【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。