Tokai District Raises Potatoes to Raise Its Support Fund

Tokai District is situated in the center of Japan. Agriculture features high among its activities. About a month before the District General Assembly for the year 2009, the four members of the Tokai District Executive Committee (the chair, the vice-chair, the secretary, and the chair of the Committee on Evangelism) gathered at a farm owned by Yamamoto Masanobu, a pastor of Shinonoi Church and at that time also chair of the district Committee on Evangelism, to plant seed potatoes. Members of Shinonoi Church welcomed us, having made everything ready. The chair took a hoe and started digging. The vice-chair and the secretary placed on the ground halved seed potatoes sprinkled with ash and put some soil on them. Nearby, 70-year-old Pastor Yamamoto, sitting on a straw mat, watched with a smile on his face. He talks about “Easy Farming.” When we trust God, we will get a 700-kilogram harvest from 70 kilograms of seed potatoes. It started to make sense to me. Feeling the warmth of the spring sunshine, we enjoyed the rice balls and green tea, while breathing the delicious aroma of the green onions just harvested.
About four months later, on Aug. 3, volunteers who responded to the appeal of the new Executive Committee, came to the Yamamoto Farm to harvest potatoes. It has often been the case that onions and potatoes from the farm are offered to churches in the district, to help those in need. The produce, which could well be sold in markets, is distributed and sold at churches at less than half the market price. Unlike the previous day, when it had rained, it turned out to be an extremely hot day. We gained about 700 kilograms of harvest amidst the steam rising up from the wet earth, by digging the ground and shaking off the heavy soil every time we lifted up our shovels.
All of us, 20 persons including children, were deeply satisfied at the sight of mountains of potatoes, regretting at the same time the lack of exercise in our daily lives. After taking a bath at a nearby hot spring, a barbeque party was held in the garden of Shinonoi Church. Pastor Yamamoto, in fact, is an expert at making fresh soba (buckwheat) noodles. A member of his church made us soba noodles, which we enjoyed. He is soon due to open his own soba shop. Soba wheat is, of course, another product of the Yamamoto Farm. Young soybeans and corn were also harvested and served to us freshly boiled. We were lost for words to try to describe how tasty it was.
It might have been only a small part of the total Support Fund that Tokai District budgeted. However, I felt a great potential, seeing that volunteers were able to work together for a common purpose, not in some stressful situation but while enjoying themselves. Having a good time eating and drinking tea together, we talked about our dreams, which led to some tall stories, then on to a vision of evangelism. Pastor Yamamoto and some members of the Executive Committee are hoping to grow and distribute rice for the next project. (Tr. YY)
―Kato Makoto, pastor
Shizuoka Ichibancho Church, Tokai District
KNL Editorial Committee chair
Based on Shinpo (Kyodan Times)
東海教区の試み
       「重い課題にも楽しく向かい合う」
 東海教区は日本のほぼ中央に位置する教区である。特徴の一つは「農」を大切にしている事である。2009年度の教区総会が開催される一月ほど前、執行部の4人(議長、副議長、書記、伝道委員長)は山本将信牧師(伝道委員長・当時)の所有する農場に集まった。ジャガイモの種を植えるためである。すでに山本牧師が牧会されている篠ノ井教会の会員数名が準備万端整えて待っておられた。議長は鍬を取り、土を起こし始めた。副議長と書記は二つに割られた種芋の断面に灰を付けて耕された土の上に置き、そこに更に土をかぶせた。御年70歳の山本牧師は枯れ草のマットの上にどっかりと腰を下ろしニコニコと作業を見守っておられる。楽農(楽な農業)を目指しているという山本牧師の言葉が少し理解できた。後は神様にお任せして、順調にいけば70㎏の種芋から700㎏の収穫が見込まれると、山本牧師は言う。心地よい春の日差しの中、収穫されたネギから漂う命あふれる香りに包まれていただくお握りとお茶の味は格別であった。
 およそ4ヶ月後の8月3日(月)、新執行部の呼びかけに応えた有志が再び「山本農場」に集まりジャガイモの収穫作業を行った。これまでもそうであったがタマネギやジャガイモなどの収穫物は、しばしば教区に提供され、謝儀互助の一助となる。どこの市場に出しても見劣りしない立派な作物が、教区内の教会に配られ、市価の半値以下で販売される。生憎と当日は、前日までの雨が上がり猛暑となった。湿った土から立ちのぼる熱気と、シャベルにこびりつく土の重さと戦いながら約700㎏の収穫を得た。積み上げられていく芋の山に子どもを含めて20名の参加者は、日頃の運動不足を嘆きつつも大きな充実感が与えられた。
 銭湯(温泉)で汗を流した後は、篠ノ井教会の庭でバーベキューパーティーを行った。実は山本牧師は講師に招かれるほどの蕎麦打ちの達人である。近々店を構える予定の篠ノ井教会員である彼の弟子の1人が打った十割蕎麦もいただく。蕎麦粉は勿論山本農場産である。他にも枝豆、とうもろこし、全部穫れ立てゆで立て、その美味しさに言葉も出ない。
 東海教区が必要とする謝儀互助資金額に較べたら、何ほどのことではではないかも知れない。しかし、皆が一つの目的ために汗を流して働くということ、しかも、それは悲痛なものではなく楽しいこと、そこに、大きな可能性が秘められているように感じた。美味しいものを食べながら、飲みながら、話題は当然ながら建設的な方向に向いて行く。夢を語り、ちょっとほら話も混じり、伝道の幻が生まれ、育てられて行く。山本牧師はじめ執行部有志は、次は是非米を作り現物支給したいと言う。静岡一番町教会 牧師 加藤誠(KNL編集委員長)

Higashi Subdistrict in Tokyo Holds Protestant Christianity's 150th Anniversary Event for Children

“Gathering for Children: Commemorating 150 Years of Protestant Evangelism in Japan,” an event sponsored by Tokyo District’s Higashi Subdistrict, was held on the afternoon of Sept. 6, 2009 at Ginza Church and was attended by 308 people from 13 churches, including 120 children. The event was planned to commemorate 150 years of Protestant evangelism in Japan and to pass along to the children the task of evangelizing Japan for the next 200 years.
