【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。