Kyodan Taiwanese Churches Trace Roots

Tokyo Taiwan Church
Situated at Ogikubo, Suginami-ku in Tokyo, Tokyo Taiwan Church was established in January 1925, before World War II, and is a congregation of the Kyodan. Christian students from Taiwan, studying in Tokyo at the time, met weekly in the home of Gan Chhun-Hongin in Higashi-Nakano for Bible study and invited Pastor Lau Chin-Hong, who was also a student from Taiwan, to be their leader. In 1927, as the number of students from Taiwan increased, the students began to hold worship services. A classroom of Meiji Gakuin’s Theological Studies Department was rented, and the group was named the “Tokyo Taiwan Youth Christian Group.
Between 1934 and 1940 Koeh Ma-Se was called to be the first pastor of the church, and the number of members increased to over 100. Worship services were soon held at several places, by renting rooms in churches at Tsunohazu in Okubo, Kashiwagi, and Asagaya. In 1971 a room was purchased at Sanshin Mansion in Shibuya for use as a sanctuary, in order to end the constant moving here and there and renting parts of church buildings.
The following year, Japan and Taiwan broke off diplomatic relations, and Taiwanese church members saw their Taiwan Embassy taken over by the Chinese government. In order to safeguard its property, it was proposed that the church join the Kyodan. The proposal was approved in July 1975, and Tokyo Taiwan Church officially became a member of the Kyodan. Members increased continuously. With Elder Lu Beng-Thoan as a central figure, a piece of land was purchased in Ogikubo, the present location, and a church building project was begun. A year later, on January 23, l977, the new church was dedicated. At that time, 120 members attended the church regularly. The generosity of Hijirigaoka Church in Shibuya, which provided the use of its sanctuary during the year prior to construction, was appreciated greatly.
In the 1980s, members continued to increase, and the congregation soon outgrew the capacity of the church building. Therefore, branches of Tokyo Taiwan Church were built in Ikebukuro, Kawagoe, and Chiba. Two factors pose a challenge to the future of the Taiwan Church in Japan. The first is the uncertain status of our country, Taiwan, as an independent, free nation, which consequently places Taiwanese people living in Japan in a comparably uncertain situation regarding such matters as rights to social security. The second is that living within a society of few children and economic instability directly affects future planning for the Taiwan Church. The Taiwan Church seeks God’s guidance as well as the concern and prayers of intercession of all of you. (Tr. RK)
–Lee Meng-Jer, pastor
Tokyo Taiwan Church, Nishi-Tokyo District
Osaka Taiwan Church
By the grace of God and the prayer support of Higashi Umeda Church members and many others, Osaka Taiwan Church has held Sunday worship services continuously for 21 years since April 1, 1990. At present, there are 30 members, and we strive for the growth of the church as before. Although a small church, it is somewhat like a large family, as both Taiwanese and Japanese people worship together harmoniously. The worship service is conducted in Taiwanese, but there is simultaneous translation into Japanese. Also, the worship service on the fourth Sunday is in Japanese. Every week after the service, there is a 20-minute Bible study, followed by a church luncheon for everyone, which deepens our fellowship in Christ.
Our path has never been smooth. In the third year of its pioneer evangelistic work, Pastor De Tsuan-Seng and his wife had to leave on account of illness. During the following two years, there was no full-time minister, and the church was supported by short-term ministers. In 1995, Pastor Lu Kim-Tsun came to fill the post and worked to organize the church and various activities. In July 1998, an application to join the Kyodan was accepted. (It is a part of Osaka District.) In November 1998, the name was changed to Kyodan Osaka Taiwan Church. The worship services were held in Higashi Umeda Church. The church always planned to have its own sanctuary, but the living conditions of members in Japan were never stable, and the plan did not progress. However, during the effort to raise funds and search for a site to build, we finally arrived at a two-step method. To implement this plan, members would first locate a small place for worship in the Umeda area and, when membership increased, construct a larger building.
