Incident Ⅳ: Era of Pastor Jungsoon Ka (January, 1997 ~present)
At the time of starting sister relationship
with the Jamsil, it was said that Pastor Ka was an active leader to object to sister-relation.
Well then, why did he become principle pastor of the Hyakunincho? He was not
dispatched from the Jamsil officially. The Hyakunincho requested him to be a principle
pastor. There were a long journey and many changes on him before settlement.
Everybody admired his skillful Japanese
speaking. We don’t know how he gets learned. He has no accent. That’s why
everybody misunderstand he is native speaker if not knowing he is from Korea.
Also there might be a lot of common sensitivity with us.
He is also very much skilled for manipulation
of personal computer. Instead of former Pastor Aso, who was not good at
organizing matter on paper, he summarizes records of the Hyakunincho and put
into the computer. The records are list of person being in charge of testimony
and its title up to now, a Sunday service location log, collect “Roba” (Note
15) in a book style, collect weekly report (Note 12), arrangement of photos in
order for 40 years, and others. Because of such materials, we can publish this
He spared quite time for preparation of testimony.
He studied historical matters of Japan, and members were taught about fact of
Japan from his eyes. He studied directly from Japanese book, and might like to
look up a word in a dictionary. He took a role of translation for communicating
with Korean people. Since he did not talk about himself almost, it looks he had
a lot of mysteries. On the other hand, it looks he had deep heart.
This situation is born as a fruit from long and
long exchange with Korean church. All members could not help to feel time and
tide in heart.
The scenery how to invite Pastor Ka
In a sudden, Pastor Aso expressed his wish to
resign the principal pastor of the Hyakunincho in order to become real farmer in
his testimony on November 26th, 1995. It was a great surprise to
every member. Members were curious about why he wish to resign. If resigned,
what would happen on him and this church? All felt anxiety. He proposed his
decision formally to the member’s representative meeting on December 3rd.
After discussion twice in all members’ meeting, his offer was received
officially in the general meeting of April 14th, 1996. In response to
that, committee to invite new principal pastor was established. The role was to
find out new pastor by end of March, 1997. The Committee was composed with
members’ representative and other three people assigned to special committee.
Generally speaking and in most cases,
successor of pastor will be decided by the big voice of former pastor, or
strong recommendation from an influential member. This special committee, however,
tried to gather every member’s opinion thoroughly, including former pastor and
other pastors who has corporate to develop or concerned with the Hyakunincho. This
process intended to select successor by all people’s consent, and rebuild
future Hyakunincho by all.
Along with the line, the special committee
distributed a questionnaire about “How to consider future Hyakunincho?” firstly,
and secondary, held an opinion poll about recommended candidate with exact name
and reason. According to the result of survey, selection was made not only in
the committee but also in all members’ meeting including summer retreat. In parallel,
we got opinion from former pastor and cooperating pastors. Summarizing all of
opinions, result was reached to select Pastor Ka, as he was most proper person.
General meeting of December 8th, 1996, decided Pastor Ka would be
There was a lot of opinion or talking in all
members’ meeting or response time in the Service during selection process. Opinions
were followings; Could Pastor Aso keep his livelihood only by farming? Could we
work well with new pastor? We would not like to follow as same way as we
experienced in the Mitake about successor. Successor is from Korea, could he
work well without knowing Japanese manner in detail? Could he handle funeral or
marriage ceremony well in Japan? Could he follow matters what the Hyakunincho
had done actively always? We would not like to change the way of the
Hyakunincho at all. Could successor admit the Hyakunicho having neither a church
building nor a rectory? , etc, etc.
After exchanging various opinions and discussion, a special general meeting
was held and approved to receive Pastor Ka as the principal pastor with
unanimous. Then, Pastor Ka received a baton from Pastor Aso on January
It was no long time required that members
could have peace of mind against their worries mentioned above. And we
recognized it was just only needless worries.
Scene in time of Pastor Ka‘s inauguration
– A church I learned by pastor Ka
I would not like to have writing much, since I have just a poor hand still
for Japanese and far from good writing. And also I feared my writing gave
hurt to somebody by unknowing mistakes or brought ugly situation in between
because of illogical writings. Originally I would hate to write even though
in Korean. I feel so much difficulty to write in Japanese obviously since
I started to learn Japanese at adult age. I could not, however, stay there
as was. Therefore now, I endeavored to write joyfully without fear. I do
like writing which does not give misunderstanding, and has easy understandable
sentences. It takes a long time for me to reach such a level of writings.
