日本基督教団 The United Church of Christ in Japan

Church in Korea Conducts Japanese Worship Services


Church in Korea Conducts Japanese Worship Services
by Tanaka Kaoru, pastor
Angyo Church, Kanto District
The Saemoonan Presbyterian Church of Seoul, founded by Horace Underwood in 1887, was the first organized church in Korea. At present, the congregation of 12,000 people averages 6,000 attendees at worship,served by 18 associate pastors, 6 assistant pastors, 8 missionaries, 9cooperative pastors, and 30 elders. In addition to serving as the president of the Presbyterian Church in Korea's Seoul Presbytery, Senior Pastor Lee Sou-Young is also on the Presbyterian University's Board of Directors. He formerly was a professor of Systematic Theology in the seminary at the university.
In the year 2000, Saemoonan Church began a gathering for Bible reading in Japanese, which was first led by Nag Woon-hae, a Kyodan pastor who was studying in Korea at that time. At the end of 2006 this gathering was brought to a close, and on the first Sunday in 2007 a weekly Japanese worship service was established that is now in its fourth year.
It is noteworthy that this is not a service merely for Japanese people but is rather an opportunity to bring together for worship both Japanese and Koreans who understand Japanese. In the past, Japan invaded its neighbors in Asia and forced its language on those nations. Moreover, there was a time when the use of Japanese was prohibited in Korea. The fact that Japanese and Korean people can worship together in Korea, where the memory of that history remains, is only possible through the realization of peace by those who have faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ.
Nag Woon-hae's first reason for going to Korea was to study Korean
theology. In both Korea and Japan theology focuses on North America and Europe, and there is a need for Japan and Korea to learn from one another. Nag had thought that his study of Korean theology would engender mutual understanding between Japanese and Korean theology, resulting in increased interest between the two. With a scholarship from the Korean government, he was able to study not at public institution but at the Presbyterian University's Graduate School. The Korean National Government Scholarship is given only to persons who achieve the highest scores on a difficult qualifying examination. Normally, such students study at a top national university (on a par with Tokyo University in Japan), but to use such a scholarship to study at the Presbyterian seminary, which is nothing more than a denominational school, is indeed exceptional.
Given the history between Japan and Korea, Nag 's second objective was to do something concrete to further peace and reconciliation. To succeed, he believed it was essential to base his efforts on a faith based on the love of God, the love that can create action. Thus, he learned the language as he ate, drank, and shared conversations with Korean people.
His third objective was to learn from the present reality of Korean
churches in order to transform the present reality of Japanese churches.The Korean churches are filled with vitality, and there is much to be learned. However, until now Japanese theology has focused its attention on the West. Learning from Korea would have a great impact on Japan,which would change the vitality of the church in Japan. This is why Nag chose to study in Korea.
Saemoonan Church accepted his request and supported his study at the Presbyterian University and his family in Korea, understood his passion,and made it their own. Pastors from several Kyodan congregations responded to his request for them to preach at the Japanese worship service. Along with 20 other pastors, Harita Makoto of Toriizaka Church,Yonekura Misao of Sapporo Church and Tanaka Kaoru of Angyo Church make yearly visits to preach in Korea, continuing the fellowship between Saemoonan Church and the Kyodan.
Despite all this, there is no formal relationship between Saemoonan
Church and the Kyodan. Nevertheless, last October Pastor Lee was invited to join the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Protestant mission in Japan. Hopefully, a more official relationship can be established in the future. (Tr.AK)
教団ニュースレター 「大韓イエス教長老会セムナン教会・日本語礼拝」
安行教会牧師 田中かおる
韓国ソウルにある大韓イエス教長老会The Presbyterian Church in Korea(統合派)に所属するセムナンSaemoonann Presbyterian church教会は、1887年にアンダーウッド宣教師(延世大学創立者)によって設立された韓国最初の組織教会である。現在、主日礼拝出席者約6000 名、会員数12000名、牧師18名、伝道師6名、宣教師8名、その他9名の協力牧師と30名の長老がいる。主任担任牧師は、李秀英(イ・スヨン)牧師で、大韓イエス教長老会ソウル中会長(議長)、長老会神学大学理事で、以前は教授(組織神学)の任も担っていた。
このセムナン教会において、2000年から「日本語で聖書を読む会」が発足。当時、日本からの留学生であった日本基督教団正教師・洛雲海(ナク・ウンヘ: 教団登録名)牧師が、この会を導くこととなった。この会が2006年末をもって発的に解消され、2007年1月最初の主日から「日本語礼拝」が誕生し、現在4年目に入った。この礼拝は、「韓国人であれ日本人であれ日本語を理解する人と共にささげる日本語礼拝」であって、「日本人礼拝」ではないことが、大きな特徴である。かつて日本がアジア近隣諸国を侵略し日本語を強要した歴史から、韓国において日本語を封印していた時代があったが、そのような国で日本人と韓国人が共に神の御前に立ち、共に礼拝をささげるということが起こってこそ、キリストの贖いを信じる者たちの真の和解と平和が実現する、という高い信仰の志を持って始められた礼拝である。
この信仰の志に共鳴し、日本からも複数の教団の牧師たちが日本語礼拝の説教応援に出向いている。定期的には、張田眞牧師(鳥居坂教会)、米倉美佐男牧師 (札幌教会)、田中かおる牧師(安行教会)が、毎年説教応援に訪韓している。その他、20名を越える教師が説教応援に駆け付けた。こうした説教応援を通して、セムナン教会と日本基督教団の諸教会との交わりが発展的に継続されている。それにも関わらず教団とセムナン教会とは正式な関係はなく、洛牧師は無任所教師扱いである。しかし実際には、昨年10月、日本伝道150周年記念大会にはセムナン教会主任牧師の李牧師と教会聖歌隊が招かれ、共に日本伝道150年を祝うことができた。今後は、何らかの正式な関係が生まれることが望まれる。

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