Introduced to Effects of Prejudice at a Youth Camp in India

by Shimada Naomi

Kwansei Gakuin University, Theology Department

 

I enrolled in the youth camp that was sponsored by CSI and held Nov. 12-17, 2012 in Chennai (Madras), India. The camp was international and ecumenical, with 85 participants from Nigeria, Scotland, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Japan, and all over the India.

 

The title of this camp was FEST-ZOE, which means “celebration of life,” and so Indians, who love to dance and sing, were singing and dancing all throughout this camp. There was a campfire on the last night, but for some reason, it actually started from 8 p.m. inside the room. We just sang and danced to loud music. Finally, we went outside at 1 a.m. and had the campfire until 3 a.m. People asked me, “What did you do at the camp?” I said, “Just danced and sang.” It was like being in Bollywood.*

 

Of course, we did not only dance and sing. There were sessions about globalization, youth culture, mission, and leadership. What really left an impression on me was the discussion about the influences of the caste system on Christianity and women’s rights. Although 80 percent of Christians are Dalits (untouchable), many churches refuse Dalit pastors. Even though they are Christians, they are only allowed to marry people of the same caste. If a person likes someone who is Dalit and wants to get married, the parents and society will never allow their marriage. I asked young people, “If your child wants to marry a Dalit, will you agree with that?” They replied that they would.

 

Thus, it seems that with the change in generations, along with the change in society, this issue is being resolved. When it came to the issue of women’s rights, I was very shocked and even had tears in my eyes. In Hinduism, women who are menstruating are not allowed to enter a temple. Even in some Christian churches, while they are allowed into the church for Sunday services, they are not allowed to participate in communion. Likewise, in recent years, while women are being accepted for ordination, I heard that they are sometimes not allowed to officiate at a communion service.

 

In my daily life, I just live, go to church, and go to school, normally. However, I learned that my normal life is not normal for other people. Also, I learned that we are all equal in God’s sight, but there are lots of unequal things in Christian society.

________________

*”Bollywood,” a portmanteau word derived from Bombay (the former name for Mumbai) and Hollywood (the center of the American film industry), has become the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai in Maharashtra, India. The term is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema.

南インド合同教会との協議会報告

 報告者 加藤 誠

 

 2013年2月19日~25日の間、南インド合同教会(以下Church of South India)の招きにより、日本基督教団より世界宣教委員会委員長の秋山徹牧師と大三島義孝宣教委員会幹事及び 加藤 誠世界宣教幹事がチェンナイにあるCSI本部を訪れた。目的は共に合同教会である両教団の理解を深め、人事交流を含め、どのよう な宣 教の分野で協力できるかを協議するためであった。20日(火)朝の礼拝からプログラムが始まった。秋山徹牧師が説教を担当した。靴を脱ぎ、カーペットに 座って 礼拝を守った。本部の中の各部署を案内していただいた後、午後から第一回目の協議が始まった。CSIからは教団総会議長(Moderator & Bishop)であるRev. Dr. G. Devakadashamビショップを始めとして副議長(Deputy Moderator)、総幹事General Secretary)、財務責任者(Hon’ Treasurer)と4人のディレクターと婦人会担当幹事(General Secretary, Women’s Fellowship)が出席した。最初それぞれの教団の歴史を紹介し、具体的な分野での協議に入った。 CSI側からは、豊かな人的資源(信徒数400万)、活発な宣教活動(国内信徒宣教師2000人)を背景に、短期間であっても共に伝道活動をすることや、ミッションスクールに教師を派遣すること が提 案された。農業指導者や社会福祉、特に高齢者のケアーについての専門家を派遣して欲しいという要望がなされた。教団からは将来インド の青年を含めた国際会議の開催を日本で開催したいこと。牧師、青年、教育主事等の交換プログラムを企画し、相互交流に力を入れた い事 等が提案された。21日の午後まで会議は続き、相互の教会創立記念日を互いに覚えて祈ることが約束された。

 22日からはナマカルに向けて小旅行をした。途中ベルーアではCSIの農業センターを訪問し、あきたこまちに今年はトライすることを知った。ナマカルは人口170000に対し14000人がHIVポジティブである。 CSIは センターを設置して(HIV/AIDS CSI Profect Namakkal in Coimbatore Diocese)支援している。24日は二つの教会の礼拝に参加した。 日本 では考えられない音量の讃美に少々圧倒された。

Introducing the Japanese Protestant Church in Cologne-Bonn

by Saito Atsushi, missionary pastor

 

Every church throughout the world shares the common desire that its church will become well known in the surrounding community. Keeping that desire always in mind, the Japanese Protestant Church in Cologne-Bonn has endeavored to make its existence known among the people in this city.

