Report of the Japan Presbytery
The Japan Presbytery has met seven times in regular
session since our last report to the Synod. In addition, there were
five special sessions on May 31, June 6, Feb.11, March 21, and April
11, for the eligibility examination of Lic. Katsunori Endo, the
extensive discussion of our mission policy with the four members of FMB
in March, and for the concern about Mukonosoo congregation. The Ad
Interim Commission has met six times. Officers elected to serve for
2005 are: Shigeru Takiura, moderator; Sumito Sakai, clerk; Akira
Funahashi, treasurer. Auditing of Presbytery financial reports is by
the entire Presbytery. Pastor Katsunori Endo was appointed as youth
secretary and Dempei Takiura as assistant. Members of the Religious
Bodies Organization which handles government related business are:
Pastor Takiura, Pastor Sakai, and Elder Ishii.
We praise God for His continued care and blessing on
the Reformed Presbyterian Congregations in Japan and on the Japan
presbytery itself. The Presbytery has continued oversight of the four
organized congregations and two mission stations. We thank God for the
faithful service of pastors, elders, and deacons, as well as the
members of each congregation. We pray that God will continue to provide
pastoral leadership for each of our congregations and mission stations.
Pastor James C. Pennington retired from his pastorate on April 20, 2005
and gone back to the United States. Kasumigaoka congregation’s pulpit
became vacant. Pastor Katsunori Endo was ordained and installed on June
5, 2005 as the home missionary sent by the Japan presbytery to
Kitasuzurandai mission station as their pastor. We all thank to our
Lord for His goodness towards us for this new minister of the gospel.
He is the first RP pastor from Kobe Theological Hall’s nine years of
the theological education. He also graduated from RPTS and had field
work in Irish RPC.
The Presbytery currently has five teaching elders
and eight ruling elders on its roll. Pastor Nobuo Miwa had been working
for his interdenominational evangelistic work and teaching ministries
in Seoul, Korea, for long years. He notified the presbytery in the Fall
of 2004 about his recent joining to the Independent congregations’
Association of Korea. So the Presbytery removed his name from the roll.
The presbytery continues to pray for him and his ministry in Korea be
used well for the Lord.
Higashi Suma: Pastor Sumito Sakai
The session and congregation express thanks to God
for His blessings:
The plan of the construction of a new church
building has been proceeded through the work of the committee. Special
family conference, study sessions were held. The financial need seems
to be met within the congregation, and now the committee is discussing
to select the contractor. The building is old and damaged extensively
by the earthquake 10 years ago. Please pray for this plan be realized
according to His will under His protection from any evil, and it will
become for His glory and for the church’s healthy growth.
Mr.Kozi Okudaira was received into communicant
membership by profession of faith and baptism in October, 2004.
Mr.Okudaira and Keiko Hamada, communicant member of Higashisuma, were
joined in marriage after his baptism. Miss Keiko Yamaguchi is in
preparation of her profession of faith. Pray for the saving work of the
Holy Spirit in behalf of several inquirers who regularly attend the
morning worship service. Pray for God’s blessing on the children's S.S.
class on the Lord’s Day. Please pray for Pastor Sakai and his family in
his leadership in the ministry there as well as his further study.
Kasumigaoka (Tarumi): Pastor James Pennington through April 2005
God has richly blessed continuously the
congregation, spiritually and financially, during the past year.
Especially the last stage of the ministry of Pastor Pennington was full
of blessings. Though the pulpit became vacant, but we thank God for the
faithful service of ordained leaders and members of the congregation.
The session was enriched by a newly ordained elder, Mr.Seigo Kitani,
who graduated four year theology course of KTH and working at
Covenanter Book Store as manager and a member of its board.
The present moderator of the session, Dr.Yamaguchi
also had one-year training of KTH and holds presbytery’s elder’s
preaching status. The pulpit has been tentatively supplied time to time
mainly by other reformed pastors nearby including OPC missionary Woody
Lauer. Pastor Charles Leach is to help congregation this coming summer.
The session plans to ask other short term supplies of the pulpit
including Pastor Jim Pennington. But the session feels need of
overseeing eyes of the pastor keenly now. Please ask for God’s clear
leading and provision for pastoral leadership in near future.
Praise God for His rich blessing of baptism of Mr.
Junichi Honda, his wife Kimiko and Mrs. Miya Kawasaki. Pray that the
Holy Spirit will continue His work in the hearts of other inquirers,
both old and new. Continue to pray for opportunities to reach out to
unsaved family members, friends, and the community through personal
witness and the ongoing ministries of the congregation.
Mukonosoo: Pastor Hiroyuki Kanamori
Praise God for Miss Yuko Shiotsu who transferred her
membership from Southfield RPC. Mr.Yuji Makino expressed his desire of
baptism after his 40 years of attending the church and the preparation
has been progressed. The effort of evangelism has continued. We had the
evangelistic service in November 21, 2004. Mr. Minoru Takagi, a
district leader of IVF Japan, was the messenger. In March 20, Pastor
Bob Hemphill gave the message at our evangelistic. The children’s
Sabbath school is also one of our main concern of the prayer always.
Among the members, Mr.Susumu Takayama in living now in Thailand and
taking KTH study through CD and e-mail. There is a young woman among
our member who works for the churches in China.
