Kyodan & Tohoku: April 2012

Quelle:  Kyodan Newsletter 367, Appril 2012

Volunteer Work in Tohoku

1. Volunteer Work Facilitated by the Tohoku District Relief Center
2. Rge Organized Long-term Sending of Volunteers: The West Tokyo District Approach
3. Reflections on the Great East Japan Earthquake Relief Effort

Volunteer Work Facilitated by the Tohoku District Disaster Relief Center

Apr 26,2012

The Tohoku Disaster Relief Center was established soon after the earthquake that occurred on March 11, 2011 and has operated out of the Tohoku District Center, which is known as the Emmaus Center. As of Nov. 14, 2011, there were 1,405 volunteers who had registered at the Emmaus Center to help with relief work. Initially, the relief efforts were focused on helping the survivors in Shichigo in the Wakabayashi Ward of Sendai City with mud removal, cleaning houses, and clearing debris from the fields. As the volunteers involved themselves in this work, they showed that while they were weak in the face of such destruction, they were not powerless to bring restoration. Likewise, they were there not merely to labor with the victims but also "to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep." Thanks to the "Rebuilding Strategy" announced by Sendai City, many residents have now decided to return to their homes, and there has been an increase in the number of requests for our volunteers to help.

Ishinomaki City, on the other hand, is one area where the realities are still grim, and the recovery process is lagging far behind. It takes approximately two hours by car to go from Sendai to Ishinomaki. We needed to establish a base of operations in the city, and one of our primary commitments during the summer was to establish a center there. The Kyodan Disaster Relief Planning Headquarters was able to buy a house from one of the survivors from Ishinomaki, and we quickly renovated the house to serve as the "Emmaus Center in Ishinomaki." Since the summer of 2011, we have been able to carry on volunteer activities from this base of operations.

From the beginning, the Emmaus Center used the Internet to call on people nationwide to join in the relief efforts. The Center registered numerous volunteers, irrespective of whether the individuals themselves were Christians, and so approximately 70% of the volunteers who come to the Emmaus Center are not themselves Christians. The Emmaus Center has made a point of praying each morning before going to work and in the evening after coming back from work, as a way of expressing gratitude to God. In this way the volunteers are exposed to Christianity, which is at the heart of our relief efforts. Volunteers are housed in the local churches. For many volunteers, it is their first time to enter a church. Some even make a point of attending the Sunday morning worship services. The churches that have opened their doors to the Emmaus Center volunteers have hosted up to 150 persons as of November 2011. One church lost its parsonage and yet showed its gracious spirit by offering lodging to the volunteers.

During the summer, the number of volunteers was high, due to the fact that many of the volunteers were college students. Since schools are now in session, the numbers have decreased, but our efforts are being sustained by committed churches, schools, and organizations, as well as by individuals who repeatedly come back to join in the relief efforts. As we look ahead to a long and sustained relief process, our church-based relief efforts will become even more necessary. As the recovery process continues, the content of our work and the quality of our relatedness to the survivors will change. But despite the changes ahead of us, we will need to continue to "love our neighbor." We will always continue to need "people" at the heart of our effort to walk alongside and to serve the survivors. (Tr. JM)
—Maekita Mio, Staff member
Kyodan Disaster Relief Planning Headquarters


震災後すぐ東北教区センターに「東北教区被災者支援セン ター(通称:エマオ)」が立ち上がり、生活復興支援が始まりました。11月14日現在でのべ1405名のボランティアが登録していま す。

当初、地域にあって最も過酷な状況に置かれている方々のた めに何かできないかと仙台若林区七郷地区を活動の中心に、汚泥の除去や田畑の再生、屋内の清掃活動など津波被害を受けた支援活動を始 めました。彼らは「微力だけれど、無力じゃない。」復興のためだけに活動するのではなく、苦しみの中にある地域の人々とともに「共に 泣き、共に喜ぶ」姿勢をもって関わる事を大切にしています。仙台では9月22日に復興計画が出た事から地域に人が戻ってくるケースも 増え、ワーク依頼は増加傾向になっています。

