【October 2016 No.389】he Personal Impact of the “I Love Taiwan” Program

by Senoh Noemi, Narita Full Gospel Church

Japan Full Gospel Association

 

“I Love Taiwan” (ILT) is an annual program begun by the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan in 2002, so this year was the 14th such event. This year’s event was held June 29-July 16 under the theme of “The Present from God,” and 42 young people from foreign countries and 142 Taiwanese (including staff) participated. Two persons from the Kyodan, sponsored by the Committee on Taiwan Church Relations, were among the participants.

 

Previously, I had thought of Taiwan as just a foreign country, but because of my experiences through the “I love Taiwan Mission,” Taiwan became a huge presence in my life. I had many wonderful experiences through this camp, but for this report, I would like to touch on just two of them.

 

First, I was afforded the opportunity to watch the youth of my generation work closely together in preparing for the Taiwan Mission and seeing it through. I was particularly impressed by the joyful attitude they had as they carried out the various programs by themselves. While the percentage of the Taiwanese population that is Christian is not particularly high, being about six percent, seeing the youth take an active role in the Taiwan Mission was truly inspiring, and I thought that Japanese Christian youth have much to learn from them. It was such an encouragement to me that there were young people of my generation who worked for God in like this in another country.

 

The second aspect I would like to mention is that as part of the program, we were separated into groups that were sent to serve in various churches in outlying areas. The group I was in consisted of youth from Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Japan. As we were from different countries with different cultures, and each of us from different backgrounds, coming together as one was not an easy thing; but having the same goal of the gospel is what brought us together in a joyous unity of heart. These were days in which I felt the beauty of the unity of the spirit as we worshiped the same God and worked together for his Kingdom. This has continued to be a source of strength for me since returning to Japan.

 

I am so thankful to have been able to participate in ILT. Both Taiwan and Japan continue to have a great need for the Gospel, and I think that the youth have a very important role in accomplishing this task. ILT is a “mission camp” that encourages and strengthens youth for such a role. I pray that from now on the missionary work in Taiwan and many countries will be blessed through ILT. Finally, I wish to thank the Kyodan for its support in sending me to ILT. And I thank the Lord for this opportunity as I make this report. (Tr. KY)

I Love Taiwan 報告

台湾基督長老教会が主催する「I Love Taiwan」は2002年から始まり、今年で14 回を迎えた。 6月29日から7月16日まで「The Present from God」のテーマで行われ、42名の海外青年、142名 (スタッフも含む)の台湾青年が参加した。教団からは台湾協約委員会を通して二名の参加者が与えられた。

私にとって台湾はただ単に一 つの外国という認識でした。しかし今回のI LOVE TAIWAN MISSIONを通して台湾は私にとって大きな、重要な存在になりました。それはわたしがこのキャンプを通して貴重な経験をたくさんすること ができたからです。本報告書では特に私が心動かされた事柄を二つ挙げたいと思います

一つ目は今回のILTで私と同年代の青年たちが台 湾のミッションの為に準備を重ね、動いている姿を間近で見たことです。様々なプログラムを青年達だけで、また楽しみながら進めていく様子 を見てその姿勢と行動力に感動しました。台湾でのクリスチャン率は約6%とそう多いとは言えませんが、そんな中でも台湾クリスチャン青年 たちは台湾のミッションの為に自らの体を動かして互いに協力し活動していました。日本の青年たちも習うべき姿だと思いました。そして同世 代に、他の国にこのように神のために働く青年たちがいるということが私の励ましとなりました。

二つ目は台湾の地域教会にグ ループで派遣され、奉仕をしたことです。わたしのグループはマレーシア、シンガポール、台湾そして日本からの青年で構成されたグループで した。国が違えば、文化も違い、それぞれが違うバックグラウンドを持っています。そんな人々が集まっても、皆が心一つとなって何日も心か ら喜んで共に働けたのは、福音宣教という同じ目標があるからだと思わされました。同じ神を信じる者たちが集まり、その方の為に働き、礼拝 し賛美する姿は本当に美しいものだと感じた日々でした。日本に帰った今もなおこの経験が私の糧となっています。

