“Blue Christmas”: A Service for Worshipers in Pain and Grief

by Nishinosono Michiko, pastor  Takinogawa Church, Tokyo District

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:4-5, NKJV)


When I served at Wesley United Methodist Church (UMC) in San Jose, California, we held a Blue Christmas worship service. I had never heard the term before, and I was interested in the concept it expressed.


Blue Christmas, or Longest Night, is a service of worship designed for people suffering with pain, loss, isolation, and grief in the Advent season. The service is often held on or around Dec. 21, the longest night of the year, although Wesley UMC held this worship service in November or at the beginning of December because of its very busy schedule of other events and gatherings. Later, we changed the name of the service to the “I Remember You” Worship Service.


For some of us, Christmas can be a time of stress and fear. Joy and cheer sometimes are overwhelmed by sadness. People in that situation feel alienated and set apart from family celebrations; they are experiencing depression and sadness and yet are often compelled to “put on a happy face” for others, denying their true feelings.


A Blue Christmas worship service is the place for such people, and they can be there as they are, with their sadness and pain. The service may include candles, meditative music, Psalms of lament, prayers for healing, blessings, and a message for people feeling a sense of loss. At Wesley UMC, just after the Blue Christmas service, we introduced our Stephen Ministers, who had received special training to be with people experiencing sorrow, pain, or trouble and needed someone with them. The service testifies to the struggles of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus that are often overlooked and provides a safe place of rest, comfort, and healing where we can acknowledge the struggles that we all face.


Some of us have lost our loved ones due to accidents, diseases, or great natural disasters, such as an earthquake, typhoon, or volcanic eruption. Others have lost their parents, siblings, children, or close friends. A number of us may mourn for the loss of our pets. Others have become unemployed or have lost their homes and the normal lives that they used to have. Great pain and sorrow over such losses surround us. We may still find empty and dark places in our own hearts. The joyful Christmas melodies may not sound in our hearts.


Our Savior Jesus Christ, however, came as a light in the darkness to embrace our pain, sorrow, and loneliness. He also struggled, suffered, and grieved, and He brings us comfort and God’s forgiveness for our sin. He accepts and holds us, knowing our faults, weaknesses, and regrets, but He is always with us in the midst of our pain, sadness, and loneliness. Blue Christmas reminds me about Jesus as light in the darkness.

「ブルー・クリスマ ス」

滝野川教会牧師 西之園路子

ヨハネによる福音書1:4-5(新 共同訳)




カリフォルニア州サンノゼ市にあるウェスレー合同メソジスト教会に仕えていた時、ブルー・クリスマス礼拝と いう言葉を初めて知り、興味を持ちました。



は、本来、12月21日頃の一年で一番夜が長い日に守られます。この礼拝は、大切な方、あるいは大切なものを(失業等も含む)失 い、痛みや孤独、嘆き、苦しみを抱えながらアドベントの時期を過ごしている人々を覚えて守られる礼拝です。ウェスレー合同メソジスト教会 では後に、「I Remember You(私はあなたを覚えている)礼拝」とその名を呼び変え、同じような礼拝を守りました。


ある人々にとって、クリスマスはストレスや不安を抱えながら過ごす時となることがあります。喜びや陽気さは 悲しみによって打ち負かされ、(特にアメリカでは、クリスマスは家族で集まって共に過ごす祭日なので)クリスマスのような家族団らんの時 は自分には関係のない時に思え、一人取り残されたような疎外感を感じてしまうのです。落ち込んで、悲しみを抱えているのに、それでも、周 りの人々に対し、幸せそうな顔をして、本当の気持ちを隠してしまうのです。


ブルー・クリスマスはそのような人々のための礼拝です。その礼拝は、悲しみや痛みを抱えたありのままの自分 でいられる場所を提供します。礼拝にはキャンドルが灯され、人々を黙想へと導く音楽が流れ、嘆きの詩編が読まれ、癒やしを求める祈りや、 祝福が告げられ、喪失と嘆きを覚える人々に向けて御言葉が語られます。ウェスレー合同メソジスト教会では、この礼拝は、教会のスティーブ ン・ミニスターたちによって主催され、礼拝後に彼らの紹介がなされました。そのために特別な訓練を受け、資格を有するスティーブン・ミニ スターは、悲しみや痛みや悩みを抱え、共にいてくれる誰かを求めている人々と一対一の関係で、ある期間、ケアを受ける方に寄り添い、共に 歩みます。(訓練を受けた信徒による牧会のようなものです。)