一方、石巻は復興が遅れており、現在において最も過酷な状 況に置かれている地域の一つです。仙台から車で通うと2時間かかり、夏以降は長期的な支援をするために拠点を作る事が急務でした。こ の事から対策本部では被災家族から中古物件を購入し「エマオ石巻」と名付け、ここにもボランティアを派遣し支援活動を展開していま す。

エマオでは初期から県外ボランティアをインターネットで受 付し、積極的に受け入れた為クリスチャンに関わらず、多くのボランティアが登録しました。そしてその7割がノンクリスチャンの若者た ちで構成されています。彼らはワークに行く前も戻った折にも、神さまに感謝して、共に祈るエマオのスタイルを通じキリスト教に出会い ます。又、宿泊所として提供された「教会」に生まれて初めて足を踏み入れ、希望したものは礼拝にも参加します。主にエマオのボラン ティアの宿泊所として解放してくださった教会では11月まで平均して150名を受け入れ、中には牧師館が被災され大変な最中にあって も温かくボランティアを受け入れた教会もあります。

今まで主力メンバーであった大学生たちの夏休みが明け、ワーカーの数は減ってしまったものの、現在は各教 区の取り組みやリピーターによって支えられています。今後長期的な支援には、このような教会的な取り組みが不可欠です。復興が進めば 労働力だけでなく、関わりの形は変化していくことも考えられます。しかし、いつもいつでも隣人愛をもって、この震災の出来事を通し被 災されたお一人ひとりに仕えてゆく「人」が今もなお、必要とされています。 前北未央(救援対策本部主事)

The Organized Long-term Sending of Volunteers: The West Tokyo Disrict ApproachApr 26,2012

Over the past year, congregations and districts in the Kyodan, together with their members as individuals, have been searching for the best ways both to give and to organize aid to the stricken areas and churches of the East Japan disaster area. As a part of our continuing coverage of the disaster response, we want to report on the unique approach of West Tokyo District, as detailed in a talk given by Makabe Iwao, pastor of Soai Church and chairman of the West Tokyo District East Japan Disaster Relief Committee.

In the West Tokyo District, a proposal was made by its core leadership immediately after the earthquake and tsunami to form a disaster relief committee, and this was formally enacted at the April 4 meeting of the district's Commission on Mission. In addition to forming the East Japan Disaster Relief Committee, the commission also approved the sending of volunteers and the collection of relief funds.

Makabe pointed out three main reasons for this quick action. The first was that immediately after the disaster, on March 21, at a workshop sponsored by West Tokyo District, a report was presented in words and photos by photographer Momoi Kazuma, the speaker, about his visit to the disaster area just one day before. In addition, Kyodan Executive Secretary on General Affairs Fujimori Yuki, who had been sent to inspect the aftermath of the disaster, gave his report. Both of these reports had a great impact on the congregations.

The second reason for the quick action was the result of the report from Noda Taku, director of the Student Christian Fellowship, located within the district, who had been sent as a district pastor to the Tohoku District Disaster Relief Center ten days after the earthquake. His report on the situation and relief activities already in progress formed the foundation for the district's response.

The third reason was the experience of previous relief efforts organized by West Tokyo District following past disasters, such as the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake (1995 in Kobe) and the Chuetsu Earthquake (2004 in Niigata). There were still some unused funds collected for those efforts, so these funds were available for immediate use in specific ways in this emergency.

The first team of district volunteers went on April 25, and three additional teams were later sent, so that by the end of November 2011, more than 200 persons served in various ways in the disaster area. The volunteers were comprised of a wide variety of people, including clergy and lay members, along with students from mission schools, and even some with no Christian connection whatever. The funds to send the volunteers were supplied from within the district, and all together more than five million yen has been contributed to this effort. We can say that this shows the consciousness and concern of each individual of the district.

The specific work is being directed by the Center for Disaster Victims of the Tohoku District of the Kyodan. The places of service are in the Arahama area in Wakabayashi Ward in Sendai City. In the beginning, the work was centered on mud removal but has changed with time, as volunteers are now also helping with projects like house repair.

At first, it was not easy to break through the local people's preconceptions of the Christian faith, so they were slow to warm up to the volunteers. But together with Noda's persistent dialog with the people and the volunteers not only providing physical labor but also helping the victims work through their emotions, trust was gradually won.