今回ILTに参加することができたことを心から嬉しく思っています。台湾も日本も福 音宣教はまだまだされていく必要があります。そして青年はその働きを担う大きな存在であると思います。ILTはそういった思いを持つ青年 たちを更に励まし強めてくれるミッションキャンプです。これからもこのILTを通して台湾のそして多くの 国々の宣教の働きが祝福されていきますよう祈っていきます。最後に、日本基督教団がたくさんのサポートと共に私をILTに送り出してくださりありが とうございました。そしてこの機会を主に感謝し報告書とさせていただきます。

(日本フルゴスペル教団 純福音成田教会)妹尾のえみ

【October 2016 No.389】Executive Council Meeting Focuses on Relief Fundraising, Planned Events, and Future Direction

The seventh Executive Council meeting of the present two-year (39th) Kyodan General Assembly period was held July 4-5 at the newly renovated Japan Christian Center building, which recently finished its earthquake resistance upgrade. All 30 members were present. In his report, General Secretary Nagasaki Tetsuo reported that as of June 30, a total of 14,557,000 yen had been contributed to the Kumamoto Earthquake Fund from Japanese sources, and 2,996,500 yen had come in from overseas donations. Likewise, he reported on the plans for commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation under the theme of “Moving Forward Together while Holding to the Biblical Gospel.” The beginning commemorative worship service is scheduled for June 22, 2017 at Fujimicho Church, to be followed by a national conference for junior and senior high school students at Megumi Chalet in Karuizawa, Aug. 9-11, and a church youth conference at Aoyama Gakuin University on March 21, 2018.

Also, before getting into the regular agenda, Assistant Office Manager Iida Aogu made a presentation on the upcoming International Youth Conference on the East Japan Disaster to be held at Kansai Seminar House in Kyoto. The four-day conference is to begin on March 28, 2017, with the theme of “Aiming towards a Society with Sustainable Energy Sources.” As a follow-up to the International Conference on the East Japan Disaster held in March 2014 in Sendai, it will focus on developing the next generation of leadership concerning these issues. About 20 participants from overseas will join about 30 from within Japan for this conference.

 

Kyushu District Moderator Umesaki Koji gave a report on the Kumamoto–Oita Earthquake. The district had hired the Vories Company to do an analysis of the damage to church buildings, with the result that of the 15 churches examined in Kumamoto, Oita, and Nagasaki, 3 were seriously damaged, 9 were significantly damaged, and the rest were only slightly damaged. However, in the ensuing downpours, there was also considerable water damage from leaks and flooding.

 

The Committee on the Future Concept of the Kyodan, established by the Executive Committee for this general assembly period, has met 14 times so far and submitted a 36-page report. The chairperson, Vice-moderator Sasaki Michio, gave a 30-minute presentation of the committee’s findings. Much of the discussion dealt with the analysis of Kyodan statistics as well as various proposals on how the Kyodan should relate to other organizations. Following acceptance of the report on the first day of discussion, the Kyodan’s core leadership (moderator, vice-moderator, and secretary) met by themselves to draft a proposal on how to deal with it. On the second day, following the regular agenda business, Moderator Ishibashi Hideo proposed that the report be returned to the committee for further work because references to debates outside the Kyodan had been pointed out during the previous day’s deliberations, so the report needs to be rewritten. This proposal was accepted by a majority vote, and the report was returned for rewriting. There was also a special Executive Council meeting held on Aug. 30 in which a goal of 180 million yen was set for fundraising for the rebuilding of churches and parsonages damaged or destroyed in the April 2016 earthquakes in Kumamoto and Oita. (Tr. TB)  —Kato Makoto, executive secretary

常議員会報告

加藤 誠

第39総会期第7回常議員会は、7月4,5日、耐震・改修工事が終了し、新装なった日本キリスト教会館の教団会議室で、議員30人全員が出席して開催された。総幹事報告で、長崎哲夫総幹事は「教団社会委員会が呼びかけた熊本地震募金 は6月30日現在、国内14557000円、海外献金が2996500円である。宗教改革500周年記念事業として『聖書の福音に立って共に進もう』をテーマに、『2017年6月22日、富士見町教会で記念礼拝、8月9~11日に軽井沢恵みシャレーで全国教会中高生大会、2018年3月21日、青山学院で教会青年大会を実施する予定』と報告した。

議事に先立ち、「国際青年会議in京都」のプレゼンテーションが飯田仰(Iida Aogu)事務局長補佐によって行われた。2017年3月28日から4日間「エネルギーの持続可能な社会の実現を目指して」をテーマに関西セミナーハウスで開かれる。2014年3月に仙台で行われた「東日本大震災国際会議」を継承し、主に青年への課題継承をテーマとする国際会議であ る。海外から20名、国内から30名の参加者を予定。

