1. View of the Hyakunincho church now, looking from inside;
@Many of pupils who attended the Hyakunincho churchfs Sunday service or heard about, said to me gthe Hyakunincho is out of ordinary churchesh. So, I asked back them which point you thought to be a unique. There were varieties of answer back to me. I asked myself the Hyakunincho is surely out of ordinary church, or so unique. Then I said to myself there might be many unique points from my understanding also.
@One of uniqueness may be my self (writer this section) who is current
principal pastor of the Hyakunincho. I was born in Korea and grew up there.
Some reason made me come into Japan from February end of 1992, and some
reason made me the Hyakuninchofs pastor from 1997. So to speak, it is gAn
imported pastorh, and not imported from Western world but Asia. This fact
may make something different from ordinary Japanese churches.
@In our church, Mr. Cesar Santoyo, Filipino from Philippine, is our member
and working as a missionary to support and take care of many of Filipinos
who were living in Japan. Pastor Nan Hudson of Canadian Union church is
one of corporate pastor of the Hyakunincho, and notify our activity to
Canadian people. We also have a sister relation with Jamsil Central church
in Korea since 1979 and have the joint retreat at Korea and Japan alternatively
every year. In 1999, summarizing those cultural and missionary exchange
with the Jamsil, we published book named gEast Asian peace and Christianityh
as memory of 20 yearsf anniversary from the Shinkyo Publishing company.
We have also several unique Japanese members. Under such circumstance,
people from variety of country came to Sunday service or meetings.
@Uniqueness will be explained from hard and soft aspect separately in most cases. One of Hyakuninchofs uniqueness is they have almost no hard material. We have no church building as like a chapel; instead rent a room for Sunday service and meetings. Minimum hardware we have is no more than bibles, hymnbooks and the lead organ which using since 1978. The lead organ is very simple construction. It is like a small box with plywood exterior frame and made for potable use originally. Because of almost no hardware, it can be said to set a high value on soft aspect such as meetings and Sunday service.
@A Sunday service is used to be held in rent a room weekly. For 2 or 3 special
occasions in a year, we move to some other place as a whole of church.
That is annual retreats or a memorial service of members passed away.
@Every Sunday, firstly we have to rearrange chairs and tables in square
or pentagon style. It is in order to see every bodyfs face each other upmost.
There is no pulpit, nor decoration, obviously no cross monument. Members
may take a seat any place even if officiate and pastor.
@Uniqueness of the Hyakuninchofs meetings including a Sunday service can
be shown on its longer duration of time than ordinary church. Average duration
will be 3~4 hours not only for a Sunday service, but also other meetings.
There are many meetings such as a reading home circle, a Bible-study group,
Korean language Bible-study and Passion Week home gatherings. All of meeting,
we used to take a meals together. When taking a count for the time preparing
meals, meeting duration will be longer than 4 hours. When a member attends
every meeting, he or she will take a meal together more than 100 times
in a year. Those times may form closer friendship. Since it is not only
simple communication, but also making meals, eating together, expressing
own opinion in turn and exchange each thinking, we can share and understand
@A Sunday service is used to start at 10:30 Am and ended about 1 Pm. Therefore,
we can have about 30 minutes or 1 hour discussion time. There is no person
who fails into a doze even though long time of period. In the Hyakuninchofs
Sunday service, we donft use wording of gpreachingh, instead, use gtestimonyh.
The principal pastor has gtestimonyh every two weeks. People involved in
church will be in charge of other weeksf gtestimonyh. By the way, the testimony
will not do only by church member, but also a person who has any relation
with the Hyakunincho. Church member will become in charge once every 3
or 4 years and express own way of thinking and belief. Attendances of Sunday
service have a chance to here every different personfs testimony. The pastor
has also a good chance to know many peoplefs thinking and belief, and to
be educated by all means.
@One more unique point is a matter of gresponseh we call in the service.