I need more practice and experience. Please understand my feeling to start
such words at beginning.
I have lived in Japan for full of 5 years by
February 28th of this year. On reflection, I am certain I made a good decision that I run away from Korea. After arrived in Japan, I made a lot of tedious mistake, but, it made good and important experiences for me. I believe I could do it since I was in Japan, not in Korea. Apart from church missionary works in Korea, I could live as a free person in Japan. It was obviously because of a great support offered from the Hyakunincho. I could learn a lot of matters during the time in japan at various places, such as Theological Seminary for Rural Mission, Kida’s seminar, a certain place of bath cleaning work or track driver as side job, the Hyakunincho as a member, and others. Those made me learning one by one I could never forget. Now I started to work as a principal pastor here from January of this year. Standing on this fact or happening on me till now, it became important subject to consider what those experiences mean for me and to the Hyakunincho. It might be required for quite long time putting me those in order. I think I have to continue to work on those. There are various denominations or churches in Japan. Among them, the Hyakunincho has been taking upon certain role for these 27 years long, although making independent step by own. When I am looking back for the history and tradition of the Hyakunincho, I wonder that I am worthwhile to succeed or not. Only I can do is that I will try to work my best for the church. Since the Hyakunincho has person of plentiful talent to bring me up, I can stay in freedom from fear and keep my attitude to learn much more from now on also.
Next, I would like to consider about church from what I have learned and
experienced in the Hyakunincho as a member. My parent had brought me to
church from 3 years old. I remember I obtained all of prizes offered from
church among dozen of CS members up to graduating junior school. The church
I joined was very severe on regulations and rules of the Bible. Even now
I feel still sometimes that influence was remained strongly in my mind.
After those experiences, I moved to the Jamsil as a grown-up person. At
beginning, I could not accustom with the Jamsil way, since firstly they
concerned about social problem deeply. Secondary, their way of reading
Bible or theology was not familiar with me, moreover, I feel big difference
from what I learned before. Those were troublesome for me. Therefore, it
took long year to understand situation. Somebody knowing me well said that
my thought had been moving right to left during that time along with world
stream of the time. Atmosphere surrounded me had unbelievable power of
influence to change myself. 5 years in Japan has the same story and I suffered
a lot of influence. I encounter, now, in new atmosphere, and I will also
have another influence from this environment.
What I bothered with was configuration of belief. There are various kinds of configuration of belief in churches. Bases of Christ church’s belief is come from the Jesus who borne as the Son of God, acted for the world, and died on Cross. We made a choice of our belief among various traditional Christianity. I think, even though each of belief has own value, but in the history of Christianity, some of them can be said to drive own benefit as indicating opposite shore. I could not say that all of such belief is wrong, but it has weakness against power. Once to happen a strong dictator rule over the nation, such churches or religious leaders will be easy to cooperate with authorities. It is obvious when we looked back to our history. In order not to repeat such history, our belief should be to confess that God dominate the World through over the history. In other words, we should believe God is working in the present life and confess God rule over our living. I think one of such confession for me is “Confession of Responsibility during World War” proposed by UCCJ and Christians in Japan. Such confession in Korea is a pro-democracy movement struggled by Korean Christians.
Roles of Christianity in the present life shall be work for God’s salvation.
In order to work so, however, history of church up to now showed just focusing
on the individual sin without social correlations. This attitude would
have nature of easiness to obey authority power. Therefore I consider,
what we could work positively for God’s salvation is to resist against
authority power which likely deny God ruling over living life. This is
expressed by an action to resist against every power to make dehumanization
and to suppress human right in our past history. To do so, it is essential
also to deny such awful inclination existing somewhere in human’s mind.
And it is necessary also to deny all of authority belonged in traditional
churches. It might be a challenging work, if changing the nature of church
accumulated for 2000 years. I could see such Christian steps in the Hyakunincho
and its members. Each of member has been concerned with problems of dehumanization
or suppression as working through such as Tokyo Union Theological Seminary
campus dispute, Sanri-zuka conflict (Roba 27, 29, 30 and 31), campaign
against abolition of theology department in Aoyama University, opposition
to nationalization of the Yasukni Shrine, trial of a class-B and C war
criminals for Korean, or others.