梅崎浩二九州教区議長は熊本・大分地震報告を行った。教区はヴォーリズ社に耐震診 断・被災区分判定を依頼し、同社から熊本、大分、長崎の15の教会を調査した結果「中破3、小破9、軽微多数」という診断結果であった。その後の豪雨で更なる漏水、 浸水被害が多く出ていると語った。

常議員会のもとに今総会期設置された将来構想検討委員会が、14回の委員会を開催し検討を重ねてきた事 項について答申を提出した。答申は36ページにわたり、佐々木美知夫副議長・将来構想検討委員会委員長は、約30分を用い概略を説明した。答申を巡っ て、特に、教団の現状について数値的な分析が際立っていること、また、教団外の他団体、法人等との関係について踏み込んだ提言がなさ れていることに議論が集中した。初日の審議では、将来構想委員会からの答申を受けたことを承認、答申取り扱いを三役にて協議し提案す るとしたが、二日目の議事終了後、石橋秀雄議長から緊急の提案として、将来構想委員会に答申を差し戻す、との提案があった。理由とし て、初日の議論で教団内での議論に留まらない事柄についても言及されていることについて指摘があり、答申を書き直す必要があると判断 したとのことであった。この提案について、議場は賛成多数で差し戻しを決定した。

8月30日にもたれた、第8回臨時常議員会において、2016年4月に起きた、熊本・大分地震災害で被災した教会・牧師館建物復旧のため1億8千万円の全国募金を行うことを決定した。

【October 2016 No.389】Gratitude for Kyodan Newsletter’s 50th Anniversary

by Kawakami Yoshiko, pastor Okubo Church, Tokyo District

Editor, KNL Editorial Committee

 

In January of this year, 2016, the Kyodan Newsletter (KNL) reached its 50th anniversary, with a total of 389 issues as of this October newsletter. It is distributed under the auspices of General Secretary Nagasaki Tetsuo, the person responsible for its publication, Executive Secretary for Ecumenical Ministries Kato Makoto, and the KNL Editorial Committee, with the help of a former editor, retired missionary Hazel Terhune. Currently there is a circulation of 500 copies, and in addition to current and retired missionaries both inside and outside the country and related churches overseas, it is also being sent to missionary sending boards.

 

Publication Details and the Role of KNL

 

At the December 1965 meeting of the Executive Council’s Standing Committee, an Information Center was established on a trial basis within the General Affairs Department, in recognition of a previous cherished desire for the Kyodan to have such a means of reporting. “Receiving overseas and national church news and sending Kyodan news overseas” became one of the projects within the work of the Information Center. Missionaries did most of the editing, and Issue Number One was published in January 1966.

 

This is a portion of the message that the Reverend Omura Isamu, general secretary at that time, inserted in the first issue. “It is 25 years since the Kyodan was inaugurated in 1941. We are deeply grateful that the Kyodan has developed through the generous cooperation and help from churches overseas in various phases of life and mission of the church. It is our great joy to announce to you that our ‘Kyodan News Letter‘ will be released, starting from this month, to the end that we might engage in positive dialogue with churches overseas and that ‘together we may share in the common life.’”(I John 1:3).

 

That first issue published reports that the Rev. Ariga Tetsutaro had been invited to the Second Vatican Council the previous year as a representative of the church in Asia and, in the first part of January 1966, Roman Catholic priests who had been invited to the Council were hosted (by the Kyodan) for a whole day to gather information for the article “The Vatican and the Kyodan.” It also included an article about “Danchi” (high-rise apartment complexes), which typified Japan following World War II.

 

The newsletter consisted of three typewritten, single-sided pages. The rate of publication was ten times a year until 1990, then six times a year until 2001, and since then five times. In the beginning, operating costs for the overall work of the Information Center were covered by subscription charges and funds from the Kyodan, together with substantial support from the Japan North American Commission on Cooperative Mission (JNAC), and from 1974 through 1980, from the church in Germany as well. Following the dissolution of JNAC in 2007, KNL’s financial support became completely Japan-based.