 

For Japanese people living in Cologne for many years, our church is recognized as “the church that holds a bazaar every November 1.” This event has now been held 32 times, starting in 1981. We are surprised to learn how many Japanese people live in this city and how many of them come to join us every year. Irrespective of the means it is accomplished, the fact that the church becomes known is not a bad thing at all. In fact, this is one testimony to our church having become a trusted institution by the people in the community since its founding 35 years ago.

 

Our most important calling as a church is, of course, to preach Christ; the holding of this yearly bazaar is just one method of achieving that goal. Even if there has been little prior contact with Christianity, people living in Germany certainly do come to the realization that churches hold worship services every Sunday morning because they hear the ringing of church bells from all around the city. However, unless they have an opportunity to know what this activity is that the church does every Sunday, those who know us only as “the place where they hold an annual bazaar” will go no further in their understanding. Thus, while it is good that they come to know and trust us, it is a shame if they do not also come to join in with us in the blessings of worship.

 

It is for this reason that we seek to find ways to invite more people to join us. The location of our rented facilities is, however, not along a main street in the center of the city but on the outskirts of Cologne, close to what is known as the “Citizen’s Forest.” This is a place surrounded by nature but inconspicuous. Likewise, we are not able to have a prominent sign, stating that we are a Japanese Christian church. Thus, the old saying that “the church building itself preaches Christ” is not applicable to our church. Therefore, we cannot just wait for people to discover us and come on their own accord; we need to employ every means possible to advertise our presence.

 

One opportunity presented itself to me when I learned of the need for Japanese volunteers to help German people who are studying Japanese at the Cologne Japan Cultural Center. I immediately sent in my application and visited the center. There I found that quite a few Japanese people had volunteered to help. When we give self-introductions, I introduce myself as a Christian pastor, which usually is met with surprise. Participants ask what a pastor does, so I share with them about our weekly worship service, adding an invitation, “How about coming sometime to see for yourself?” I am happy to say that about ten people have acted on that invitation and come for a visit.

 

Similarly, we decided to make use of the new “social network service,” which has become such a large worldwide industry in recent years. Many churches already have websites through which they try to reach out to people, but unless people actually search out those sites, they do not know of their existence. Thus, we decided to take out an advertisement on Facebook, one of these new services. There are approximately 6,000 Facebook users in the area that can utilize the Japanese language, so when they open it up, they automatically see our advertisement on the side of the page. We are charged approximately 15 yen each time someone clicks on the advertisement, so this has involved a bit of financial outlay. But as a result, during the one month we advertized, our church was visited for the first time by six people who said they learned there is a Japanese-language church in the area through that advertisement.

 

It is my desire to continue to find new ways to bring new people to church to share in the blessings and joys of worshipping together. (Tr. KY)

 

ここに教会がある

ケルン・ボン日本 語キ リスト教会

牧師  齋藤   篤

 

一人でも多くの方々へ「ここに教会がある」ということを知って頂きたいという思いは、世界中の教会が 抱く 共通の願いでしょう。ケルンにある私たちの日本語教会でも、そのことを常に念頭に置きながら、教会の存在をアピールし続けてまいりま した。

古くからケルンの街に住む方々にとって、私たちは「11月1日にバザーを開催 する 教会」として認識されています。1981年から始まった教 会バ ザーも数えること32回。この街にこれ ほど 多くの日本人の方々が住んでいたのかと、その来場者の多さに驚かされます。どんな方法であれ、教会の存在が知られているということは 決して悪いことではありません。私たちの教会が35年の歴史の中で、 地域 に信頼されている一つの証と言えるでしょう。