Finally, the main concern now is the long-term continuation of the relief effort. "Nothing is more important than a long-term continuation of the work," says Makabe. (Tr. GM)

Summarized by Nishio Misao, member Suginami Church, West Tokyo District and KNL Editorial Committee member Based on a Kyodan Shinpo (Kyodan Times) article



東日本大震災の被害地域や教会支援のために諸教区・各教会・個人がなすべき役割を模索し、実行している。その中 で、極めて特徴的な働きをしている西東京教区の被災地支援の取り組みを、西東京教区東日本大震災支援委員会委員長の真壁巌(まかべ  いわお)牧師(相愛教会)の談話から紹介したい。

西東京教区では、震災直後に被災地支援委員会の設置が三役会で提案され、4月4日 に開催された宣教委員会で東日本大震災支援委員会が正式に設置された。同時に、被災地へのボランティア派遣と、募金開始を決定した。 このような、教区としての敏速な動きの背景には三つの大きな理由があると真壁牧師は指摘する。一つ目は、震災直後の3月21日に行われた西東京教区全体研修会で、講師の写真家桃井和馬(ももい かずま)氏が前日まで取材していた被災地の 様子を写真と共に報告、さらに、教団から派遣されて被災地を訪問していた藤盛勇紀(ふじもり ゆうき)総務幹事からも被害状況の報告 があり、参加者に大きなインパクトを与えたこと。二つ目は教区内にある、学生キリスト教友愛会(SCF)の野田沢(のだ たく)主事が西東京教区の教師 として震災十日後に東北教区被災地支援センターに派遣され、現地の情報や現地活動の基礎が教区にもたらされていたこと。三つ目は過去 の震災、すなわち阪神大震災や中越地震など、においてすでに西東京教区の救援の働きが組織的に行われており、献金などの余剰金も積み 立てられていたので、今回すぐに具体的な活動に取り組むことが出来たこと、である。

4月25日から4次にわたって派遣されたボランティアは11月末現在延べ200名 を超えており、被災地で様々な活動を行ってきた。メンバーは幅広く、教職、信徒、キリスト教主義学校の学生、全く教会を知らない人な ど西東京教区を中心として集まっている。派遣のための費用はすべて教区内で賄っているが、今回新たに捧げられた献金は500万円を超えており、教区内の一人ひとりの意識の高 さが表れていると言える。

具体的な活動は東北教区被災者センターからの指示により行われている。活動場所は仙台市内の若林区荒浜地区が中心 になっている。当初は泥出しが主であったが、時間の経過とともに多少変わってきて、現在は住宅の補修なども行っているようだ。当初現 地の人たちのキリスト教への警戒心や心を解きほぐすのは容易ではなかった。だが、野田SCF主事が現地の人たちとの粘り強い対話を重ねてきた ことや、ボランティアも力仕事だけではなく、被災者に寄り添い、気持ちを合わせて話をする中で、信頼を得るまでになったという。

最後に、これからの課題は何よりも継続であり、 この活動を息長く続けていくことが何よりも大切だと真壁牧師は語っている。(教団新報より要約)西尾操(KNL編集委員・杉並教会員)

 A Message From General Secretary

 Reflections on the Great East Japan Earthquake Relief Effort

Apr 26,2012

Nearly a year has passed since the Great East Japan Earthquake devastated Japan. The focus of the Kyodan's efforts began with debris removal but has now shifted to local church sanctuary rebuilding. Even within that, the long-term goal is to rebuild the church. "Rebuilding the church" refers not only to constructing new buildings and repairing damaged ones but also to building a foundation to support reconstruction of the society that has been ravaged by the disaster.

As we look back on the Kyodan's relief effort so far, my hope is that we can utilize that experience to move forward with our continued support efforts.

On March 12, the day following the earthquake, the Kyodan's Relief Planning Committee was established under General Secretary Naito, and relief work was initiated. We were able to make immediate use of the emergency fund approved for such catastrophes on Dec. 20 and 21 at the first Executive Council meeting of the 37th General Assembly biennium.

1) From March 13 to 16, Kyodan Moderator Ishibashi and four others were dispatched to evaluate the situation in general.

2) A fundraising campaign was started by the Committee on Social Concerns.