 

Article Series Representative of the Past

 

There was a great response to the series “Japanese Rites of Passage and the Mission of the Church,” which continued for a total of eight times from May 1987 through March 1988. While presenting the cultural customs that have become the rites of passage of Japanese people in general, the series introduced the concrete ways these were actually adopted and adapted by the church in accordance with its unique perspective.

 

Recent Distinctive Features

 

We are grateful for the warm support of overseas churches and organizations at the time of the 2011 East Japan Disaster and for the strengthening of exchanges between the Kyodan and overseas churches. Reports following the disaster have also been continuously presented, with special attention now being given to nuclear issues.

 

Responsible Persons

 

For a long time, under the Information Center Director, missionaries assumed the role of KNL editor. They are enumerated here by name and period of service, according to the Kyodan General Assembly’s historical materials.

 

January 1966 (first issue)-December 1976: Helen Post, missionary

January 1977-March 1979: Alden Ewart Matthews, missionary and Kyodan executive secretary

April 1979-April-December 1983: George Gish, missionary

January 1984-1988: Carolyn B. Francis, missionary

(She also took an additional post from May 1985)

Interim term: David Swain, missionary

January 1989-August 2004: Hazel Terhune, missionary

September 2004-March 2007: Kay Zebley, missionary

 

Following the reorganization of the Information Center after the Kyodan General Assembly in July 2007, an editor-in-chief was appointed.

 

April 2007-March 2009: Executive Secretary Ishimaru Yasuki

April 2009-March 2010: Executive Secretary Kato Makoto

April 2010 to the present: The Reverend Kawakami Yoshiko

 

Due to the newsletter’s constraints of space, the names of the many editorial committee members, persons in charge of the office, supporters, and translators over the years have been omitted, but we are grateful for their great work.

 

KNL in the Future

 

We want to continue the work of KNL as “taking part in the world mission of the Kyodan because it is a type of evangelism by means of words.” We also intend to follow those who have served with all their hearts by going still further to spread the news widely. (Tr. RT)

教団ニューズレターの50年 を感謝して

KNL編 集長 川上善子

教団ニューズレター(KNL) は今年2016年1月 に50周 年を迎え、この10月 号で通算389号 になった。発行責任者である長崎哲夫総幹事のもと、加藤誠世界宣教担当幹事と教団ニューズレター編集委員会が、在米の元編集長、Hazel Terhuneヘーゼル・タヒューン英文エディターの協力を得て、作成している。現在の発行部数は500部。 国内外の現任・隠退宣教師方をはじめ海外の関係教会、インターボードにも送付されている。

<発 行の経緯とKNLの 役割>

1965年12月の常任常議委員会で、かねてから要望があった教団の広報機関とし て、総務局内に試験的に広報センターの設置が承認された。「海外、国内教界のニュースを受け、教団のニュースを海外に送る」ことが、 広報センターの働きの一つに挙げられていた。編集は宣教師の方々を中心に行われ、第一号は1966年 の1月 に発行された。一面に掲載された当時の総会議長、大村勇(Omura Isamu)牧師の創刊の辞の一部である。…“It is twenty –five years since the Kyodan was inaugurated in 1941. We are deeply grateful that the Kyodan has been developed through the generous cooperation and help from churches overseas in various phases of life and mission of the church. It is our greet joy to announce to you that our “Kyodan News Letter” will be released starting from this month to the end that we may engage in positive dialogue with churches overseas and that “together we may share in a common life.”(ⅠJohn1:3) … この号には、前年の第二バチカン会議にアジアの教会を代表して有賀鉄太郎(Ariga Tetsutaro)牧師が招かれていたこと、会議に参加したカトリックの聖職者方を66年1月 初頭に招き、丸一日かけて情報を得た“The Vatican and the Kyodan”という記事や、戦後の日本を代表する「団地」についてなどが掲載さ れている。A4サ イズの片面三ページ構成で、文字はタイプライターであった。発行ペースは1990年 までは年10回、 その後は6回、2001年 からは5回 である。当初の運営資金は、教団からの資金と購読料に合わせて、多額の支援が日北米宣教宣教協力会JNACと、1974年 から1980年 はドイツ教会からも、広報センターの働き全体に寄せられていた。JNAC解 散を受けて、2007年 の35総 会期からは教団として財政的にも自立した。

<過 去の代表的なシリーズ>

1987年5月~88年3月に計8回にわたって連載された「日本人の通過儀礼と教会 の宣教」“Japanese rites of passage and the mission of the churchは、 一般の日本人の習慣となっている儀礼と、それを教会が取り込んだ上での、教会独自の考え方や、実際に行っている様子を具体的に紹介 し、大きな反響を得た。