ブルー・クリスマス礼拝は、クリスマスの喜びの中でともすると見過ごしがちなマリアやヨセフ、そして主イエ スの苦難を証しします。そして、そこで安堵し、慰められ、癒やされる、安心して居られる場所を用意している間に、私たちが直面する苦難を 認識させます。


私たちの内にも、事故や病気のために、あるいは地震や台風、火山の噴火と言った自然災害のために愛する者を 失った方々がいます。親を失った方、兄弟姉妹を失った方、子どもに先立たれてしまった方もおられます。ペットロスに陥り、悲しみを抱えて いる人もいるでしょう。仕事を失い、家や生活の基盤を失ってしまった方々もおられます。失ってしまったことに対する多くの嘆きとうめきが 私たちを取り囲んでいます。私たちは今なお、心の中に空虚な、闇に覆われた部分を抱え、クリスマスの喜びに溢れた調べも、私たちの心に響 いてこないかもしれません。


しかし、私たちの救い主、 主イエス・キリストは、闇の中に輝く光です。私たちの悲しみや嘆きを抱くため に、主イエスは私たちのもとへ来られました。この救い主は、私たちに慰めと罪の赦しをもたらしてくださいます。主は、私たちの弱さや不完 全さ、また後悔を知った上で、私たちを受け入れてくださいます。主イエスもまた、苦闘し、苦しまれ、嘆きを覚えられました。主イエスは私 たちの痛み、私たちの悲しみ、そして私たちの孤独を知っていてくださり、いつも、どこにおいても私たちと共にいてくださいます。

それゆえに、たとえ闇の中に私たちがいたとしても、主イエスの前に、私たちは安心していられる場所を見いだ すことができるのです。



39th Kyodan General Assembly Held in Tokyo

The 39th Kyodan General Assembly was held Oct. 28-30 at the Ikebukuro Metropolitan Hotel, with 374 of the 400 delegates attending. There were also 13 overseas guests in attendance. The theme was “Building a Kyodan that Evangelizes: Promoting Evangelism Rooted in a Unified Faith.” The first part of the program was opening worship, with Nishi-Chiba Church Pastor Kishita Nobuyo giving a message entitled “Putting Our Hope Only in the Lord.” The business meeting began with the approval of the agenda, followed by the moderator’s report. Kyodan Moderator Ishibashi Hideo reported on the various issues of main importance to the Kyodan as “an evangelizing Kyodan, the number one mission of the church”: funds for evangelism, the nurture of pastors, the church’s statement on the nuclear incident, and the statement issued by the International Conference on the East Japan Disaster, the Kyodan’s relationship with Okinawa District, and the Japan Christian Center building.


The election process for the three main officers, which started on the evening of the first day, began with the election of the moderator, and Moderator Ishibashi Hideo, pastor of Koshigaya Church, Kanto District was elected for a third term. In his greetings he said, “I take my reelection seriously, and I will seek to promote a Kyodan ablaze with evangelism—evangelism based on a unified faith.” In the election of vice-moderator that followed, delegate Sasaki Michio, pastor of Shizuoka Church, Tokai District was elected. This is the second time that Sasaki has been elected consecutively as vice-moderator since the 36th General Assembly. As is the custom for the election of secretary, the moderator and vice-moderator nominated the present secretary, Kumoshikari Toshimi, pastor of Akita Sakura Church, Ou District and those in the assembly hall approved his election. In his greetings, Secretary Kumoshikari said, “During my two terms of four years, I have been shown that the Kyodan is supported by the prayers of various churches and by the prayers of overseas churches. Furthermore, I want to relay the thoughts of those serving in rural areas and those in small-membership churches to the entire Kyodan. I want to share with the entire Kyodan that the rural churches are cheerfully evangelizing as rural churches.”


