【April 2016 No.387】Executive Council Considers Financial and Procedural Matters

The fifth Executive Council meeting of the present two-year (39th) Kyodan General Assembly period was held Feb. 15-16 at Fujimicho Church in Tokyo, with all 30 members in attendance. General Secretary Nagasaki Tetsuo reported that the earthquake-resistant refitting of the Japan Christian Center was on schedule and that the various Kyodan offices would be moving back to the refurbished building between March 11 and 13.


In response to a question about the International Youth Conference on the East Japan Earthquake Disaster, Organizing Chairperson Akiyama Toru explained that the conference is officially sponsored by the Kyodan and is to be held from March 28 to 31, 2017 in Kyoto at Kansai Seminar House. Its purpose is to continue in the spirit of the International Conference held in March 2014 in Sendai, also sponsored by the Kyodan, so that the issues raised there can be passed on to the next generation.


Concerning the 500th Anniversary Celebration of the Reformation, Preparation Committee Chairperson Okamura Hisashi reported that a national conference for junior and senior high school students will be held at Megumi Chalet in Karuizawa Aug. 9-11, 2017 as well as a 500th Anniversary Commemoration Worship Service at Aoyama Gakuin on June 22, 2017.


Concerning finances, the main topics were the discussions surrounding the “Elimination of the First Fund for Mission Research” and the “Third Supplemental Budget for the 2015 Fiscal Year” [April 1, 2015 – March 31, 2016]. With respect to the first proposal, it was decided to eliminate that fund by transferring the money to the main budget and applying it to the costs of the retrofitting of the Japan Christian Center building and moving expenses. The proposed “Third Supplemental Budget” was approved by majority vote and will mainly be applied to the costs of moving back into the Japan Christian Center building and for costs to remodel the office of the Board of Publications.


Sasaki Michio, chair of the Committee on the Future Concept of the Kyodan, gave an intermediate report on the results of the eight meetings held so far. The three-page report stressed the necessity of the Kyodan finding a new direction with a structure that can deal with the realities of an aging membership and fewer young people, the lack of effective evangelism, and dwindling resources.


The last item on the agenda was a proposal by Executive Council Member Kita Kiyoshi to establish a selection committee for the next general secretary within the Executive Council. In response, Moderator Ishibashi Hideo asked for clarification of how the proposal should be handled prior to it coming up for a vote.  He indicated that he preferred that Article 50 of the Kyodan Bylaws be respected as well as the present tradition of the moderator nominating someone who is then approved by the Executive Council and voted on at the Kyodan General Assembly. He proposed that this procedure be voted on first, before consideration of the new proposal. By a show-of-hands vote of 16 of the 30 members, the moderator’s proposal was accepted, and then those in favor and those against were able to exchange opinions as to which system would be better. With the moderator abstaining, the result of the final anonymous ballot was18 in favor, 10 against, and 1 abstention. Thus, it was decided to table further discussion, with the present system of nomination by the moderator to be further discussed at the next meeting. (Tr. TB)


—Kato Makoto, executive secretary




 総幹事報告で長崎哲夫総幹事は、日本キリスト教会館耐震・改修工事は順調に進み、3月11日から13日に事務局3局は移転再入居と報告した。東日本大震災の 国際青年会議についての質問があり、秋山徹実行委員長が、2017年3月28日~31日に京都の関西セミナーハウスで開催する教団主催の会議であり、2014年3月に仙台で開催された国際会議の精神・課題を継続し、次の世代への継承をしたいと説明した。

 宗教改革500周年記念行事について岡村恒準備委員会委員長は、2017年8月9日~11日、軽井沢・恵みシャレーで全国中高生大会 を開催すること、青山学院を会場に2017年6月22日に500周年記念礼拝を開催することを報告した。

 財務に関しては主に、「宣教研究第一資金廃止に関する件」と「2015年度第3次補正予算案」が協議された。最初の議案で は、本資金を廃止し、経常会計に繰り入れ、会館耐震・改修工事費用および一時移転関係費用の支払いに充てることが承認された。「第3次補正予算」では、主に会館移転再入居費用と出版局内装工事のための貸付金が提案され、賛成多数で承認され た。