その上で、私たちはキリストを宣教するという最も重要な務めが与えられています。そういう意味で言え ば、 例年開催されるバザーはその一方法に過ぎません。ドイツに住んでいれば、教会で日曜日に礼拝が行われているということは、たとえキリ スト教に馴染みが無かったとしても、あちらこちらで鳴り響く鐘の音を聞いて、それに気づくことができるのです。ただ、礼拝とは何 か、 教会が日曜日の礼拝を中心に動いているのだということを知る機会がなければ、教会は単に「バザーを行う場所」という認識で終わってし まいます。信頼されるのは嬉しいことですが、礼拝の恵みを共に味わうことができないのは、あまりにも勿体ないことなのです。

だからこそ、礼拝に少しでも多くの方々を招くための工夫が求められます。私たちが礼拝所として間借り して いる教会は、決して街の目抜き通りにあるわけではありません。ケルン市郊外にある「市民の森」と呼ばれる場所の近くにあります。自然 豊かではありますが決して目立ちません。そこには日本語教会の看板が大きく掲げられているわけでもありません。ですから、「会堂 が伝 道する」としばしば言われる格言は、私たちの場合はあまり当てはまりません。ですから、「教会を見つけて来るのを待つ」のではなく、 こちらからありとあらゆる方法を用いて「宣伝」することが求められます。

ある日、牧師館近くにある「ケルン日本文化会館」で、日本語を学んでいるドイツ人の話し相手となるボ ラン ティアがあることを紹介して頂きました。早速申し込んで行きますと、会場にはドイツ人と共に、日本人ボランティアが大勢集まっていま した。それらの方々に自己紹介をします。「私は牧師をしています」と言えば大体の方は驚いて、牧師の職務について必ずと言ってよ いほ ど尋ねてこられます。そこで私は初めて、日曜に行われる礼拝についての説明ができるのです。そして最後に一言、「実際ご覧になりませ んか?」と付け加えます。その勧めに応じ、礼拝に出席してくださった方がこれまで10名ほどおられたの は、 本当に嬉しい体験でした。

また、最近一大産業化している”SNS(ソーシャル・ネッ ト ワーク・システム)”の活用も試みるこ とに しました。多くの教会ではホームページを作成して、インターネットユーザーに教会の存在をアピールする方法がとられていますが、それ らのページは検索をしなければ決して目に留まることはありません。そこで、SNSの一つである”Facebook”ページの片隅に、 教会 の広告を掲載することにいたしました。教会からある程度の範囲で日本語を用いているFacebookユーザー約6000人が、そのページ を開 けば自動的に教会の広告を見ることができるという仕組みです。広告料金はワンクリックするごとに約15円。(説明不要か?)

ちょっとした投資 では ありましたが、掲載を試みた1か月間で、広告を 見て6名の方が初めて教 会を 訪ねられました。その方々が一様に口にされたのは、「ここに日本語の教会があることを初めて知りました」という言葉でした。

礼拝に共に与る恵みと喜びを味わうために、これからも大胆にチャレンジする者でありたいと願います。

“Called by God”— Continuing with Jesus, with “ATM” as our Watchword

by Naito Tomeyuki

Former Kyodan General Secretary

 

At the 38th Kyodan General Assembly, which took place Oct. 23-25, 2012, Naito Tomeyuki ended his 5 1/2 year term as general secretary, a position which gave him overall executive responsibility for resolutions taken by the General Assembly, the Kyodan’s highest decision making body. Naito was already 77 when he took up this position, so, age withstanding, how had he developed the strength which enabled him to see his heavy responsibilities through to the end at such an age? We listened to the following thoughts he shared before he left office.

 

I was born in Yokosuka in Kanagawa Prefecture, one of ten children in a large family. I had a carefree childhood and was always the ringleader. A portrait of the emperor was hung in our home, and we bowed before it every day. When I was in the sixth grade of elementary school, World War II broke out. My father was working as a shipbuilder in the naval dockyard (munitions factory), and partly influenced by that, I entered the naval collage.