This is real response to the subject matter what a person talked. The response
will be not only impression or question including a criticism, but also
hot discussion about related current affaires many times. Through these
responses, todayfs testimony will be able to come into each personfs heart
and to be absorbed well. In the case of one way speaking, good absorption
could not be expected. But when we have such style of response, even not
much well speaker can share his or her opinion with others. In other words,
everybody can exchange their opinion mutually, understand each other and
make a good decision for future.
@Those styles may be expressed well in weekly. The weekly is printed on
vertically long B-4 size of paper and used as sectioning four equal parts.
Upper left portion indicates an order of Sunday service, and upper right
is meeting schedule and report. Lower left is the pastorfs journal and
right is memberfs one. A member in charge of this column rotates among
all church members related.
@The program of gresponseh will be adopted also by other churches, and
it is their own decision whether working into the schedule or not. In the
case of the Hyakunincho, lunch time works into the schedule since we would
like to have longer duration of response. Then, we think it is better a
part of the schedule. Those styles come from membersf discussion and may
make the Hyakuninchofs uniqueness.
@Ifd like show you one of the scene in brief, which happened July 22nd, 2007 Sunday service; A person in charge of
testimony was Ms Vida.T.M.Beltran. She is Filipina, and of course one of church
member. Her husband is also member and a Kurd borne in Turkey. He is Mr. Taskin
Salman who had persecution in Turkey and applied political exile to Japanese Government.
They had a 7 yearfs daughter called gBeltran Zilanh. She was borne in Japan and
no experience to go out from Japan, even if to the parentfs countries. She
could not speak other than Japanese. On March 2007, Tokyo district court made a
decision of non-acceptance on political exile. It means not to allow them to
live permanently in Japan. Therefore, they were appealing to a higher court at
that time. If they could not get resident permit from Japanese Government, the
family of three will be separated in worst case. The parents have stayed Japan
from the middle of 1990s, and fairly good for Japanese speaking. Her title of testimony
was gMy life experience in Japanh, and scripture were Matthew, Chapter 11
Paragraph XX IIIV and Galatians, Chapter 6 Paragraph IV. She talked about her
experience for 50 minutes with tears, of course, in Japanese. We had lunch
together then. During response time, we heard how they met, and also present situation
of trial in the court. At the very end, members prayed for God to give us
encouragement and comfort. We could have very helpful time for her and shared burdens
on them. (Something happened later, they got special yearly resident permit now
by the reason of humanity.)
@Ifd like to trace a route how and when such kind of style was started.
It was from April 15th, 1973, in
accordance with record of the Hyakunincho. In the beginning, Sunday service was
once closed before lunch, and then response ran into. From August 26th
in the same year, lunch and response time worked into schedule of Sunday
service and this style was continuing up to the present. At that time, the name
of Hyakunincho was not appeared; instead, they called Ookubo-Meeting which was
just believersf group. There was neither pastor nor religious leader. Obviously
it was not joining with UCCJ. Since the foundation was November of 1970,
present style was established at fairly early stage.
@During lunch, membersf activities and also activity guide are reported
as necessary. And also new comerfs introduction is highlighted. Also members
are introduced to the new comer. Lunch time is not like a pious event,
but just as usual. People are going around tables and asking how they are
getting on. Many of talking and laughter are fulfilled all the area. Members
shall bring lunch box with them. When we have a new comer or members failed
to bring lunch, we will share and still to be satisfied.
@We prepare and cook meals by ourselves for the meetings such as reading
home circle or the Bible-study group. Most vegetables of meals are products
grown up at the farm of the former principle Pastor Aso. He resigned the
position since he would like to concentrate seriously to be a farmer. He
makes many of organically grown farm products such as rice and vegetables,
and delivers to the members. Successor as like me is a wonderful position
enjoying his products always. His rice is especially tasty.
@It might be my great pleasure to find out meaning or justification of
meals we serve in the Bible. Taking meals together is one of the most precious
things for maintaining our life from the origin of human race. From those
aspects, meals are treated as very important event from a field of religion.