 教団将来構想検討委員会の佐々木美知夫委員長は、8回に及んだ委員会の中間報告を行った。3 ページにわたる報告書から、信徒の高齢化、若年層減少、伝道不振、財政の逼迫を踏まえ、教団が一定の方向を見出し、新しい局面を描き出せ る体制を取ることが必要とまとめた。

 議事日程の最後に挙げられたのは「総幹事選考委員会設置」(提案者:北紀吉常議員)だっ た。次期総幹事選考のため、常議員会のもとに選考委員会設置を求める提案である。石橋秀雄議長は、議案上程前に議案の取り扱いについて 諮った。教規50条②の規定を尊重して、慣例通り議長推薦、常議員会承認、教団総会にて選任決定することを先議してもらいたいと述 べた。挙手による採決となり30名中16名の賛成で議長案が先に上程されることになった。賛否両方の意見が交わされたのち無記名投票による採決とな り、議長以外の29名中賛成18票、反対10票、白票1票で、慣例通り議長による推薦が次回常議員会で諮られることとなった。(加藤誠)

【April 2016 No.387】Emmaus Center, 5 Years After the East Japan Disaster

Emmaus Disaster Relief Center, in Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture, began the task of providing aid for survivors immediately after the disaster, and continues to do so. As more and more people are moving out of temporary housing, Emmaus is confronted with the needs of the people who are left behind.


by Kikuchi Mamoru, Emmaus staff member

Kyodan Tohoku Disaster Relief Center

Member, Izumi Aisen Church


The Kyodan Tohoku Disaster Relief Center, Emmaus, has been providing aid that matches the individual needs of each survivor. This aid is administered from two locations, Emmaus Sendai and Emmaus Ishinomaki, and has been enabled by the efforts of our staff, working together with domestic and international volunteers. At Emmaus Sendai, where I work (hereafter referred to as “Emmaus”), we have provided agricultural support and have had fellowship with people who live in temporary housing through various activities, including several seasonal events along with our regular “Radio Gymnastics and Ochakko Salon” (literally, tea-drinking salon), which is held at 8:30 every morning from Tuesday to Saturday.


Sato Masashi, sent by the Kyodan to work full-time at Emmaus, is also the assistant pastor of Izumi Aisen Church, to which I belong, where he has served since April 2012. This church was given the opportunity to be transformed into a place where disaster survivors could go for support. I heard about Emmaus from Masashi and thought, “This is my hometown, and these are my neighbors. There must be something that I can do.” So I volunteered to be a staff member.


At first, I was worried about whether or not I could keep pace with the young people at Emmaus. However, the survivors that I meet at work are the same age as myself, so it is easy for them to relate to me. I have gradually gained self-confidence in my role as an elderly person. The church members come together to work hard to provide aid. The women of the church regularly volunteer, making dinner for the workers and preparing meals at the temporary housing projects.


We have movie screening and ochakko (tea drinking) once a month at the emergency temporary housing project in Asuto Nagamachi. During the summer of 2015, Emmaus helped conduct a survey on the actual living conditions and housing plans of the residents as we visited and listened to them. At that time, this temporary housing project had 233 households, making it the temporary housing project with the largest number of residents in the city of Sendai. Three public-housing apartment buildings have been completed nearby into which 100 households have moved, so there are now only about 50 households still remaining in temporary housing.

Because it is difficult for people living alone to get into these new apartments and privately rented housing is either too expensive or guarantors cannot be found, the net result is that they are stranded in these temporary housing units. Likewise, the temporary housing residents’ association that tried to integrate the various opinions of the temporary housing residents has now disbanded. The results of the survey made it clear that there are three problems. First, a certain number of households say they have no housing options beyond the temporary housing units. Second, commonly shared spaces in the complex are deteriorating. And third, because there is little interaction with the residents of the publicly managed reconstruction project residences, the remaining residents of the temporary housing are becoming isolated.


