【June 2018 No.398】Mission Planning Conference Explores Vision, Progress in Evangelism

 The 2017-18 Mission Planning Conference was held at Fujimicho Church, March 5-6, 2018, with the theme “How to Proceed with Evangelism in Japan.” There were 84 attendants. Greeting the gathering, Rev. Yonekura Misao, chair of the Commission on Mission, said: “We have various problems within the Kyodan, but I am hoping it becomes a church founded on its confession of faith and the church constitution and bylaws.”

Two ministers and two lay persons were invited to speak.

 1. Rev. Furusawa Keita, pastor of Kobe Tobu Church, gave his analysis of the present situation of the church’s fundamental mission strategy, saying, “It is important for the Kyodan as a uniting church to have confidence in its rich character.” He offered many suggestions.

 2. Nishitani Miwako, a member of Omiya Church, spoke next from a woman’s perspective, stating, “Evangelism in Japan is the family of God responding to the love of Christ, accepting one another and walking together.”

 3. Nakajima Akihiko, a member of Hachioji Church, said that due to dwindling membership, we cannot put the burden of evangelism only on the clergy. It should be seen as the role of the church membership as a whole, with lay people bringing others to church.

 4. Rev. Yoshizawa Hisashi, pastor of Aichi Church, stated that since he himself had not come from the Kyodan, there was a period in which he had not really sensed the problems in the Kyodan as his own. But now that his calling is working in a Kyodan church, he shares the issues he sees within the Kyodan.


 In the evening, the moderators of Hokkai, Tokai, Nishichugoku, and Chubu districts reported on their situations.

 1. Hokkai District Moderator Kuze Sorachi reported that since 1984, ten-year long-term mission plans have been established; and since 1994, reform, solidarity, and peace have been strongly emphasized. He reported that presently, because the Hokkaido community is shrinking, as a district it is being recognized that each church offers community support through continuing to provide worship, and beginning with the worship experience, peace in society can be realized.

 2. Tokai District Moderator Miyamoto Yoshihiro expressed the view that the foundation of the district is “evangelism and the preaching of the gospel.” In 2016, Tokai District drafted a five-year plan stating that to be evangelical, the district must be united and increase spirituality, and that experiencing the joy of worship should increase the effect of evangelism.

 3. Nishichugoku District Moderator Obata Taisaku introduced the district’s foundational policy and suggested that from now on, rather than asking about the church’s wishes, thoughts, or feelings, the central focus should be serving the world through action that would define the meaning of the church’s existence.

 4. Chubu District Moderator Yokoyama Yoshiki introduced the district’s unique mutual aid system of concrete action. Mission policy is not limited by historically detailed events, and each year a mission goal is adopted at the annual assembly. In regard to the problem of responding to opinions concerning administering communion to the unbaptized, Rev. Yokoyama stated that being united in our polity concerning baptism and communion is foundational to effective cooperative mission.

 On the second day of the gathering, Kyodan Moderator Ishibashi Hideo gave a lecture entitled, “The Macedonian Call—At An Impasse.” In his opening remarks, he reflected on the necessity of uniting the church under its confession of faith as it faced the aftermath of the Great East Japan Disaster tragedy. Drawing from the constitution, he said, “The church’s first calling is to birth people to be baptized, to participate in the life of the cross and resurrection experienced through the Eucharist, and to become a branch of the body of Christ.” Also, experiencing blessings through worship, leading people to works of love, is evangelism.

 In the case of the Great East Japan Disaster, with the support from the worshiping community, we were able to offer assistance through the church and learned that “worship and daily witness cannot be separated.” After the lecture, participants split up into groups that functioned more as a time to listen to one another than as a time for debating issues. Styled like a “World Café,” there were eight tables with different themes of Fundamental Mission Strategy. Participants held discussions according to the various themes, recorded them on poster sheets, and later shared these with the general assembly afterward. (Tr. WJ)

—Kato Makoto, executive secretary



 2018年3月5、6日の両日、2017年度宣教方策 会議が富士見町教会を会場にして開催された。主題は「日本伝道をどう考えていくか」。84名が出席し た。米倉美佐男宣教委員長は「色々な問題を抱えている教団であるが、信仰告白と教憲教規を整えていく中で教団が教会となることを願っ ている」と挨拶した。発題は教職・信徒各2名が担当し た。最初に古澤啓太牧師(神戸東部教会)が現行の宣教基本方策を詳細に分析し、「教団の合同教会としての個性の豊かさに自信を持つべ き」と語り、数々の提案をした。続いて西谷美和子氏(大宮教会員)が女性の視点か ら「日 本伝道とは、神の家族がキリストの愛に応え、受容し合う歩み」と発題した。三人目の中嶌暁彦氏(八王子教会 員)は、信徒減少の現実の中で、伝道は教職任せではなく教会に人を連れてくる信徒の働きが重要であり、伝道にはそれなりの財が必要で あると語った。最後は吉澤永牧師(愛知教会)。信仰のルーツは教団ではなく、それ故ある時期までは教団の問題を自分の問題として受け 止められなかった。しかし教団で働き場が与えられてから感じた問題点を具体的に語った。

