【June 2015 No.383】Christian Student Dormitories Today: Mutual Prayers and Support at Tokyo “Yuai Gakusha” (Friendship Love Learning Center)

Yamane Ibuki, junior

Sophia University Religion Dept., Seminary Division

Member, Okayama Roman Catholic Church

 

Student dormitories at Christian schools throughout the country have a behind-the-scenes but leading evangelistic role in Japanese society.  Yuai Gakusha, one of these Christian student dormitories, is located in an urban setting among a student population that is predominantly non-Christian but conducts Bible studies every morning.

 

Yuai Gakusha is located within the property of the public welfare corporation Waseda Hoshien, which is quite near Waseda University in Tokyo. The name “friendship love” is taken from John 15:13: “Greater love has no one than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends,” and because “Yuai” sounds like the English words “you” and “I,” Yuai Gakusha is referred to in English as the “You-I Dormitory.”

 

This institution has a history of over 100 years and includes the founder of Sony, Ibuka Masaru, as one of its former residents. The residents of the dormitory at the You-I Dormitory are called Shasei (Dormitory Students). These students enter the dormitory on the provision that they will live there for four years until their graduation, and currently 12 students (6 men and 6 women) from such schools as Waseda University, Rikkyo University, Sophia University, Tokyo University, Aoyama Gakuin University are living there.

 

Every year an executive committee is elected for a one-year term at the self-governing You-I Dormitory. Besides focusing on those activities, Shasei gather once a month to talk together about such matters as dormitory life issues and scheduled events.

 

It is the daily interaction of the Shasei that makes the work of You-I Dormitory possible. There is always support for those who have come to Tokyo from rural areas and are having trouble adjusting as they are greeted warmly each morning and receive advice from their companions about university life. In the Japanese-style room that provides space for interaction among Shasei members, the scene of students involved in long conversations is not unusual. In addition, events are planned to promote the interaction of Shasei members. For the one You-I Dormitory trip of the year, members themselves do the planning, leave for a distant place, and deepen their friendships.

 

They also have frequent interaction with Waseda University’s dormitory for international students, which is run by Waseda Hoshien. There, on “Japanese Night,” students from overseas who are entering college in September are welcomed, with Shasei members bearing the responsibility for meal preparation and program planning. Furthermore, at the December Waseda Hoshien Christmas celebration, the students themselves prepare the party, script, lighting, costumes, etc., and present a drama. Last time, the presentation was a modern-day version of the Christmas story, which was well received by the students from overseas as well as by men and women who were former You-I Dormitory members.

 

The greatest feature of life of this kind of You-I Dormitory is the morning meeting. For 30 minutes every weekday morning during the school term, from 7:30 a.m., all the members participate in a morning meeting. On one of the five days, there is a “student presentation”; on the other four days, there is a “Bible presentation.”

 

For the student presentation, the person in charge speaks about a topic of interest or study. The world of the students is broadened through hearing the speeches of students studying in different departments, and in turn, it is also good training in communication as the speaker explains in simple terms his or her own academic specialty.

 

The Bible presentations are often quite ingenious. That is to say, although many students who went to mission schools while they were in middle school or high school are familiar with Christianity, almost none of the students themselves are lay members in a congregation somewhere. This creates the situation in which Shasei members who are currently college students but not yet lay members of a local church discuss together as a cooperative group the meaning and methods of Bible study.

 

As a result, we are presently studying the Bible in the following way. Every year we take up one “book” of the Bible and, for a year, carefully read it in weekly units. Each week, two Shasei members give a “Bible presentation” on the assigned verses they have prepared beforehand, one each on the first and second days. The presenter gives his or her own opinion and points of question, and then for five minutes after the presentation the other members write down their reactions to the presentation.

 

On the third day, after the students have given their presentations, pastors from the nearby Kyodan Waseda Church and Japan Baptist Union Tokyo Heiwa Church sit together with the students and hold a discussion with all of them. The two student presenters, who have read the reaction papers and discussed them together in advance, act as coordinators of the meeting.

 

There we discuss things we usually give little thought to, with the Bible providing the opportunity. For example, from Paul’s stance as he sets out for Jerusalem, prepared for death, we discuss questions like: “Is there something that we could bet our lives on that we should be seeking?” and “Paul believed in resurrection after death, what is our understanding of death?” Sometimes, while having breakfast after the meeting, we continue to share.

 

On the fourth day of the week, we hear a pastor’s talk, which is a response to our opinions and doubts, and he Bible presentation is completed. This process is an opportunity for a deepening of the Shasei members’ relationships. I am studying in the religion department of Sophia University, and at these morning meetings I am challenged to consider the degree to which I am personally able to experience and talk about my own vague faith. Before the keenness of the Shasei members, even if you can only give a shallow answer that may melt away, that very experience becomes the foundation for college learning.