<近 年の特徴>

2011年の東日本大震災に際して寄せられた、海外教会、団体からの厚い援 助に感謝し、教団と海外教会との交流が強まっている。震災後の報告も継続的に行い、殊に放射能関連の問題にも目を配っている。

<担 い手>

代々 の広報センター委員長のもと、長い間、KNLの 編集主任は宣教師方の間で引き継がれていた。編集主任のお名前と担当期間を、教団総会資料に従って列挙する。ヘレン・ポスト宣教師Helen Post(創刊時から1976年12月末日)、A・マシューズ(Alden Ewart Matthews)幹事(1977年1月~1979年3月)、G・ギッシュ(George Gish)宣 教師(1979年4月~1983年12月)、 キャロリン・フランシス(Corolyn B. Francis)宣教師(1984年1月~1988年。 なお85年5月 からは委員長兼任)、David Swain臨時編集長を経て、Hezel Terhune宣教師(1989~2004年8月)、 ケイ・ゼブリー(Kay Zebley)宣教師(2004年9月~2007年3月)。そして第35総会期の2007年7月 からは、広報センター委員会再編に伴い編集長が置かれた。石丸泰樹牧師、後に幹事(2007年4月~2009年3月)、 加藤誠牧師、後に幹事(2009年4月~2010年3月)、 川上善子牧師(2010年4月~ 現在)。誌面の都合上、歴代の編集委員の方々や事務局の担当者、協力者、翻訳者の方々のお名前は割愛させて頂くが、大きなお働きに感 謝を申し上げる。

<KNLの これから>

KNLの働きを「教団の世界宣教への参加であり、言葉による宣教の一形態 である」と捉えて、心を尽くされた先達に倣い、さらに幅広い情報をお伝えできるよう、取り組んでいきたい。

【October 2016 No.389】UMC Quadrennial Conference Held in Oregon

The Quadrennial Conference of The United Methodist Church (UMC) was held in Portland, Oregon from May 10 to 20. I, Akiyama Toru, attended this conference along with the Reverend Takada Teruki, a Commission on Ecumenical Ministries’ staff member. General Secretary Nagasaki Tetsuo was scheduled to attend, but due to his illness and subsequent hospitalization, I attended as his substitute.

 

The UMC is not limited to the United States. With congregations in North America, South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe, it has a membership of approximately 12,300,00. The UMC’s Quadrennial Conference is held once every four years, bringing together over 850 delegates from around the world. Added to these delegates were over 4,000 people who came to be a part of the conference in various ways. Held at what is said to be the largest convention center in the American Northwest, people around the world were able to follow these eleven days of proceedings via television and the Internet.

 

Although the Kyodan is not a member of the UMC, we are invited as a guest to attend each quadrennial conference because of our deep connection. Especially this time, we attended in order to express our gratitude for the support we received from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) following the 2011 East Japan Disaster. The activities of the Sendai and Ishinomaki Emmaus centers, the Kohitsuji (Little Lambs) Camp, radiation measurements, and other activities are continuing in large part because of the more than 100 million yen received from UMCOR.

 

Because I was only able to attend the conference from the opening worship on May 10 through May 12, I am not able to share a detailed account of the conference. However, tables with five or six delegates per table were spread across the conference floor, from which you could barely see the other side because of the size of the conference hall. Seated on the stage in front were the session conveners and parliamentarians, worship leaders, choirs, and over 50 bishops who oversaw the proceedings of the conference.

 

A bishop heads each church board, and I was able to view closely the episcopal structure and authority within the UMC. Of particular interest to me was the way voting and voices from the floor were handled. No hands were raised. Rather, each delegate had an instrument similar to a smart phone. These were used to vote as well as to notify the chair of a delegate’s desire to speak. When the instrument was used for voting, a large electronic bulletin board at the front registered the voting results immediately. When wanting to address the floor, a delegate would use the instrument to indicate to the chair whether his/her statement was in favor or in opposition to the topic being discussed, before being recognized. Following recognition from the chair, statements were limited to three minutes. After one minute passed, the electronic billboard clearly indicated how much time the speaker had remaining. In this way, the long speeches that often plague our Kyodan General Conference were avoided.