 夜は北海、東海、西中国、中部の各教区議長が取り組みを報告した。久世そらち北海教区議長は、1984年から10年ごとに長期 宣教計画を立て、1994年以降は一貫 して革新、連帯、平和を主題としている。北海道の社会が縮小して今、教区として各教会の礼拝を守り続ける支援と、礼拝から始まる社会 平和に取り組んでいると報告した。宮本義弘東海教区議長は、教区の土台が「伝道とは福音を宣べ伝えること」にあると最初に語った。2016年に東海教区 五ヵ年計画を立案し、教区は伝道のために一致して霊性を高め、礼拝の喜びが各個教会の伝道力になると語った。小畑太作西中国教区議長 は、西中国教区基本方針を紹介し、教会の願いや思いではなく、世に仕えることを中心とする活動に、教会の存在意義と今後進むべき方向 を見出せるのではないかと提案した。最後に横山良樹中部教区議長は、教区の特徴として互助制度による具体的な活動を紹介した。宣教基 本方針については、中部教区は歴史的経緯からそれを定めず、毎年宣教実施目標を掲げて総会で可決する。横山議長は近年教区内で起こっ た未受洗者陪餐発言への対応を経て、洗礼と聖餐の一体性と秩序を重んじることが助け合い伝道の基盤となる事を再確認したと語った。

 二日目は石橋秀雄教団総会議長が「マケドニアの叫び―行き詰まりの中で」と題する講演を行った。冒頭、東日本大震 災に直面し、信仰告白による信仰の一致を訴えて取り組んだことを振り返った。続いて教憲の条文を紐解きつつ「教会の第一の使命が、受 洗者を生み出し、聖餐において十字架と復活の命に与り、キリストの体である教会の枝となっていく」と述べた。また、礼拝の恵に与った 者が愛の業に向かう事も伝道であるとした。東日本大震災の際、礼拝共同体の支援と共に、教会を通して地域の支援を行ったことに触れ、 「礼拝と証の生活は切り離せない」と語った。講演後に行われた分団協議では、議論を交わすよりも聞き合うことに主眼を置いたワールド カフェ方式で行われた。宣教基本方策の8つの項目毎に テーブルが設けられ、参加者はそれぞれのテーマについて協議し、用意された模造紙に意見を残し、それを聞く報告会をもって集会を終え た。(文責 加藤 誠)

【June 2018 No.398】Youth Conference Commemorates Reformation’s 500th Anniversary

 The “Reformation for Youth 500 Conference” was held in Tokyo on March 21, preceded by a pre-conference rally the evening before, which was held at Tokyo District’s Yamate Church from 6 to 8 p.m. The audience of 323 enjoyed a live performance of the “Night de Light” (Night of Light) band. The March 21 conference itself was held at Aoyama Gakuin’s Goucher Hall from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Although an exact count was not made, there were more than 1,000 participants from various denominations, including about 200 from the Kyodan. There were four speakers from different denominations, and music was provided by 100 Gospel Singers group, with the conductor also leading the singing of the entire congregation during worship. This conference was sponsored by the Kyodan and was planned and organized by the Reformation for Youth 500 Committee of the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation Celebration Committee in Kyodan.


—Noguchi Yukio, steering committee member

Reformation for Youth 500 Conference



My Impression of the Pre-conference Event


by Nishino Soichiro, member

Tondabayashi Church, Osaka District

 I attended the Reformation for Youth 500 Conference that was sponsored by the Kyodan as part of its celebration of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. When the Christian church fell into various kinds of dysfunction 500 years ago, Martin Luther stood up for reformation. The session was opened by a musical group named “Night de Light,” which means light overcoming darkness. Three out of the four members are from a pastor’s family. This name reflects the dream of Martin Luther. We had a very good time with light conversation from a base of strong faith. The performance was a very interesting discussion of faith and life. The event was very successful because the Lord blessed us with the Holy Spirit.

 This makes us believe in the possibility of faith becoming the light of today’s society, and this gave us heartfelt joy.


My Impression of the 100 Gospel Singers Group


by Saito Ayumi, member

Sendai Aobaso Church, Tohoku District

 The reason I attended the conference is that Pastor Arai Isaku of Natori Church gave us the information about the Reformation for Youth 500 Conference. I wasn’t sure I could join the 100 Gospel Singers group, because I didn’t have much time to practice, and I didn’t know anyone there. But Pastor Arai suggested that if I was willing to try, I should attend and see how I liked it. And because I wanted to try something new, I agreed. My biggest fear was performing almost without practicing, so a friend of mine introduced me to one of the members, who gave me a video of the songs. I viewed it the night before, while we were staying at the Olympic Center. It made me feel comfortable because there were some songs I knew.

