【December 2018 No.400】Even without a Sanctuary, Worship Held at First Member’s Tomb

Osumi Seko Church in Kyoto began its ministry as a group worshiping together at Osumi Kindergarten in Kyoto. The kindergarten itself was the result of the work of Rev. Enomoto Yasuro (1925-1977), well-known as “Pastor Chiiroba,” [chiiroba (little donkey), after the foal of a donkey on which Jesus rode into Jerusalem] and Ms. Miyamoto Wosue (1902-1967), a midwife who was the first member of the congregation. As a member of Osumi Seiko Church, Wosue worked tirelessly for the continued growth of the church in that area. From its beginning in 1952, Osumi Seko Church used the kindergarten as its sanctuary. However, for a variety of reasons, we have not been able to use the facility for the past seven years. Because an alternate location could not be found, three of the members travel 40 minutes by car to worship once a month at the church where I pastor. On the other Sundays, worship is held at the site of Wosue’s tomb. This tomb, which is a testimony to Wosue’s faith, was built by her family in a community cemetery near the kindergarten in the 1970s. Worship is held here regardless of the weather. The Bible, hymnal, and elements for the Lord’s Supper are placed on a small desk as there is no pulpit. On “Peace Sunday,” such things as a plowshare are also put on the desk to create a special atmosphere for worship. [Referring to “They shall beat their swords into plowshares” Micah 4:3, Isaiah 2:4] Sometimes a guitar or portable organ is brought in to assist in hymn singing.

Osumi Seko Church celebrates the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. Each Sunday I bake a large loaf of bread for communion. Following worship, we divide what is left of the bread into six sections that we wrap and take to the house where Wosue lived, which is currently occupied by her nephew and his family. In distributing the “church bread,” we continue to share the memory of Wosue with the family and the neighborhood. In preparation for worship, we clean Wosue’s tomb and the area around it each Sunday. Periodically a local committee responsible for the cemetery comes to clean as well. This cleanup is usually done on Sunday mornings, but the committee understands that our worship comes first. Although none of our members is on that committee, we always cooperate by bringing a mower on a small truck and helping. Although this is an unusual way to worship, I believe this is allowing us to sow Gospel seeds. (Tr. JS)

—Kishimoto Hyouichi, Pastor, Osumi Seko Church , Kyoto District

From Shinto no Tomo (Believers’ Friend), July 2018 issue

 

教会のトピックス-礼拝堂がなくても-ヲスヱの墓前礼拝

京都・大住世光教会牧師 岸本兵一

 教会は、「ちいろば牧師」として有名な榎本牧師(1925~1977)と助産師であった信徒の宮本ヲスヱ(1902~1967)によって生み出された大住保育園内での礼拝から誕生しました。ヲスヱは大住世光教会の1人目の教会員で、地域のキリスト教発展のために尽くしました。

 創立以来、保育園舎を礼拝堂としてきましたが、諸般の事情により7年前に利用できなくなりました。礼拝場所の確保ができず、3人の教会員は月1回は車で40分ほど離れた場所にある私が兼牧する泉伝道所での合同礼拝にあずかり、それ以外の聖日はヲスヱの墓前での礼拝とすることにしました。

 この墓はヲスヱの信仰を顕彰して、1970年代に保育園近くの公営墓地に親族が建立したものです。ここでの聖日礼拝のときには、雨の日も風の日も集います。講壇も何もありませんが、墓の前に小さな机を置き、聖書と賛美歌、聖餐式に用いるパンや、平和聖日にはの鍬の先を置いたりして礼拝の空気を作り出しています。賛美歌を歌うためにギターやハンドオルガンを持ち込むこともあります。

 大住世光教会では毎週聖餐式を行っています。一抱えほどの大きさのパンを私が焼きますが、聖餐式に必要なほんのひとかけら以外は6つに裂いてラッピングし、ヲスヱが住んでいた家に持っていきます。現在はヲスヱの甥家族が住んでいて、「教会さんからのパン」として、ヲスヱの記憶と共に近隣に配っています。

 礼拝をするにあたっては、毎週ヲスヱの墓とその周辺を軽く清掃します。年に数回あるこの区画の墓地委員総出の清掃日は、基本的に日曜日の午前中です。委員を務めている教会員はいませんが、協力するために軽トラックに草刈り機を積んで行きます。委員の方々には理解があり「教会さんは礼拝が先やな」と言ってくださいます。 変わった形の礼拝ですが、そのおかげで福音の種まきはできていると信じています。(信徒の友7月号より)