2015年 07月 14日
Japan Baptist Convention Disaster Relief Committee. Photo by Sendai-Taitomi baptist church'es Sunday worship on March 13.
BIBLE／the bread of life
© 日本バプテスト連盟 2011
2015年 07月 14日
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2015年 06月 11日
2015年 05月 14日
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2015年 04月 02日
2014年 12月 31日
Central Committee for the World Council of Churches
“Statement towards a Nuclear-free World”
Even before the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, the Japanese Convention had declared to aim for a “non-nuclear, and non-military” society. This was declared in our 2008 periodic general meeting, in apprehension of the nuclear administration. Furthermore, the United Church of Christ in Japan adopted the “Declaration of the United Church of Christ in Japan against the Japanese Government’s Nuclear Policy” in 1987, showing the church’s stance that criticizes nuclear power generation to be strongly connected to nuclear weapons. The Catholic Justice and Peace Council also expressed their criticism. In a leaflet they printed in 2010, it was declared, “Nuclear power generation is not the answer to global warming! It will be catastrophic to the life and environment of this earth”. However the nuclear power disaster occurred despite these prior prophecy-like warnings. After the disaster, many denominations have raised their voices against nuclear power. On the 7th of July, t World Council of Churches central committee declared the “Statement towards a Nuclear-free World”. Now the churches of Christ through out the world are in faith, starting to raise their voices against nuclear power and nuclear weapons.
Furthermore, the Great East Japan Earthquake Support Team is taking action. We have been providing health examinations by doctors. We have lead recuperation programs, and have supported the moving process of households. We also have continued to monitor the radiation and have been working on “decontamination”. We must continue this long-term support.
The resumption of the nuclear power plants is being discussed. During this time, we need churches to understand this reality. We need more voices to be raised and need a continuation of prayers. We have published the faith driven and practical proposal. I encourage you to read the “Statement towards a Nuclear-free World”. The Japanese translation is uploaded on the Japanese Baptist Convention homepage.
Central Committee of the World Council of Churches, “Statement towards a Nuclear-free World”(D. Macintosh, Naoya Kawakami)
God is a generous Creator, calling life into being from atoms and molecules and endowing creation with life in abundance. To split the atom into deadly, unnatural elements already gives cause for serious ethical and theological reflection. To use the energy of the atom in ways that threaten and destroy life is a sinful misuse of God’s creation.
We are called to live in ways that protect life instead of putting it at risk – neither living fearfully, defended by nuclear weapons, nor living wastefully, dependent on nuclear energy. We are invited to build communities and economies in harmony with God’s manifold gifts and promises of life.
In the 1990s, when the Sahtu-Dene people of northern Canada learned that uranium from their lands had been used in the bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, they sent a delegation of elders to Japan to apologize. We too have such a witness: to judge armaments and energy use by their effects on people and on God’s creation; to confess that our desires for material comfort and convenience insulates us from concern for the source and quantity of the energy we consume; to abandon all support for retaining nuclear weapons and refuse to accept that the mass destruction of other peoples can be a legitimate form of protection for ourselves. (Will be continued in the next issue.)
The Continuing Aid Work in the Devastated Areas.
The local support teams are continuing their visitations of people living in contemporary housing and visitations to local residents.
•Otsukacho city aid
•Kozuchi temporary housing #4 aid
•Kozuchi temporary housing#7 aid
•Ishinomaki city Motourayashiki aid
•Ishinomaki city Oshika peninsula
•Koriyama city Midorigaoka temporary housing aid
•Fukushima Shinobudai temporary housing aid
In August a DVD introducing the aid work that is carried out was made. We sent the DVD to churches through out Japan. Even now, we want more people to know about and to join the aid work that is being carried out. The DVD explains the aid work that is taking place in the places listed above.
Goal for 2014 Donations: 14mill Yen
Total Donations up to September: 5mill440thousand yen 8mill560thousand Yen to go!!!
