The February Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was performed on the 26th in the Main Sanctuary with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant.
In the Service prayer, the Shinbashira expressed appreciation for God the Parent’s love that constantly protects and nurtures all people day and night. He then said, “We Service performers as well as church head ministers and Yoboku intend to firmly maintain the spirit of single-heartedness with God—the spirit that seeks to base all thoughts and actions on God the Parent’s intention—as we implement mutual help and proactively convey the joy of faith to those around us, starting with our own family, so that we can steadily follow the path of making repayment for God’s blessings.”
The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. Since the Service fell on Sunday, large numbers of followers, including those who brought their children, returned to the Home of the Parent. Basking in the spring sunshine, worshipers joined in singing the songs for the Service with their minds in unison.
After the Service performance, Honbu-in Itaro Nishida took the podium to deliver the sermon, in which he stressed the importance of nurturing human resources after referring to the Shinbashira’s instructions given at the Oyasama 130th Anniversary Service and at the Gathering for the Boys and Girls Association’s 50th Anniversary, which was held last September.
Touching upon the Seminar for Successors scheduled to be held from August this year to March next year, he noted its theme: “Implementing the Joyous Life each day.” He said: “Embraced by the boundless parental love, we live in the bosom of God the Parent. We should take to heart and appreciate the blessings, which we constantly receive from God the Parent each day, so that we can cultivate the mind of gratitude and joy that allows us to make repayment for the blessings.”
In addition, explaining that Tenri Seminary, which was opened in 1900, laid the foundation for the current school education provided in the Home of the Parent, he said, “Tenrikyo schools have consistently made great efforts to nurture and train the young to become Yoboku dedicated to working for world salvation.” He pointed out that those who studied and were trained in the Home of the Parent play an important role not only in the Tenrikyo community but also in various areas of society. He reconfirmed the importance of helping as many people as possible to become Yoboku and nurturing them. “Looking forward to having the path continue, let us devote ourselves to nurturing and training human resources in high spirits,” he said.
Toward the end of the sermon, he touched upon the pep rally for the Seminar for Successors, which was held on January 25, and mentioned that Successor-Designate Daisuke Nakayama, who serves as chairperson of the steering committee of the seminar, shared his hopes of making the seminar a life-changing event for participants. Rev. Nishida then encouraged the congregation to make all-out efforts to promote participation in the seminar and continue to provide care and nurture for the participants after the seminar.