As the accompaniment to the opening hymn began the first part of the program, Hinohara Shigeaki appeared, and after directing the music with both hands, began a 50-minute lecture on the subject of “Life.” Dr. Hinohara, whose 98th birthday was coming up in one month, drew attention to his own vitality. He stressed that what is important are the things that are unseen. For example, our lives, given by God, are unseen. He spoke directly to the children, calling on them to live for others and to make the world a peaceful place. He had the children answer questions, write on a blackboard, and do role-playing. He kept the children’s attention with his skillful presentation. The adults, too, listened intently and sometimes laughed. All who were present learned from this “lecture on life.”
The second part of the program featured the introduction of the members from each participating church, a magic performance by Itoigawa Hatsuho from Ginza Church, a handbell choir performance by eight members of Bancho Church, and a ventriloquism performance by Ms. Harukaze Miyako, from the Logos Ventriloquism Club. The spectators watched intently, cheered loudly, and by the time the program in the church sanctuary was over, everyone felt totally relaxed and at home.
For the third part of the program, the participants moved to the fifth and sixth floors, where each church group sat at a separate table and ate homemade snacks prepared by Ginza Church members. Shortly after four o’clock, they began to return home.
For the children, it was a valuable and enjoyable opportunity to learn that there are many other children (comrades) in the church. The children listened intently to Dr. Hinohara. Hopefully, his lesson, along with the other events of the day, will remain in their hearts for a long time.
Blessed by the Lord’s protection and blessed by the cooperation of the people from each participating church who brought children to the event, the churches of the subdistrict were able to deepen their fellowship by focusing on the children. It was truly a suitable gathering to celebrate the 150th anniversary. For this, we are thankful. (Tr. KT)
–Nagayama Nobuo,pastor
Ginza Church, Higashi Subdistrict, Tokyo District
From Shinpo (Kyodan Times)
*Hinohara Shigeaki was born in 1911 in Yamaguchi Prefecture. He graduated from the Medical School of Kyoto University in 1937. In 1941, he began work as a doctor at the Internal Medicine Department of St. Luke’s International Hospital. Since then, he has held positions as the head of the Internal Medicine Department, acting director, director, and at present serves as the chairperson of the Board of Directors and honorary director of St. Luke’s International Hospital, chairperson of the Board of Trustees of St. Luke’s Nursing School, and chairperson of the Board of Directors of Life Planning Center Foundation incorporated. In 1998, he was recognized as an honorary citizen of Tokyo metropolis. In 1999, he was recognized as a Person of Cultural Merit. In 2005, he was awarded a decoration in recognition of his contribution to culture. From an early stage, he pointed out the importance of preventive medicine, made efforts to promote terminal care, and made contributions to education in medicine and nursing. He invented the term seikatsu shukan byo (lifestyle diseases) to refer to diseases that were commonly known as seijin byo (adult diseases). He has always been a frontrunner in the medical field in Japan. Even now, at 98 years old, he continues to be active as a doctor. In September 2000, in pursuit of his goal of passing along to the next generation the experience that he has cultivated during his lifetime and the lessons of the past, he recruited people who were healthy and independent even after reaching 75 years of age and formed the group shinrojin no kai (New Organization For Elderly People). In the spring of the same year, he had begun to write a series of articles called ikikata jozu (How to Live Well) for the magazine Iki Iki. This series is still very popular. At this time, there are over 200 books.