Among the agenda items this time, the focus was on “the Bill for Abolishing the Kyodan Subsidies for District Activities.” The various views in favor of the abolishment included the opinions that “there is no official place for reporting the finances and the concrete usage of the subsidies” and “district activities as such have become unclear, and we want to switch over to a new system in order to realize actual district activities.” Opposition to the bill included the view that “if Kyodan subsidies for district activities are abolished, this will be linked to the abolishment of many churches.” Other such views were expressed, but as finally voted, it was decided to abolish the Kyodan subsidies for district activities. This was accepted, and the “Bill on the Institution of Rules for Evangelism Funds” was introduced. During the consultation, revised bills were put forth by two members, resulting in the vote to approve the revised bill proposed by delegate Omura Sakae.


Since the 35th General Assembly, a fellowship event for the laity has been held after the completion of business on the second day, but at this general assembly, a meeting was held under the title “Reorganization of the National Laity Organization.” The National Laity Organization had lost its true nature due to the Kyodan’s internal dispute in 1969. This time, the National Laity Organization was reorganized after 45 years, through being “One in the Lord” and a “mutual fellowship of believers,” and has as its goal contributing to the promotion of the Kyodan’s Gospel evangelism. Its general assembly will be held the year between each biennial Kyodan General Assembly. (Tr. RT)


—Kato Makoto, executive secretary


 加藤 誠


10月28日(火)から30日(木)にかけて、池袋のホテルメトロポリタンを会場に、議員総数400名中374名の出席をもって第39回日本基督教団総会が開催された。主題は「伝道する教団の建設―信仰の一致に基づく伝道の推進―」である。最初のプログラムは開会礼拝で、木下宣世西千葉教会牧師により「ただ主にのみ望みをおく」と題 した説教が取り次がれた。。その後、組織会、議事日程が承認され議長報告が行われた。石橋秀雄教団総会議長は教団の大切な主な課題で ある、「伝道する教団-教会の第一の使命-」、伝道資金について、教師養成について、東日本大震災について、原発事故に関する声明と国際会議の声 明、沖縄教区との関係について、日本キリスト教会館についてそれぞれ報告した。

一日目夜から始まった三役選挙はまず、議長選挙が行われ、石橋秀雄議長が三選された。挨拶では「再選を 重く受け止め、伝道に燃える教団からさらに、信仰の一致に基づく伝道の推進を目指したい」と述べた。続いて行われた副議長選挙では 佐々木美知夫議員が選出された。佐々木議員は第36総会に続いて2度目の副議長選出である。書記選挙は慣例により、議長、副議長により雲然俊美現書記が推薦され、議場はこ れを承認した。雲然書記は「2期4年の間で、教団が諸教会の祈り、海外の教会の祈りに支えられていることを教えられた。また、いわゆる地 方・小規模教会に仕える者としての思いを教団全体に伝えたい。地方は地方なりに明るく伝道していることを教団全体で分かち合いたい」 と挨拶した。

今回の議案の中での焦点は「教区活動連帯金Kyodan Subsidies for District Activitiesを廃止する件」であった。廃止に賛成の意見としては「連帯金の具体的な運用や会計の公 式な場での報告がない」「連帯が自明の事ではなくなっており、真の連帯を実現させるためにも新制度に移行したい」等の意見があった。 反対意見としては「連帯金が廃止されると多くの教会の廃止につながる」等があったが、採決の結果、教区活動連帯金の廃止が決定した。 それを受けて「伝道資金規則制定に関する件」が上程された。協議の途中2議員から修正案が出され、採決の結果、大村栄議員の提出した 修正案が可決された。

第35総会以来、2日目の議事終了後に信徒交流の集いが開催されてきたが、今総会では「全国信徒会再結成・発起人会」との名 称で開催された。全国信徒会は1969年の教団紛争によって実体を失った。今回、45年ぶりに再結成された全国信徒会は、「主による一致」「会員相互の交わり」を通して、教団の福音伝道推進 に寄与することを目的とする。総会は教団総会の行われない年に開催することとした。


30th Anniversary of the Kyodan-KCCJ Covenant Celebrated

On Sept. 16, the Kyodan and the Korean Christian Church in Japan celebrated the 30th anniversary of their Mutual Mission Agreement, which was established on Feb. 8, 1984 at the Tokyo Korean YMCA in Chiyoda, Tokyo. There were 25 members of the Kyodan and 34 members of the KCCJ present.