At around that time, the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake occurred, and Higashi Umeda Church decided to rebuild. So we had to move out of that church building. Fortunately, we were able to buy a room in a building across the street from Higashi Umeda Church and to remodel it as a sanctuary. It was dedicated in October 1999. We rejoiced greatly, receiving it as gift from God. However, in March 2000, Pastor Lu Kim-Tsun had to leave because of age. Pastor Li Tsong-Hen came and filled the post from April 2000 until the end of February 2001. With further efforts, land was bought in Yodogawa-ku, Osaka, and in April 2007, a new sanctuary was dedicated. In May 2008, Pastor Liu Fu-Ching came from Seattle to take the position. He endeavored to nurture the spiritual growth of the members through Bible study and prayer. Seeing the growth in membership through the leading and grace of God, members cannot help but give thanks. By the grace of God, we hope to continue our evangelistic work for the community. (Tr. RK)
–Sone Kensho, elder
Osaka Taiwan Church
東京台湾教会について
 東京台湾教会は日本基督教団に所属している教会で、東京都杉並区の荻窪に位置し、第2次世界大戦前の1925年1月に設立された。
 当時台湾から東京に留学しているクリスチャン留学生が毎週、東中野にある顔春芳(Gan, Chhun Hong)さんの家で聖書勉強会を開き、同じ留学に来ていた劉振芳(Lau, Chin Hong)牧師を指導者として立てた。1927年秋頃、留学生の数が増えたので、明治学院神学部に教室を借りて礼拝するようになり、また、名前も東京台湾基督教青年会に決めた。
1934~1940年の間、郭馬西(Koeh, Ma Se)牧師を教会の初代牧師として招聘し、信徒の数も百名以上になったので、大久保の角筈、柏木、阿佐ヶ谷教会などいくつかの教会に礼拝堂を借りて礼拝を行った。1971年に渋谷にある三信マンションの一室を礼拝堂として購入し、それまでの転々とした借家生活に終止符を打った。
 翌年日本と台湾が国交断絶。当時の台湾大使館が中国政府によって接収されたのを見て、教会員たちは教会の財産を守るために、日本基督教団に加入することを提案した。この提案が1975年7月に承認され、東京台湾教会が正式に日本基督教団の一員となった。その後信徒数が持続的に成長し、呂名伝(Lu, Beng Thoan)長老を中心に、荻窪の現在地に土地を購入し、教会堂建設の事業に取りかかった。一年後の1977年1月23日に新会堂完成。当時定期的に集う信徒数は120名ほどあった。また、教会堂ができる前の6年間、ご自分の礼拝堂を喜んで提供してくださった渋谷の聖ヶ丘教会にも深く感謝する。
 80年代に入り、本教会の教会員が増え続け、やがて教会堂の収容人数を越えるようになった。そこで、枝教会を作ることが検討され、その後池袋、川越、千葉などに台湾教会を分設した。
 台湾教会にとって今後の努力目標は二つ。一つ目は祖国台湾の地位未定で台湾人居住者がしかるべき保障を得られずにいること。二つ目は社会全体の少子化、経済不安の中で、台湾教会の未来も予測できない不安定要因を抱えていることだ。神様の導き及び皆様の関心、とりなしを切に望んでいる。
日本基督教団大阪台湾教会の設立経過と現状報告
 大阪台湾教会は1990年4月1日から約21年間、神様の御導きと御守り、東梅田教会をはじめ多くの方からの祈りと助けで、日曜礼拝を絶やさず守ってきました。わずかな信者からスタ–トし、現在は正会員三十数人になったが、引き続き教会の成長に努力している。まだ小さな教会であるが、台湾人と日本人が一緒に礼拝を守っていてとても和気藹々(harmonious?)としており、大家族のような教会だ。礼拝は台湾語ですが、(日本語への)同時通訳があります。第四主日は日本語礼拝です。毎週礼拝の後、約20分程の聖書勉強会があり、続いて全員参加の愛餐会があって、主にある交わりが深まっていると思います。
私たちの歩みは決して平坦ではなかった。開拓三年目、鄭泉聲(アルファベット表記は質問中)牧師夫婦は病気療養のため離任。その後二年間は専任牧師がいないまま短期応援の牧師によって支えられました。1995年アルゼンチンから呂金俊(アルファベット表記は質問中)牧師が赴任し、教会の組織作りと各種活動に取り組みました。1998年 07月には 日本基督教団への入会申請が承認されました(大阪教区所属)。 1998年11月 日本基督教団大阪台湾教会に改名しました。礼拝は東梅田教会ビル内で行いました。自分達の礼拝堂を持つ計画は設立当初からありましたが、異国で生活が安定せず、計画はなかなか進まない。しかし献金と土地探しに尽力し、二段階方式の計画に行き着いた。梅田地区に小さな礼拝堂を確保し、会員が増えてから大きな礼拝堂を建築すればよい、と。その頃阪神大震災があり、東梅田教会が建て直すことになり、私たちも教会ビルから移転をしなければならなかった。幸い、東梅田教会前のビルの一室を買い取り、礼拝堂として改修。1999年10月に献堂しました。神様の賜物として大変喜びました。しかし2000年03月に呂金俊牧師が高齢のため離任。李聡顕(アルファベット表記は質問中)牧師が同年4月から2001年2月末まで赴任なさいました。さらに努力の甲斐があって大阪の淀川区に土地を取得し、2007年4月に、新しい礼拝堂の献堂式を執り行いました。2008年05月に劉富敬(Liu Fu-Ching) 牧師がシアトルから赴任。聖書勉強と祈りの実践に取り組み、会員の霊的成長をはかりました。会員数も増え、神様の導きと恵みによって日に成長していることを目にして、感謝せずにいられません。今後も地域社会への伝道活動を展開していきたいと思っております。Sone Kensho