 「日本プロテスタント伝道一五〇年子どものつどい」(東京教区東支区)が、九月六日午後、銀座教会に、一三教会三〇八名(内、子ども一二〇名)が集い開催されました。
 この行事はプロテスタント日本伝道一五〇年を覚え、次なる二〇〇年に向けた伝道の働きを子どもたちへ託すことを目指して企画したものでした。
 第一部の讃美歌の伴奏が始まると日野原重明(ひのはらしげあき)先生が会場に現れ、両手を挙げての指揮、続いて「命」についての五〇分間の授業を展開してくださいました。一ヶ月後に九八歳になられるご自身の活力をアピールしながら、大切なものは目に見えないこと、神様から与えられている命も見えない、他の人のために生き、世界中が平和になるようにと、子どもたちに直に問い掛け、答えを求め、黒板に書かせ、演技させ、子どもの関心を引き付けながらの見事な展開で、大人を含め緊張と笑いの中で、会場全体が一つになって学んだ「命の授業」でした。
 第二部は、教会毎の出席者の紹介、マジック(糸魚川初穂(いといがわはつほ):銀座教会員)、ベルクワイアの演奏(番町教会八名)、腹話術(はるかぜみやこ姉:ロゴス腹話術研究会)の実演に目を見張り、歓声を揚げてすっかり寛いで礼拝堂での集会を終わりました。
 第三部は、五・六階に移り教会別のテーブルで銀座教会手造りのおやつを戴き、四時過ぎ、それぞれ帰途につきました。
 子ども達にとって大勢の仲間が教会には居ることを知る貴重で楽しい機会となりました。緊張して聞いた日野原先生のお話しなどこの日のことが、何時までも心に残るよう願っています。
 子どもたちを中心に、支区内諸教会の交わりが深められたことは、主の守りと、参加された各教会の保護者・引率者のご協力の賜物で、一五〇年を記念するにまことに相応しいつどいであったと感謝しています。
(銀座教会牧師 長山信夫)(教団新報)

Hiroshima Nanbu Church "Cosmic Meeting" Ministers to Troubled Hearts

by Hamada Yuzo, pastor
Hiroshima Nanbu Church, Nishi Chugoku District
No wonder the present age is called “the age of depression.” An increasing number of people, approximately three million throughout the nation, are suffering from psychological disorder. People caught by depression find themselves maladjusted to their environment and alienated from society. They are desperately groping after a base on which they can rely. How can the Church respond to the mute cry of those troubled hearts burdened with the sense of isolation? How can we Christians identify ourselves with suffering people and live together with them? The following is an example of the effort to meet this urgent issue: the program of Hiroshima Nanbu Church in Nishi Chugoku District, as reported by the pastor, Hamada Yuzo, in Shinto no Tomo (Believers’Friend).
Hiroshima Nanbu Church holds its Cosmic Meeting every Wednesday afternoon from three to five o’clock. Around eight to ten people from within as well as outside the church get together and have a roundtable talk about illness, handicaps, and many other burdens we find difficult to cope with in our daily life.
In November 2005, soon after I was installed as the pastor of this church, my spouse, two other young church members, and I began a meeting in the parsonage with the intent of “establishing a place where we could express our troubles and weaknesses.” We named our group “Cosmic Meeting ” after the name of the church site, Ujina. The first Chinese characters of both Ujina and uchuu (“the universe” in Japanese) are the same “u,” which means “universe” or “cosmos.”
The name of the meeting suggests that when we are too much concerned about immediate actualities around us, we often find it difficult to maneuver, but when we regard ourselves from a cosmic viewpoint, we find it easier to look at ourselves more objectively. Though we may think we know about ourselves best, there are many things we do not really know about ourselves and cannot express completely to others. During our meetings, we explore each individual’s microcosm from the larger, macrocosmic perspective. We gradually rediscover ourselves with the help of our fellow participants and engage in the process of retelling our own stories.
The procedure for conducting the meeting is simple and easy. Anyone can do it. According to the manual sheet, the chairperson gives greetings and explains the procedure. The basic rule is that anyone can say anything without being interrupted and everyone listens without interrupting. (While someone is talking, we do not question or interrupt.) We do not repeat outside what we hear in the meeting. Then we start talking about ourselves according to the following four topics, one at one round: 1) our physical/psychological condition of the day or the week, 2) what was good during the week, 3) what was difficult during the week, 4) what can be improved. Each of us talks on the theme, making four rounds. We clap our hands each time the speaker finishes speaking. The meeting is closed after the sharing of any reports and information, if there is any. When there is extra time, we work on the program of SST (Social Skill Training). This is an exercise for improving human relationships through the exchange of information about difficulties concerning relationships and through the help of the participants and the dynamics of the meeting. The meeting, which first started with a small circle in the parsonage, has grown in just half a year to be an official church program.
The Cosmic Meeting does not aim to solve or remove the participants’ troubles and weaknesses. The meeting is an occasion to experience the richness of sharing each participant’s daily life of coping with his/her problems. Rather than problem-solving, the purpose of the program is to establish the church as a place where you can let down your guard as people from the larger community interact with church members and share together the various issues they face in life. I myself have certainly enjoyed being a member of this group. (Tr. FK)
–Summarized by Nishio Misao, member
Suginami Church, Nishi Tokyo District
KNL Editorial Committee
Based on an article in Shinto no Tomo (Believers’ Friend)
Hiroshima Nanbu Church’s Cosmic Meeting Manual
Chairperson: Let us begin today’s (date) meeting. I am
Chairperson __________.