Kyodan (former) Vice-moderator Ito Mizuo presided at the opening worship, with KCCJ President Cho Joong Rae, pastor of Funabashi Church, giving a sermon entitled “Stand on the Mountain.” He spoke on Elijah being called by God out of the cave where he was hiding to stand on the open plain with the remaining people who had not bowed down to Baal, as recorded in I Kings, and used that incident to challenge both churches not simply to maintain their mutual agreement but rather to begin walking down a new road together.


After introducing the members at the lunch reception, Kyodan General Secretary Nagasaki Tetsuo facilitated a discussion of four panelists about the present and future of their agreement. Each panelist’s presentation was instrumental in facilitating lively discussions.


1) KCCJ General Secretary Lee Keun Soo, pastor of Ogaki Church, spoke on the past and present history of the agreement and said he felt that discussion of the agreement had not properly penetrated the local churches. He also mentioned that during the discussion of the ratification of the Mission Agreement with the Kyodan at the KCCJ General Assembly in October 1983, which included a contribution from the Kyodan of 100 million yen for cooperative mission, someone questioned whether those funds should be considered as reparations. He then stated that now, after 30 years, “We must clearly state what the fruit of the last 30 years has been, and what has changed.”


2) Heo Bae Kki, chair of the Lay Committee and pastor of Tsukuba Tokyo Church, had made a careful study about the future of the agreement. He introduced a variety of issues for consideration, including clergy exchange and potential cooperation in missionary training and utilization, providing places of worship for new churches, and working together for Korean nationals and the rights of Korean residents in Japan. Also, preparations have begun for the KCCJ-sponsored “International Conference for Minorities and Mission Strategies,” to be held in the fall of 2015. The Kyodan is being asked to cooperate.


3) Harita Makoto, member of the Mutual History Study Committee, declared it a joy to have partnered for 30 years and suggested that “in order to have a deeper fellowship and better cooperative mission, it is necessary to revise the wording of our agreement and establish a new policy.” The ambiguous language of the original agreement needs to be changed in accordance with a new understanding of mission. He feels that more churches will be able to support the cause and work together if there is clear understanding.


4) Kobashi Koichi, also a member of the Mutual History Study Committee, said that it is necessary to deepen mutual understanding of cooperative mission in order to minister to youth, women, board members, children, clergy, et cetera. Also, it is necessary to take up such issues as laws governing foreign residents, with both churches cooperating with NCCJ affiliates and other organizations for mutual understanding.


KCCJ Vice-president Kim Sung Jae, pastor of Nagoya Church, presided at the closing worship. In his sermon, entitled “Restoration of the Life and Power we have Shared,” Ishibashi Hideo commented that Peter’s first sermon caught the souls of the people, leading them to a truly renewed life of worship, communion, and mission. (Tr. WJ)