 On the day of the performance, as we were on our way to Aoyama Gakuin, we met another person who was on her way to join the 100 Gospel Singers group, and we were encouraged by becoming one in spirit. I had hoped to join the soprano section, but in order to keep the part balance, I sang alto. With the other singers around me, I could follow the melody, and I could memorize the verses. At the performance, with the help of the other singers and, most of all, with the help of the Lord, I could joyously praise the Lord. I look forward to the next chance to sing the one song we didn’t have time to perform that evening.


My Impression of the Messages

by Fujimoto Hiromi, member

Reinanzaka Church, Seinan (southwest) Subdistrict

Tokyo District

 In my opinion, the most memorable part of the message by Kobayashi Katsuya, the pastor of Kure Heian Church, Nishi Chugoku District, was that no matter how small or unimportant we are, God will never forsake us. The most important point is that since God has chosen us, we can depend on him as we continue to live our life of faith. Likewise, Rev. Oshima Shigenori, general secretary of the Kirisutosha Gakusei Kai (Association of Christian Students), said that while it might be easy to express our faith vividly in a meeting like this, we need to ask ourselves whether we can also express our faith in our own church and in our daily lives. In church we tend to compare ourselves to others, and once we step outside our churches, we often end up not even saying that we attend church.

 That caused me to think about how that gap can be closed. Rev. Sekino Kazuhiro, pastor of Japan Evangelical Lutheran Tokyo Church, and Father Harusaku Masahide of Ueno and Asakusa Catholic Church, Tokyo Archdiocese, both said in their messages that by focusing on God, we can move beyond denominational differences and come together. The fact that so many youth could gather and praise the Lord should not only remain a memory and a heartwarming experiences but also should be the chance to begin to share fellowship among youth, including non-Christians. I’m very thankful that, even though we are of different denominations, we can praise the same Lord together. (Tr. JT)


 2018年3月20日~21日にかけて、リフォユース500青年大会とその前夜祭が、東京で行われた。3月20日(火)18:00-20:00には、東京山手教会において、ナイトdeラ イト(バンド)ライブ による前夜祭がもたれた。参加者は323名。

 翌21日(水)13:00-17:30に、リフォユース500ユー スカンファレンスが、青山学 院大学ガウチャーホールで開催され、参加者は複数の 教派から1000人以上を数えた。 (大会公式人数。正確な数は把握しきれない)。複数の教派からの4人のメッセージと、100人 ゴスペルを含む特別賛美、賛美 リーダーに導かれての全員賛美による礼 拝であった。

 この大会は、日本基督教団が主催し、企 画・実施は、日本基督教団宗教改革500周年記念 青年大会「リフォユー ス500」実行委員会である。

リフォユース500実行委員 野口幸生



西野聡一郎 日本 基督教団富田林教会 教会員

 私は、宗教改革500年を記念して、日本基督教団が他教派に呼びか け開催された、リフォユース500青年大会に参加させていただくことができま した。今から500年前、キリスト教会は様々な機能不全に陥っていました。そこに一石を投じたのが、マルティン・ルターでした。

 前夜祭では、ナイトdeライトという、牧師を家族に持つバンドが出演しました。夜に光をあてる―それはまさに、500年の昔、ルターが目指した理想と同じ夢でした。前夜祭は、強い信仰をもとにしながらも、軽妙なトークと歌で非常に楽しい時を過ごすことができました。信仰と 人生について、面白いトークを行ってくれ、とても心が軽くなりました。今この時も、聖霊を豊かに与えてくださる主がいるからこそ、こ の貴重な式典は成功したと思います。夜まで続いた前夜祭は、信仰が現代社会の文字通り「光」「ライト」となることを予見させ、最高に 熱烈に、楽しませていただくことができました。



日本基督教団仙台青葉荘教会 斎藤歩麦(さいとうあゆみ)

 3月初旬、教区の青少年担 当の荒井偉作師(名取教会)が春休みの青年イベント情報を共有してくださったのが、リフォユース500に参加するきっかけでした。宿泊申込みの際、「100人ゴスペルに参加するか」という項目があり、興味はありましたが、知り合いが誰も100人ゴスペルに参加しないこと、練習時間も限られるので参加を躊躇しました。しかし荒井先生に「出たら?ま、本人がやりたいかどうかだけどねー。」と言われ、私は元々「色々な所に行って、やってこなかったことをしたい!」と思ったのが今回の参加のきっかけだったことを思い出しました。そこで私は「参加」にチェックをいれました。

 一番不安だったのは、やはり当日ぶっつけに近い状態で本番に臨むことでした。そんな中、前夜祭で再会した関東の友人Aさ んが私の不安を聞き、100人ゴスペルに参加するBさんを紹介してくれました。おかげで私は当日の曲目とその動画を入手。宿泊先のオリ ンピックセンターで寝る前に聞くと、知っている曲もあったので不安だった気持ちは少し楽になりました。当日そのお二人と青山学院大学 へ向かう途中、同じく100人ゴスペルに参加するCさんと出会い意気投合。

 私はソプラノ希望でした が、人数調整でアルトになりました。でも音程はリードのおかげで何 とか取ることができ、また歌詞も周りの方々がフォローしてくれたので拙いながらも大体は覚えることができました。