Chairperson: We take turns talking on the following
topics, one topic at each round:
1.One’s physical/psychological condition of today or
this week
2.What has been good during the past week ( either
about ourselves or of our family members)
3.What was difficult during the week (about ourselves)
4.What can be improved
If you do not have anything to share, you can pass. This
meeting is just talking and listening without any
comments. Each person takes his or her turn. When
someone is talking, please listen quietly. Please be
careful not to repeat outside what you hear in this
meeting.
Chairperson: Shall we begin our meeting? Would you
begin, _____san? Please tell us about your physical and
psychological condition today or during this week.
Chairperson: Would you tell us about what was good
during the past week?
Chairperson: Would you tell us about what was the most
difficult during the past week?
Chairperson: What is something you can improve?
Chairperson: Is there anything any of you would like to
report on or tell us all about?
Chairperson: We now conclude today’s Cosmic Meeting.
病むこころに寄りそう
 現代は「うつの時代」といわれるほど、うつの人が増えています。日本全体では300万人存在すると推定されています。心を病むと、人々は社会の中で行き場を失い、孤立して、心のよりどころを求めます。教会は、心の病をはじめ、さまざまな生きづらさを抱えた人々と共に、どのように歩んでいくことができるのでしょうか。次に、具体的な取り組みをしている教会、西中国教区広島南部教会の濱田裕三(はまだ ゆうぞう)牧師が「信徒の友」で書いている一つの実践例を紹介します。
広島南部教会の取り組み、「宇宙ミーティング」がめざすもの
 広島南部(ひろしまなんぶ)教会では、毎週水曜日午後三時から五時まで「宇宙ミーティング」というプログラムを行っています。教会内外から8~10名くらいの人が集まり、机を囲んで丸くなり病気や障がい、さまざまな生きづらさや苦労を語り合っています。
 この集まりは、私が赴任してきて間もない2005年11月に、私のパートナーと教会の二人の青年と四人で「苦労を語り、弱さを表現できる場を作ろう」と牧師館を会場にミーティングを始めました。教会所在地の地名「宇品(Ujina)」にこだわり、「宇宙(Uchu in Japanese)ミーティング」と名づけました。(宇品の
 「う」と宇宙の「う」は同じ漢字で、「天地四方」の意味を持っています)
 この会の名前の意味していることは、自分の周りの現実にあまり目をやりすぎると、身動きが取れなくなるけど、宇宙という視点から自分を眺めてみると少しゆとりができ自分を客観視できるようになります。また、自分のことは自分がいちばん知っているようで、まだまだ知らない自分、語りきれない自分がいます。
 ミーティングでは、そんな「小宇宙」とも言える自分を観察研究し、仲間の力を借りながら少しずつ発見していく、まだ語られていない私の物語を語っていくことができると言うことです。
 ミーティングの内容と方法はきわめて単純簡単です。どこでも誰でもできるものです。ミーティング用シートを基にまず司会者が挨拶をし、進め方を説明して、このミーティングが言いっぱなし、聞きっぱなしの会であること(人が話しているときは質問や突っ込みを入れず黙って聞く)、話の内容を口外しないなどの最低限のルールを説明します。その後、①一週間か今日の体調と気分、②一週間よかったこと、③一週間苦労したこと、④さらによくする点、 以上のテーマを一つずつ順番に語り、四周します。一人が語り終えるたびに拍手をします。最後に連絡や報告をしてミーティングは終了です。時間があれば、SST(生活技能訓練=Social Skill Training)というプログラムを行います。SSTは、人間関係で困っていることを情報交換し、仲間の応援や場の力を借りてよりよい関係を築いていく練習方法です。牧師館でささやかに始めた会も、半年後には教会公式行事の一つに加えられました。
 「宇宙ミーティング」は一人一人が持っている苦労や弱さをなくすために、あるいは問題を解決するために行うのではありません。この会は一人一人がどんな苦労と向き合って生きているか、どんなふうにその人らしく悩みながら生きているか、その豊かさを分かち合う場です。問題解決よりも、地域の人たちと教会の人たちが互いに「混じり」合い、その問題を共有することで、教会は安心できる豊かな場なるのではないでしょうか。私も一人の参加者としてこの場に身を置き、楽しんでいます。
西尾操 杉並教会員、KNL編集委員(信徒の友より)
(資料)
宇宙ミーテイング 広島南部教会
司会者:○月○日○曜日の宇宙ミーテイングを始めます。司会の○○です。
司会者:宇宙ミーテイングでは、
1, 一週間か今日の体調と気分
2, 一週間よかったこと(自分のことでも家族や友人のことでもかまいません)
3, 一種運間苦労したこと(自分のことです)
4, さらによくする点
以上4テーマを1テーマずつ順番に語っていただきます。
話すことがないときは、パスをしていただいても結構です。
このミーテイングは、言いっぱなし、聞きっぱなしの会です。
一人ずつ順番に話していただきます。
誰かがお話をしているときは、他の方は静かに聞いていてください。
ここで話されたことは、外では話さないよう気をつけてください。
司会者:では、ミーテイングを始めます。一週間か今日の体調と気分を○○さんか
らお願いします。

Honoring the Name of Mary Isabella Lambuth

by Komi Nozomi, religious director
Seiwa Junior College, Kwansei Gakuin
During the time I was a student in the department of Christian Education at Seiwa College, we learned about the founding of the three schools that came together as Seiwa (Holy Union). I was especially impressed with one of the narratives. It is the story of one of the founders, Mary Isabella Lambuth (12.17.1832 – 6.26.1904) who, when she heard the appeal of a missionary to China at a meeting in her teens, is reported to have said, “I’ll give five dollars and myself.” These simple, passionate words affected not only a student like me, who heard them 120 years later, but also struck the heart of a young man there at that time, James William Lambuth, who was also aspiring to become a missionary to China. He asked to meet the young lady who had said these words, Mary Isabella McClellen. That was in October 1853. The two were married, and then in May of the following year, they departed on a ship from New York as missionaries of the Southern Methodist Church. After a voyage of four months, they arrived in China. Only two months later, on November 10, their first son, Walter Russell, was born in Shanghai. Walter Russell was later to become the founder of Kwansei Gakuin University in western Japan.