There are also ways in which the activities of Emmaus connect people. One person, who has recently moved out of temporary housing into a house, is brought to Emmaus by her daughter on her way to work in order to continue with the “Radio Gymnastics and Ochakko Salon” program. Another person, who was always a regular attendee, still gets a ride to and from Emmaus once a week and talks with a good friend from the temporary housing. She still looks forward to going to ochakko with the volunteers. For this community of people who have been through the destruction caused by the tsunami and the difficulty of moving out of temporary housing, it takes an unbelievable amount of time and effort to restart their lives. For instance, the head of one of the temporary housing residents’ associations has already moved to a new home, but he still commutes to the temporary housing in order to keep up with the association’s activities, and he is also making preparations to establish a new residents’ association in the newly constructed publicly managed reconstruction housing project.


At the orientation that the Emmaus volunteers attend when they begin, they are taught the slogan “slow work.” The slogan emphasizes a trusting relationship with each person who is a disaster survivor rather than emphasizing efficiency. I have stressed the importance of going out to the disaster areas and verifying the facts with one’s own eyes, emphasizing that one should not just have sympathy for the survivors but that one should, through a “sensitivity-sharpening encounter,” experience the character and spirit of these people who are trying to get over the reality of the disaster as well as trying to survive. The volunteers know about the East Japan Disaster as historical information. However, when they share their recollections after completing the work, they say that it was a completely different experience when they themselves stood at its actual location. As for myself, I used to be a company employee, but through Emmaus I met people of other occupations, like farmers, for the first time, and experienced heart-to-heart communication with them. The situation of the disaster areas is changing quickly. Emmaus decided to withdraw agricultural support by the end of September 2016. After that we want to concentrate our efforts on support for residents remaining in temporary housing and their communities and for people living alone.


We want to keep on taking advantage of our connection to this small site, which is part of a great disaster, and use it as a place for young volunteers to have a learning experience. We will continue to endeavor to tell the story of the aftermath of the disaster. (Tr.KT)


—From Shinto no Tomo (Believers’ Friend)

January 2016 issue

(Summarized by KNL Editor Kawakami Yoshiko)



宮城県仙台市で震災 直後から被災者支援の働きを続けてきたエマオでは、仮設住宅からの人々の転居が進む中、取り残された人のニーズに向き合っていま す。

菊池  護 きくち まもる宮城・いずみ愛泉教 会員
東北教区被災者支援センター・エマオ スタッフ

東北教区被災者支援センター・エマオでは、被災者一人一人のニーズに合わせた支援をエマオ仙台とエマオ石 巻の2拠点で行ってきました。これを支えるのは私たちスタッフと、国内外からのボランティアです。私の働く エマオ仙台(以下エマオ)では農業支援のほか、火~土曜日の朝8時30分から行う「ラジオ体操&お茶っこOchakko Salon(literally, tea-drinking salon)」や、季節のイ ベント開催といったワークを通じて、仮設住宅に暮らす方々と交流してきました。

エマオの日本基督教団派遣専従者である佐藤真史さんは、私が所属するいずみ愛泉教会の副牧師でもあり、2012年4月に招聘されました。教会は、被災者支援 の拠点へ変身するチャンスを与えられました。私は、真史さんからエマオの話を聞き「地元の隣人としてやるべきことがある」と思 い、スタッフを志願しました。

当初はエマオの若者社会についていけるか懸念もありましたが、ワークで出会う被災者の方々と同世代で親し みを持ってもらいやすいといった、高齢者なりの役割に徐々に自信が持てるようになりました。教会でも、教会員が一体となって支援活動 に取り組み、婦人会はワーカーの夕食作りと仮設住宅でのお食事会を、ボランティアで定期的に担当しています。

エマオが月1回映画上映会とお茶っこを実施している、あすと長町(Asuto Nagamachi) 応急仮設住宅では15年夏、居住実態・居住意向調査が計画され、訪問と聞き取りにエマオも協力しました。この仮設は、仙台 市内最大の233世帯の居住者を抱えていました。現在は、隣接地に3棟の復興公営住宅が完成し100世帯が転居、50世帯程度が残っています。復興公営住宅は単身者では入居しづらく、かといって民間の賃貸では家賃の負 担が大きく、保証人を立てられないといった問題があり、仮設に取り残されざるを得ない人がいるのです。この仮設住宅の意向を取り まとめていた自治会は解散しました。調査の結果、今後の住まいの見通しが立っていない世帯が一定数いること、共用空間の荒廃、復 興公営住宅入居者との交流が少なく、仮設居住者が孤立していることの3つ の問題が明らかになりました。

