Message from the General Secretary: 59th PCT General Assembly Addresses National and International Concerns

The Presbyterian Church of Taiwan held its general assembly, the 59th in its history, this past April 22-25 in the large sanctuary at Jiang-Jung Girls’ High School, with the theme “Stretch Deep the Root of the Gospel into Country and Tribe! Live out the Faith of the Church and Become the Sign of Hope!”

 

The assembly began with an opening worship service, attended by the approximately 700 representatives from around the nation, who joyfully sang hymns and offered fervent prayers. There were numerous foreign guests from all over the world, including Africa, who were introduced to the assembly. The three who gave formal greetings to the assembly were from the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA), the Disciples of Christ Global Ministries (DOCGM), and the Kyodan.

 

Kyodan General Secretary Nagasaki Tetsuo expressed the gratitude of the Kyodan for the outpouring of support in the aftermath of the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Disaster. In addition to its large financial contributions, PCT has sent many volunteers to help in the cleanup as well as twice receiving groups of children and their families from the radiation zones for “Kohitsuji (Lamb) Camps in Taiwan.”

 

There was also a special program at the general assembly that featured a PCT layperson by the name of Lee Teng-Hui, the former president of Taiwan, who is 90 years old. He gave a lecture in a powerful voice that deeply moved the audience, focusing on Gal. 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

 

Those who listened to his presentation were moved to support even more those addressing the various threats to democracy in Taiwan, such as the economic and political pressure being applied to Taiwan by China. This includes support for the students involved in the peaceful March 18 protest, led by a seminary student at the Yu-Shan Theological College and Seminary, which was directed against the Ma Ying-Jeou government for its promotion of the “Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement” between China and Taiwan. Both the leadership of the PCT and the CCA threw their support behind these protests.

 

On the second morning, the moderator of the 58th General Assembly, Hsu Rong-Feng gave a report concerning this situation, and it was referred to in the prayers led by General Secretary Lyim Hong-Tiong and others, which could be viewed on the large screen in the auditorium. We could sense how concerned the PCT is about the direction Taiwan is taking and the church’s intent to take responsible leadership among the people of Taiwan.

 

The proceedings were led by Rev. Lo Jen-Kuei, who was elected as moderator of the general assembly. The agenda included numerous contentious issues, including ones common to churches around the world, such as the issue of sexual minorities, as well as more local issues: the institution of age limits on representatives, which is being promoted by the younger generation to encourage generational change; the issue of PCT women and their desire to retain works of service; issues surrounding the increasing difficulty in promoting youth evangelism; and a host of local issues involving linguistic and economic concerns. The prayers that were offered at points during the proceedings certainly gave us a clear indication of where the PCT as a whole is heading.

 

At the same time the general assembly was being held, the former head of the Democratic Progressive Party, Lin Yi-hsiung, continued the hunger strike he began on April 21 to protest the construction of the second reactor at the Yenliao Nuclear Power Plant, which is to be the fourth such plant built in Taiwan. This was reported in detail at the general assembly, and letters of support were sent to Lin. On the final day of the assembly, everyone fasted during the noon meal time in support. (Incidentally, after continued pressure, such as sit-ins by citizen’s groups in front of the National Congress Building, President Ma announced on April 27 that the project would be cancelled.

 

As guests of the PCT, we were treated royally, and during such proceedings as election of the leadership, we were given tours of PCT-related places like Sin-Lau Christian Hospital, Tainan Theological College and Seminary, the National Museum of Taiwan Literature, the first church in Taiwan, Dr. James Maxwell Memorial Church, and An-Peng Old Town.