 

When the war ended in defeat for Japan, I was utterly despondent and pessimistic and filled my time with art, drama, and mountain-climbing—in short, with leisure activities. However, before long came the emperor’s proclamation that he was a human being, and this enabled me to change my way of thinking. Until then I had venerated the emperor as a god, but now, spurred on by the desire to find something eternally unchanging, I entered Gakushuin University to study philosophy. There I was blessed with the chance to take lectures from the eminent scholars who greatly influenced the formation of postwar Japanese ideology. Among them was Professor Kitamori Kazo (who was also an ordained Kyodan pastor); so I came into contact with Christianity and started to participate in the Bible-reading group for which he was the advisor.

 

While student movement activity was increasing both on and off campus, I was immersed in Augustine and Anselm and the other great theologians, while at the same time practicing Zen meditation as well as studying Buddhism and Shinto, trying to find the way to salvation.

 

The answer came among the collected works of the philosopher Nishida Kitaro, which I had queued up in the bookstore to buy. One of these works, Deepest Needs, showed particularly deep thinking, indicating that the ultimate destiny of human life is the state of mind expressed in Galatians 2:19-20: “It is Christ who lives in me.”

 

However, yet again I went through a great deal of trial and error in my thinking as I sought to discover what that meant in concrete terms. In the end, what I understood was that Christ became the Word that strongly moved me from within. This meant, for example, that if I were able to put into practice God’s Word, which tells us to love one another, God would become present within me. Also, when I found out someone else had to die for my salvation because I was powerless and full of sin, then I realized that the cross of Jesus was the starting point.

 

Through such profound study, I slowly came to meet Christ and to receive salvation. Just at that point, I was introduced to a church by a missionary from the United States whom I had met, and at age 21, when I was a third-year university student, I was baptized at what is now Yokosuka Ogawa-cho Church.

 

After continuing my studies at Gakushuin to graduate school level, it was time to think about future employment. I thought that I would do what was pleasing to God rather than considering my own preferences, and I was shown the path to becoming a minister. My family had no connection to Christianity, but just as they had done when I was baptized, my parents said, “You only have one life; live it as you want,” and they gladly let me go my own way.

 

After completing my studies at Tokyo Union Theological Seminary Graduate School, my first appointment was to serve Kochi Church. There I met and married my wife, who has continued as my good comrade-in-arms until now. After that, I was involved in pioneer evangelism in Zentsuji in Kagawa Prefecture and then at Banzan-cho Church in Okayama Prefecture, Kanazawa Church in Ishikawa Prefecture, and various churches in Tokyo; and wherever I went I found it so enjoyable I just had to do it. This was the time when Christianity was experiencing a boom, but even so I was amazed that I was baptizing more than ten people a year. As I was enabled to take this for granted as a usual state of affairs, it goes without saying that this was God’s work.

 

I have always given special importance to work with young people, and although I do not know whether they found my answers to their merciless questions convincing or just amusing, it remains the case that a chain developed, with those who were themselves seeking bringing along more seekers. I am happy to say that many of them are now pastors or involved in such work as teaching in Christian schools.

 

Having been installed as Kyodan general secretary in 2007, I shall soon complete my term. In order to carry out all my important duties as moderator smoothly, I have adopted the same straightforward approach that I valued when I was pastoring churches. This is the criterion for judging how Christ’s church should be. Adapting the three principles of listening to God’s word, learning from church history, and maintaining our current regulations, we should at all times be ATM (Always bright; Together happily; Moving forward). As we continue with Jesus, this ATM is our unchanging watchword for evangelism. (Tr. SN)

 

Shinto no Tomo (Believer’s Friend), December 2012 issue

「神に呼ばれて」 イ エスさまとの合い言葉「ATM」でこれからも

内藤留幸 ないとう と めゆき 日本基督教団前総幹事

 

十月二十三日から二十五日まで行われた第三八 回日 本基督教団総会にて、五年半にわたる総幹事の職を退かれた内藤留幸先生。

教団の最高決議機関である教団総会での決定事 項を 執行する

総責任者である総幹事に就任したのは七十七歳 のと き。高齢をものともせず、重責をこなしてきたその力はどのように養われてきたのだろうか。その退任を前に、召しの話から聞いた。(ま とめ・編集部)

 

 

