Executive Council Establishes an Executive Committee

Executive Council Establishes an Executive Committee
The second Executive Council meeting of the 36th General Assembly
biennial period took place at the Kyodan headquarters on July 6 and 7.
The Executive Council consists of 27 delegates elected at the General
Assembly, including the san’yaku (the three top officials: namely, the
moderator, vice-moderator, and secretary of the General Assembly). Prior
to beginning with the regular proceedings, the changes in council
membership were announced. One of the members had suffered a
subarachnoid hemorrhage and thus was unable to continue, so his
resignation was received. Kishita Nobuyo, the next in line in the
General Assembly voting, was installed as the replacement, necessitating
his resignation as chairperson of the Commission on Ecumenical
Ministries although he will continue as a member of the committee.

The first item on the agenda concerned observers. Pastor Sugasawa
Kuniaki’s request for permission to be an observer at the meeting was
discussed but denied, based on his previous actions. Specifically, he
was accused of showing disrespect for the communion service at the
General Assembly by his actions in the distribution of the elements.

As it had been over six months since the previous meeting of the
Executive Council in December 2008, many issues were raised about items
in the reports of the General Assembly secretary and the Kyodan general
secretary. Questions were raised particularly about the report on the
“Kyodan Subsidies for District Activities,” the “Designated Observer
Report,” and the “Report on the Admonition of Pastor Kitamura Jiro,” but
in the end, all of the reports were approved. (See KNL issues 347 and 349.)

Regarding the appointment of executive secretaries, the present
structure provides for two full-time executive secretaries (General
Affairs and Financial Affairs, both being appointed for four-year terms)
and four part-time executive secretaries, with terms of one year each.
The four part-time executive secretaries are recommended by the general
secretary each year for approval by the Executive Council.

This year, it was decided to approve the part-time executive secretaries
one at a time instead of the usual way of ratifying their selection as a
block. As a result, one of the nominees was rejected, and when this was
announced, the executive secretary said that he could not accept this
decision. He immediately submitted his resignation and left the meeting.
Needless to say, this brought on a crisis, and so it was left up to the
san’yaku (the moderator, vice-moderator and secretary of the General
Assembly) and the general secretary to work things out.

On the second day of the session, the discussion shifted to that of
establishing the Executive Committee, which up to that point had not
been duly constituted as stipulated in Article 37 of the bylaws. As the
Executive Council had not been able to meet for over six months,
important issues had to be delegated to the executive secretaries. In
order to avoid such an undesirable situation, seven members of the
Executive Council were chosen to serve in this capacity. Their first
meeting was scheduled for August 31.

The other main topic addressed was that of the examination for the
status of director of Christian education. At the most recent qualifying
examination for directors of Christian education, there was only one
applicant, and that person did not pass. With respect to this situation,
the issues of what constitutes a qualifying examination and how someone
who has failed should be treated were raised and debated. However, the
proposal to discuss the actual content of the qualifying exam was
rejected, and with that, the session ended. (Tr. TB)

– Ishimaru Yasuki, executive secretary
Based on article in Shinpo (Kyodan Times)