Participating in the Presbyterian Youth Triennium 2013

by Mochizuki Asao, pastor

Yotsukaido Church, Kanto District

 

The Presbyterian Youth Triennium (PYT), hosted by the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA), held once every three years, is a big event for high school students. High school students and leaders belonging to the PCUSA and related churches gather on the spacious campus of Purdue University in Indiana where several thousand high school students experience an unforgettable event. This year’s event was held from July 16 to 20 under the theme “I am.” The highlight of every day was the two-and-a-half-hour assembly held in a huge auditorium that could hold the more than 5,300 participants. The program included worship, dancing, singing, and drama. The worship brought about a passionate harmony to the whole event. The high school students separated into more than 150 small groups, and each group engaged in guided discussions and workshops with the group leader most of the day. In addition, there were other enjoyable programs in the garden outside, including dancing, concerts, picnics, et cetera. For the leaders, various lectures were also provided.

 

A lot of participants from various countries of the world joined in this PYT as global partners. As a global partner, the Kyodan sought candidates among high school students and sent Hanna Edefors (Shizuoka Eiwa Jogakuin High School) and Takano Yume (Yamanashi Eiwa Gakuin) as its representatives. Mochizuki Asao (a member of the Committee on Ecumenical Relations) and Takada Teruki (a Kyodan headquarters staff member) acted as leaders for the two students. It was not an easy decision for the Japanese high school students to travel overseas in mid-July because of their school schedules, with examinations and other school programs still going on. Likewise, as the PYT is aimed at U.S. high school students, the language barrier was difficult for them. Nevertheless, through the various programs, they were challenged to think about their faith. Moreover, as they were representing the Kyodan, participation in this event was not something they could take lightly.

 

It is not difficult to imagine how tense the two girls felt during the bus trip from Indiana Airport to Purdue University through the endless corn and soybean fields, as they were surrounded by precocious U.S. high school students who were speaking too fast for them to follow easily. They literally prayed their way through, making their best effort. They were given an opportunity to introduce Japan and to teach U.S. high school students origami while wearing yukata (light cotton kimono). They also taught the Lord’s Prayer, in Japanese, to many students. The U.S. participants really enjoyed the help of the students from Japan in choosing Chinese characters to write their names in Japanese. There was always a large group gathered around the two students, and many people were pleased with their participation.

 

Thanks to the PYT, they encountered a new world. I hope that this experience becomes a new door of life for them and that their personal experience will become a catalyst within the Japanese church. (Tr. KY)

 

アメリカ合衆国長老教会青年大会 2013 参加レポート

望月麻生(四街道教会)

 

三年に一度開催されるPresbyterian Youth Triennium(PYT)は、PCUSAが主催する高校生を対象にした一大イベントである。インディアナ州にある広大なPurdue Universityに、全米からPCUSAならびに関係教会に属する高校生と引率者が集結し、数千人の高校生が一生忘れられないひと夏を過ごす。今 年は7月16日から20日にかけて開催された。テーマは「I am」。毎日の中心は、5300人以上の高校生、そして引率者やキャンプのリーダーが一つのホールに集まってのWorship…ダンス、歌、演劇とメッセージとに満ちた2時間半…である。このWorshipがキャンプ全体に熱を帯びた調和をもたらしている。また、高校生たちは150以上ある小さなグループに分かれ、一日のうち多くの時間を、リーダーのもとで工夫されたdiscussionやworkshopに取り組む。屋外の広場でのダンスパーティーやコンサート、ピクニックなど、楽しみも多い。引率者向けに も豊富な講演会が用意されている。

PYTにはGrobal Partnerとして世界各国からも多くの参加者が集まる。KyodanもGrobal Partnerの一員として高校生を募集し、エデフォスはんなさん/Hanna Edefors(Shizuoka Eiwa Jogakuin High school)と髙野夢さん/Takano Yume(Yamanashi Eiwa Gakuin)を派遣した。世界宣教部国際関係委員の望月麻生と教団職員の高田輝樹が引率を務めた。7月中旬に海外旅行へ出かけることを決断するのは、日本の高校生にとっては試験や学校行事との関係でとても 難しい。また、基本的にアメリカ人の高校生を対象としているため、語学面での甘えは許されない。自らの信仰に関しても学生たちはプロ グラムを通して深く問われる。教団を代表するという一面も持つ。つまり、このキャンプは誰でも容易く参加できるものではない。はんな さんと夢さんがインディアナ空港からPurdue Universityへ向かう乗り合いバスの中でどれほど緊張していたかは想像に難くないだろう…周りの高校生たちの大人びた雰囲気、会話の速さ、終わりのないトウモロコシ畑と大豆畑…。しかし彼女たちは、祈りつつ最大限の力を発揮した。彼女たちには日本を紹介する場が与えられ、彼女たち は浴衣を着てアメリカの学生たちに折り紙を教えた。日本語で学生たちの名前を書くサービスはとても喜ばれた。また、日本語の「主の祈 り」を多くの人々に教えた。彼女たちの周りには常に大きな輪ができ、彼女たちの参加を多くの人々が喜んでいた。

PYTによって、彼女たちは新しい世界と出会った。これが、彼女たちにとって人生の新しい扉となること、また、 これが彼女たちの個人的な経験に留まることなく、日本のキリスト教の中で生かされていくことを、わたしは願う。