1976. Then, at the 20th Kyodan General
Assembly in November 1978, it was adopted as a movement of the entire
Kyodan. The national 100-yen-offering campaign sponsored by the
Promotion Committee for the Movement to Support Retired Ministers has
continued now for 30 years. I want to thank every church and preaching
point throughout Japan that has supported this movement.
The history of this movement is very personal to me. I have had
responsibility in this movement since October 1975, and I have now been
involved for 33 years. An article in Shinto no Tomo (Believers' Friend)
that year prompted me to begin giving, and in April 1976 I sent the
first combined total of my offerings since the previous October. At that
time, this offering was being sent to the Promotion Committee for the
Movement to Support Retired Ministers. I was still immature, in my 30s
then, but the financial difficulties of retiring pastors was such that I
felt a keen desire to help in any way I could through prayer and giving.
When I had an opportunity, I encouraged others to participate in giving.
Since , this movement has been promoted by the Kyodan for 30 years, and
I give thanks that each year the number of participating churches has
increased. In 2007, 860 churches participated.
When the national movement started 30 years ago, a pension plan was
already in place, which had begun in 1964. However, pastors and families
who had retired before 1964 were not covered by that plan. These clergy
families received only a very small amount from shaonkin ("thank
offerings" or "gratitude giving"). Although the initial purpose of the
Promotion Committee for the Movement to Support Retired Ministers was to
support the funding of shaonkin, it's purpose today is to support and
maintain the Kyodan Ministerial Pension Fund begun in 1964.
These pension funds are the main financial support for aging ministerial
retirees. Not only do they support retirees, the provision of pension
funds enables current pastors to give themselves completely to their
ministries without worrying about financial support following
retirement. For these purposes, I feel that it is extremely important
for every church and preaching point across the nation to continue its
support of the Promotion Committee for the Movement to Support Retired
Ministers' 100-yen-offering and strongly urge continued participation
and support in this movement. Thank you. (Tr. JS)
─Okuno Kaneko, member
Zeze Church, Kyoto District
Shinpo (The Kyodan Times