Donators during August and September
Nara, Fukuma, Ijyuin Saba, Chofu, Nakano, Hirao, Yuko Kubo, Seinangakuin High School Student Society, Kansai Reimei, Utsunomiya, Omiya, Oita, Keisen, Sasebo, Hitachi, Nakano, Shionsan, Chofu, Takasu, Nankodai, Ainoura Hikari, Koga, Omura Koga Shima, Kagoshima, Akazuka, Ainosono Nursery
2014 Activity Plan (estimate for 2014)
(Donations will be used for the activities below)
•Support for Aid work in North East Japan
•Support for Tono Volunteer Center Aid work
•Work toward Nuclear Issues – Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear power plant victims
•Activity fees for the support team
2014年 10月 13日
~Great East Japan Earthquake Charity Concert~ Akatsuka Baptist Church (…)
June 7th 2014, we invited flutist Atsuko Koga and cellist Georgiy Lomakov to perform for the Great East Japan Earthquake Charity Concert. Atsuko Koga and Georgiy Lomakov are musicians based in Germany. They contacted us to see if they could conduct a charity concert at our church after reading that we were collecting donations for the Great East Japan Earthquake. Although it was raining, close to 80 people attended the Great East Japan Concert. People of all ages from near and far came to the concert. Some, after hearing that the concert was to support East Japan, went to the trouble of asking permission from their hospital to come to the concert. Many had heard of the concert through our homepage, Facebook, and our newspaper advertisements. The wonderful sounds of the flute and cello moved our hearts. The intricacy of the music and the rich sounds enveloped us and seemed to carry us to a different world. The 90 minutes flew by. We were truly very grateful. Many people joined our call, “Don’t forget 3.11!” Many joined with us to pray. We want to express our deepest gratitude to Atsuka Koga and Georgiy Lomakov. We hope that we will be able to hold events like this again. Though the work that our church does is small, we hope that we can serve the community in the best way we can. Akatsuka Church has voluntarily been taking part in the support of Great East Japanese Earthquake. Please share with us the work your church does. email@example.com
~ Ai Ai Project 2014 ~ Ai Ai Project, along with the prayers of women through out Japan, has continued to support North East Japan in 2014. There are churches in the North East Japan that continue to support and stay along side those that are affected by the devastation. Those in the devastated areas live in pain, unsure of their future, fearful of the nuclear power plant accident and its radiation. Many are tired from the years they have spent in the temporary housings. We hope that through our connection with the churches in the area, we can continue to walk with the Lord, spreading our prayers and blessing the people we meet. Koriyama Kosmosu Dori Church has carried out visitations to Koriyama Midori Ga Oka Temporary Housing Estate once every month. Ai Ai Project also participated in the visitations in April and July, and hopes to go in October, December, and March. Ai Ai Project also continues to support the handcraft groups held through out the temporary housing estates in the devastated areas by sending snacks and craft material. Furthermore, last year we gave a donation to the support network for migrant women in Fukushima. What is more, now that we are more aware of the networks’ activities and the prayers that are needed for the migrant women, we want to find how to show more solidarity. Requests by the Women’s Committee, and prayer requests can be found on the Home page, and will be announced through the regional alliance.
~Local Support Committee Meeting Report~ The Local Support Committee Meeting was held in Sendai church on Friday, first of August. It was an open meeting, which allowed many non- committee members to join from different churches in North East Japan. The meeting held 17 participants. Each time we hold these meetings, we are encouraged by the people from surrounding churches who show interest in the work that we do. This Local Support Committee Meeting has been held almost once every month as a way to share about the aid work carried out for the victims of the earthquake and nuclear accident. It is also a time for participants of the meeting to think together, to learn from the Bible together, and to support each other. It is impossible to express how much the conversations during the committee meetings have encouraged us these past 3 years. I believe that this meeting also serves as a way for different aid workers to support each other. It is easy for only the actual “work” of the aid work to be noticed, but I was reminded that behind that “work” there is a lot of thought exchange, prayer, and communication that has continually taken place, which paves way for the aid work to take place. I thank God for his guidance. The Local Support Committee has produced a DVD, “Local Support Committee Activities DVD Vol.1”, to introduce the different aid work that is being carried out. This DVD has been sent out to all churches throughout Japan. Please take a look at the DVD and please continue to support our work. We are greatly thankful for your prayers and support. Committee Head, Makoto Kanamaru
The Great East Japan Earthquake Aid Committee Team Report I joined the World Development Conference, hosted by the Baptist World Aid, one of the Great East Japan Aid Committee Team’s greatest supporters. The conference was held on the 5th and 6th of July in Izmir Turkey, and I was able to represent the Aid Committee Team of the Japan Baptist Convention, and present our case study report. At this conference, Baptist individuals working for human rights and individuals working in devastated areas gathered from around the world to learn from each other. I spoke about the long-term aid carried out at the devastated areas of the great east Japanese earthquake. For long term aid, there is a need for 1) the concept of “mission” to come together with “aid”, 2) the church not to do everything but to be the bridge that connects the local people to organizations and groups specialized in the field of work that is needed for the people, and 3) the church to be a place of comfort for those who were not able to receive the aid that the organizations and groups provide. These three points were based on what was discussed during the “Theology Forum 2, Post Great East Japan Earthquake and Nuclear Accident Missions”. I used these three points as the foundation of how the church should support the areas affected by the nuclear disaster on a long term scale. I also spoke of how the church should be critical of the nuclear power administration. Furthermore, as presented in the World Church Conference in July this year, I spoke of how we hoped that the Baptist World Alliance would declare an anti-nuclear stance. I think it was significant that there was a presentation on Japan’s exportation of nuclear power and weapons to Turkey. What is more, I was able to gain the support from many participants. Lastly, during the evening prayer meeting, we were able to share our prayers with Baptists from all over the world to remember the Great Each Japan Earthquake, and not to forget about it.
