【December 2017 No.395】PCK and PROK Convene their Annual General Assemblies

by Kato Makoto, executive secretary

 

I participated in the general assemblies of the Presbyterian Church of Korea (PCK) and the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK), Sept.18-21. The annual meetings of the two churches are held at the same time each year, and most guests from overseas begin by participating in PCK’s assembly and then, with the accompaniment of PCK staff, move to the PROK location and participate in its assembly. This year, the PCK General Assembly was held in Yangiae Chapel at Onnuri Church in Seoul. Yangiae Chapel is the church’s secondary chapel but can hold up to 6,000 people. Considering the size of Japanese churches, we could not help but shake our heads in amazement. The theme of the assembly was “Holy Church: To the World Again,” and during the opening worship, I used earphones for the first time in order to hear the English translation.

 

After spending one night there, we traveled 400 km to Gyeongju to participate in the PROK General Assembly. We traveled by express train, and I was surprised that no one checked our tickets. The assembly was held at Hyundai Hotel, and the theme was “500 Years of Reformation: Renewing and Empowering the Church in the World of God.” As the PROK had elected a new executive secretary the previous year, there was also a change of staff, including the secretarial staff. This caused some slight confusion in carrying out the assembly, and thus it may require time to reaffirm mission cooperation with overseas churches. In the assembly’s handbook, the Kyodan representative was the first overseas guest introduced and the second guest to bring greetings to the assembly, following an overseas guest from Africa.

 

We did not participate in the discussion at the PCK General Assembly, but according to another overseas guest who did, a resolution was passed that recognized children baptized as infants as eligible to receive communion. I thought this was quite a significant resolution for a Presbyterian church in Asia. (Tr. RW)

加藤 誠

 

2017年9月18日(月)から21日(木)までPCK・PROKの総会に参加した。例年この2つの総会は同時期に行われ、海外ゲストの多くは最初にPCKに参加し、途中からPCKの スタッフに付き添われPROKの総会場へと移動し参加することになる。今年のPCKの総会はソウルにあるOnnuri ChurchのYangiae Chapel(二つ目の礼拝堂、しかし6000人 収容!)で行われた。日本の教会の規模からすると笑うしかないほどの巨大な教会であった。主題は“Holy Church, to the World Again”開 会礼拝に初めてイヤホーンで英語の通訳を聞くことができた。1泊後PROKの総会に出席するために400キ ロほど離れたGyeongjuに出発。私鉄の特急を利用したが、改札がないこと に驚いた。会場は現代ホテル。主題は“500 years of Reformation: Renewing and Empowering the Church in the world of God”PROKは昨年の総会で総幹事が交代し、それに伴って事務局の幹事・職員全員が入れ替わった。その為総会運営には多少の混 乱が見られ、海外教会との宣教協力の引継ぎにも時間を要すると思われる。総会ハンドブックには海外ゲストの最初に日本基督教団が紹介 され、祝辞もアフリカからのゲストに次いで2番目であった。

PCKの議事には参加できなかったが、参加していた海外ゲストからの情報によれば、今年の総会で幼児洗礼を領した人(こ どもを含む)の聖餐への参加が認められたとの事であった。アジアの長老派の教会としては大きな決断であろう。