We can understand how important to share the meals for surviving in the
community bounded together obviously from the Old Testament. In the Old
Testimony, God had teaching above to people of Israel at Exodus. Another
story written is about manna given to the people in the wilds (Exodus,
Chapter 16). In the New Testament, there shows 4 or 5 thousands people
ate full from sharing very little foods (Matthew, Chapter 15 Paragraph
32 through 39 , Chapter14 Paragraph 13 through 21 and others).
@Meals should be located in the central position in the event of the Passover as memorizing Exodus (Exodus, Chapter 12 Paragraph 11 through), or in the time of the Contract to Yahweh community (Exodus, Chapter 24, Paragraph 9 through 11). Also we should remember that the Last Supper of Jesus Christ was a part of the Passover (Matthew, Chapter 26 Paragraph 17 through 25). Many meaning of those meals changes to the religious observance during long duration being handed down in the tradition from generation to generation, but main or true meaning is not the religious observance but real.
@I think Jesus was enjoying meals even during public act. Meals are important
for living, and also give us important time such as making friendship or
teaching. When Jesus sat at table in Levifs house (Mark, Chapter 2 Paragraph
13 through 17), many tax collectors and sinner were sitting with Jesus.
Jesus sat at table as well in the house of Simon the leper (Mark, Chapter
14 Paragraph 3). When Martha received Jesus into house, he enjoyed meal
and then had teaching to Mary and Martha (Luke, Chapter 10 Paragraph 38
through 42). After the resurrection of Jesus Christ, he revealed against
to the disciples by the sea and said gCome and have breakfasth. At there,
disciples affirmed the bonds tied with Jesus (John, Chapter 21 Paragraph15
through). When a chief tax collector named Zac-chaefus received Jesus joyfully,
he promised to change his life (Luke, Chapter 19 paragraph1 through 10).
Even though much description does not appear in the Bible, Jesus might
take meal with surrounding people daily.
@Looking after above, Jesus shared meals with hungry people, and then,
cured disease, had teaching, and gave them reconciliation or forgiveness.
Through the event taking meals together, people refreshed a deeper sense
of solidarity, and renewed their firm decision to follow Jesus Christ.
@When I try to search for meaning of the Hyakuninchofs lunch, those stories
would tell us something. I think that is the time to renew our decision
and the firm bonds tied with people who following the way to Jesus Cross.
(Written by Pastor Jungsoon Ka, July 25th, 2007)
A scene of new rent room we moved
@We had the second Christmas in the new rent room at Takadanobaba after
moved from Kyofu-kaikan. Although we are concerned about the size of room
rent firstly, we find there a quite proper space for 50 persons.
@That is an old fashioned classroom of vocational school. There is prepared
several heavy desks for three people. It looks dreary sight when no body
sitting. However, when we rearrange desks in circle and people takes a
seat with variety colors of costume, the room was changed to warm and mild
space. Area is full filled by white flavor and warm scent which makes people
heartwarming and calm. It is not a strong perfume which fresh young women
sprinkled at the start of a semester. There is no decoration, but when
people having worshiped, those figures themselves becomes a central decoration
of the room. The room has been changed to impassioned wonderful space time
to time, in particular corresponding to findings such as quite a while
unseen faces, beautiful organ melodies and hymns, peoplefs figures listening
conversation closely and quietly, smells of lunches, tears, or laughter.
I imagined the early Christian home should look like those. I recognized
that the room had been changed much more lovely space than any other chapels
in this world.
@There is a blackboard hang on in front of the room. Some proposed to cover
by close at the last Sunday in October. A member of aged architect specialized
for church building stopped doing so and said gKeep as it is!h The word,
I think, teach us the meaning of how to form a new church and a way the
Hyakunincho to go.
@Time spent together with members in 2009 fill my heart with gratitude.
Even though how the World will be changed, how luxury I can live with members,
whom I believe in and encourage each other, I thank members of the Hyakunincho
and related people for living with me through this year. (Written
by Jungsoon Ka in weekly, December 27th, 2009)