 そして本番ではとても楽しくのびのびと賛美することができました!何かと不安な 中、最後まで出来たのは周りの方々、更に神様の助けがあったからこそ。神様ありがとう!時間の関係で賛美できなかった一曲は、次の機 会の楽しみにとっておこうと思います。


日本基督教団霊南坂教会 藤本浩美

 小林先生の「たとえどんなに弱く小さいものであっても神様は決して見放されることはな い」というメッセージが一番心に残っている。「神様が選んでくださった」という一番大事なことが力強く示され、神様をまっすぐ見据え て信仰を歩みたいと思えた。
大嶋先生が「このような大きな大会に参加するときは生き生きと信仰を表すことができ ても自分の教会にいるときや普段の生活でできているだろうか」とおっしゃっていたこともまさにその通りで、教会にいても自分と他者の 信仰を比べて一喜一憂したり、キリスト教と関わりのない場所へ一歩踏み出すと教会に通っていることを言わないでいたりすることがあ る。そのギャップとどう向き合うかを考えさせられた。

  関野先生、晴佐久神父のメッセージでは「見上げるべきは神様」であることが共通して 語られ、教会や教派の違いを超えて繋がることができるはずだと示された。

 今回、リ フォユースに多くの青年が集められともに神様を賛美できたこということを一時的な感動や思い出として心に留めるのではなく、この出来 事をきっかけとして青年たちとの交流や信仰の分かち合いを深めていきたい。ノンクリスチャンの人たちにも少しでも伝えていきたい。

  私自身はプレカンファレンス(3月10日)や前夜祭、100人ゴ スペルにも参加した。

  プレカン ファレンスでは山口武春牧師より、聖書からの学びの重要さを改めて知り、少しずつではあるが時間があるときには聖書をすすんで読むよ うになった。

  また、全てのプログラムにおいて、これまであまり触れることのなかったワーシップソ ングやクリスチャンバンドの演奏で神様を賛美することができ、新鮮な気持ちになれた。

【June 2018 No.398】Official Visits to Korea and Indonesia

by Kato Makoto, executive secretary

 From March 5 to 7, 2018, I participated in the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK)’s International Conference in Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the 1988 Declaration, which was held at the Ramada Hotel in the Dongdaemun area of Seoul. The theme of the conference was “Cultivating Peace, Proclaiming Hope” and was attended by 48 foreign guests and 70 participants from Korea. Among those listed from the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea was Rev. Nagao Yuki, a missionary sent from the Kyodan. World Council of Churches General Secretary Rev. Dr. Olav Fykse Tveit and NCCK General Secretary Rev. Dr. Lee Hong Jung were scheduled to deliver the opening day’s keynote addresses, but unfortunately WCC General Secretary Tveit was unable to attend because his flight was canceled due to airplane malfunction.

 The title of NCCK General Secretary Lee’s address was “No Other Way than Peace: Enhancing People’s Life Security by Developing Positive Peace.” Prior to the keynote address, there was a session on listening to stories during which three witnesses came to the stage to document historical facts as part of the sub-theme of the conference: “people living with the pains of division.” The first speaker was a female victim of the Jeju Uprising that began on April 3, 1948. There has been only a perfunctory knowledge of the “4.3 Uprising”—namely, that President Syngman Rhee had carried out a massacre of the people of Jeju Island. Even 70 years after the fact, the evidence of the unprovoked massacre described by the witness was shocking to those who heard about it.

 The second speaker was a man who had defected from North Korea, and the third speaker was a comparatively younger woman. Each speaker shared the reality of the suffering they had endured. Dr. Jung Se Hyun, former Republic of Korea Reunification Minister, delivered the keynote address on the second day entitled “Towards a Permanent Peace System on the Korean Peninsula.” In the evening, we separated into three Korean-speaking and three English-speaking discussion groups, and the contents of these discussions also had an impact on the adoption of the action plan and communiqué on the final day of the conference.

 On the afternoon of March 7 we boarded an airplane for Busan to attend the working-level meeting of five churches: the Presbyterian Church in Korea (PCK), the Presbyterian Church in the Republic of Korea (PROK), and Korean Methodist Church (KMC), the Korean Christian Church in Japan (KCCJ) and the Kyodan. During the morning of March 8, KCCJ General Secretary Kim Byeong-Ho, who comes from Busan, arranged for us to visit the UN Memorial Park there.

 For the first time I learned that during the turbulent times on the Korean peninsula, large numbers of displaced people had escaped to Busan. The United Nations forces were organized under the command of U.S. General Douglas MacArthur, and standing in the cemetery where the name of each soldier who died is memorialized, I once again felt the depth of emotion that Korean Christians have for the unification of the Korean peninsula.

 A meeting was held at Haesong Presbyterian Church, with eight people in attendance. From the Kyodan, General Assembly Secretary Kumoshikari Toshimi and I attended. The theme was the problems faced by missionaries sent from each side, as well as solutions, and problems associated with handling missionaries. However, Secretary Kumoshikari expressed the opinion that we need to reaffirm the original intent of holding this meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for Fukuoka at the end of November.

