【December 2016 No.390】2016 Kyodan General Assembly Reelects Current Officers

The 40th Biennial Kyodan General Assembly was held at the Hotel Metropolitan in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Oct. 25-27. Of the 400 delegates minus the 10 from the Okinawa District who failed to register for the assembly, 366 delegates were registered as present at the beginning of the assembly. As this represented a quorum, the assembly began as scheduled. However, the absence of the Okinawa District delegates continued to be a sore point, as Okinawa District has elected to keep its distance from the Kyodan.

 

There were 32 mandatory items on the agenda along with 19 non-mandatory items. The first item was that of recognizing the deliberation schedule, and Moderator Ishibashi made several proposals on how to deal with a number of the agenda items. For instance, since Article 12 of the constitution mandates that any proposed constitutional revisions be made public at least three months prior to the General Assembly, agenda item 42 on the revision of Article 9 and related bylaws could not officially be brought forth—a situation for which he offered an apology. However, the proposer of the revision, Kyushu District Moderator Umesaki Koji, stated that since this was a provision that had been passed by the Kyushu District Annual Assembly, not dealing with it at all would leave matters dangling. The agreement after deliberation was to print the proposal in the church newspaper Kyodan Shinpo, and with that provision, the proposal was tabled.

 

Another issue was the call to establish a place for thorough discussion on the communion service within the Kyodan as well as to rescind the removal of Kitamura Jiro’s ministerial credentials. The Kyodan leadership, however, stated that this proposal could not be carried forward because the final decision had already been rendered in accordance with the rules of discipline. While voices of protest echoed through the hall, the decision to end discussion on this topic was passed. Likewise, the agenda item to restore the 1.2 million yen that had been cut from the Solidarity Fund for Mission in Okinawa was discussed together with the agenda items related to finances, but it was not adopted at this time.

 

This effort to combine related agenda items at the beginning of the proceedings has only been done in the last few assemblies. As there are over 50 proposals to deal with in three days, such streamlining of the process is vital, and the result was evident in the pace and management of the discussion among various points of view.

The election of the core leadership for the next two-year term was held, and all three members were reelected: Moderator Ishibashi Hideo for his fourth term, Vice-moderator Sasaki Michio for his second term and Secretary Kumoshikari Toshimi for his fourth term. This was followed by the election of the other executive council members, with 10 of the 27 members (5 clergy and 5 laypersons) being replaced. Thus, several members who have worked diligently for the restoration of the Kyodan to normalcy have now passed the baton to a new generation. They will be working with the core leadership to deal with the numerous issues that challenge the Kyodan as it faces an important crossroad—most importantly in the area of finances and the necessary restructuring that accompany this.

 

One task not accomplished at this assembly was that of naming a replacement for General Secretary Nagasaki Tetsuo, who has resigned from his post. For the time being, General Affairs Secretary Dohke Norikazu will serve as acting general secretary, but hopefully a new person can be found to fill this important post soon. The new head of the Board of Publications, Shindo Atsushi, is a 30-year veteran of the Board of Publications’ staff, and this is the first time that a staff member has been elected to that position. He will carry out the important function of publication evangelism.

 

It is not an exaggeration to say that the Kyodan has entered an era of changed emphasis, one that stresses cooperative evangelism. My prayer is that this 2016 Kyodan General Assembly Period will be one in which we step out in faith, believing in the promise of II Cor. 12:10, “For when we are weak (for Christ’s sake), we are strong.” (Tr. TB)

—Dohke Norikazu, executive secretary of general affairs

Acting General Secretary

「第40回日本基督教団総会を終えて」

日本基督教団 総幹事事務取扱 どうけ道家のりかず紀一

 第40回日本基督教団総会が、去る10月25日~27日にかけて、池袋・ホテルメトロポリタンで開催された。議員定数400名-ただし沖縄教区選出議員10名は未登録―のうち、開会時に366名の出席者の登録を確認、定足数を満たしており、総会は開会された。沖縄教区が教団と距離を置いて、議員 の選出がないことが続いていることは大きな痛みである。

扱われる予定議事は、法定議案が32議案、法定外議案が19議案であった。冒頭の議案1「議事日程承認に関する件」では、いしばし石橋議長より幾つかの議案の取扱いの提 案がなされた。議案42「教憲9条を改正し、伴って関連教規条項を改正する件

は、教憲12条に「教憲改正の場合は総会の3箇月前に公表する

と定められているにも関わらず、公表することができず、上程できない事態に至ったことについて率直に謝罪 が述べられた。しかし、提案者である九州教区総会議長のうめさき梅崎こうじ浩二議員より「教区総会決議に基づく議案なので、全く扱われなかったということではお さまりがつかない」との発言があり、協議の結果、「新報に議案を掲載し、併せて謝罪文も掲載すること」を条件に、上程されないことが 承諾された。

また、議案33と議案44の「北村慈郎教師の免職処分撤回を求め教団内に聖餐の在り方について慎重かつ十分な議論する場の設置を求 める件

は教憲に抵触する議案であること、戒規施行細則に従って「最終審判」が出されているこ とを理由に上程できないことを宣した。議場からは反発の声が上がったが、上程しないことで承認された。さらには沖縄関連議案である 「沖縄連帯金120万円を元に戻す」議案は、財務関連議案で扱われることになった。

総会の冒頭で議事の整理が行われるようになったのは、ここ数総会期である。三日間で50を超える議案を扱うには、このような議 案整理が必要であり、いろいろな意見もある中で、議事運営を滞りなく進めることにおいて一定の成果が見られ始めた、といえようか。

1期2年の任期を終えた三役(議長 副議長 書記)の選挙が行われ、いしばし石橋ひで秀お雄、ささき佐々木み美ちお知夫、くも雲しかり然とし俊み美が再選された。石橋議長と雲然書記は4期目となる。佐々木副議長は2期目とな る。続けて行われた常議員選挙は、三役再選とは異なり、27名中10名(教職5名 信徒5名)が入れ替わった。教団の正常化に尽くして来た何人かの議員がその働きを終えて、次の世代に 交代する時期に来ているといえる。再選された三役と共に、大きな曲がり角に来ている教団の様々な課題への取り組みを担って行くことに なる。特に財政問題とそれに伴う機構改正は必須なことであり、待ったなしである。

このような状況であるが、今総会では退任したながさき長崎てつお哲夫総幹事の後任を選任するに至らなかった。総務幹事どうけ道家が暫く事務取扱を務めることにな る。一日でも早く新しい総幹事が選任され、事務局の体制を整えたい。出版局長には、出版局職員歴30年を超えるしんどう新藤あつし敦が選任された。職員からの選任は初めてのことである。出版伝道の重責を担うこととな る。

今日、教団は立場を越えて伝道協力する時代に入ったといっても過言ではない。「弱い時 にこそ強い主

(コリントⅡ12:10)を信じて歩み出す「第40総会期」であることを祈る。