エマオの活動が人々を結びつけている面もあります。仮設住宅から戸建ての新居に移ったNさんは、出勤前の娘さんに送られ、今もラジオ体操&お茶っこに通い続けています。常連だったOさんは週1回エマオに送迎され、仮設住宅で仲 の良かったAさんとおしゃべりし、ワーカーとお茶っこをしに行くことを楽 しみにしています。(津波による崩壊、仮設からの転居による崩壊を経た)コミュニティーが再生するにはとてつもない時間と労力が 求められるのではないでしょうか。転居した会長が、通いで仮設住宅の自治会活動を守るところや、新しい復興公営住宅での自治会を 設立する準備も始まっています。

エマオではワーカーが最初に受けるオリエンテーションで、効率性よりも被災者一人一人との信頼関係を重視 する「スローワーク」という合言葉を伝えます。わたしは、被災地に出向き自分の目で事実を確認することと、被災者への単なる同情では なく、被災の現実を乗り越えて生き抜こうとしている人々の人格と魂に触れる「感性を研ぎ澄ました出会い」ということを強調してきまし た。ワーカーは、情報としての東日本大震災は知っています。しかしワーク後は、被災の現場に自分自身が立つことは全く異なる経験だっ た、と述懐します。サラリーマンだった私自身、エマオを通じて農家の方などと初めて出会い、心を通わせる体験をしてきました。

被災地の状況は、刻々と変わっています。エマオは2016年9月いっぱいで農業支援からの撤退を決断し、その後は仮設支援やコミュニティーへの支援、1人暮らしの 方などへの個別の支援を主に担っていく予定です。これからも、小さな現場とのつながりを若いワーカー達の学びの場として丁寧に生 かしつつ、被災のその後を伝える語り部として働いていきたいと思います。

(信徒の友2016年1月号より 川上善子KNL編集委員長まとめ)

【April 2016 No.387】Charity Concerts Performed for Disaster-Damaged Churches

by Iijima Makoto, executive secretary Kyodan East Japan Disaster Relief Project Relief Planning Headquarters


Following the first Charity Concert for the Disaster Area in the spring of 2013, a new series of charity concerts to aid damaged churches began in 2015. The Relief Planning Headquarters, which bore all expenses and sold the tickets, cosponsored each concert together with each local church taking part in the program, with all proceeds then being applied to the repayment of the loans to those churches.


The first concert was held on Dec. 10, 2015 at Joban Church, followed by a concert at Chiba-Honcho Church on Jan. 22. Concerts were also planned at Asian Rural Institute on March 9, Yokohama Shiro Church on March 10 and Denenchofu Church on March 26.


The concert at Joban Church was a duet for violin and piano, with an audience of 112, requiring extra chairs in the church. At Chiba-Honcho Church, there were two performances: one for mothers and children as a matinee and the other in the evening. A total of 93 people (19 children and 74 adults) attended, raising 210,000 yen. As this church was not damaged in the earthquake, the proceeds were divided up and sent to the three districts that had damaged churches (Kanto, Tohoku, and Ou). The performers at this concert were a vocalist and two pianists, who are visually impaired twin sisters.