私は神奈川県横須賀市に生まれました。一〇 人 きょうだいという大家族の中で、のびのびと育ち、家でも外でもガキ大将でした。家に飾られていた御真影を拝む毎日で、小学校六年生の ときに第二次世界大戦が始まりました。父親が海軍工廠(軍需工場)の造船技師として働いていたこともあり、私は海軍兵学校に入り まし た。

敗戦後、私は虚脱感に苛まれ、厭世的にな り、絵 画、演劇、登山と、とにかく遊びまくりました。気持ちの切り替えができたのは、ほどなく天皇の人間宣言が公布されたときでした。それ まで天皇を現人神としてあがめてきた私は確かなもの、永遠に不変なるものを探求したいという欲求に駆られ、学習院大学に入り、哲 学を 専攻しました。そこでは、戦後日本の思想形成に偉業を残すことになる、そうそうたる学者たちの講義を受ける機会に恵まれました。その 中に北森嘉蔵先生がおられ、初めてキリスト教に触れ、彼が顧問を務める学内の聖書を読む会に参加し始めました。

キャンパスの内外で学生運動が盛んに繰り広 げら れていたころ、私はアウグスティヌスやアンセルムスら、大神学者の著作を繰り返し読み、一方で座禅を組んだり、仏教や神道のことをも 勉強したり、どうしたら救われるのかを追究していました。

その答えは、本屋で行列して買った、哲学者 西田 幾多郎の全集の中にありました。そこに「最深要求」という、まさに深い考えが示されていました。人間の生の究極はガラテヤ書2章19~20節 に「キリストがわたしの内に生きておられる」と示された境地であるというのです。

しかし、それは具体的にどういうことなの か、ま たまた思考の試行錯誤が続きました。やがてわかったのは、キリストが言葉となって私を内から突き動かすのだということ。だから、例え ば互いに愛し合いなさいという御言葉を実践できたら、神が自分の内にいることになると考えました。また、無力で罪深い己の救いに は他 者による「代償的苦しみ」が必須であることを知り、その原点がイエスの十字架にあることに気づきました。

そうやって学問を究める中で、私は徐々にキ リス トと出会い、救われていったのです。折しも地元で出会ったアメリカ人宣教師によって教会に導かれ、私は二十一歳、大学三年生のとき に、現在の横須賀小川町教会で洗礼を受けました。

学習院の大学院で学びを続けた後、将来の職 業に ついて考えたとき、自分がなりたいものではなく、神さまが望まれることをしていこうと考えました。そして、牧師になる道が示されたの です。キリスト教とは無縁の家でしたが、両親は「一度きりの人生だから、好きなようにしなさい」と受洗のときも神学校にいくとき も、 快く送り出してくれました。

東京神学大学大学院での学びを終え、初任地 は高 知教会でした。そこで出会って結婚した妻は、今に至るまで私のよき戦友です。その後、香川・善通寺での開拓伝道、岡山・蕃山町教会、 石川・金沢教会、東京の諸教会と、行く先々での伝道は本当に楽しくて仕方ありませんでした。

キリスト教ブームに乗った時代もありました が、 年間一〇名を超える受洗者が起こされるのを自分でも不思議に思っていました。私は当たり前のことを当たり前にしていただけですから、 そこに神さまが働かれたことは言うまでもありません。

私は特に青年たちとの関わりを大切にしてい まし たが、求道中の彼らから投げかけられる容赦ない質問に対する私の答えに納得したのでしょうか、おもしろいと思ったのでしょうか、とに かく求道者が求道者を連れてくるという連鎖でした。その中から牧師になったり、キリスト教学校で働くようになったりしている人が たく さんいるのはうれしいことです。

二〇〇七年に日本基督教団の総幹事に迎えら れ、 間もなく退きます。この五年半、教団の教務と事務のすべてを円滑に遂行する総幹事の大役に、私は牧会の現場でも貫いてきた正攻法で取 り組んできました。それはキリストの教会はどうあるべきか、という判断基準です。御言葉に聴く、教会の歴史から学ぶ、現在の規則 を守 る、この三つの視点に立ち、あとは常にATM(=明るく、楽しく、前向きに)です。これが イエ スさまと私との、これからも変わることのない伝道の合い言葉です。

A Message From General Secretary Looking Back on the Two Years since the Great East Japan Disaster

Approaching the second anniversary of the Great East Japan Disaster, the Kyodan’s Disaster Relief Planning Headquarters has held 20 planning conferences on the issue. We are urging that all Kyodan districts, local churches, and subdistricts designate March as “Commemoration Month” and that they pray for all the churches in the affected areas and come together in support of those churches.