 

祈り合い・支え合う・暮らしーキリスト教学生寮のいまー東 京・友愛学舎

山 根息吹や まね いぶき 上 智大学神学部神学科3年、岡山カトリック教会

全国各地 のキリスト教主義の学生寮は、日本社会における伝道の影の主役。その生活を現役寮生が紹介するこの連載の第1回は、ほとんどがノ ンクリスチャンの男女学生が共に暮らし、毎朝聖書研究を行っている都心の学生寮を取り上げます。

第1回毎朝の 聖研を糧にする

東京・早稲田大学のほど近く、公益財団法人早稲田奉仕園の敷地内に位置する友愛学舎。その名の「友愛」は、ヨハネによる福音書15章 13節「友のために自分の命を捨てること、それ以上に大きな愛はない」に由来します。100年以上の歴史を持ち、SONY創設者の井深(い ぶか)大(ま さる)ら を輩出してきました。

友愛学舎では、住んでいる学生を舎生と呼びます。舎生は大学卒業までの4年間を暮らす条件で入舎し、現在は早稲田大学、立教大学、上 智大学、東京大学、青山学院大学などの学生が、男子6名、女子6名の12名で生活しています。自治寮の友愛学舎では、毎年任期1年で 選出される「委員会」が活動の中心となるほか、舎生全員が集まる毎月の「舎生会」で、生活の問題や行事計画などを話し合います。

こうした友愛学舎のあり方を支えるのは、舎生の日常的な交流です。地方から上京し不安が多い中、朝起きて「おはよう」と言ったり、大 学生活についてアドバイスし合える仲間には、いつも支えられてきました。舎生間の交流スペースの和室では、舎生同士が長時間話し込む 光景も珍しくありません。

このほか、舎生の交流のために、年間行事も企画します。年1回の友愛旅行では、舎生自らで企画して遠方に出かけ、親睦を深めます。

また、早稲田奉仕園が運営する早稲田大学の留学生寮、国際学舎とも交流します。そこに9月に入学する留学生を歓迎するジャパニーズナ イトでは、食事の準備や会の進行を舎生が担います。また12月の早稲田奉仕園クリスマス会では、脚本・照明・衣装などすべて自分たち で準備し、劇を披露します。前回は現代風の聖誕劇を行い、留学生や友愛学舎のOB・OGらから好評を博しました。

そんな友愛学舎の生活の最大の特徴は、朝の会です。学期間中の平日は、毎朝7時から30分間、舎生全員が参加して朝の会を行います。 週5日ある朝の会では1回を「学生発表」に、4回を「聖書発表」にあてています。

学生発表では、自分が興味を持って学んでいることを担当者が発表します。違う学科で学ぶ舎生の話を聞けば世界が広がりますし、逆に自 分の専攻をかみ砕いて伝えることもコミュニケーションの大切な訓練です。

聖書発表は常に工夫して行われます。というのも家族に信徒がいたり、中学や高校がミッションスクールだったためキリスト教になじみの あったりする舎生が多いのですが、自身が信徒である舎生はほとんどいません。そのため信徒ではない現代の大学生である舎生と、友愛学 舎という共同体にとって聖書を読むことにどんな意味があるか、またその方法について、私たちはたびたび議論しています。

結果、現在は以下の方法で学んでいます。毎年度、聖書の1つの「書」を取り上げ、1年間かけて精読するのです。そこでは1週間単位 で、2人の舎生が1日ずつ「聖書発表」を担当します。担当者はまず与えられた箇所を読み、レジュメを作って事前に準備します。発表で は聖書箇所への意見や疑問点などを語り、発表後の5分間では他の舎生がリアクションペーパーを書きます。

担当者の発表が終わった3日目には、隣接する日本基督教団早稲田教会、日本バプテスト同盟東京平和教会の牧師が同席し、舎生全員で議 論します。2人の担当者は、リアクションペーパーを見て事前に打ち合わせし、進行役として臨みます。

そこでは、普段は深く考えずに済ませてしまうことを、聖書をきっか けに話し合います。例えば、死を覚悟しエルサレムへ向かうパウロの姿から「私たちに命を賭けて求めるべきもの はあるか」、「パウロは死後の復活を信じているが、私たちは死をどう捉えているか」などと議論するのです。時には、朝の会後も朝食を 食べつつ語り合います。

4日目には、私たちの意見や疑問に応える牧師の話を聞き、聖書発表は終了します。この過程は、舎生同士の関係を深める格好の機会で す。私は上智大学神学部で学んでいますが、朝の会では、ぼんやりとしていた自分の信仰をどこまで実感を持って語ることができるかが問 われます。舎生の鋭い問いを前に、薄っぺらな答えしかできずもどかしくなることもありますが、その体験こそが大学での学びの基盤に なっています。