—From Shinpo (The Kyodan Times), No. 4807

1984年2月8日、教団、在日大韓基督教会The Korean Christian Church in Japan(KCCJ)にて結ばれた協約の30周年記念集会が、この9月16日、 在日本韓国YMCA Tokyo Korean YMCA(東京・千代田)にて開催された。
開会にて献げ られた記念礼拝は、伊藤瑞男教団副議長司式、趙重来CHO JOONG RAE KCCJ総会長・船橋教会牧師が「山に立ちなさい」と題して説教した。列王記から、恐れ洞穴に閉じ籠る預言者エリアを、神は再び召され、広く開 かれている地平、バアルに跪かなかった残りの者たちを示されたこと、両教会も現状維持ではなく、今、新しい歩みを始めなくてはならな いことを語った。
昼食を兼ねたレセプションにて出席者の紹介後、午後には発題者4 名が立てられ長崎哲夫総幹事司会により、協約のこれまで、現在、未来について発題、パネルディスカッションが行なわれた。
李根秀LEE KEUN SOO(イ・ グンス)総会書記・大垣教会牧師は、協約の過去と現在について、協約締結前には各個教会レベルでは十分に議論が浸透していない印象で あったこと、1983年10月に行われたKCCJ総会での協約批准の議論では 「教団からの宣教協約金1億円は賠償金か」との質問が議場からあったこと等を紹介した。30年を経た協約の成果は「何が変わったか正直言って 疑問を呈さざるを得ない」とした。
許伯基HEO BAE KKI(ホ・ ペッキ)信徒委員長・つくば東京教会牧師は、協約の未来について協約に沿って積極的に考察した。人事交流、宣教師の訓練・ 協働の可能性、開拓伝道における礼拝堂提供、在日韓国・朝鮮人人権問題への取組みについて紹介、展望を語った。またKCCJ主催にて15年秋の開催準備が進められている「マイノリティ問 題と宣教戦略国際会議」への教団の協力を訴えた。
張田眞歴史共同研究委員は、協約締結30年を喜びとするとして「より深い会的交わりと宣教協力関係を樹立するため、協約文の更新、指針作成」を提案した。 協約文にはあいまいな文言や協約締結当時の教団の宣教理解が反映された文言がある。更新によって多くの教会が協約の主旨に賛同し得る とした。
小橋孝一歴史共同研究委員は、協約のこれからとして、青年、婦 人、役員、子ども、教職等、さまざま分野の交流、伝道協力が行われ相互理解をなお一層深める必要があるとした。また外国人住民基本法 制定等に見られる社会的課の取組み促進、広くNCC加盟教会・団体と両教会の交流・協力を訴えた。
閉会礼拝では、金性済KIM SUNG JAE(キム・ソンジェ)副総会会長・名古屋教会牧師が司式、「本来の命と力の回復」と題した説教にて石橋秀雄議長は、 ペテロの最初の説教に魂を打たれた人々の姿を引き、礼拝、聖礼典、そして伝道において本当の命の回復があると説教した。
教団25名、KCCJ34名 の参加だった。(教団新報)

California Church Ministers to Racial and Ethnic Minorities

by Sahara Koji, Kyodan missionary

Sycamore Congregational Church

El Cerrito, California


I am serving in the Sycamore Congregational Church in America in El Cerrito, California. This church is a part of the United Church of Christ. The UCC, especially, has a posture of struggling with social justice issues, valuing the various aspects of race, culture and sexuality, with the characteristic of evaluating them proactively.


At present, there are three missionaries sent by the Kyodan who are serving in northern California, and within the churches, there exists not only a supportive relationship with the various churches but also support of meetings for Japanese-speaking Christians. Looking ahead, there are many issues, but within this Japanese-language ministry in the USA, which includes all the Japanese-American churches, there is an important meaning of existence that is not evident from size alone.


When racism is mentioned, we think of the discrimination and violence against African-Americans of an earlier era, maybe with the viewpoint that this is a thing of the past. However, American theologians of Asian descent say that racism is at work presently and think that it will also continue to exist in some form. More than violence or hostility that can be seen, racism is functioning as a system. Specific nationalities, races, and the groups with ethnic, racial and economic power (namely Caucasians of European decent), who operate the system according to their own value standards, actualize racism through education, government, religion, and culture, which works to put pressure on various minorities.


Living among these value standards, immigrants from other countries suffer the pain of assimilation into that controlling culture, and many of the second and third generations of Japanese born in the USA question whether they are really accepted in the USA, saying that they experience alienation. However, theologians of Asian descent see that in the midst of the pain of that alienation there is an invitation being spoken by God, which they are reflecting on theologically regarding that special role. In Japanese-American churches, there are those who have gone through the racial and historical pain of internment camps during World War II and have gone on to form churches that walk together with various other minorities. Within these churches, I see people who experienced such camps opening their hands within the pain they have been given to connect with other persons in the work that God has entrusted to them.


Among the members in the Japanese-language division where I serve presently, while it varies in degree from person to person, there are those who feel lonely because they are not completely able to make the USA their homeland. They cannot completely become Americans and with the passing of time are losing their identity as Japanese, so they are living in a cultural crevice. I often become aware that even among persons who have lived in the USA for a long time, become immersed in society, and work in English, there is still this loneliness of living an in-between existence and having a sense of alienation. However, in the midst of this pain, I think there is meaning and a role that God has given us into which the gospel has spoken. At least, this church must celebrate the lives of those experiencing this in-between existence and take the role of affirming that culture positively.