I imagine that it was no easy matter for the twenty-one-year-old Mary Isabella to experience her first pregnancy during the long sea voyage and her first trip to a foreign country, then to give birth in China. While James William was spending two weeks a month living with Chinese people, traveling by ship on journeys of evangelism, Mary, far from home and carrying a nursing baby, kept house. She gathered women and children, taught them jobs, evangelized them and cared for them. Writing to friends in America, she reported that “one month ago there was delivered into my hands and heart a darling boy. He is as cute as can be and our hearts are filled with thanksgiving to God. We are praying from our hearts that he will grow well and become a fine person who will faithfully follow Jesus.” Here we can see Mary’s strong faith that everything she had, her own life and the new life given to her, were gifts from God and should gladly be yielded to Jesus. This faith and Mary’s obedience to God remained throughout her life. Mary traveled back and forth between China and America many times. For a while, she left her young children in America. Even after she experienced the loss of her six-year-old daughter to scarlet fever, she continued to give her all to the evangelization of China.
In 1876, when Walter was fourteen, Mary sent an unusual letter to the foreign mission office in the U.S. “We think that Japan is where we ought to go. Sometimes Walter feels that Japan would be a good place to work…..’It is the right time and the right place.’ I think that this is a good watchword and one which I don’t want to forget.” The quiet acceptance of this vision, although there was still no possibility of planning to act on it, must have come from the love of a mother with deep faith.
Ten years later, after 32 years of mission work spent in medical evangelism in China, the Lambuths resigned. Mary was 53 and James 56. Both were fluent in the Chinese language, but they left China for Japan and arrived in Kobe on July 29, 1885. Three months later, the young Walter Lambuth arrived and two days later opened a reading room, which became the roots of Palmore Institute and Keimei Gakuin Junior and Senior High Schools. The family opened its doors, and thus the Kobe mission began.
In 1887, Mary moved from the foreign compound in Kobe to Yama 2-ban (now Nakayamate) in the city of Kobe proper. There, in a large room on the first floor of her home, she opened a home school for young girls. Besides teaching knitting, English, Western cooking and the Bible, she traveled to Hiroshima to assist Nancy Gaines and the Hiroshima Girls’ School and energetically supported mission in West Japan.
In 1888, Mary’s classroom added an assistant, Okajima Hatsune, and the Board of Evangelism (of the Southern Methodist Church) in the U.S. approved the change of name of the Kobe Girls’ School to the Lambuth Memorial Girls’ School. Mary’s husband James died in Kobe in 1892, and Mary returned to America for a time, but she returned to Soshu, China, where her daughter Nora and her husband were serving in mission. There, she died at the age of 71 and was buried in Shanghai.
Her work in Japan lasted only seven years, and it also included supporting her son Walter, who was weakened by sickness, as well as his wife Daisy and their children. However, in 1921, it was decided to join together the Hiroshima Girls’ School, the Nursery School Teacher Training Department, and the Kobe Lambuth Memorial Girls’ School, and a beautiful new school for the training of kindergarten teachers and women evangelists was built in Osaka on a 3,300-square-meter piece of land. According to a newspaper report at the time, this school was to be named Mary Lambuth Girls’ School in honor of this unique person.
The newspaper report read, “Mrs. J. W. Lambuth, who was sent by the Southern Methodist Church, U.S.A. in 1885, was an exceptional woman who, with a baby in one arm and a Bible in the other, proclaimed Christ and educated people. That this fine school could be built is due to her. It is in her memory and to honor her that this school is named.”