 From March 21 to 24,Kyodan Moderator Ishibashi Hideo and I attended the general assembly of the Christian Evangelical Church in Minahasa (Gereja Masehi Injili di Minahasa [GMIM]) in Manado, located in the northern part of the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. We were there to receive approval from the assembly of a memorandum of agreement, as the first step toward entering into a mission agreement. The Minahasa Christian Evangelical Church has about 950 churches, with approximately a million members in Minahasa and surrounding provinces. The general assembly is held from Monday to Saturday once every four years. The vice-president of Indonesia gave an address at the opening worship service, but we unfortunately did not get there in time to hear it.

 We arrived at midnight on Wednesday, March 21, but the meeting was still going on. Elections took some time. Of the approximately 2,500 people at the meeting, 1,800 had voting rights. Internet voting was conducted to prevent fraud, but there were only 24 computers available at the venue. Even at 12:30 a.m., I witnessed long lines in front of the computers. The president and 15 staff members working at the church’s main office in Tomohon, about 25 km from Manado were being elected. In the end, the election took all night Thursday to complete. When we left the hall on Friday morning at 9:00, we could still see totally exhausted assembly members here and there, catching a few minutes of sleep. It was the first time I had ever seen a town with such a close relationship between the church and the community. (Tr. DB)



 2018年3月5日から7日までソウルの東大門にあるラマダホテルを会場にしてNCCKが主催するInternational Conference in Celebration of the 30thAnniversary of the 88 Declaration of the NCCKに参加した。主題はCultivating Peace, Proclaiming Hopeであった。海外ゲスト48名 に韓国側参加者70名であった。その中にはPROKに日本基督教団から派遣されている長尾有起宣教師も名を連ねていた。初日のKeynote AddressはWCCのRev. Dr. Olav Tveit Fykse総幹事とNCCKのRev. Dr. Lee Hong Jung総 幹事が行うことになっていたが、飛行機のトラブルでRev. Dr. Olav Tveit Fykse総 幹事が来られなかったのは残念であった。Rev. Dr. Lee Hong Jung総 幹事はNo Other Way than Peace: Enhancing People’s Life Security by Developing Positive Peaseと題した講演を行った。

 講演に先立って、Listening storiesのセッションがあった。副題はPeople living with pains of divisionで3人の立証者が壇上に登った。一人目はVictim of Jeju 4.3 Uprisingの 女性であった。済州島4.3事件については、李承晩大統領による島民虐殺とい う通り一遍の知識しか持ち合わせていませんでした。立証者が経験した一方的な虐殺の証言は、70年経っても聞く者の心に恐怖を与えました。二人目 は脱北者の男性。3人目は比較的若い女性でしたが、それぞれが抱える苦悩がリアルに伝 わってきました。二日目のKeynote AddressはFormer Reunification Minister of ROKのDr. Jung Se Hyun によるTowards a Permanent Peace System on the Korean Peninsulaと 題した講演でした。夕方には韓国語と英語でそれぞれ3グループに分かれたグループディスカッションがあり、そこで話し合 われた内容は最終日の全体会でのアクションプランとコミュニケの採択にも影響を与えました。

 7日の午後には飛行機で釜山に移動しました。5教会実務者会議に出席するためです。5教会とは韓国のPCK, PROK, KMCと日本のKCCJ,Kyodanを 意味します。8日の午前中は釜山出身のキム・ビョンホ在日大韓基督教会総幹事の計 らいで、国連軍の慰霊施設を訪問しました。朝鮮動乱時には北に追われた群衆が釜山まで逃げてきたことを初めて知りました。アメリカ軍 のマッカーサー司令官の呼びかけで国連軍が組織されますが、その戦争で命を落とした兵士たち一人一人の名が刻まれた墓地に佇み、改め て朝鮮半島のunificationを願う韓国のキリスト者の思いの深さを感じまし た。午後2時からHaesong Presbyterian Churchを会場にして会議が始まりました。出席は8名。教団からは雲然俊美教団書記と私の2名参加でした。今回はお互いが派遣している宣教師の抱える問題とその解決及び問題を起こした宣教師の取り扱いが テーマでしたが、雲然書記からこの会議そのものの開催意義を再確認する必要があるという意見が出されました。次回は11月下旬福岡で開催予定です。

 3月21日 から24日はインドネシア、スラウェシ島北部にあるマナド で開催されたミナハサ福音基督教会の総会に石橋秀雄教団総会議長と共に参加しました。宣教協約を締結する前段階の「覚書」を総会で承 認してもらうためです。ミナハサ福音基督教会はミナハサ州を中心に約950教会、信徒数は約100万人を数えます。総会は4年 に1度、月曜から土曜日まで開かれます。開会礼拝には副大統領が挨拶し たそうですが、残念ながら間に合いませんでした。私たちが到着したのは水曜日の夜12時。しかしまだ会議は続いていました。選挙に時間 がかかります。会場にはおよそ2500人がいて選挙権を持つ人は1800人。不正防止のためインターネット投票を行うのですが、そのためのパソコンが会場には24台しかありません。私が参加した12時半の時点でもパソコンの前には長蛇の列でした。マナドから25キロほど離れたトモホンにある本部で働くプレジデント以下15名のスタッフを選挙で選びます。最終的には木曜日徹夜で選挙して決まりました。私たちが会場を後にした金曜日の午 前9時には、会場のあちらこちらで力尽きて仮眠をとる議員の姿が見られ ました。教会とコミュニティーがこれほど密接な町を初めて見ました。(加藤誠)

