【October 2018 No.399】Executive Council Considers Structural Reform & Mutual Mission Agreement

The sixth Executive Council meeting of the present two-year (40th) general assembly period was held July 9-10 at the Kyodan headquarters, with all 30 members in attendance. The first order of business was a report on the damage caused by floods in Nishi-Chugoku District. In fact, all eight districts to the west of Chubu District had damage to report. Fortunately, however, the churches in Nishj-Chugoku and Shikoku district, where severe destruction was reported by the media, escaped with only minimal harm.

In his report, General Secretary Akiyama Toru noted that in response to the recent, strong earthquake in Osaka—6.1 on the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Seismic Intensity Scale, the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan sent a donation of $10,000 to help in the recovery effort. Okamura Hisashi, chair of the Committee on the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, reported that the youth conference held on March 21 at Aoyama Gakuin University’s chapel had 1,000 attendees, including about 200 from the Kyodan.

The first item of business on the second day was discussion of the “Kyodan Evangelism Promotion” program. The debate centered around which entity would take the lead in planning structural reform. No conclusion was reached so Secretary Kumoshikari Toshimi suggested that the issue be tabled until the October Executive Council meeting since the budgetary issues are not settled yet, and this was accepted.

Discussion turned to the mutual mission agreement between the Christian Evangelical Church in Minahasa (Gereja Masehi Injili di Minahasa [GMIM] in Indonesia) and the Kyodan. It was proposed that once finalized, there should be a signing ceremony at the Kyodan General Assembly. The question was raised as to whether this agreement would be like the one with the Korean Christian Church in Japan, by which the ministerial credentials of each denomination are mutually recognized by both denominations. General Secretary Akiyama answered that at present, the aim of the agreement is to recognize each other’s statement of faith and sacraments but does not include provisions for ministerial exchange.

The introduction to the agreement begins with a recognition that the relationship between GMIM and the Kyodan began during Word WarⅡthrough the role the Kyodan played in pacification of the conquered areas. With respect to this, the opinion was voiced that it is important how the Kyodan views its history and that this should be clarified as the agreement is finalized. Moderator Ishibashi Hideo then tabled action on the agreement, saying it would be reworked further for finalization at the October Executive Council meeting. (Tr. TB)

            —Kato Makoto, Kyodan executive secretary



 第40総会期第6回常議員会が7月9,10両日教団会議室において議員30名全員が出席して開催された。議事の最初は西中国豪雨の被害報告であった。中部教区から西に位置する8教区が被害報告を行った。大きな被害が出たと新聞等で報じられている西中国、四国地方では教会の被害は軽微であった。総幹事報告では秋山徹総幹事から震度6弱を記録した大阪・関西地震に対して台湾基督長老教会Presbyterian Church in Taiwanから1万ドルの見舞金が寄せられた事。熊本・大分地震の募金状況が報告された。宗教改革500周年記念事業委員会報告では、岡村恒委員長は3月21日に青山学院礼拝堂で開催されたユースカンファレンスに1000人の出席があり、教団からは200名の出席であったと報告した。

 二日目は最初に「教団伝道推進に関する件」が上程された。機構改定の検討をどこが担うのかについての議論があり、結論には至らず雲然俊美書記は予算などを詰めた上で10月の常議員会に再提案する方向を示し議場は承認した。「ミナハサ福音キリスト(GMIM)との宣教協約合意書に関する件」では、第41回教団総会において「宣教協約合意書に関する件」を議案とし、可決された場合には総会において締結式を行うことが提案された。審議においては、この協約が在日大韓キリスト教会との協約のように、職制を認め合うことまで含むものなのかが問われた。秋山総幹事は今回の協約は、信仰と聖礼典を認め合い、礼拝において交わりを持つことを目的とするもので、現段階では職制の交流までは含んでいないと答えた。合意書の冒頭で両教会の関係が戦時下の宣撫工作に始まったと述べている点について、教団が歴史をどう振り返り展望するのかを確認しつつ締結に向かってほしいとの意見があった。石橋秀雄議長は合意書は一旦取り下げ、整えた上で10月の常議員会で締結を目指すと述べた。(加藤 誠)