It was this school, named for Mary, which later became Seiwa Joshi (women’s) Gakuin and grew to be Seiwa College. In April 2009 it was combined with the school founded by Walter Lambuth, Kwansei Gakuin. Seiwa College continues to be a training place for child care professionals and educators. I believe that the faith, determination and youthful devotion of Mary has borne fruit that can be seen today. Joshua declared so resolutely, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15), but to me this could be Mary’s voice speaking. My plea is that history will continue to honor her name. (Tr. GM)
メアリー・イザベラ・ランバスの名を冠して
 わたしが聖和大学(Seiwa College)のキリスト教教育学科の学生だったころ、聖和(Holy Union)の源流となる3つの学校の創設について聞いた中で、特に印象深い話がありました。創立者の一人であるMary Isabella Lambuth(1832.12.17~1904.6.26)が、10代の若い日に、中国宣教へのアピールがなされた集会で、”I give five dollars and myself”と語ったという話です。
 この一途で情熱的な言葉は、120年以上経ってそれを聞いた学生であるわたしだけでなく、語られた当時、同じく中国への伝道を志していたJames William Lambuthの心を強くうったのでしょう。彼は、それを語った女性、Mary Isabella McClellanに会いたいと願います。それがきっかけとなり、1853年10月、二人は結婚し、南メソジスト教会の宣教師として翌年5月にニューヨークを出航、4ヶ月の船旅の末9月18日に中国到着します。そのわずか2ヵ月後、11月10日に上海(しゃんはい)(Shanghai)で、後に関西(かんせい)学院(がくいん)(Kwansei Gakuin University)の創立者となる長男Walter Russellが誕生します。
 21歳の若いMary Isabellaにとって、初めての赤ちゃんをお腹に宿しての長い船旅、そしてはじめての異国、中国での出産は並大抵のことではなかったと想像します。その頃James Williamは、月のうち2週間は船に乗り、中国人と生活を共にして伝道の旅をしていました。メアリーは、異郷にあって乳飲み子を抱えて家を守り、その間に女性や子どもたちをあつめて仕事を教え、伝道し、世話をしました。そして彼女は米国の友人へこのように書き送っているのです。「一月ほど前に、わたしたちの心と手の中に、可愛い男の子を与えられました。とてもかわいくて、わたしたちは神様への感謝の心に満ちています。この子が立派に成長してイエスに従う忠実な僕になることが出来るよう心から祈っています。」ここには、彼女自身とそこから生まれた命、それらはすべて与えられたものであり、イエスに従うために喜んでささげたものであるという強い信仰が表されています。そしてこの信仰とイエスへの従順は、メアリーの生涯一貫して変わらないものでした。
 その後も、数度、米国と中国を行き来し、幼い子どもたちを一時米国に預けたり、6歳の娘を猩紅熱(scarlet fever)で亡くすという経験をしながらも、彼女は中国伝道にすべてを捧げていきます。しかしウォルターが14歳になった1876年、メアリーは外国伝道局に不思議な言葉を送ります。「日本はわたしたちの行くべき所のように思います。時々日本は、ウォルターにとってよい働き場所だろうと思います<略>『万事は適時に適所で』というのがよい標語で、これを私は忘れたくないと思います。」 まだ何の計画も到底考えられないときに静かに抱かれた幻であり、信仰深い母の愛の洞察だったのかもしれません。
 それから約十年がたち、実に32年間の中国での医療伝道を含めた宣教を突如辞任し、中国語も堪能だった二人(メアリー53歳とJW:老ランバス56歳)はそれらを捨てて日本に向かい、1885年7月29日に神戸に到着します。3ヶ月遅れてウォルター(若ランバス)が着き、2日後には後のパルモア学院 (Palmore Institute)や啓(けい)明女(めいじょ)学院(がくいん) (Keimei Gakuin Junior and Senior High School) のルーツともなる、読書館を開室し、家族あげての神戸での宣教が始まります。
 1887年、メアリーは神戸居留地から神戸市内の山二番(現在の中山手)に転居し、自宅の1階応接間で若い女性たちのための家庭塾を開き、編み物や英語、西洋料理、聖書を教え始めるほか、広島女学校(Hiroshima Girl’s school)のゲインズ(Nancy Gaines)を応援するため広島に向かうなど、精力的に西日本での宣教に取り組みます。1888年、メアリーの神戸の教室は、岡島(おかじま)初音(はつね)を補助者として与えられ、本国伝道局に認められて、神戸女子学校Kobe Girl’s school(神戸婦人伝道学校)のちにランバス記念伝道女学校と呼ばれるこことなります。メアリーは、その後1892年、夫JWを神戸で亡くし、米国へいったん帰国しますが、娘ノラ夫妻が宣教を続ける中国へ再度渡り、最後は中国蘇州で71歳で召天、上海に葬られたのでした。
 メアリーの日本での宣教は、わずか7年、病弱だったウォルターとその妻デイジー一家を支え、孫たちの世話をしながらのものでした。しかし、1921年に広島女学院保母師範科と神戸のランバス記念伝道女学校が合併して、保育者と女性伝道者の養成のために大阪に敷地千坪の立派な学校が建てられた時、新聞*はこの学院がそのときはもうすでにこの世になかったメアリーの名前を冠にして、「ランバス女学院」と命名されたことを伝えています。
 *(この学院は1885年に米国南メソジスト教会から派遣されたMrs. J. W.Lambuth ―彼女は片手に赤ちゃんを抱いて、もう片方に聖書を持って、キリストを伝え、教えた人で、このように立派な学院が建てられるに至ったのは、ひとえにこの人によるものであり、彼女の名を記念し、冠として、この学校は名付けられている。)
 こうしてメアリーの名前(ランバス)をつけた学校は、後に聖和(せいわ)女子(じょし)学院(がくいん) (Seiwa Joshigakuin)、聖和大学へと発展し、昨2009年4月にはウォルターの建てた関西学院と合併して、保育者と教員養成の場として、これからも歩いていくことになりました。メアリーの信仰と決意、若い日のあの献身が結んだ実の今日の姿だと思います。ヨシュアが決然と語った、「ただし、わたしとわたしの家は主に仕えます。」(ヨシュア24:15)の言葉が彼女の声として聞こえてくるようです。その名を冠した歴史を受け継いでいけるようにと願っています。
学校法人関西学院 聖和短期大学・宗教主事  小見(こみ)のぞみ

2009 Kyodan Newsletter Index

No./p. Mo.