 

The theme of this conference was “Therefore Go,” taken from Matt. 28:19-20. “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

Addressing this theme, the president of the Council of Bishops, Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., energized the conference with a powerful sermon that I consider the highlight of the conference. Amid several standing ovations, Bishop Brown spoke powerfully of our mission as Christians and the possibilities we have as we take the gospel and confront the darkness of the present age. (Tr. JS)

— Akiyama Toru, chair Commission on Ecumenical Ministries

秋 山 徹(教団・世界宣教委員長) 参加報告

合同メソジスト教会(United Methodist Church(UMC))総会が5月10日~20日アメリカ・オレゴン州ポートランドで開かれ、世界宣教委員会のスタッフ高田輝樹牧師と共に参加した。長崎哲 夫総幹事が参加する予定であったが病気入院のため急遽筆者が代理参加することになった。

UMCはアメリカだけでなくアジアやアフリカ、さらにヨーロッパの諸国のメソジスト教会系の集ま りで信徒1230万人を擁する。総会は4年ごとに開かれ、その代議員は850人を超える。さらにこの会議を支えたり傍聴 したりする者4,000人を加え、アメリカ北西部最大といわれるコンヴェンションセンターで11日間の大会議が行われ、その様子はTVやインターネットを通して全世界に伝えられた。

教団はUMCのメンバーではないが、関係の深い団体として毎回総会にはゲストとして招かれている。とり わけ、今回は東日本大震災に際してUnited Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)を通して大きな援助をいただいており、感謝の思いを伝えるための参加であった。仙台エマオ や石巻エマオのセンターの活動やこひつじキャンプ、仙台いずみによる放射能値測定検査などの働きが続けられているのは、ひとえにUMCORからの1億円を超える援助によるところが大きいからである。

私は10日(火)の開会礼拝から~12日(木)までの部分参加であったから会議の内容を詳しく伝えることはできないが、本会場では議員席はフロアに 並んだテーブルごとに5~6人が囲むかたちで、これが端のほうはかすんで見えるほど広く広がっている。前のステージには会議を進行させる ための議長団や礼拝の司式者、聖歌隊のほか、50人ほどの司教団が陣取って会議の進行を見守っている。

全体会の下にある各コミッションのリーダ-としても司教(ビショップ)の存在は大きくメソ ジスト教会が司教制度の教会であることの実際の姿をみることができる。興味深かったのは、全体会の賛否の議決や意見を述べる時には、挙手 によるのではなく、それぞれの手元にあるスマホのような機器を使ってボタンを押せばただちに前面の電光掲示板に賛否の議決が表される仕組 み、また、意見を述べるときも、賛成、反対のどちらの意見であるかかがボタンを通して議長席に知らされると、議長が指名をする。発言時間 は3分に限られ、1分を過ぎると前面の電光掲示板にあと何分と大きく表示される。我教団の総会でよく見られるような冗長な演説に 悩まされることを防いでいるわけである。

今回の総会のテーマは“Therefore Go”(だから、行きなさい)で、主イエスの大宣教命令「だから、あなたがたは行って、すべての民をわたしの弟子に しなさい。彼らに父と子と聖霊の名によってバプテスマを授け、なたがたに命じておいたことをすべて守るように教えなさい。わたしは世の終 わりまで、いつもあなたがたと共にいる」(マタイによる福音書28:19,20)から取られている。この主題に基づく司教団の議長ワーナー・ブラウンJr.司教の力強い説教はこの会議の圧巻で、何度もスタンディング・オベイションを受けながら現代の 暗黒に福音を携えて立ち向かってゆくキリスト者の使命と可能性に目覚めさせる力強いものであった。

【October 2016 No.389】2016 Trilateral Conference Convened in Switzerland

Once every four years, the Schweitzer Evangelischer Kirchenbund (SEK), an alliance of Protestant churches in Switzerland, “mission 21” (the branch of SEK in charge of missions),  the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK),  the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea(PROK), and the Kyodan hold a joint conference referred to as the Trilateral Conference. This year, Switzerland was the host country, and the conference was held at the headquarters of Mission 21, which is in Basel.

 

Prior to the conference, on Sunday, July 3, I, executive council Kato Makoto visited Sasaki Ryoko, who in April 2016 was appointed as a missionary to the Cologne-Bonn Japanese Church. That day a joint worship service was held for the people of the whole region. As the worship service began after 11 o’clock in the morning, we were able to attend mass at the Cologne Cathedral, which was a worship service geared for families. I was impressed because the small chapel in the back was almost completely filled, and the priest actually seemed to be having fun as he gave the sermon.