 

The Kyodan took action on March 12, 2011, the day following the disaster, to establish the Disaster Relief Planning Committee, with the general secretary as chairperson, and also took the following actions: 1) Sent a fact-finding delegation headed by the Kyodan moderator; 2) Began a fundraising campaign led by the Committee on Social Concerns; 3) Established a website to circulate information, along with what was included in the Kyodan Shinpo newspaper and later the Planning Headquarters newsletter; 4) Sent an initial financial aid package of 10.5 million yen to each of the three affected districts (Ou, Tohoku, and Kanto); 5) Appointed the executive secretary of the Commission on Ecumenical Ministries to be in charge of the disaster relief program in order to facilitate communication with the affected areas; and as part of this effort, 6) established an office designated for the Disaster Relief Planning Headquarters; and after a short delay, 7) jointly established, with the affected districts, relief activity centers in Sendai, Ishinomaki, and Tono.

 

As a part of that process, the Executive Committee met in a special session on March 22, 2011, followed by a special session of the Executive Council on April 18, to establish the Kyodan Great East Japan Disaster Relief Planning Headquarters for the purpose of forming a team to organize relief efforts. This team consists of top-ranking Kyodan officials along with five other members of the Executive Council, a member of the Japan Christian Social Work League, and a representative from the Christian schools. Likewise, the district moderators from the three most seriously affected districts, together with the district moderator of Tokyo District (where there was also significant damage), were asked to sit in on all sessions.

 

The headquarters drafted a slogan to describe their efforts (“Aiming for the rebuilding of churches that can serve their communities for the salvation of the people”), and directed support to worshipping communities and, through these churches, directed relief efforts to all the affected areas. The Scripture verse that was chosen for the theme was “Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 124:8). On March 23, 2011, the Kyodan moderator also made a formal statement entitled, “Facing the greatest crisis in Japan since World War II: Supporting life together with our churches in the Great East Japan Disaster.” The headquarters called on all churches to take time to pray at 2:46 p.m. on the 11th day of every month, in commemoration, and to set the goal of each member contributing 100 yen a week as a lay movement. If each of the 56,260 persons who on average attend weekly services across the nation would contribute 400 yen a month, the total would be 269,952,000 yen a year and exceed one billion yen in four years.

 

To analyze the needs in the disaster zone, the headquarters sent committee members to the affected areas during the month of June 2011, and based on their analysis proposed a fund-raising goal of one billion yen domestically, with half of that amount designated for the rebuilding of churches and parsonages and the other half designated for humanitarian aid to the surrounding communities. As an international fund-raising goal, they set the amount of 1.2 billion yen, with one billion yen of that amount designated for the rebuilding of Kyodan-related schools and other institutions and the remaining 200 million yen designated for aid to churches for their rebuilding efforts.

 

The result was that many overseas churches related to the Kyodan immediately responded to this need by sending support. Here in Japan, a great many individuals volunteered to serve, either on their own initiative or through the auspices of churches, schools, and other organizations, so there was a continuous stream of volunteers in the affected districts.

 

The situation at the site of the disaster, however, was one of constant flux between the initial confusion and the trial-and-error relief attempts as well as among the mix of people’s unanticipated actions, expectations, and despair. In order to deal with this, the headquarters assigned a person under the executive secretary to deal with the organization of volunteers. Likewise, at the two Emmaus Centers in Sendai and Ishinomaki, an additional assistant was sent to help coordinate relief efforts, beginning first with mud removal. At Tono Center, volunteers were organized to receive the survivors and serve them, thus fulfilling the purpose for which these centers were established.