This charity concert program is getting into full swing during 2016, the final year of operations of the Relief Planning Headquarters. (Tr. KY)



救援対策本部担当幹事 飯島 信

2013年春より始まった被災地支援コンサート に続き、昨年冬から新たに被災教会支援のためのチャリティー・コンサートが始まった。主催は開催教会で、救援対策本部が共催する。チ ケットを販売し、演奏に関わる費用は本部が負担、チケット売り上げは全て被災した教会の貸付金返済のために用いられる。

昨年12月10日(木)の郡山教会を皮切りに、コンサートは1月22日(土)千葉本町教会、3月9日(水)アジア学院、10日(木)横浜指路教会、26日(土)田園調布教会と続く。郡山教会では、山口幸子さん(新日本フィル・ヴァイオリニスト)と高橋碧伊 さん(ピアニスト)によるデュオの演奏で、教会備え付けの椅子がほとんど全て出されるほどの盛況であった(参加者112人)。又千葉本町教会は、母と子向けの昼の部と一般向けの夜の部の2回開催で、大人74・子ども19の計93名が参加し、チケット売り上げと献金を合わせて21万円が献げられた。当教会は被災教会ではないので、売り上げは被災3教区(奥羽・東北・関東)に振り分けて送られた。演奏者は西谷衣代さん(声楽・二期会 会員)と木村りえ・りささんの視覚障がいの双子のピアニストであった。この企画は、本部の活動の最終年度である2016年度に本格化する。(英訳では演奏者名 を略した)

【April 2016 No.387】Freedom of Worship and Evangelism

The Kyodan commemorates “National Founding Day” (Feb. 11) as “Freedom of Religion Day” to promote freedom of religion and to pray for the Japanese nation and society that this freedom will be maintained.


by Kondo Katsuhiko, former president

Tokyo Union Theological Seminary

Associate Pastor of Ginza Church


According to mythology, as recorded in the Kojiki and Nihonshoki, Emperor Jimmu was enthroned on Feb.11. That day, known as “Kigensetsu,” was a national holiday until World War II. The day was abolished by the occupation forces after the war but was resurrected in 1966 as “National Founding Day.” The purpose was to “promote remembrance of the founding of the nation and nurture of a spirit of love for the country.”


National Founding Day and other such holidays, such as Independence Day in the United States or Bastille Day in France, are typical days of remembrance to signify the launch of a modern nation. To commemorate national founding on the day of Emperor Jimmu’s enthronement does not reflect the sovereignty of the people or a democratic republic but rather an ancient and Shintoist national character. This is connected to the prewar restoration of State Shinto, and for this reason, there are Christian seminaries that protest by refusing to acknowledge the day as a holiday. The Kyodan protests the mythological nationalism and religious restoration by remembering this day as “Freedom of Religion Day.”


Article 20 of the Japanese Constitution states that “freedom of religion” is a central, fundamental human right in any modern constitution, and that “freedom of thinking and conscience” and “freedom to assemble, organize, and speak” are fundamental rights that foster the building of a free nation. As the constitution is supposed to protect citizens from misuse of state power and has the responsibility of guaranteeing that its limits are enforced, “freedom of religion” applies more to ensuring that limits on the nation’s power are maintained than to limits on individuals, and the nation is required to guarantee this. State power must be executed apart from religion or by remaining neutral in relation to all religions.


Article 20, Section 3 of the Constitution states: “The State and its organs shall refrain from religious education or any other religious activity.” Prefecture governments are included in this. Religious education in national or public schools is prohibited. Religious education is only permitted in families or in private schools that were established for that purpose at their founding. All religious organizations are to educate with the premise of “freedom of religion” in mind.


Is “freedom of religion” kept appropriately in Japan? National and social events and ceremonies often bear the colors and expressions of particular religions, and the emperor, who is supposed to be the symbol that brings all Japanese together as one, is still very much a part of Shintoism, just as he was prior to the war. We must conclude that Japan’s “freedom of religion” is not in keeping with modern standards.


On the other side of the coin, fundamentalist Muslims and Christians are seen as suppressing “freedom of religion” from an international perspective. It is necessary to have tolerance in order to foster a global community that can freely practice religion.


Nevertheless, pressure on small religious groups is as strong as ever. Christians need to have enduring resistance and courage to improve in order to live. I believe we have been given the “freedom of a Christian” through his atonement. The Bible says, “It is for freedom Christ has set us free.” (Gal. 5:1) Through the blessing of the gift of our Lord Jesus, we have received “the freedom of God’s children” and believe that this freedom cannot be taken away by anything. The Bible also says, “And because you are God’s children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba! Father!” (Gal. 4:6) Through our Lord Jesus, we have been released from the “spirits who rule” this world. Believers who live in the freedom of God’s Son, with God as their only God, live in thankfulness and rejoicing. Hope and courage to continue the battle of maintaining “freedom of religion” comes from living in the freedom of Christ.