Give thanks for the faithful pastoral leadership of
Mr. Kanamori and for God’s care and blessing on his family. Pastor
Kanamori felt difficulties in ministering the congregation time to time
since last fall, mainly due to the relationship with some of the
members, and even presented his resignation to the presbytery. The
presbytery counseled the matter and the effort has been made for more
biblical understanding of the church, especially of the importance of
the respect to the word preached, and for the reconciliation within the
Okamoto Keiyaku: Pastor Shigeru Takiura
Praise the Lord for the baptism of Mrs.Yoshiko
Yamashita. Continue to pray for effective outreach and the conversion
of people. The Lord has sent us four people who attend worship and seek
to be the member recently, so please join with the congregation as they
rejoice in God’s blessing in bringing new inquirers into our worship
and fellowship. Please pray for their conversion, baptism, and
incorporation into the life of the congregation. Pray for children and
youth from non-Christian families who are attending worship services.
Pray too for non-Christians in the community who are relating with the
activities of the congregation.
Please pray for the spiritual blessings to our
church members, especially those who are in the hospital or the aged
people’s home, as well as some of these who are out-of-bounds, living
quite a distance from the church. We thank God that our member
Mr.Katsunori Endo who was ordained as the pastor of Kitasuzurandai. Our
prayer and support continue for his family.
Pray for our youth as they seek to witness for
Christ in the work place and school.
Ask God to provide Christian spouses for them,
thereby establishing more Christian homes. Pray for aged members of the
congregation that they might enjoy good health and be faithful in their
church life. Pray for the conversion within the families of the member.
Pray for matters for prayer in each members’ family as well. Pray also
for KTH students who are members of the congregation.
This is the 30th year from establishment of the
session, so we had the special conference to study about branch church
ministry in March. Pastor Dave Long gave us a good instruction about
the theme, and the congregation started periodical prayer fellowship in
the 5th Sabbath afternoon praying for the start of the branch meeting.
We are praying for the new officers of the church as well. 2007, 50th
anniversary of the start of our worship by Missionary Gene Spear, is
our next target of church’s activity as well as plan for extensive
maintenance of the church building.
We ask God to enable the church and its families to
maintain a solid witness for the Kingship of Jesus Christ in their
lives and in the Japanese culture. We also ask you to pray for the work
of Pastor Takiura and his family for continued good health.
Kita Suzurandai Mission Church: Pastor Katsunori Endo
Kitasuzurandai Mission Church was blessed richly at
the ordination and installation of Pastor Katsunori Endo as a home
missionary pastor on June 5, 2005.
A provisional session had continued to oversee the
ministries of the congregation, took quite effort for the arrangement
of this installation. Members are Pastor Sakai, and Pastor Kanamori,
and now Pastor Endo is joined as the leader of the work.
Pray for God’s leading and provision of growth of
the members spiritually under the leadership of the new pastor, and for
eventual organization as a congregation, according to His schedule.
Please pray for his wife Yuko and his two children.
Hontamon Mission Station: Higashi Suma Session
A small group continues to meet twice a month for
worship. They meet in the medical clinic of Dr. Sakai, father of pastor
Sakai. Dr. Sakai is an elder of the Higashi Suma Congregation and the
mission station is under the oversight of that session.
Pray for renewed vision and resident leadership for
Kobe Theological Hall
This was the ninth school year of the Kobe
Theological Hall. We had eleven course students including Bible
training course, plus about ten credit taking or auditing students.
More than half of the students are from our congregations.
All pastors of Japan Presbytery share the teaching
role, and students study three days of the week, about 6 hours per each
day. There are some male students seriously considering the full time
ministry. Please pray for their calling and training.
KTH started its e-distant course using IC recording
for the distant Bible Training course student. Most of the lectures of
2004-5 school year were recorded and kept in the computer of the class
room. Student can copy anytime from them and listen to them, too.
Presently four students are taking this e-distant
course from Kyushu-island, Hokkaido, Okayama and Thailand.
KTH has been richly benefited by the teachings of
Rev. Andrew Stewart of Geelong RPC, Dr. Christian Adjemian, and Dr.
Extensive Discussion with the team from FMB in March 16-22
Four members of FMB visited us for extensive
discussion. We had a good overnight discussion at Mt. Hiruzen Campsite,
and a special presbytery meeting at the Covenanter Center Building
downtown. Items discussed were as follows. Discussion was very fruitful
and blessed for future relationship between FMB and Japan presbytery.
We recognized that we have been moved from the
missionary stage to the partnership stage fully, but not reached to see
the possibility of Japanese RP synod yet.
The fraternal relations with Reformed Church of
Japan and Presbyterian Church of Japan were maintained. Japan
Presbytery sent official greetings to the synod of Irish RPC.
RTF Japan Board
RTF Japan Board continues its work of raising fund
for RTF among Japanese reformed Christians. Pastor Kanamori is
representing and Pastor Endo is to help.
There was an extensive discussion about
congregations’ assessment to the presbytery budget. The present
criteria: number of resident communicant member was unchanged, but it
was agreed that the session may delete some members from the number
when the session is in the process of their discipline procedure.
Japan Presbytery decided to start to encourage
congregations to give to the synod’s RPM&M once a year in September
30 in memory of Dr. Sam Boyle. We call it as the Boyle memorial
New Japanese Bible 3rd edition
Japan Presbytery studied and decided to introduce
3rd edition of New Japanese Bible (Shinkaiyaku Seisho) for our
congregation’s use this year. Over 900 corrections were made from 2nd
Covenanter Book Store
Although this ministry is under the direct
supervision of the Board of Foreign Missions, the Presbytery presents
routinely includes a brief report to the Synod. The three members of
the Board of Directors elected by the presbytery, one member at a year
for three years term, continue to take an active role in the management
of operations and finances.