【June 2018 No.398】How to Prepare for and Respond to a Disaster

by Kawashima Naomichi, pastor

Kumamoto Nishikigaoka Church, Kyushu District

 Two years have passed since the Kumamoto-Oita Earthquake. Although not always apparent on the surface, the effects of the earthquake are still strongly felt. At the end of 2017, there were still nearly 45,000 people who were living in temporary shelters. Although the original limit for occupancy was two years, the government has extended the limit for another year. Even in areas where demolition has been completed, empty lots remain because of the lack of construction workers. More time will be needed for reconstruction. The tower and cross that were the symbol of Nishikigaoka Church had to be torn down because of a dangerous crack. Reconstruction has not been started, because our main concern now is the members of our congregation. Some long-time members who have faithfully supported the church have had to move to areas outside the prefecture. Others have been injured, while still others have been hospitalized or put in care facilities. As a result, church attendance has become difficult for many. Furthermore, this drop in attendance has had a strong negative impact on church finances.


 1. Look at records and testimonies from disasters in other areas. In particular, the account of the East Japan Earthquake by Ishinomaki Yamashirocho Church was helpful for us.

 2. Confirm the safety of church members. At Nishikigaoka Church, we created a chart in which we recorded the condition of each member and the property damage suffered. Every week we posted the chart on the bulletin board and exchanged information. The pastor visited members, confirmed their safety, and distributed needed goods. Teams of church and board members who can move about are essential, especially in attending to the needs of elderly members. Following an earthquake, road conditions are dangerous, and restrictions are often imposed. A pastor in our district who had a motorbike was very helpful. At a time of natural disaster, a motorbike can be useful.

 In some cases, members responding that things were okay were not sharing honestly about their situations. This seemed particularly true in the case of older members. Of course, it is important to respect the thoughts and lifestyles of each individual, but in some cases I feel it may be necessary to be more persistent so that they get the help they really need.

 3. Maintain a supply of water, which is essential for sanitation and other needs. At least a minimum amount of containers for water storage should be kept at the church. After the first earthquake, a pastor from Fukuoka brought 100 liters of water. After the second big earthquake and the loss of the public water supply, the water that had been brought by the pastor became “living water” for us. The containers were also helpful. It might even be a good habit to keep bath water until the next usage.

 4.Insure strong support for shelves with urns is wise preparation if the church has a columbarium. If not, urns with the remains of members and families might be broken and the ashes scattered when an earthquake occurs. During the Kumamoto Earthquake, gravestones suffered considerable damage.

 5. Keep specific records, which can be important information for reference when another disaster occurs. When a natural disaster occurs, record exactly what happened, what actions were taken, who came to ask about safety, and what was distributed. Immediately following a disaster there is no composure for remembering things, nor is there time or opportunity to open a computer. In my case, I was able to get to my computer one week after the first earthquake when I worked my way into my study and found it buried among books that had fallen from the shelves. Using a memo and writing things as you remember them can be helpful. For two months I wrote a simple diary to record each event I remembered.

 6. Take as many pictures as possible. This can be helpful as a record of what happened as well as providing proof of damages incurred. Of course, in the midst of confusion, picture-taking can be forgotten, and I felt hesitant taking pictures of structures that are falling or in danger of falling. Providing opportunities for sharing photo and video recordings of the disaster would be helpful.

 7. Be aware that even unexpected things do happen. Fundamentally, natural disaster is not a part of our plans for the future. The Kumamoto Earthquake was a combination of two earthquakes, the second a level seven, the highest on the Japanese seismic intensity scale. It was the type of earthquake that no one had predicted. Our church was not prepared, and even if we had made preparations, I question whether we could have calmly dealt with what happened. However, I believe that our fundamental posture for future disaster preparation should be the awareness of that possibility.



 1. Organize efforts to assist and relieve local pastors. During natural disasters, it is possible that church members and/or pastors might be lost or found dead. Preparation for such possibilities should occur locally, at the district level, and at the Kyodan level. Local pastors are burdened with confirming the safety of their congregations, as well as responding to the overall needs of their neighborhood. Following the Kumamoto-Oita Earthquake, Kyushu District made every effort to insure that local pastors were not overburdened.

 Kyushu District and the Korean Christian Church in Japan worked together to organize the “Elpis Kumamoto” volunteer center. The work of this center continues today. These volunteers visit those living in shelters, operate a café, and lend an ear to those affected by the earthquake. It is important that the Kyodan support this work as it needs to be continued. I strongly urge Kyushu District and the Kyodan to consider this support.