“Freedom of religion” is not merely for protecting the individual. There is a free community supporting the individual. A church community exists that lives in the freedom of the gospel, and that community witnesses to the greatness of that freedom and evangelizes by it. Having a church that is free to worship and evangelize is necessary first for God’s Kingdom but is also necessary to build a free nation and society. When the church is lively and active, not only will Japan become a truly free country but also the church will be playing a very meaningful role.

Presently, there is much discussion about the freedom assured in the Constitution, but from a Christian standpoint, and particularly, from a Protestant standpoint, the roots go back to the issues of English Puritanism: human rights and democracy.


I believe that Christians, especially, can deeply understand the spirit of the Constitution. And when the Constitution is threatened, should we not raise questions to assure that the Constitution is upheld? But that foundation, in whatever time, must be rooted in the free worship of our God, the only God, and a church that is able to evangelize freely. (Tr. WJ)


—From Shinto no Tomo (Believers’ Friend)

February 2016 issue

(Summarized by KNL Editor Kawakami Yoshiko)



日 本基督教団は「建国記念の日」(2月11日)を「信教の自由を守る日」として覚えています。この日は、日本の国と社会の中で信教の自由が守ら れるために行動し、祈る日です。

近藤 勝彦

こんどう かつひこ/前東京神学大学学長 東京・銀座教会協力牧師

 2月11日は、『古事記』や『日 本書紀』の神話的な記述によって神武天皇の即位の日とされ、戦前は「紀元節」と呼ばれた祝日でした。戦後占領軍(GHQ)の意向によって廃止さ れましたが、1966年(昭和41年)に「建国記念の日」 として復興されました。目的は「建国をしのび、国を愛する心を養う」とされています。

建国記念やそれに類する 祝日は、アメリカの独立記念日、フランスの革命記念日(パリ祭)をはじめ、近代国家として出発した記念日を祝っています。神武天皇の 即位をもって建国とすることは、国民主権や民主主義の国家でなく、古代的・神道的な国家観を表すでしょう。戦前の国家神道の復旧にも 通じるので、この日を休日とせず抵抗を示すキリスト教学校もあります。日本基督教団では、この日をむしろ「信教の自由を守る日」とし て、神話的国家観やその宗教的復興の傾向に抵抗しているわけです。

 日本国憲法第20条で保証されている「信 教の自由」は、どの近代憲法も保障する基本的人権の中心であって、「思想及び良心の自由」や「集会・結社・表現の自由」と共に「自由 な国家」の根本を形成しています。憲法はそもそも国権の乱用を防止し、その遂行を制限するところに重大な使命を持っていますから、 「信教の自由」も個々の人々よりまず国の権力を制限し、国が信教の自由を保障するよう義務づけています。国の権力の遂行は非宗教的 に、あるいは宗教的中立性をもって、行われなければならないものです。

 憲法第20条3項は、「国及びその 機関は、宗教教育その他いかなる宗教的活動もしてはならない」と明記しています。都や県のような地方自治体の諸機関の行動も制約され ます。国・公立の学校で宗教教育をすることは禁じられています。宗教教育をしてよいのは、建学の精神によって自由に設立された私立の 学校であり、またそれぞれの家庭です。各宗教団体も「信教の自由」を前提にして宗教教育をします。親には特に教育上の責任がありま す。

 「信教の自由」は日本で適切に保持されているでしょうか。国や社会の儀礼や祝典にしばしば特定の宗教の 色彩が顔を出しますし、国民統合の象徴とされる天皇は依然として神道から切り離されていません。日本の「信教の自由」は近代的な水準 に達していないと、言わなければならないでしょう。

 他方、「信教の自由」を抑圧することは、イスラム原理主義やキリスト教ファンダメンタリズムにも許され ないというのが、国際社会の見方でしょう。自由なグローバル市民社会における自由な宗教活動のために、宗教的な寛容と信教の自由が重 大な役割を占めています。