CHILDREN AND YOUTH
2008 Christmas Offering Theme: “Living Together”351/3Feb.
Asia Gakuin (Asian Rural Institute)…………………….. 351/7 Feb.
General Secretary’s Diary: On the Current State of Youth Evangelism in the Kyodan …………………………………. 352/8 Apr.
Growing Sweet Potatoes in the Neighboring Vacant Lot
“God Gave the Growth”………………………………… 354/7 Oct.
Nagasaki Furumachi Church School Commended for
Recycling Efforts…………………………………………. 352/7 Apr.
Work of the Green House Youth Center
in Yokohama……………………………………………….. 353/5 June
CHRISTIANITY IN JAPAN
50 Years of Kyodan Data: Analysis and Proposals…352/2 Apr.
2009 World Day of Prayer Oberved in Japan
on March 6………………………………………………….. 353/4 June
Asia Gakuin (Asian Rural Institute)…………………….. 351/7 Feb.
Commemorating 150 Years of Protestant Evangelism
in Japan……………………………………………………….. 354/2 Oct.
Education for Girls and Deliverance of the Poor
in the Meiji Era……………………………………………. 355/4 Dec.
The First Christmas in Japan………………………………. 355/1 Dec.
Former Worship Sanctuary becomes an Art Museum-
Meditation Space with Famous Biblical Pictures… 354/7 Oct.
General Secretary’s Diary: Dedication of the
Togi Mission Church’s New Building…………….353/6 June
German East Asia Mission in Japan:
Past and Present……………………………………………355/5 Dec.
Growing Sweet Potatoes in the Neighboring Vacant Lot
“God Gave the Growth” ………………………………. 354/7 Oct.
Introducing The National Federation of
Kyodan Women’s Societies…………………………… 352/5 Apr.
Journey of Mary Eddy Kidder,
Pioneer in Women’s Education……………………… 354/6 Oct.
“Liberation Play” Challenges Our Prejudices……….. 352/2 Apr.
Nagasaki Furumachi Church School Commended for
Recycling Efforts…………………………………………. 352/7 Apr.
Reclaiming the Rights of the Ainu People……………. 352/6 Apr.
Reflections on the Kyodan………………………………….. 354/3 Oct.
Shikoku District Churches Conduct
Cooperative Evangelism……………………………….355/3 Dec.
Taiwanese Churches Promote the Gospel in Japan.. 354/4 Oct.
Through God’s Leading: Over 70 Exhitibions of
Post-World War II Pictures Held………………….. 352/7 Apr.
Work of the Green House Youth Center
in Yokohama……………………………………………….. 353/5 June
CONFERENCES,CONSULTATIONS,ASSEMBLIES
12th Kyodan-PCT Consultation Convened
in Osaka……………………………………………………… 353/3 June
Christ Himself is Our Salvation: The 150th Anniversary of
Protestant Mission in Japan………………………….. 353/2 June
Commemorating 150 Years of Protestant Evangelism
in Japan……………………………………………………….. 354/2 Oct.
EMS Mission Council Meeting Held in Ghana……. 354/5 Oct.
Promotion Committee for the Movement to
Support Retired Ministers…………………………….. 351/4 Feb.
ECUMENICAL AND INTERCHURCH RELATIONS
12th Kyodan-PCT Consultation Convened
in Osaka……………………………………………………….353/3 June
2009 World Day of Prayer Oberved in Japan
on March 6………………………………………………….. 353/4 June Christ Himself is Our Salvation: The 150th Anniversary of
Protestant Mission in Japan………………………….. 353/2 June
Commemorating 150 Years of Protestant Evangelism
in Japan……………………………………………………….. 354/2 Oct.
EMS Mission Council Meeting Held in Ghana……..354/5 Oct.
The First Christmas in Japan………………………………..355/1 Dec.
German East Asia Mission in Japan:
Past and Present……………………………………………355/5 Dec.
Introducing The National Federation of
Kyodan Women’s Societies…………………………… 352/5 Apr.
Journey of Mary Eddy Kidder,
Pioneer in Women’s Education……………………… 354/6 Oct.
Kyodan Signs Mission Covenants
with 2 North American Churches…………………. 351/2 Feb.
Reclaiming the Rights of the Ainu People……………. 352/6 Apr.
Taiwanese Churches Promote the Gospel in Japan…354/4 Oct.