Target for 2014 Fundraising: 14mill Yen Current amount donnated (July 31, 2014): 4mill330thousand Yen
We have received donations from the following 72 people /organizations: Isahaya Ch, Ito Ch, Koga Ch, Tsukushino Futsukaichi Ch, Yokodai Ch, Omiya Ch, Kasumigaoka Ch, Mojiko Ch, Kobe Ikawa Ch, Tokyo Kita Ch, Fukuoka Josei Ch, Kochi Isezaki Ch, Fujisawa Ch, Kurigasawa Ch, Nara Ch, Higashi Osaka Ch, Seinan Gakuin Junior/High Sch, Chofu Ch, Goro and Fumiko Amano, Yuko Kubo, Takamatsu Tokiwacho Ch, Nakano Ch, Saga Ch, Kagoshima Ch, Koga Ch, Fujimino Ch, Nakano Ch, Keisei Ch, Tokyo Kita Ch, Seinan Gakuin, Akatsuka Ch, Chofu Ch, Norio Samejima, Yahata Ch, Kagoshima Ch, Koga Ch, Ainoura Hikari Ch, Hakodate Mihara Ch, Omura Kogashima Ch, Hirao Ch, National Partners of Pastors Group, Megumi Ch, Kansai Reimei Ch, Osaka Block Women’s Committee, Chofu Church, Yuko Kubo, Mitaka Ch, Atsuko Koga, Georgiy Lomakov, Hitachi Ch, Mejiro Gaoka Ch, Meinohama Ch, Takayasu Tadasa, Masako Kamei, Koga Ch, Shuhei Nishin – Nishino Guitar School, Takasuka Ch, Kagoshima Ch, Goro and Fumiko Amano, Foundation for Cooperative Community Creation, Hiroshima Nishi Ch, Seinan Gakuin University Choir, Nakano Ch, Ichikawa Yahata Ch, Nakano Ch, Tokyo Region Alliance One Day Kohitsuji Group, Chofu Ch, Marukame Jotocho Ch, OS Company, Nogata Ch, Ainoura Hikari Ch, Koga Ch, Otaru Ch, Kagoshima Ch.
2014年 07月 28日
A People who Serve the Land~
Extract from Seinan Gakuin Daigaku Theology Chapel
Ichiro Sudo Professor of Theology
On the preface that in the Bible, all things are said to be in relation to God and that nothing is created without God, what sort of relationship did Jesus envision for man, nature, and creation? We can look into Mathew 10:29b and Luke 12:6b for more insight. In the passage titled “Do Not Worry”, we see Jesus speaking the following words about the birds in the air.
Matt 10:29b “Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.”
Luke 12:6b “Yet not one of them is forgotten by God?”
These words depict God’s love that is also poured out to the creatures of the world. The passage in Matthew compared to that of Luke is far more difficult to understand, and it is the passage in Matthew that we find the original words of Jesus. The passage says that God is there, even for the one small bird as it falls to the ground. To man, a small bird is worthless and cheap, but to God, there is no such thing as a worthless creation. God stays beside even the smallest creatures until its death.