このように、下宿から大学に通っていたら決して関わらなかっただろう、大学も専攻も興味も違う舎生たちと深く交わる友愛学舎の生活 は、私にとって豊かな人生経験なのです。(信徒の友4月号より)

【June 2015 No.383】International Conference on Nuclear Energy Convened in Germany

by Akiyama Toru, chair

Commission on Ecumenical Ministries

Pastor, Ageo Godo Church, Kanto District

 

The Energy Shift from Nuclear Power to Sustainable Forms of Energy: What Can Religious Groups Contribute to Climate Protection?” was the theme of an international conference held in Arnoldshain near Frankfurt, Germany, March 3 to 6. This conference further developed the discussions held at the international conference organized in Sendai (Miyagi Prefecture) by the Kyodan last year, and the Reverend Okamoto Tomoyuki and myself were invited to attend as Kyodan representatives. This time the conference was organized by the Center for Ecumenical Work of the Protestant Church in Hessen and Nassau, Frankfurt, with input from International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), for the purpose of creating an international network to work for an “energy shift.”

 

A special feature of this international conference was the diversity of the participants. In addition to people dealing with environmental issues from churches in all the regions of Germany, there were Protestant and Roman Catholic representatives and activists from Japan and Korea. Participants included activists and priests from Japanese Buddhist organizations and new religions, such as Seicho-No-Ie, as well as Islamic representatives dealing with environmental issues and WCC environmental issue experts. International journalists were also present. Other participants included victims of the serious radioactive pollution in the town of Iidate due to the Fukushima disaster as well as people involved in daily sit-ins who are planning a gathering of 10,000 people in Fukuoka to demonstrate against the return to operation of the Sendai Nuclear Power Plant in Kagoshima. This meant that people, who until now had not had the chance to meet in Japan, were able to communicate with each other, thus showing that it is possible to build a network for dealing with these issues that truly goes beyond religious and sectarian divisions.

The conference schedule was tightly packed, with reports from participants involved in a wide variety of activities aimed at the abolition of nuclear power. We gained an awareness of the extent to which information concerning the maintenance of nuclear power plants and the handling of accidents is currently being manipulated and falsified. We saw that based on the theological considerations in all religions and denominations, there is a warning in their various doctrines about a lifestyle based on dependence on nuclear energy. The use of nuclear energy infringes on the natural environment and the lives of future generations, but it is not enough just to oppose nuclear energy. So there was also a lot of practical advice and examples of measures to take to change both the way we use energy in our churches and temples and in the way we live.

 

For the Kyodan, there are both issues to face and opportunities to be grasped as we seek to deepen discussion and put our ideas into practice more effectively as believers, making use of the network that was built up through this conference, and furthermore work to train young people who can grapple with these issues and provide opportunities for them to speak out. (Tr. SN)

 

国際会議報告 秋 山 徹

『核エネルギーから持続可能エネルギーへの転換-宗教グループに何ができるか』を主題にした国際会議が3月3日(火)~6日 (金)にドイツのフランクフルト近郊のアーノルズハインで行われた。昨年仙台で行われた教団主催の国際会議を更に発展させたもので、 教団より岡本知之牧師とわたしとが招かれ、参加した。この会議の主催はヘッセ・ナッサウ・プロテスタント教会エキュメニカルセンター によるもので、「教会と核戦争に反対する物理学者の国際会議

(IPPNW) を更に発展させて、エネルギー転換を目指す国際的なネットワークを築いて行こうという趣旨で開かれたものである。

こ の国際会議の特徴は、参加者の多彩さであった。ドイツの各州教会の環境問題の担当者だけでなく、日本と韓国のプロテスタント、カト リックの代表者、活動家、日本の仏教界の活動家、僧侶、成長の家、イスラム教の環境問題と取り組んでいる人、WCCの 環境問題専門家、国際ジャーナリスト、それに、原発事故による放射能汚染で深刻な被害を受けている飯館村の人、福岡で川内原発の再稼 動の反対1万 人集会を企画し、毎日座り込みをしている人など、日本でこれまで出会わなかった人たちと出会い、問題と取り組んでゆくまさに超教派、 超宗派のネットワークが築かれたのである。

会議は、参加者それぞれ

が取り組んでいる核廃絶をめぐるさまざまな活動の報告でぎっしりと詰まった会議であった。原発の維持と事 故の処理にどれほどの情報操作と不正義が行われているかなどの現状認識とともに、どの教派、どの宗教でも、神学的な検討をもとに、それぞれの教義の中に核に依存して生きる生活に対する警告があることが確認された。核エネルギーの使用が自然環境と将来の世代の命を侵 害するものであること、ただ反原発を叫ぶだけでなく、教会施設のエネルギー使用の方法やわれわれの生活のあり方を変えて行く実際的な 多くの知恵と働きも紹介された。