3) Reporting of information began through Kyodan publications and on our website.

4) A total of 10,500,000 yen has been sent to the three most affected districts to begin relief activities.

5) Although the Relief Headquarters was organized late, in communication with each of the districts, decisions were made as to how we would support the region through the three hubs of Sendai, Ishinomaki, and Tono.

At the end of June, the Relief Planning Committee became part of the Great East Japan Earthquake Relief Headquarters.

The Great East Japan Earthquake Relief Headquarters was set up on March 22 by the permanent Executive Council members and officially approved by the Executive Council on April 18.

Ten people are at the headquarters: the moderator, vice-moderator, and secretary of the Kyodan, along with five members of the Executive Council and one representative each from the Japan Christian Social Work League and the mission schools. Our policy is to "support rebuilding churches that serve the people of the area in their salvation [restoration]." The entire Kyodan will work to fulfill its responsibility, with the Kyodan moderator serving as director of the headquarters, and moderators of the most devastated districts and the Kyodan general secretary attending meetings as well.

Already there have been nine meetings to decide many important issues.

1) Fundraising principles were established, and fundraising was begun. The goal for domestic contributions is 1 billion yen, and for foreign contributions, 1.2 billion yen.

2) Members of the Headquarters Committee have made trips to observe the earthquake disaster zone, and the committee has gradually changed its approach, in accordance with the various needs recognized. Particular attention has been given to children of church kindergartens and nursery schools through our project to protect the lives of children (such as clean air camps, etc.), with the realization that there are many issues.

3) Rebuilding Christian social welfare facilities.

4) Long-term scholarship support for students of devastated areas.

5) Mental healthcare for disaster victims, especially those living in temporary housing units.

6) The emergency symposium "Christianity and the Current Crisis in Japan," which was held Aug. 29-30, was a wonderful gathering. Pastors, seminarians, teachers, and social work-related workers were given an opportunity to think and discuss what this great disaster means for us.

As I looked at the relief activities within the districts affected by the disaster, I realized that there were numerous cases in which the aid given was donated directly, without passing through the Kyodan Relief Planning Headquarters.

In this, we can see the individual character of each church and district and how each contributes in a meaningful way to the support of earthquake victims. However, thinking of the long term, I believe it is important that churches recognize the importance of belonging to the Kyodan and hope they will use the Kyodan's relief effort route more extensively when trying to assist churches in need. (Tr. WJ)

—Naito Tomeyuki, general secretary



東日本大震災発生からまもなく一年が経とうとしている。教団の救援体制は今、瓦 礫撤去に象徴される初動支援から『会堂再建』を中核とした『教会再建』という長期支援に移行しようとしている。『教会再建』は単に教 会のみの事柄ではなく、被災した地域社会の復興に仕えるための土台となることなのである。

そこで今日までの教団の救援活動をふりかえり、今後の支援活動推 進に役立てたい。

大震災翌日の3月12日 (土)、内藤総幹事のもとに『救援対策委員会』を 設置し、救援活動を開始した。この委員会設置は、第37総会期第1回常議員会(2010年12/19-20)で 可決された緊急『救援対策基金に関する運用規定』に基づいてい る。直ちに実行したことは、

1)広範囲にわたる被災地の状況把握のための調査隊派遣(石橋議長 を隊長とした4名)それは3/13-16の四日間。



4)被災3教区に初動活動費として各1千 万円と見舞金50万円を送金

5)各教区との連絡を密にしながら、少し遅れて設置された『救援対 策本部』の活動に協力する形で支援活動を仙台、石巻、遠野の三箇所に拠点を定めていくことになった。


『東日本大震災救援対策本部』設置は3月22日 の常任常議員会の議を経て決まり、4月18日の常議員会で正式に承認された。



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"Kyodan" ist die Kurzfassung von "Nippon Kirisuto Kyodan" oder "Vereinigte Kirche Christi in Japan"

Gründung unter staatlichem Zwang


Glaubensbekenntnis - offizielle Übersetzung

26. März 1967
Bekenntnis bez. der Verantwortung für den Zweiten Weltkrieg

Das Schuldbekenntis
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Siehe auch das Glaubensbekenntnis der Japanese Baptist Convention von 2002: Friedenserklärung

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