If this translation is true, then the following verses in Matt 10:31b and Luke 12:7b “you are worth more than many sparrows” do not follow the same logic. This is often times understood to mean that if something is true for the small bird, then it is more so for the greater man. This implies that man is greater than the little bird. This places man above creation. A similar thought is expressed in Matthew 6:26 and Luke 12:24 “Are you not much more valuable than they?” Even in this passage, with its title “Do Not Worry”, we see how a sparrow, that is worthless in man’s eyes, is subject to God’s love. This shows how the theory that man is greater than God’s other creations does not make sense. This shows how the passages added a human centric view to the words that Jesus spoke, altering the message that Jesus initially gave. If this is true, then Franceso, who was said to have preached to birds, was correct in understanding that God’s love is provided for both man and other creation, equally.
We, as people who read the words of creation from the Bible should choose not to be the “rulers of the land” but as “servants of the land.” We should take the words of Jesus and understand that God’s love is given out to all of creation. And it is in this understanding, that we should take part in tackling the issue of nuclear power.
The Radiation Levels of Churches, and Information about “Decontamination”
The Great East Japan Earthquake Aid Committee Team on the Nuclear Power Issues has continued to measure the radiation levels of churches and its facilities that are believed to have higher radiation levels after the nuclear power disaster. It has also worked to support the fees that are required in decontamination, and also monitor the change in radiation after decontamination. The financial support we provide go up to 500,000 yen per building. So far we have aided the decontamination of 7 churches. It has been over 3 years since the disaster, but there are still churches that have not applied for this program, and so we intend to call out to those churches that we have yet not reached. If there are any churches that are in need of this aid, please contact the Great East Japan Earthquake Aid Committee Team.
*The difficulty in the decontamination process is that it is impossible to stop the contamination due to radiation. The decontamination is carried out by decontamination companies, that often burry or cover with concrete, the contaminated material.
Koriyama Kosumosu Dori Christ Church, that is continuing decontamination
The Great East Japan Earthquake Aid Committee Team Report
Thanks to your support we have been able to carry out the following projects.
1. Donations for disaster struck areas.
Project Fees Year 2013 Total
Specified Donations (international) 3,252,795
Withdrawn from Reserve Funds 9,013,568
Funds Carried Over from Previous Year 9,086,795
Disaster Aid Funds 40,556,764
2. Aid Work for Stricken Areas
Projects (items of expenditure)
1) Support for churches in stricken areas
Fukushima Asahimachi Church child education support (2,485,494),
Special health support for pastors in stricken areas (330,000)
Total 2,815,494 (A)
2) Support for church projects in stricken areas
Temporary housing aid provided by churches in stricken areas (4,408,100),
Maintenance of vehicle specified to aid work (2,306,205)
Total 6,714,305 (B)
3. Support for stricken areas by Tono VC
Electricity, heating, maintenance for Tono VC (2,428,035),
Volunteer travel for non North East Japan churches (1,222,884),
Activity fees for local aid worker (5,328,448), miscellaneous (16,904).
Total 8,996,271 (C)
4. Projects dealing with the nuclear power issues
Fukushima Asahimachi & Koriyama Kosumosu Dori Christ Church children
relief project (1,936,155),
Health Checkups due to radiation (152,406),
Radiation measuring and decontamination (1,339,713),
Housing support for evacuees from radiation (500,000),
Expenses for conference meetings (681,691)
Total 4,609,965 (D)
5. East Japan Team
International correspondence (237,429),
Expenses to hold Theology Forum2 (1,628,913),
Cooperation with other organizations (235,700),
Officer Personnel expenses (2,554,177),
Expenses for conference meetings (678,026)
Total 5,334,245 (E)
6. Office Correspondence Fees 407,810 (F)
Year 2013 Expenditure (A)+(B)+(C)+(D)+(E)+(F) 28,878,090
Funds carried over to 2014 11,678,674
•Closing of Tono Volunteer Center: 31 March 2014
•Finishing of mission work (Chikayo Kaneko): 31 March 2014
•2014 media work for Great East Japan Earthquake Aid
Tohoku News Letter published every odd month
Bond of Prayer published every even month
2014年 05月 22日
26th March 2014 Issue #25
Great East Japan Earthquake Support Team Newsletter
A Bond of Prayer
1. That the physical and emotional health of those who are still living as evacuees will be protected.
2. That the removal of the nuclear fuel rods, and the disposal of contaminated water will be carried out smoothly.
March 11, 2014, Koriyama Cosmos Path Christ Church was able to have a tea party at the Midorigaoka 7-chome temporary housing complex. We have been visiting Midorigaoka since the August of 2011. In this housing complex there are 110 households, consisting of 180 people. They are evacuees from Tomioka, a city that is within the 5-10 km radius of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. We heard that one of the members that had always joined our monthly tea party had died a lonely death, just a few days before. Many of her neighbors carried the guilt and responsibility of not having noticed her death. There were also those that worried about perhaps having a similar fate. Many spoke of how, even after 3 years, nothing had changed, and how they were unsure of if they could ever return. They didn’t know what awaited them in the future. Many confessed of their emotional and physical fatigue and of the anger they held, that they could not resolve.