信仰者としてこの問題の議論と実践を深めること、この会議で構築されたネットワークを用いて、更に若い 世代にこの問題を取り組む人材育成と発言の機会を与えるなど、教団としての課題と機会が開かれた。

【June 2015 No.383】Message from the General Secretary:The 150th Anniversary of Christian Mission in Taiwan

The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan selected 2015 as the year to remember 150 years of mission in southern Taiwan by the Presbyterian Church of England (begun by James Laidlaw Maxwell in 1865) and 144 years of mission in northern Taiwan by the Presbyterian Church in Canada (begun by George Leslie Mackay in 1871). The celebration will continue from April through November.

 

The PCT began this celebration on April 5, the season of our Lord’s Resurrection, with an event held at the Taipei National Athletics University Gymnasium entitled, “150 Years on: Hoping for a New Taiwan.” A 150-member orchestra and a 300-member choir performed at a Great Thanksgiving Worship service before a crowd of 15,000 clergy and lay people.

 

World Council of Churches General Secretary Olav Fyske Tveit preached a sermon based on Matt. 28:5: “As the fearful anxieties of the world raged on, the disciples of our Lord did not avoid them, but rather faced them head on to work toward resolving them.”

 

On the morning of the previous day, April 4, the funeral of Tsài Yù Róng, husband of International Japanese Church in Taipei missionary Usuki Midori, was taking place in Taipei, presided by pastors of seven churches of the Taipei Presbytery to which he belonged. The funeral venue was large, the Reverend Usuki’s parents from Kyushu and over 300 people attended the funeral in sorrow, but thankful for the broadness and richness of Usuki’s work.

 

On April 6, the 60th PCT General Assembly convened at Mackay Memorial Hospital Chapel, with more delegates than those who attend the Kyodan General Assembly. At the beginning, representatives of the Presbyterian Church of England, the Presbyterian Church in Canada, and the Kyodan gave greetings; the two Presbyterian churches declared, “Our children greatly surpassed their parents, making the church mature significantly.”

 

Kyodan General Secretary Nagasaki expressed his gratitude: “The PCT has come with open hands to offer disaster relief in response to the East Japan Disaster, and being nearest in proximity to us, they offered us help as really true friends.” Afterwards, the assembly voted to adopt a long-term Third New Strategy, and especially among the younger members, a heated debate took place concerning sexual minorities, a theme brought over from the previous General Assembly. What stood out this time was the failure to conclude deliberation. (Tr. WJ)

—Nagasaki Tetsuo, general secretary

 

本年、台湾基督長老教会(PCT)は、英国長老教会による台湾南部宣教150年(1865、J・マックスウェル)、カナダ長老教会による 台湾北部宣教144年(1871、G・マッケイ)の記念すべき年として4月から11月まで連続した感謝集会をもって覚える年としている。

PCTは、この第一段に去る4月5日(主の復活節)「150年を越え、新しい台湾を望む」を主題として、台北・国立体育大学綜合体育館に150人のフル・オ-ケストラと300人の聖歌隊を編成、一万五千人の教職信徒による大感謝礼拝を行った。

この時、WCCのOlav Fykse Tveit総幹事はマタイ 28・5より、「世界に恐ろしい不安が逆巻くとも、主の弟子はそれらを回避せず、恐れず強く立って解決に立ち向かう」と説教した。 その前日、4月4日朝にはうすきみどり台北・国際日語教会教団宣教師の夫君蔡裕栄(Tsài    yù    róng)長老の葬儀が台北市内で営まれ、同宣教師が所属する台北中会の七教会牧師方の奉仕によって行われた。葬儀の会場は広く、九 州からのうすき牧師のご両親をはじめ三百人以上の人々が会葬され、悲しみの中にも夫妻の働きの幅の広さ豊かさに感謝した。4月6日、PCT第60回定期総会は馬階記念病院(Mackay Memorial Hospital)礼拝堂で教団総会をはる かにしのぐ議員によって開催された。総会に先立ち、英国長老・カナダ長老両教会及び日本基督教団(Kyodan)が挨拶に立ち、両教会は 「自分たちの子どもが親たちをはるかに越えて大きく成長した教会となった」とし、教団の長崎総幹事は「PCTあげて東日本大震災East Japan Disasterに救援 の手をゆるめず、最も近き者の困難に真の友人として手助けをされた」と謝意を述べた。その後、総会は新三役を長時間かけて選挙し、前 回総会で表面化していた 「セクシャル・マイノリティ-」に関する論議が青年層との間で白熱 し、今回も審議未了となったことが目立った。 (長崎哲夫)