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

38th Northeast Asia Church Mission Conference Held in Sapporo


The 38th Northeast Asia Church Mission Conference was convened June 10-14 at the Sapporo City Education and Culture Hall, the 38th such conference to be held in 38 years. Local pastors and lay people in three countries--South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan--take turns raising the necessary funds and making the logistical arrangements.This year it was Japan's turn. The Japan Committee, with Pastor Miyauchi Makoto as chairperson, spent one full year, made preparations. This year the number of participants was unusually low, due to the difficult circumstances in the participating countries. Even so, there were 21 participants from Korea, 19 from Taiwan, and 25 from Japan.
The main theme of the conference was "The Advancement of the Evangelizing Church," and the subtheme was "Globalism and the Church, as seen from the Standpoint of Internet Mission." The key lecture on the main theme was given by Pastor Harita Makoto of Toriizaka Church. After each particpating church's report on its current situation, church pastors and members from the three national groups discussed possibilities for more aggressive use of the Internet in mission as well as how this information could be shared more widely and put to practical use.
Harita also addressed the question of how the Internet could be used more intentionally for mission in the three countries, apart from a mere presentation of church data. He used an overhead projector to clarify his explanations, with translation provided for the Korean and Taiwanese groups. If one large website were created, he said, local churches of any size or status could use it to compare its own organization in relation to the whole church. In today's bewilderingly changing social situation, making use of this kind of communication would enable the exchange and sharing of mission programs and enable churches to keep updated and to respond quickly to opportunities and needs. This was the line of thought presented by the lecturer.
The conference consisted of worship, Bible study, and reports from the churches of each country. Elder Roh Dae Rae compiled the reports of the Korean churches, and Pastor Chuang Chin Hsin compiled the ones from Taiwan. For their Bible studies, Pastor Wang Kuo Lily from Taiwan spoke on the theme "Face Forward and Advance," focusing on Philippians 3:12-14, and Pastor Kim Dae Shik from Korea addressed the topic, "By the Name of Jesus Christ," centered on Acts 3:1-10. With the circumstances of each country needing to be taken into consideration, it was newly ascertained that to spread the Gospel word to the ends of the earth, the church must examine and question the posture of the ones who speak.
On June 13 participants separated into groups to attend worship services in Sapporo and its environs. At some churches, the Korean and Taiwanese pastors were asked to preach. A "Mission Evening" was held at Sapporo Church to close the conference. Sakae Shinobu, principal of Towa-no-mori San-ai Senior High School, preached on "The Lord's Words, and His Silence," with Mark 15:1-5 as his text. At this service, participating youth from Korea and Taiwan sang and led songs of praise. This year, for the first time, a program for youth was included, with youth from Korea taking major responsibility for leading it. At the end of the evening, each country's group of participants approved a joint statement, which was read in each language.
On the second day of the conference, participants were taken to see the statue of Dr. William Clark, the first professor of Hokkaido University. (The statue is now in Hitsujigaoka Park.) Next they visited the suburban Kita Hiroshima Church, then went to Hokkaido Pioneers' Village (the historical park in Nopporo). Professor Miki Nobuhiro of Future University Hakodate made arrangements for the day's sightseeing and introduction to "Hokkaido and Christianity." During the conference, there were also times when persons other than the pastors and lay persons from participating churches in the three member nations attended for the first time and enjoyed making new friends.
The conference lasted five days, but when asked what they most desired to hear of each others' hopes, the participants from the many churches in Taiwan, Korea, and Japan were moved deeply to hope for the advance of the churches' mission work. It was that kind of conference. The next conference is projected to convene in Korea in May or June 2011. Thanks be to Christ our Lord that this year's conference could be held in Hokkaido, with the support of so many related people. (Tr. RB)
--Katsuyama Ken'ichiro, pastor
Takeoka Church, Chiba Subdistrict
Tokyo District
 協議会では、礼拝、聖書研究、各国の報告があり、13日には札幌市及び近郊の諸教会に分散して主日礼拝を守った。韓国や台湾の牧師が説教を担当された教会もあった。午後7時から最後のプログラムとして、札幌教会を会場に「宣教の夕べ」が行われた。とわの森三愛高等学校校長である栄忍(さかえ しのぶ)牧師が、マルコによる福音書15章1-5節をテキストに「主の言葉、そして沈黙」と題して説教された。この礼拝では韓国、台湾の参加者による賛美があった。今年初めて開催した青年のプログラムに参加した次代を担う青年たちによる賛美もあった。最後に参加者一同による共同声明が各国による言葉で朗読された。
 聖書研究では、与えられた主題を活かしつつ、Wang Kuo Lily 牧師(台湾)による「前に向かって進め」と題するフィリピの信徒への手紙3章12-14節、Kim Dae Shik 牧師(韓国)による「イエス・キリストの名によって」と題して使徒言行録3章1-10節を共に学んだ。それぞれの国の事情をふまえながら、教会は地の果てまで福音を広めるためにみ言葉のべ伝えなければならない、そのためには、語る者の姿勢が問われていることを改めて確認させられた。
 各国の報告は、韓国はRoh Dae Rae 長老、台湾はChuang Chia Hsin 牧師が担当した。

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