 

That afternoon there was a “Straßenfest” (Streetfest), a festival that has become a traditional event celebrated before the summer break. There were about 20 booths, all of them managed by the churches, and they became a great place for fellowship. Without hesitation, Sasaki Ryoko used German words that she had recently learned and boldly attempted to make conversation with many people.

The Tri-national Conference was held in Basel, Switzerland from Wednesday, July 6 through Friday, July 8. The Committee on Swiss Church Relations, which is under the Kyodan’s Commission on Ecumenical Ministries, is responsible for the Kyodan’s participation in the Trilateral Conference. Chairperson Yokoyama Motoo and Secretary Hiroishi Nozomu participated together with Chung Naomi, a seminary student at Tokyo Union Theological Seminary who represented the youth, and Hironaka Yoshimi, a member of the executive office staff. The Kyodan has a mission agreement with the SEK but at present is not sending any missionaries. Because of that fact, a major issue for the Kyodan at this year’s conference was deciding what type of involvement the Kyodan should continue to have in the Trilateral Conference in the future. Following discussion about the situation of the churches in each country, there was a proposal to try something new: holding a youth gathering once every two years. The plan is to have a youth gathering in 2018 in Korea, the next host country, with six young people each to be sent from Switzerland and Japan. It was recognized that youth mission is a very important challenge for all three nations of the Trilateral Conference. During the two-country discussion that was held between the SEK and the Kyodan on the morning of July 8, the issue of the cost associated with sending missionaries to Switzerland was raised. When the Swiss delegation was asked about the cost, they replied that there would need to be a guarantee of eleven million yen per year. Upon hearing that answer, everyone was temporarily at a loss for words. (Tr. KT) —Kato Makoto, executive secretary

ケルン・ボン日本語教会訪問と三国間協議会参加

スイスのSEK( Schweizerischer Evangelischer Kirchenbund)(スイス・プロテスタント教会連盟)とその宣教団体であるミッション21、韓国のPCK(The Presbyterian Church of Korea), PROK(The Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea)そして日本基督教団による 三国間協議会は基本的に4年毎に開催される。今回のホスト国はスイスであり、バーゼルBasleにあるミッション21(misson 21)の本部での開催となった。 それに先立って7月3日(日)ケルン・ボン日本 語教会に、2016年4月に赴任された佐々木良子(Sasaki Ryoko)宣教師をお訪ねした。

 

当日は地域の合同礼拝が行われた。礼拝開始が午前11時過ぎだったため、その前にケルン大聖堂(Cologne Cathedral)のミサに参加した。ファミ リーが対象の礼拝であったが、奥の小礼拝堂はほぼ満席で、司祭が実に楽しそうに説教していたのが印象に残った。

午後は夏休み前に恒例となった「Strassenfest」と銘打ったお祭りであっ た。20店舗ほどの屋台はすべて教会からの出店であり、良き交わりの場となっていた。佐々木宣教師 は習いたてのドイツ語で、臆することなく果敢にコミュニケーションを多くの方と図っておられた。

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スイスのバーゼルで7月6日(水)~8日(金)に三国間協議会は行われた。教団では、世界宣教委員会の下にスイス協約委員会があり、三国間協議会を担 当している。横山基生委員長と廣石望Hiroishi Nozomu, secretary書記、そして青年代表とし て東京神学大学の鄭なおみ(Chung Naomi)神学生、事務局からは廣中 佳実(Hironaka Yoshimi)職員が参加した。教団はSEKと宣教協約を結んでいるが、現在宣教師を派遣していない。そのため今後この三国間協議会を どのように続けていくかが、今回教団にとっての大きな課題であった。お互いの教会の実情を話し合った後で、新しい試みとして、2年毎の青年交流会が提案された。次回のホスト国である韓国で2018年にスイスと日本からそれぞれ6名ほどの青年を派遣し、交流会を持つという企画である。青年への宣教が三国間においても重 要な課題であることが認識された。8日午前に持たれたスイスと教団との二国間協議では、スイスに宣教師を派遣する場合の費用が 話題になった。一年で1,100万円の保証が必要であると のスイス側の返答に、一同しばし言葉を失った。(加藤誠)