 それでも宗教的な少数者たちには依然として忍耐が強いられています。キリスト者は持続的な抵抗と改善の 勇気をもって生きることが必要でしょう。私たちはキリストの贖いによって「キリスト者の自由」を与えられたと信じています。「キリス トはわたしたちを自由の身にしてくださった」(ガラテヤ5・1)と聖書は告げます。主 イエスからの恵みの賜物として「神の子の自由」を与えられ、この自由は何ものによっても奪われないと信じています。「『アッバ、父 よ』と叫ぶ御子の霊を、わたしたちの心に送ってくださった事実から分かります」(ガラテヤ4・6)とも言われます。主イ エスによってこの世の「支配する諸霊」からも解放されました。神の子の自由に生かされたキリスト者の生活は、神のみを神として生きる 感謝と喜びの生活です。「信教の自由」を守る闘いは、この生活の中で希望と勇気に支えられています。

「信教の自由」は、ただ個人的に守るだけのものではありません。個人を支える自由な共同体があります。福 音によって自由に生きる教会共同体が存在し、その自由のすばらしさを証しし、伝道しています。自由に礼拝し、自由に伝道する教会があ ることは、第一には神の国のためですが、自由な国や社会の形成のためにも必要とされています。教会が生き生きと存在し、活動している ことは、日本が真に自由な国になる上で、重大な意味を持っています。

 日本国憲法に規定された自由は、なお議論があることですが、キリスト教的、とりわけプロテスタント的で あり、その起源の一つはイングランドのピューリタニズムにさかのぼることができるでしょう。人権や民主主義がそれです。

 キリスト者こそが憲法の精神を深いところから理解できると思います。そして憲法が保障する権利は、それが侵 害されたときには憲法に訴えて守るべきではないでしょうか。しかしその根本に、どんなときにも、神のみを神とする自由な礼拝と自由な伝道 の教会がなければならないでしょう。信徒の友2月号(川上善子KNL編集委員長まとめ)

【April 2016 No.387】Akita Subdistrict Convenes 2nd Mission Conference

Akita Subdistrict held its second mission conference of the 2015-16 fiscal year at Akita Sakura Church on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. The topic was “To Do Evangelism Together in Akita, Working with Missionaries.”


Akita Subdistrict was created with the 1996 subdistrict reorganization of Ou District and is now celebrating its twentieth year. Akita has an aging population and low birth rate, and this is impacting church growth. In this difficult time, as a first approach, the subdistrict has accepted missionaries from abroad and developed a new vision of evangelism. In 2013, on the recommendation of Ou District, Shunan Church received Choi Jangsoo from Korea as a missionary. In November 2015, Wakimoto Church and Akita Iijima Church jointly welcomed Janeth Sumalinog, a missionary from the Philippines. A report at the mission conference gave the details about their recruitment and their mission work at the churches.


Shunan Church began in 1914 through the zealous prayer and hard work of a U.S. missionary and has served a large area of southern Akita. Today, missionary Choi Jang-Soo and his wife Huh Yoon-Jeong are based at the outreach center of Shunan Church in Kakumagawa and concentrate their work over this area of southern Akita. Choi Jang-Soo and Huh Yoon-Jeong were sent to Japan with the prayers of the Korean church. Shunan Church holds worship services at six chapels and one meeting hall every week, with the pastors traveling between them. These missionaries serve together faithfully with the main pastor, Ando Akiyoshi. In October 2014, many people from Somang Church in Korea came to Japan to help Shunan Church celebrate its 100th anniversary. For two years during that time, the poppera singer (from “popular” and “opera”) Kim Soojin and violinist Son Aeyoung gave concerts at public halls, in nearby churches, and in various Shunan Church chapels to promote evangelism. We pray that we can continue to conduct the kind of evangelism that crosses borders.