 2. Make preparations to address future disasters. At the time of the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, northeastern Japan and Kumamoto were doing well. However, now we are unable to give like we could 20 years ago. There is a limit to the money that can be raised from one urgent call for disaster relief for one limited area. The Kyodan needs to develop a system through which continued relief can be provided for multiple areas. One suggestion is to use part of local church apportionments to establish a fund specifically for disaster relief. (Tr. JS)

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

Summarized by KNL Editor Kawakami Yoshiko

教会が被災した時、私達は何が 出来るのか。今なお苦闘の続く熊本の牧師に聞く。

川島直道 かわしま  なお みち/ 熊本・錦ヶ丘教会牧師

 熊本・大分地震から丸2年を迎えます。表面に現れないところで震災の影響は確実に残っています。県内には4万5千人近くが仮住まいをし ています(2017年12月 末現在)。政府は原則2年間の仮設住宅入居期限をさらに1年延長しましたが、建築業者も不足しており、被災した家屋は解体はされても 更地のままで、再建までは時間がかかります。錦ヶ丘教会では、シンボルであった十字架の塔に深刻な亀裂が生じたため、撤去しました。 再建工事はまだ始まっていませんが、それより心配なのは教会員のこ とです。長年にわたって教会を支えてきた人たちが県外に転出なさったり、体 を壊し、施設や病院に入るなどして、礼拝に出席することが困難になりました。仮住まいの人もいます。礼拝出席者の減少やそれに伴う教 会の財政への影響も深刻です。

 災害において 教会が出来ることを、経験から挙げます。

 ①多くの災害記録、証言録に目を通す こと。参考になったのは『日本基督教団石巻山城町教会の東日本大震災記録』でした。

 ②教会員の安否確認。錦ヶ丘教会の場 合は、会員の安否と被災状況などを書き入れる表を作成し、毎週ボードに貼り出し、情報交換を行いました。牧師は物資を配りながら訪問 し、安否を確認しますが、動ける役員、教会員が協力して、特に高齢者を中心に訪問し、チームで対応できるようにしておくことが重要で す。災害発生時は道も悪く、車両規制がかけられている場所が多くあります。同じ地区内の牧師が原付バイクで安否の確認を手伝ってくれ ました。災害時にはバイクの方が動きやすいかもしれません。また、教会員を訪ねたときに「大丈夫です」と言う人が、実は大丈夫ではな いというケースがいくつもありました。比較的高齢の方々にそういう傾向があります。個人の考えや生活スタイルを尊重することも大切な のですが、災害という異常時は、お節介をしてでも関わることが必要ではないでしょうか。


 ③水の確保は、トイレをはじめ、あら ゆることに必要です。特に水を入れる容器は、最低限、教会にそろえておきましょう。最初の地震の後に、福岡からある牧師が水100リットルを届けてくださいました。その後、本震が発生すると断水し、その水はま さに「命の水」になりました。容器も役に立ちました。風呂の水を、すぐに流さず溜めておくことも習慣にするとよいでしょう。

 ④熊本地震で、墓石はかなり被害を受 けました。教会に納骨堂を備えているところは、骨壺を入れる棚をしっかり固定しておかないと骨壺が割れて中の骨が散乱することもあり ます。

 ⑤災害のとき、何が起こったのか。ど ういう行動をとったのか。問安に来た人たち、届けられた物資の状況などの記録をとることは、次の災害の貴重な資料とな ります。災害直後は余裕はなく、記憶は断片的になり、ゆっくりパソ コンを開くことなどできません。わたしの場合、パソコンが復旧したのは最初の地震からちょうど1週間後でした。崩れた本にうずもれた 書斎にどうにか入り込み、パソコンを立ち上げたのです。メモでも書き留めておくと、後 で状況を思い出しながら記録が書けます。わたしは2カ月間は簡単な日誌のような記録をとりました。

 ⑥写真もできるだけ撮った方が記録と 罹災証明書に役立ちます。混乱の中ではそこまで意識が回らず、また 崩れた建物にカメラを向けることにためらいがありました。地区や教区内で、記録写真を共有する機会があるとよいでしょう。

 ⑦災害は、基本的にすべて想定外のこ とです。熊本地震では前震と本震、2度の震度7の大地震が起きました。誰もが想定していなかったタイプの地震でした。教会は備えてい ませんでしたし、仮に備えていたとしても冷静に対処することができるのか、疑問です。しかし「想定していないことが起こる」ことを、 頭の片隅に置くことが、次の災害に備える基本的な姿勢だと思います。

 1,一つの教会で多数の行方不明者 や死者が発生することや、牧師が亡くなることも起こり得ます。災害地区を含む教区、そして教団としての備えも必要です。牧師たちは自分の牧会する教会員の安否確認や避難 者の対応にそれぞれ追われます。熊本・大分地震では九州教区が被災地の牧師をなるべく疲弊させないような配慮がありました。九州教区 と在日大韓基督教会が主体となりボランティアセンター「エルピスくまもと」を立ち上げ、活動が現在も続けられています。仮設住宅を訪 問し、カフェを運営して、被災者の声に耳を傾けています。継続性を要求される活動も教団がバックアップしていく必要があるでしょう。 ぜひ教区、教団レベルで考えてほしいと思います。

