【December 2015 No.385】Messege From the General Secretary: Ashes of Alden Matthews Interred in Tokyo

Alden Ewart Matthews, a former Kyodan executive secretary, died in Florida in 2014. In accordance with his will, close friends of his gathered in October 2015 for the internment of his ashes in Tokyo, which, following the example of his wife Derrith Jane Lovell, were divided and placed in both Aoyama Cemetery and the cemetery of Kyonan Church.

 

Forty-seven years ago, in late 1968, I became the pastor of Kyonan Church in Musashino, Tokyo. At the time, the families of both the Reverend Matthews and Tokyo Theological Seminary Professor Kumazawa Yoshinobu were living nearby. As a young inexperienced pastor, I was encouraged and mentored by both of these men in a variety of situations.

 

Matthews, a graduate of Chicago Theological Seminary, was a missionary sent by the United Church Board for World Ministries, the mission board of the United Church of Christ. Following World War II, he was assigned to Fuzhou in China, where his father had been a missionary before the war. However, the Communist Revolution began soon afterward, and he and his wife were then reassigned to Japan.

 

Following a time at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Matthews worked with missionary Alfred Russell Stone in establishing the Theological Seminary for Rural Mission, which was headquartered at Hinodai Church in Hino, Tokyo. (The Reverend Murono Genichi was pastor at the time.) Matthews also lectured at the seminary.

 

With his exceptional character and judgment, Matthews subsequently worked with the Interboard Committee on Christian Work in Japan, the Japan–North American Commission, and well as with the Council on Cooperative Mission (CoC) while serving as a Kyodan executive secretary.

 

Although it was never said, he could have been called a Kyodan supervisor because during that time, the signature style of his career was the way he appeared in unexpected places at unexpected moments to encourage pastors, pastors’ families, and church council members. Quietly and unacknowledged, Matthews was a pioneer of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) in Japan, according to the thinking of the present Kyodan Commission on Mission, and he often offered a listening ear to clergy and laity throughout the Kyodan. (Tr. JS)

—Nagasaki Tetsuo, general secretary

この10月、1年前フロリダで逝去 されたオールデン・エヴァルト・麻修須(マシュウズ)先生の遺骨を、ずっと遺言されていた通り、デリス夫人が眠る境南教会墓地と青山墓地 の宣教師墓所に親しかった者たちが集まって埋葬することができた。

私が武蔵野の境南伝道所に招聘されたのは、今から47年前の1968年末だった。そこに東神大の熊沢義宣先生と教団幹事の麻修須御家族がおられて 私は様々な局面で両先生から学び、励まされた。

麻修須先生はシカゴ大神学部から、当時UCBWM(今のUCC、米国組合教会と複数教派との合同教会)の 宣教師で、戦前父君が伝道された中国・福州に戦後派遣された。しかし、間もなく文化革命が起ころうというころ来日し、京都の同志社を 経由し東京の日野台教会(室野玄一牧師)を 拠点とした農村伝道神学校創設にストーン宣教師らと共働。同神学校の教壇にも立った。

以降、IBC/JNAC・CoC及 び教団幹事として卓越の人格、識見をもって奉仕した。この間、先生の生涯のハイライトは、いわば教団のスーパーバイザー、とは言われ なかったが、その行動は全く忍者風、神出鬼没で、人に分からず知らせず其処此処の牧師・家族・教会役員から、CPE(臨床牧会教育者)とし て「聞き」に通い続けたことだ。だから先生と教会生活は常に一緒であったのに、周囲が先週の礼拝には見えなかった等と尋ねても知らぬ 存ぜぬだった。今日、宣教委員会が考えている「牧会者と家族のための相談室」等の先駆けだった。  (教 団総幹事 長崎哲夫)

【December 2015 No.385】Statement by the Kyodan Moderator Concerning the Recently Passed National Security Legislation

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matt. 5:9)

 

This past Sept. 19, a set of security-related bills was passed by the upper house of Japan’s Diet. I am deeply troubled by the fact that these bills are in defiance of Japan’s Constitution, and thus, in addition to protesting this action, I strongly demand that my government rescind this action and return to the principle of governing according to our Constitution.

 

This National Security Legislation is fraught with problems, the most important of which is that it is in violation of the Constitution. Likewise, the Cabinet approved the implementation of the “right of collective self-defense,” which had not been recognized for the past 70 years since the end of World War II, so now the way has been opened for the Self-Defense Forces to participate in foreign conflicts.

 

Even though very many people protested the ratification of this legislation, the voices and will of the Japanese people were ignored, and the bills were rushed through the Diet. Amid the rising voices of protest, the explanations given by the government concerning these bills was utterly insufficient, thus showing that its explanations were unconvincing and did not have the approval of the Japanese people.

 

It is for this reason that I strongly urge Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, along with all others who bear responsibility for governing Japan, to do so in a way that genuinely contributes to true peace in the world. I will continue to pray for and raise my voice in support of the repeal of this National Security Legislation. I will likewise endeavor to work for the realization of a peace that is not dependent on military power and that is in the spirit of Article 9 of Japan’s Constitution, which begins: “Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.”

 

Likewise, I pledge to continue as a “peacemaking” follower of Christ who listens to and obeys the words of the Bible, while continuing to maintain a spirit of remorse for the great suffering our nation inflicted on the peoples of Asia during the Asia-Pacific War (WW II), never forgetting the hardships surrounding our defeat some 70 years ago.

I pray for the grace and guidance of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Peace, upon all the peoples of the world. (Tr. TB)

安全保障関連法可決に関する議長声明

「平和を実現する人々は、幸いである、その人たちは神の子と呼ばれる。」

 (新約聖書 マタイによる福音書5章9節)

去る9月19日、参院 本会議において安全保障関連法案が可決されました。この安全保障関連法は立憲主義に反するものであることを深く憂い、抗議すると共 に、政府に対して、同法を廃し、憲法の理念に基づく政治に立ち戻ることを強く求めます。

そもそも、この安全保障関連法にはあまりに も多くの問題があります。何よりも同法は憲法に違反しております。そして、これまで戦後70年もの間認めてこなかった集団的自衛権の 行使容認を閣議決定し、自衛隊が他国の戦争に駆り出され得る道を開いてしまいました。

また、国民の多くが同法の成立に反対してい たにも関わらず、国民の声や意志を無視して、国会において同法を可決してしまいました。国民の声の高まりは、国会における安全保障関 連法案に関する政府の説明が不十分であると共に、その説明内容について国民の理解と同意が得られていないことを表しています。

それゆえ、今この時、安倍晋三首相をはじめ とする政治の責任を担っておられる方たちが、この世界における真実の平和の実現にこそ寄与する政治を行うことを強く求めます。また、 この度の安全保障関連法が廃止されるために、今後も祈り続け、声を上げてまいります。そして、「正義と秩序を基調とする国際平和を誠 実に希求し」(憲法第9条)、武力の行使によらない平和の実現のために力を尽くします。

また、これからも、アジア・太平洋戦争にお いてアジア近隣諸国に対して多大な苦しみを与えたことを心からお詫びしつつ、70年前の敗戦とそれに関わる苦難の歴史を決して忘れる ことなく、聖書の言葉に聞き従って、「平和を実現する」キリスト者としての歩みを続けます。

世界のすべての人々の上に、平和の主イエ ス・キリストの恵みと導きを祈ります。

2015年 10月20日

日本基督教団

総会議長  石 橋  秀 雄