November 15-16, 2008
The Student YMCA/SCM Japan celebrated its 120th anniversary and held the forum on November 15-16, 2008. It was held in Tozanso, Shizuoka, the very place that the first gathering we had as Student Christian Movement. This anniversary was celebrated by 122 people young (sons and daughters of senior friends) and old up to 80’s. Students and senior friends came from 34 universities.
This forum reflected on the Bible text (2 Corinthians 6:2), “Listen! This is the hour to receive God’s favour; today is the day to be saved!” The forum was opened as the platform to discuss and question one another on Christianity and the Bible for us to search for the encouragement to live together in this global context.
There were two each generation that conducted the Student YMCA. Another was to discover the new view of Student YMCA and Student Christian Movement, by reflecting its paths after 1968 when its reason of existence was radically questioned.
In 1968, a hundred years of Japanese history of modernization and the Christianity that supported its process were questioned fundamentally. Young students emphasized the realization of social justice and its practice, and yet could not find the principle in Christianity to build the solidarity among them. Not few people were wounded or tumbled down because of their earnestness.
From 1970s, however, the renewed Summer Seminar was started with the intention of learning each other, in 80s gender program was started, and in 90s various exposure programs such as Study Camp in India were promoted, and through challenging all these various programs, the students have tried to find the reality of the words from Bible, and we assume that all those experiences will be the base of the Student Christian Movement from now on. We believe that our journey after 1968 is deeply connected with the 120 years of individual histories of Student YMCA in the same root, just like a subterranean stem. And that stem requires us to be spiritual, intellectual and “love our neighbors.”