EVANGELISM AND MISSION, HISTORY AND CULTURE 50 Years of Kyodan Data: Analysis and Proposals…352/2 Apr.
150 Years of Evangelism in Japan:
“Planting the Word of God for 150 Years”……….352/1 Apr.
2009 World Day of Prayer Oberved in Japan
on March 6………………………………………………….. 353/4 June
Asia Gakuin (Asian Rural Institute) …………………….351/7 Feb.
Christ Himself is Our Salvation: The 150th Anniversary of
Protestant Mission in Japan………………………….. 353/2 June
Commemorating 150 Years of Protestant Evangelism
in Japan……………………………………………………….. 354/2 Oct.
Education for Girls and Deliverance of the Poor
in the Meiji Era……………………………………………. 355/4 Dec.
The First Christmas in Japan………………………………. 355/1 Dec.
Former Worship Sanctuary becomes an Art Museum-
Meditation Space with Famous Biblical Pictures… 354/7 Oct.
General Secretary’s Diary: Dedication of the
Togi Mission Church’s New Building…………….353/6 June
General Secretary’s Diary: On the Current State of
Youth Evangelism in the Kyodan……………………352/8 Apr.
German East Asia Mission in Japan:
Past and Present……………………………………………355/5 Dec.
Introducing The National Federation of
Kyodan Women’s Societies…………………………… 352/5 Apr.
Journey of Mary Eddy Kidder,
Pioneer in Women’s Education……………………… 354/6 Oct.
“Liberation Play” Challenges Our Prejudices ……….352/4 Apr.
Reclaiming the Rights of the Ainu People……………..352/6 Apr.
Shikoku District Churches Conduct
Cooperative Evangelism……………………………….355/3 Dec.
Taiwanese Churches Promote the Gospel in Japan…354/4 Oct.
Work of the Green House Youth Center
in Yokohama……………………………………………….. 353/5 June
KYODAN
50 Years of Kyodan Data: Analysis and Proposals…352/2 Apr.
150 Years of Evangelism in Japan:
“Planting the Word of God for 150 Years”……….352/1 Apr.
Christ Himself is Our Salvation: The 150th Anniversary of
Protestant Mission in Japan………………………….. 353/2 June
Commemorating 150 Years of Protestant Evangelism
in Japan……………………………………………………….. 354/2 Oct.
General Secretary’s Diary(February 2009)…………… 351/8 Feb.
General Secretary’s Diary(October 2009)……………..354/8 Oct.
General Secretary’s Diary: Dedication of the
Togi Mission Church’s New Building…………….353/6 June
General Secretary’s Diary: “One Sunny Afternoon”355/6 Dec.
General Secretary’s Diary: On the Current State of
Youth Evangelism in the Kyodan…………………. 352/8 Apr.
Introducing The National Federation of
Kyodan Women’s Societies………………………….. 352/5 Apr.
Kyodan Signs Mission Covenants
with 2 North American Churches…………………. 351/2 Feb.
Reflections on the Kyodan………………………………….. 354/3 Oct.
Executive Council & General Assembly Executive Coucil Begins Work of the
  36th General Assembly Biennium…………………. 351/1 Feb.
Executive Council Establishes
an Executive Committee………………………………. 354/1 Oct.
Executive Council Notes Progress on
Current Church Concerns…………………………….. 355/2 Dec.
Districts and Subdistricts
Former Worship Sanctuary becomes an Art Museum-
Meditation Space with Famous Biblical Pictures… 354/7 Oct.
General Secretary’s Diary: Dedication of the
Togi Mission Church’s New Building…………….353/6 June
Growing Sweet Potatoes in the Neighboring Vacant Lot
“God Gave the Growth” ………………………………. 354/7 Oct.
Kyodan’s 17 Districts Convene Annual Assemblies 353/1 June
Nagasaki Furumachi Church School Commended for
Recycling Efforts…………………………………………. 352/7 Apr.
Shikoku District Churches Conduct
Cooperative Evangelism……………………………….355/3 Dec.
Taiwanese Churches Promote the Gospel in Japan.. 354/4 Oct.
Work of the Green House Youth Center
in Yokohama……………………………………………….. 353/5 June
People
Education for Girls and Deliverance of the Poor
in the Meiji Era……………………………………………. 355/4 Dec.
Journey of Mary Eddy Kidder,
Pioneer in Women’s Education……………………… 354/6 Oct.
SOCIAL AND SOCIOPOLITICAL CONCERNS
Domestic Issues (Discrimination) “Liberation Play” Challenges Our Prejudices ……….352/4 Apr.
Reclaiming the Rights of the Ainu People……………. 352/6 Apr.
Social Work and Service Education for Girls and Deliverance of the Poor
in the Meiji Era……………………………………………. 355/4 Dec.
Nagasaki Furumachi Church School Commended for
Recycling Efforts…………………………………………. 352/7 Apr.
Work of the Green House Youth Center
in Yokohama……………………………………………….. 353/5 June
War and Peace; Militarism, Nationalis & Domestic Politics Through God’s Leading: Over 70 Exhitibions of
Post-World War II Pictures Held…………………… 352/7 Apr.