 

As Kyodan general secretary, I also visited with Kyodan missionaries sent to Taiwan, Usuki Midori and Hayashida Yoshiyuki, and met with the former moderator of the PCT, Kao Chun-Ming, and his wife, whom many older pastors in Japan remember fondly. (Tr. TB)

—Nagasaki Tetsuo, general secretary

総幹事室より

 

 

去る4月22日~25日、主題・「疼惜国家台湾 遍伝基督促福音」The major theme of this annual meeting reads: Stretch Deep The Root of Gospel Into Country and Tribe! Live Out the Faith of Church and become the Sign of Hope!(イザヤ52:7-10、コリント12-26)

を掲げた第59回Presbyterian Church in Taiwan定期総会は、台南・長栄女子高級中学大礼拝堂を会場にして開催された。

開会礼拝には全国より集まった約700名の代議員によって大きく喜びに溢れた讃美歌が歌われ、熱い祈りが捧げられて開会した。

続いてアフリカ大陸をはじめほぼ全世界各地からの国内外来賓の紹介があり、アジア・キリスト教協議会,教団、米国合同教会とディサイプルズの共同世界宣教局の三団体が挨拶し、長崎哲夫教団総幹事は2011年3月11日の東日本大震災以来3年にわたりPCT から受けた多くの献金・ボランティア奉仕・二度にわたる台湾における放射能被災地児童と保護者の「こひつ じキャンプin台湾」に謝意を言い伝えた。

この後、今総会特別プログラムである、 前総統でPCT信徒である李登輝氏の講演会が行われた。

李氏は既に90歳を超えたものの、堂々たる体からほとばしる声量に一同感動するなか、特にガラテヤ書(2:20)から、「最早われ生くるにあらず、キリスト我が内に在りて生くるなり」を強調した信仰告白的講演となっ た。

これを聞く者には、3月18日台湾総督府に馬英九政権の推進する「中台経済協力枠組み協定」(ECFA)に対する玉山神学院の神学生をはじめとする学生たちの非暴 力デモ及びPCT四役をはじめ、CCAも支持したものであることは明らかであ り、

今また台湾全体に、何よりも中国の政治・経済的圧力によって民主主義が危うくなることへの危機感も存在す る状況を思わせる訴えともなっていた。

このことは、二日目朝の第58期許栄豊議長報告の最初に、その時のデモと林芳仲総幹事をはじめ関係者らがそこにあって祈祷を献げる光景を大型スクリーンに映し出し、PCT全体が台湾の行方を憂い、責任者として いかに民衆の中に根強く立とうとしているかを現出していたことでも明らかであった。

更に、第59期総会議長に選出された羅隣貴牧師による総会議事は、今や世界中の教会で共通の課題の一つでもあり、賛否両論拮抗するセクシャル・マイ ノリティー同性愛問題をはじめ、担当委員の年齢制限をすることで世代交代を計ろうとする若手と、可能な限り奉仕の手を緩めぬとするPCTの婦人会問題、次第に困難となりつつある青年伝道問題や言語・経済等が山積する現地人各中会問題等であったが、この合間 に祈られたPCT全体の祈りがどこに向かっているか明白であった。

折しも、総会の期間と重なった4月22日より台北の民進党元主席・林義雄

氏がハンストにより台湾政府が建設 推進する龍門原子力発電所(通称第四原発the proposed 4th NPP)の第二号機建設阻止をする行 動が総会議員に詳細に報告され、総会議上は林氏応援のため色紙を書き、総会最終日の昼食は絶食するとしていた。

因みにこの件は、市民団体等の総督府前での座 り込みも加わり、27日馬総統が建設中止を宣言した。

かくして総会は、三役改選選挙等議事を進める合間にも 来賓に対する対応が実に手厚く、ホテル・食事等への配慮をはじめPCT 直属の新楼病院・台南神学院・台湾文学館・台湾教会第一号の泰平境教会・安平古城等へ案内された。

この間、教団総幹事としてPCT教団派遣宣教師、うすきみどり、林田義行両牧師への問安と教団の古い牧師方には馴染みの高俊明元PCT総幹事ご夫妻とも親しく会談できたことは幸いであった。長崎哲夫総幹事

 

第38総会期臨時常議員会報告

 

4月21日(月)午後1時より教団会議室にて臨時常議員会が開催された。議案は事務局、出版局、年金局の一時 移転についてである。協議の結果、二年を目途とし新宿区大久保にあるアサヒニューシティービルに一時移転することが決議された。