Racial identity is very fluid. With the increase of marriage between races and between nationalities, the identity of people of Asian or Japanese descent will continue to change. However, I think that in every generation, God has work that God has given this church, which is walking as an ethnic minority. The UCC’s motto is “God is still speaking.” Now as always, God is facing us and speaking through our existence. (Tr. RT)


米国カリフォルニアのEl Cerrito市のシカモア組合教会に仕えています。アメリカ合同教会(United Church of Christ)(以下、UCC)に属する教会です。UCCは特に社会正義の問題に取り組む姿勢と、人種的、文化的、性的多様性を重んじ、積極的にそれらを評価する 性格を持っています。

現在、北カリフォルニアには3名の教団宣教師が派遣されており、協力関係の中でそれぞれの教会だけでな く、教会間に存在する日本語キリスト者のための集会を支えています。今後を考えると課題は少なくありませんが、このアメリカでは日本 語ミニストリーとそれを包む日系教会全体には、その規模からは見えない大切な存在意義があります。

レイシズム(人種差別)というと、一昔前の黒人に対する差別と暴力が想像され、過去のものという見方も あるでしょう。しかしアジア系アメリカ人神学者らはこのレイシズムは現在も働き、そしてこれからも何かしらの形で継続していくものだ と考えています。それは見える暴力や敵意というよりは、システムとして機能するレイシズムです。それは特定の民族的、人種的、経済的 に力あるグループ(白人と呼ばれるヨーロッパ系)の価値基準によって運営され、教育、政治、宗教、文化的に実践されており、それとは 異なる多様なマイノリティたちに抑圧的に働くものです。この基準の中で他の国からの移民はその支配的な文化に同化する痛みを負い、ま たアメリカで生まれた二世、三世の多くも「自分たちはアメリカで受け入れられているのか」と疑問を持ち、疎外を味わうというのです。 しかしそうした疎外の痛みの中で、アジア系の神学者たちは、この痛みの中に語られてい る神による招き、特別な役割について神学的に取り組もうとしています。日系教会では、第二次世界大戦の収容体験という人種的、歴史的 痛みを経て、様々なマイノリティと共に歩む教会を形成してきました。ここに彼ら、彼女らに与えられた痛みの中で手を開き、他の人々と 繋がっていく神に託された仕事があるように思います。


私が仕える日語部のメンバーの間にも、程度は様々ですが、このアメリカで完全には故郷を作ることのでき ない寂しさがあります。完全にアメリカ人になれず、またこちらでの年月と共に日本人でもなくなっていくアイデンティティや文化の狭間 を生きています。「アメリカで長く生活し、社会にと け込み、英語で仕事をするこの人の中にも狭間に生きる寂しさ、疎外感があるのか

と気づかされることは少なくありません。けれども、この痛みの中で私たちキリスト者の意義、神の与えた役 割があり、そこで語られている福音があると思うのです。少なくともこの教会はこの狭間に生きる人々の命を祝い、文化を積極的に肯定す る役割があります。

民族的なアイデンティティはとても流動的です。人種間、民族間の結婚の増加の中で、アジア系や日系とい うアイデンティティも変わり続けていくでしょう。しかしいつの時代にも、人種的マイノリティとして歩むこの教会に与えられる神からの 仕事があると思います。UCCの標語は、”God is still speaking”です。今もなお、私たちに向かって、また私たちの存在を通して、神は語っておられるのです。

Commission on Mission Sees PCT Ministry in Taiwan

by Gushiken Atsushi, pastor

                                                                                                       Yomitan Church, Okinawa District


The sixth meeting of the Commission on Mission during the 2013-14 General Assembly period took place in Taipei, Taiwan, Oct. 6-8. On the first day we visited two churches, the first being Suang-Lien Church, which celebrated its 100th anniversary just last year. The head pastor, Rev. Chen Wen Chin, and several church elders told us about the history of the church and its ministry. After that, we went to Tai-An Church in Taipei, which began its ministry in a section of older apartment buildings 55 years ago.


In May, Tai-An Church had just dedicated its fourth sanctuary building, which is part of a large building with four floors underground and eight floors above ground. Rev. Lo Lien Sheng, the head pastor, described to us the church’s mission outreach, especially focusing on its mission work in Malawi, Africa. We were overwhelmed by the scale of the work this one church was able to do.