 

Regular strategy sessions were held at the headquarters to sort through the initial confusion and to draw up a strategic plan for each day, prioritizing the needs that could be addressed. Through our fund-raising campaign, both domestically and overseas, our aim was “to be engaged in the relief operation as a unified Kyodan,” and so we had each of the affected districts calculate the monetary needs of each of the damaged and destroyed churches. The headquarters then distributed relief funds and loans according to a unified system of local church, district, and national (Kyodan) levels.

 

By the first anniversary of the disaster, in March 2012, the “Criteria for Distributing Relief Funds to the Disaster-Affected Churches” and the “System of Loans” were established, with funds that were raised domestically being applied to these. The direct aid for repairs and reconstruction of damaged churches and parsonages was set at 50 percent, with the remaining 50 percent distributed as a 20-year, no-interest loan.

 

The funds raised internationally are being used for humanitarian aid to support the volunteer work being done through the three centers (Emmaus Sendai, Emmaus Ishinomaki and Heartful Tono), along with several other related programs, including 1) special Christmas programs and concerts for the survivors, 2) the “Kohitsuji (lamb) Camp” for children in high-radiation zones, 3) repairs at Asian Rural Institute and two other church-related facilities in Fukushima, 4) health exams for pastors and their families in the disaster areas, 5) participation in the establishment of an endowed chair at Tohoku University for the training of religious counselors, and 6) the procurement of radiation detectors for food.

 

With respect to the issue of providing respite and recreation for the children in high-radiation areas, our desire is not only for this to be a Kyodan-level program but also to encourage districts and local churches to be proactive in focusing on the needs of the children. The Kyodan’s polices regarding large-scale disaster response was clarified by the headquarters in August 2011 at the emergency symposium “Challenges Posed by the Great East Japan Earthquake Disaster — The Crisis of Present-day Japan and Christianity.” This was followed in March 2012 by the “Moderator’s Pronouncement on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Accident.” Lastly, as we now approach the second anniversary of the disaster, we look back at our initial response and early relief programs and we also look ahead to the medium and long-range relief programs we resolutely commit ourselves to actualize. (Tr. TB)

 

—Nagasaki Tetsuo, general secretary

震災後二年間を振り返って

 

東日本大震災から二年が過ぎようとしている。 教団 「救援対策本部」は会議も通算20回 を積み重ね、この3.11に際して、全教区・支区・地区・教会に「メモ リア ルマンス」の集会を呼び掛け、被災地域と教会を覚えることを勧め、救援のため一致して祈り今日を迎えている。

顧みて、あの翌日3月12日 には、教団は総幹事を委員長として「救援対策委員会」を 立ち上げ、1.教団議長を隊長とし、被災地の状況把握のため 調査 隊派遣。2.社会委員会は国内募金開始。3.HP・教団新報・後に対策本部ニュ-ス等広報活動開始。4.被災の奥羽・東北・関東三教区に初動活動資金各1千万円、見舞金50万円を送金。5.現 地との連絡を密にする為、世界宣教幹事を震災担当幹事に兼任させ、6.救 援対策本部専用事務室を設置。7.少し遅れて被災教区と共働で仙台・石巻・遠野 に救 援活動拠点を設置した。 

更に、3・22臨時常任常議員会及び4・18臨 時常議員会をもって、「教団東日本大震災救援対策本部」(以下本部)を三役・ 常議員5名・キリスト教社会事業同盟(The Japan Christian Social Work League)1名・キリスト教学校関係者1名をもって設置し、東京も含めた被災四教区総会議長も常時陪席し、本格的な救援 体制 を整えた。 

ここで本部は、救援の主題を「地域の人々の 救い に仕える教会の再建を目指して」、1.礼拝共同体の支援、2.教会を通しての被災地域への支援。聖句、「わたしたちの助けは、天地を造られた主の御名にある」(詩編124・8)とし、2011年3月23日付「東日本大震災戦後最大の日本の危機に立 ち向 かって-被災地域の教会と共に、命に仕える」議長声明を発表した。これにより、本部は毎月「11246祈りの時」を全教会に呼びかけ、全教団の信徒 運動 として毎週100円・毎月400円の献金をお願いした。それは、教団56,260人の日曜礼拝者が毎月400円 を一年間献げると年269,952,000円となり、4年間で10億 円を越すとの目論見によるものだった。 