At 2:46 pm we had a moment of silence. Afterwards I spoke a few words, but I found myself unable to hold my tears in and unable to find the words to speak. In the evening we had a gathering in remembrance of the disaster. This year, the head of the women’s convention Aiai Project, Jyunko Hirukawa and a 4 person working team from Mejirogaoka church came to help us set up from the morning. I was reminded that the support work we have carried out for the past 3 years has not been a sole effort, but one that has been supported by churches around the nation through prayer, donations, and aid.
March 11, Midorigaoka Temporary Housing Complex Tea Pearty
2. Visit by Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF)
We have continued to receive generous amounts of donations from CBF. To determine if further aid is needed, 2 individuals from CBF visited Otsuchichyo Koriyama City during March 20-21. During the 20th to the 21st, Tono, Kamaishi, Otsuchi were covered with heavy snowfall. In some areas the snow was knee high. It was the worst snow we had seen in 25 years. However even within this stormy weather, the people of Kozuchi Fourth Temporary Housing welcomed us with a cooked lunch. Ms. N, who always cooks the lunch for us, said with tears in her eyes, “This year, March 11 was really hard for me. I could keep myself from crying. Maybe it was the toughest year yet.” These words by Ms. N, who usually always has a smile, and always makes others laugh, depicts the reality that these people live in. The past 3 years, it has been one hardship after another. For 3 years our hearts have been strained.
“When will you visit us next? We will be waiting for you…” The people in the temporary housing waved us goodbye all the way until the car was out of sight. This reminded me of “Macedonia’s cry”.
“Lord, please allow this aid to continue”. “Please use our convention”. Leaving the drive, I could not help but cry. It reminded me that even now, people are in need of aid. It reminded me of the challenge still ahead of us.
Great East Japan Earthquake Aid Committee Team on the Nuclear Power Plant Issues
“Those who Tend the Land”
- October 28 2013 Message Summary from Theology Studies -
Seinan Gakuin University Professor of Theology Studies
Recently there is not one day when we go without hearing some news about the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and its contaminated water. During the IOC session, when Tokyo was chosen as the 2020 Olympic host, Prime minister Abe stated, “The situation is under control”. However the situation is far from being under control. There is still contaminated water leaking into the ground water and into the ocean. This is, along with the Chernobyl event, the worst environmental disaster in history. How are we, as Christians supposed to face these issues?
1967, Lynn White Jr. wrote an article in “Science” magazine called “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis”. He argues that at the root of the environmentally destructive scientific revolution is Christianity and it’s anthropocentric understanding of nature. He stated that way out of the ecological crisis in not the evolution of science and technology. We must condemn the concept that “no item in the physical creation [has] any purpose save to serve man's purposes” and “rethink and refeel our nature and destiny”. White brought about a great question for Christian Theologists. However he is a specialist in the history of Medieval Europe’s agricultural technology, and his interpretation of the Bible may be limited. Therefore it is necessary to critically reconsider his thesis.
Genesis 1:28, which White uses as the basis of his argument, does definitely say that man subdue the earth. However In Genesis 2:5 and 15, is tells man to “work” and “take care” of the earth.
Man Subdues Earth
Man Takes care of Earth
In the background of Genesis 1:26-28 is the imperialist ideology that said the king was god, and that he ruled over all the people. However, democracy states that all man is god and this has made man anthropocentric. To this, the Bible talks of how Adam was made out of the earth, and that he is to protect the land. It tells us that God created man and nature, and that we are, together, supposed to face God. The Bible gives us these seemingly opposite messages about how we are to live in the world. It is our choice to decide which to follow.
2013 Fundraising Target Amount (General Donations): 20,000000Yen
15,110,000yen (2,250,000yen from over seas)
Another 4,890,000Yen needed
*We have also received 3,250,000 Yen as specified donations, which has not been included in the total above.
Please continue to donate for the aid work in the devastated areas.
Religious Institution Japan Baptist Convention General Affairs Division