On the second day, we visited the Mackay Memorial Hospital in the northern part of Taiwan, which had been founded by Dr. George Mackay of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. This hospital has been a pioneer in the medical infrastructure of Taiwan and continues to lead the way. We followed that with a visit to the headquarters of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, where General Secretary Lin Fang Chung gave us an overview of the PCT. The PCT will be celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2015 and for the past few years has been implementing a training program for the laity entitled “Each One Reach One, Doubling Our Numbers.” We concluded the second day with a visit to Tamsui, where Dr. Mackay first began his work. There we visited Tam-Kang High School (part of a mission school from kindergarten through high school), Aletheia University, and Tamsui Church.


On the final day, we went to Taiwan Theological Seminary and first met with professors of missiology. We then held our own meeting in a room there, where we heard reports and discussed the agenda items that are being carried over into the next general assembly period. Concerning this, Chairperson Harita Makoto made the following comment: “One of the issues that this committee deals with is the mission strategy of the Kyodan. In an age of globalization, we need to pay attention to the changes in society and continue our research into how best to build a structure to deal with that.” The following seven areas are ones we have dealt with in this commission that will be handed over to the new Commission on Mission of the upcoming general assembly period: the strengthening of ties with both the Japan Christian Social Work League and the Japan Association of Christian Nursery Schools; the continuation of the subcommittee considering issues surrounding disabilities; the establishment of a counseling center for pastors and their families; the issues surrounding church-related kindergartens and nurseries in the context of evangelism; research into mission preparedness in an age of globalization; the holding of a mission strategy conference; and beginning to deal with mission strategies. At the end of our meeting, we expressed our gratitude to our translator, Tsai In Tsu. (Tr. TB)

第38回総会期第6回宣教委員会は10月6日㈪~8日㈬ 台北(台湾)にて開催された。初日は二つの教会を訪問。先ず、昨年2013年 に創立百周年を迎えた雙連教会を訪ねた。陳文欽(主任)牧師と長老たちから教会の歴史とその働きを伺った。その後、台北の古いアパー ト群の一角で開拓伝道が開始され、今年創立55周年を迎えた大安教会を訪問。 大安教会はこの5月に4回目の会堂(地下4階、地上8階)を献堂。羅聯昇(主任)牧師から活発な宣教活動、特にマラウイ(アフリカ) の教会への支援活動を一教会で行う大安教会の宣教力に圧倒される思いで伺った。

二日目は、台湾北部で伝道を開始されたカナダ長老教会のマカイ宣教師(Dr.George Mackay)由来の馬偕病院Sin-Lau Christian Hospitalを訪問した。馬偕病院は創立以来、台湾における医療のパイオニア的存在として地域社会に貢 献し続けている。それから、PCT総会(台 湾基督長老教会本部)を訪問。林芳仲総幹事によるPCT紹介を伺った。PTCは2015年に宣教150周年を 迎える。数年程前から「一領一新倍加 門徒培育プログラム」(信徒訓練)を実施している。その後、マカイ宣教師が最初に上陸した淡水へ向かい淡水中学校(幼稚園~高等学校)、真理大学、淡水教 会を訪問。

最終日は、台湾神学院を訪 問。宣教学担当教師と懇談の時を持った。それから、神学院の一室を借用し委員会を開催。諸報告を受け、次期総会期への申し送り事項に ついて協議。張田委員長は次のようにコメント。「当委員会の課題の一つは教団の宣教方策に取り組むことである。グローバル化に伴う社 会変化に着目し、それに対応できる態勢を整えるための研究の継続が求められいる。」第38期 宣教委員会は、左記の7つの申し送り 事項を確認した。①キリスト教社会事業同盟、キリスト教保育所同

との連携強化。②「障がい」を考える小委員会の継続。③「牧会者とその家族のための 相談室」の設置。④幼稚園、保育園問題の課題(伝道協力)。⑤グローバル化時代の宣教態勢の研究。⑥「宣教方策会議」の開催。⑦「宣教方策」の取組みの開始。

最後に通訳奉仕をされた蔡恩慈氏に感謝の意を表し、黙祷をもって閉会した。 (具志堅 篤報)