本部は本格的な被災状況調査のため同年6月被災教区、教会と地域に委員を派遣、「救援 募 金」を国内10億円うち5億円を会堂・牧師館の再建、5億 円を教会の属する地域人道支援のためとし、「海外募金」を、12億円内教団関係施設・学校・地域支援10億円、会堂・牧師館支援2億円として内外に募 金を 訴えた。

その結果、教団関係の海外教会からの敏感な 援護 と見舞いが頻繁に起こり、国内教会・学校・団体・個人の相当の人数がボランティアとなり、教区によっては連続した派遣の実績を積んで 今日を迎えている。

しかし、現地は語り尽くせない初動の混乱・ 試行 錯誤・思いがけない人々の動き、期待、絶望等様々なものが行き交う場でもあった。これに対応するため、本部はボランティア調整役一名 を本部担当幹事のもとに採用し、かつ仙台・石巻各エマオには担当幹事補佐一名ずつを置いて、先ずドロカキから始めた。遠野では、 被災 者受け止めと寄り添い等尊い労力が集められて、初期の目的を果たして行った。 

本部は対策室長会議を設定し、被災初動の混 乱の 整理と日常的に具体的な課題や要望等取り上げるべき案件の整理と緊急性の高い事柄の決済を行なうこととした。

内外からの募金運動を通して、「全教団一致 して 救援に当たる」ことを願い、「被災教会」支援は、「教区」が受け止めて必要経費を算定した。本部は支援金と貸し出し金を支出すると し、教会―教区―教団の一本化システムを創設した。

これが、震災1年の2012年3月をもって、「被災教会支援金配分規定」並び に 「貸し出し制度」となり、これは国内募金から充てる。支援は一教会の会堂・牧師館再建総額の半額とし、残り半額は無利子・20年返済で貸し出すとして実施を開始し現在に至 る。

一方、海外募金は「人道支援」に当て、エマ オ仙 台・エマオ石巻、ハ-トフル遠野の三拠点のボランティア活動支援とクリスマス及び音楽会等の集会をはじめ、放射能汚染地域の子どもら のための保養プログラム「こひつじキャンプ」、アジア学院と福島県下二施設再建、被災地域の牧師夫妻の人間ドック、東北大学の臨 床宗 教師育成を目的とする寄付講座参画、食品放射能測定器購入等に当てている。 

尚、今後は、放射能汚染地域の子どものため の保 養プログラムを教団レベルだけでなく、教区や教会でも積極的に子どもを受け入れ、実行して欲しいと願っている。

この間、本部は2011年8月、 「東日本大震災を通して問われたことー現代日本の危機とキリスト教」緊急シンポジウムの開催、2012年3月には、「福島第一原子力発電所事故に関する議長声明」が発信され、大災害に対する教団の姿勢を表明した。

大震災三年目を前に、初動及び短期救援事業 を顧 みた。今、本部は中長期的な救援事業を尚も果敢に十進して行こうとしている。長崎哲夫

 

2011 Disaster Survivors Experience Healing through Flower Arrangement

The Social Welfare Association of Kamaishi City, which was devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, offers a place called “Ochakko” where people living in temporary housing can gather for a tea break and spend a relaxing time chatting. “Heartful Tono UCCJ” has organized a monthly flower arrangement day near the day of the month when the disaster occurred. “Look! Look! That’s my style of flower arrangement.” “That’s lovely. And this is my school.” In each of the temporary housing areas, the residents look forward to this time.

 

Each flower has its own season, color, fragrance, and shape. Each flower triggers a unique memory and image for the participants. Each person searches for his/her own style of flower arrangement and tries to express their memories and image of the disaster in her/his own way.

 

We heard from volunteer groups that after the first year, the temporary housing residents complained about losing their ability to find words to write or speak and even the ability to speak in a loud voice. The flower arrangement program began as a means of allowing people to express the feelings they could not put into words. It is important to use fresh flowers, not artificial flowers or handicrafts because we believe fresh flowers bring the feeling of healing. Heartful Tono UCCJ is asking for volunteers to help in this work. (Tr. JT)

Shinto no Tomo (Believers’ Friend), December 2012 issue