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

【December 2022 No.411】From the General Secretary's Desk(8)


Executive Council Report

The third Executive Council meeting of the present 42nd General Assembly Period (Sept.27.2022-Oct.28.2024) took place Dec.5-6.  This was the first in-person meeting since the new administrative structure was implemented.  The first item on the agenda was a report by newly elected Kyodan Moderator Kumoshikari Toshimi on “dealing with the issues faced by the Executive Council of the 42nd General Assembly Period,” in which he outlined the various issues the Executive Council needs to deal with and laid out a plan for doing so.

Beginning with the importance of maintaining an attitude of common prayer for the “structure of the Kyodan as the Church, the Body of Christ,” including the various committees and each local church, he detailed policy goals for the formation and maintenance of an evangelistic network that includes the activities of Kyodan-related schools, institutions, and other groups.  Specifically, he raised the ongoing issues of the formation of a procedure for continuing dialog on restructuring, formulating the most appropriate slimmed-down finances, continuing efforts to repair relations with Okinawa District, and continuing to make administrative improvements in the operations of the Board of Publications.  Additionally, with respect to conductance of committee meetings and their activities, efforts to hold joint meetings to facilitate cooperation under the banner of unity of the Kyodan as a whole will be made.  Based on this opening report, then, the Executive Council members shared their thoughts and opinions on how to best implement these goals through the remaining General Assembly period.  Of particular note was the strong desire to continue with the theme of the “Day of Prayer for the Promotion of Evangelism.”

Likewise, at this Executive Council meeting, the various committee assignments were made, based on the recommendations of the nominating committee.  Beginning with the Executive Committee, these included the standing committees, standing focus committees, and the Research Institute on the Mission of the Church, along with the selection of the board of directors for the Board of Publications and the Board of Pensions and the director of the steering committee for the Buraku Liberation Center.  How to best begin and support these various activities will remain an important issue throughout this General Assembly Period.

With respect to the handling of “recognition of those who pass the ordination exams during the spring of 2023” and clergy transferring in from other denominations, that was delegated to the Executive Council by the General Assembly, it was decided that unlike the past, where the decisions were made by presidium, the Executive Council as a whole would meet online to approve the candidates.  At the General Assembly, it was reported that there was a discrepancy of 500,000 yen in the figures for income and expenditures carried over from the 2019 and 2020 fiscal years. The chair of the commission on finance gave a detailed explanation of the cause, which was that there was no actual transfer of funds but only a misunderstanding due to the lack of an explanatory note on a change made in the balance sheet.  It was decided to have an explanation by a financial expert printed in the Kyodan Shinpo newspaper.

Another agenda item delegated from the General Assembly involved the selection of a new general secretary for the Kyodan.  At the recommendation of presidium, Rev. Aminaka Shoko (pastor of Yokohama Myojo Church) was nominated.  Her experience as a staff member at the Kyodan headquarters as well as having served as the general secretary of the NCC, together with her thorough understanding of the Kyodan’s situation and her ability to coordinate with presidium were given as the reasons for her selection.  While this would be the first time a woman had been selected as general secretary — something everyone applauded — there nevertheless were some reservations expressed about her perceived lack of experience as a local church pastor.  However, after a careful examination of her history of baptism, licensing, ordination and pastoring experience, she was confirmed to be the new general secretary beginning on April 1, 2023. (Tr. TB)

Akiyama Toru, general secretary







Merry Christmas & Happy New Year
to all KNL Readers

Publisher: Akiyama Toru    
Copy Editor: Hazel Terhune, Timothy Boyle
Staff Assistant:  Niina Tomoko
Editorial Committee:  Tokuta Makoto, Kofukada Yutaka, Suematsu Kozue, Kashiwabara Michiko
Translators:  Timothy Boyle, Robert Terhune, Suematsu Kozue
Note: The names of Japanese persons are listed in traditional order,  with last names first.

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