Tenrikyo is already three-fourths into the first year of the “three years, one thousand days” season leading up to the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama, which will be observed in 2006. Next year will be the middle year, in which all followers are to redouble their efforts to cultivate the “mind of saving others” and implement salvation work. To give fresh impetus to the pre-anniversary activities in the second year, Church Headquarters will sponsor the “Oyasama 120th Anniversary Path Leaders Rallies,” which, intended for all church head ministers and their spouses as well as mission station heads, will be held in dioceses and districts both within and outside Japan. This was announced by Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi on September 27 at the monthly meeting of the Kanamekai (the association comprising the head ministers of all directly supervised churches) as well as at a meeting of diocese superintendents.
On the same occasions, he also said that Tenrikyo Three-day Course I would be launched next April at the Home of the Parent. The course is part of a new instructional system currently being developed by the Education and Nurture Department. Intended for those who have difficulty taking three months off to attend Shuyoka (Spiritual Development Course), this course is designed to provide alternative opportunities to pursue the path.
Both the Path Leaders Rallies and the Three-day Course aim to help followers sharing the same faith join their efforts and encourage one another to make further progress in personal development.
Oyasama 120th Anniversary Path Leaders Rallies to Begin in February
Over the past year since the announcement of Instruction Two, Church Headquarters has taken steps to ensure a thorough understanding of the spirit of Instruction Two. It sent its officials to all directly supervised churches between last autumn and this spring and sponsored the “Oyasama 120th Anniversary District Lectures” between March and June with the aim of encouraging and inspiring all Yoboku to implement their roles fully.
The Path Leaders Rallies aim at accelerating progress in this direction in order that the anniversary-related activities may bear greater fruit. These pep rallies, scheduled to take place at diocese offices, churches, and public community centers between February and May next year, are designed for those who should be the first to implement the pre-anniversary activities. It is hoped that, while joining together with fellow leaders, church head ministers and others playing leading roles in sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and saving others will be able to further heighten their awareness of being leaders and inspire one another to become ever more high-spirited. The theme of the rallies is: “Cultivating the mind of saving others and implementing salvation work–to take the initiative to carry these out is our mission as leaders.”
Each rally, expected to last two hours and a half, will feature a lecture by an official from Church Headquarters and speeches by two members of the local congregation who will share their thoughts and experiences.
Three-day Course I to Begin in April at the Home of the Parent
A recently distributed guide to the Three-day Course explains this course as follows: “Significant social change in recent years has made it increasingly difficult to take three months off from work and family to enter Shuyoka. (Statistics show that Shuyoka students between the ages of 30 and 60 have steadily been decreasing in number.) The course, to be offered by Church Headquarters, has been organized to address the needs of those who are in the working-age population and unable to attend Shuyoka because of their work. Taking account of a typical lifestyle in modern society, the course will be held mainly on weekends and national holidays.”
Both this course and the Basics Course, which was launched this spring, are part of the new instructional system being developed during the current season leading up to the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama. While the Basics Course targets those who have yet to follow the path, the Three-day Course aims to nurture and train human resources who will be able to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings and help others be saved.
Those who complete Three-day Courses I, II, and III (courses II and III are expected to start by 2006, the year of the 120th Anniversary) and pass a completion examination will be eligible to attend the Yoboku Course (which will replace the current Head Minister Qualification Course I). Being a Yoboku is a requirement for taking this completion examination.
Three-day Course I will be offered once a month except August and January and will include lectures, hinokishin, and the practice of the dance and musical instruments for the service. All participants will be required to lodge at a specified facility throughout the duration of the course.