 2.阪神淡路大震災の時はまだ東北も熊 本も元気でした。今は20年前のように献げることはできなくなりました。1回 の災害につき、限定的で単発的な募金には限界があります。全てに継続的な支援が及ぶシステムを教団全体で構築していく必要がありま す。各教会の負担金の一部を災害のための基金として貯えておくことも一案です。教 団全体で将来の災害に備えることが求められています。

(信徒の友3月号より、川上善子KNL編集委 員長まとめ)

【June 2018 No.398】My Experience of Severe Shocks after the Kumamoto Earthquake

by Kato Makoto, executive secretary

 In response to the Kumamoto Earthquake, which occurred on April 14, 2016, Kyodan Moderator Ishibashi Hideo convened an emergency meeting at the Kyodan general office in Tokyo. As a result, I was sent as the executive secretary of the Commission on Ecumenical Ministries to Kumamoto to participate in an on-site inspection and to deliver relief funds. After arriving in Fukuoka on April 15, the district secretary took me in his car towards Kumamoto. Since all hotels within Kumamoto City were closed as a result of the quake, I reserved a room at Yamaga Onsen, right outside the city.

 The next day (April 16) at 1:25 a.m., the main shock hit Kumamoto. I had just fallen asleep and awoke as I felt myself being forced up from my bed into the air. While holding onto my bed, I could hear the loud, eerie sound of the cracking of the hotel building. Four quakes, each with a magnitude in excess of 7, hit one after the other until 1:45 a.m. Then the pastors who had remained in their Kumamoto parsonages after the quake on April 14 left with their families and proceeded to evacuation sites, some of which were parks.

 Following a sleepless night, I headed for Kumamoto, drinking as little water as possible since the toilets were no longer working. Together with Kyushu District Moderator Umesaki Koji, I visited several quake-stricken churches in Kumamoto, beginning with Kusabacho Church. Later the same day, we returned to Fukuoka. Early in the morning of the following day, we took off in a rental car, heading once again for Kumamoto, this time to attend the Sunday morning worship service at Nishikigaoka Church where the tower of the church, which was a local landmark, had cracked badly. The church members were taking care of people affected by the quake.

 The sanctuary of Nishikigaoka Church was damaged, and the scheduled liturgist and organist for the service were not there. Although Pastor Kawashima Naomichi undoubtedly had no chance to prepare for the sermon, he delivered a message I remember vividly to this day. During a time when even the safety of the church members could not be confirmed, in the throes of extreme fatigue, Pastor Kawashima spoke about depending on “the certainty of God’s word.” During this time of crisis, I was reminded of the very ordinary reality that God’s word and worship is life for believers.

 Upon returning to my hotel in Fukuoka, as I sat down on my bed, I noticed that my body was swaying. Aftershocks from the quake continued for some time, and that was the cause. (Tr. DM)



 2016年4月14日に起きた熊本地震に対して教団本部では石橋秀雄 議長を中心に緊急会議が開かれ、九州教区への見舞金を携え、私、加藤世界宣教幹事を現地視察のために派遣した。15日に福岡入りした私は、教区書記の車に同乗させて もらい熊本を目指した。熊本市内のホテルは地震の影響で全て休業だったので、手前の山鹿温泉に宿を取った。日付が16日に代わった午前1時25分、 熊本を本震が襲った。私は寝入りばな突然体が宙に浮き目覚めた。ベッドにしがみつきながら、旅館全体が軋む不気味なしかも大きな音を 聞かされた。マグニチュード7を超える地震が1時45分まで断続的に4回 起きた。14日の地震では牧師館に留まっていた熊本の牧師たち も、本震を受けて市内では全家族が牧師館を出て公園等に避難した。眠れぬ夜を過ごし、トイレが使えないことを想定し水分を控えて熊本 に向かった。梅﨑浩二九州教区議長とも合流し、熊本草葉町を皮切りに被 災した教会を問安した。この日は一旦福岡に引換し、翌17日の日曜日は早朝にレンタカーを借り再び熊本を目 指した。錦ヶ丘教会の礼拝に出席するためであった。教会は地域のランドマークであった塔にひびが生じ、避難した教会関係者を家族全員 でお世話していた。会堂内も損傷し、オルガンの伴奏もなければ司会者も不在。川島直道牧師に説教の準備をするゆとりも全くない中での 礼拝であった。しかし語られたメッセージは今でも鮮明に覚えている。教会員の安否確認も取れない中、疲労の極限で「み言葉の確かさ」 に私たちは頼る、と語られた。み言葉と礼拝が信仰者の命であるという当たり前の事に非常時の中、改めて教えられた。福岡に戻りホテル のベッドに腰掛けていると、小刻みに自分の体が揺れていることに気が付いた。本震の後も絶え間なく余震が続いていた。その影響であっ た。(加藤誠)