When Janeth Sumalinog had just arrived in Japan, she worked closely with the main pastor, Nakanishi Etsuko, at Akita Iijima Church and Wakimoto Church. Her smile gave everyone a warm feeling. It was also reported that she had wonderful fellowship with the children at Izumi Kindergarten, connected to Wakimoto Church, and that Akita Iijima Church wants to start an English Café, which they hope will bring more people into the church.


Executive Secretary for Ecumenical Ministries Kato Makoto also attended this conference, and an energetic question-and-answer session made the conference very productive. We sincerely appreciate the work of the steering committee of the conference and hope to continue to work together with missionaries. We ask for your prayers for this endeavor. (Tr. JT)


—Taya Motoyoshi, pastor

Yuzawa Church, Ou District


2015年度秋田地区第2回宣教協議会が2016年1月23日(土)秋田桜教会を会場に行われました。主題は「共に秋田に伝道するために」、副題は「宣教師と共に歩む」でし た。

 秋田地区は、奥羽教区の地区再編により、1996年度以降、歩みを為し、地区設立20周年を迎えます。秋田は少子高齢化と人口減少の著 しい地域であり、その影響も受け、教勢面において課題を抱える教会が幾つかある現状です。そのような中、地区設立以降の歩みにおいて は初めてですが、海外の教会より宣教師を迎えて、新しい伝道の幻(ヴィジョン)と共に歩み出している教会があります。

 2013年度、秋南(Shunan)教会では、韓国より崔長壽(チェ・ ジャンス) Choi Jangsoo宣 教師を、奥羽教区の紹介により迎えられました。また昨年11月より脇本教会と秋田飯島教会が合同でフィリピンよりジャネット・スマリノグJaneth Sumalinog宣教師を迎えられました。今回の協議会において宣 教師をお迎えになる経緯やご着任されて以降の各教会での宣教のための活動についてご報告をお聞きいたしました。

 秋南教会は1914年、米国出身の一人の宣教師の熱心な祈りと働きによって始まり、以来、伝統的に秋田県南部において広域伝道を展開 する教会です。崔長壽宣教師はご伴侶の許允禎(ホ・ユンジョン)Janeth Sumalinog姉 と共に同教会角間川会堂を拠点にして、主として秋田県南部の地域を中心に宣教活動に携わっておられます。許允禎姉も韓国の教会におい ては宣教師として覚えられて熱い祈りと共に日本へと遣わされた方です。秋南教会は現在、6会堂と1集会所をもち、毎週、礼拝が行われ ています。各会堂と集会所での礼拝奉仕と牧会と伝道に主任牧師の安藤昭良牧師と共に祈りつつ誠実に励んでいらっしゃいます。また同教 会では崔長壽宣教師、許允禎姉を迎えられて以降、韓国の教会との交流が活発になっています。2014年10月に行われた同教会創立百周年記念礼拝の際には韓 国、所望(ソマン) Somang教会より多くの信徒の方々が来られてお祝いくださいました。そんな中、来日されたポッペラPopera歌 手、キム・スジンKim Soojinさんとバイオリニスト、ソン・エヨンSon Aeyoungさ んの演奏の御奉仕により同教会の各会堂や近隣の教会、地域の小学校、公民館等を会場にして伝道のためのコンサートが二年続けて豊かな 祝福の内に開催されました。今後も国境を越えた宣教協力が豊かな祝福の内になされますように祈ります。

 ジャネット・スマリノグ宣教師はご着任後、まだ 間もなくいらっしゃいますが、脇本教会と秋田飯島教会において、会う人々の心を暖かくしてくれる笑顔をもって宣教師としてのお働きを 主任牧師の中西絵津子牧師と共に始めておられます。脇本教会付属のいづみ幼稚園での園児たちとの楽しい交流の様子等について報告が為 され、また秋田飯島教会では彼女の英語力を生かしてイングリッシュ・カフェを行い、地域の方々に教会に足を運び親しんで頂くときとし たいと語られました。

 今回、加藤誠世界宣教幹事にもご出席頂き活発な 質疑応答もなされ充実した協議会となりました。同委員会の御働きに感謝し、今後も宣教師と共に秋田地区の歩みを続けていきたいと思い ます。お祈り頂ければ感謝です。