When we try to preserve such our beliefs, our
church should keep open community. Most of traditional churches were closed from
living life. They thought the church should be sacred place as differentiated from
common world. Therefore, they equipped various armors in order to protect
church from common world. That’s why traditional belief became exclusive and
made a distinction between church and common world. So, our role must jump over
beyond frameworks of not only Christian church limited in small world but also
Nation, races, or religion. Under such situation, we have to step into new
history walking with not only Western churches but also Asian churches, or
churches in third world. The Hyakunincho had communication with Korean and
Asian churches, and studied its theology. Action supporting their movements arisen
over Nation or religion has been made also.
What I mentioned above does not mean that I will try to make totally new
church from now. Rather than that, I would like to say, we must recapture
each beliefs having up to now, and our solidarity based upon Bible. Realizing
those, we need mutual understanding, studying, and encouraging each other
with a tense. Each of members did act of supporting or concerning with
each other for what they can do at their stances in the Hyakunincho. I
believe we have to preserve such condition from now on.
I talked as above a part of what I learned
from the Hyakunincho for these 5 years. And I feel great gladness to be learned
above, also including other many things. I would like to put my ideas in order,
but it is still a lot of difficulties for me because of short ability for
Japanese writing and also less thinking. I will try to work on those hereafter as
well, on the way of learning or recapturing. I will intend to encounter new
people having the same idea and make open relationship in joy. As standing on
those fundamentals, it is just nothing whether I am Japanese or Korean. I will
set a high value on I am member of the Hyakunincho in associate with the work
as a principal pastor. When I can have some role as a Korean, I try to carry out
that job on all occasions also. In particular, it will be more than happy to contribute
for making good relation between Japan and Korea, since we had hard time in
(Roba 133, dated May 25th 1997. Written by Jungsoon Ka)
It is long 40 years journey and continuing now.
Many people passed over the Hyakunincho. Major leading members are about 80
years old now. They could not attend a Sunday service regularly except special occasion.
They are those people such as a sculptor in the front line, attorney, professor
etc. Someone is working still and someone has passed away. Such situation might
come from that Prof. Kida had gone to Yamanashi University assigned as a
president. Even under such situation, the Hyakunincho is moving ahead. I think
it is because of the Hyakunincho. The Hyakunincho go own way what they can do
at every place. I think it is a figure what the Hyakunincho build up till now.
There were many of Korean students, office
workers and youngs. They joined together since after Pastor Ka became in
charge. As for present, major members of the Hyakunincho were few good citizens
with old age and people joining in a half way of journey. They were staying in
the Hyakunincho by their own will. They will wonder whether we can stand as it was,
since they will become older and older. We have 40 years anniversary in this year.
Therefore, we discuss what we can do for anniversary.
Considering such feelings, we reached to draw up this booklet. If saying
exaggeratedly, a doctrine to set up the Hyakunincho is “We would like to
be a person having real life in this era, and we would like to pass on
those things to the next generation.” Someone, on the contrary, said, “Such
booklet is not required, since we will still live and act now.” Other voice
said, “Opinions crush, but that is evidence to be the Hyakunincho.”
“Man is a thinking reed” was said by the old
Jesus said on the Cross, “Father, forgive
them; for they know not what they do.”
We know nothing. But, we think. We stay in
Prof. Kida said, “The Bible calls for the
human beings self-identity and responsibility. Waiving those rights is true
This must be origin to start our journey.
The journey is still going on at present and
also from now.
Prof. Kida said next, “Individual has priority
over the whole.”
A thinking point was given for us.
Since knowing nothing, we act under our own
thinking. And we will be also from now.
We tried draw up scenery of the Hyakunincho in
stream of time.
Next fresh people will start making own fresh
In resisting a certain feeling to ask us for completeness,
we acted freely, calmly and incompletely.
This might be just history of a certain people’s
intension having been lived in a certain time.
Someday, we will disappear as becoming dust.
We believe this fanciful trials making booklet would be accepted by God.