On April 26, Tenrikyo Church Headquarters conducted its Monthly Service in the Main Sanctuary with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant.
After expressing gratitude for God the Parent’s loving concern, the Shinbashira said in the Service prayer, “We Service performers as well as church head ministers and other Yoboku will maintain unwavering conviction as we fix our eyes on the Divine Model in all situations while perceiving all that occurs as Your urgent hastening, and we are resolved to walk the path of sincerity so that we may see buds sprout from knots.” Then, regarding the annual Hinokishin Day, which was to be observed on April 29, he pledged, “The entire Tenrikyo congregation is determined to respond to the boundless blessings You provide for us on a daily basis by becoming greatly spirited and expressing the joy of being kept alive by the ten aspects of Your complete providence through our hinokishin activities.” The joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements then followed as worshipers sang the Mikagura-uta in unison. In Home of the Parent, the sky was overcast and light drizzle fell from time to time on that day.
Following the Service performance, Honbu-in Yoshiharu Nakayama took the podium to deliver the sermon. He began his sermon by defining the mission of churches as “models as well as training centers for the Joyous Life” and explained the truth of a church name while basing himself on the Osashizu, the Divine Directions, and The Life of Oyasama. After pointing out that present-day society has become progressively disconnected and isolated, he said that churches now have a very important role in building and fostering ties among people. He emphasized this point by saying: “Together with friends with whom we share the same mission, we are able to perform the service in joy and in unity of mind. There is nothing that we could feel more thankful for.”
Rev. Nakayama went on to explain the proper attitude that all followers of the path should maintain by referring to the Three Guiding Principles for Yoboku, namely the “spirit of single-heartedness with God,” “attitude of hinokishin,” and “unity of mind.”
Before closing his sermon, Rev. Nakayama called upon the listeners to maintain joy in their minds and be proactive in their efforts to fulfill the mission of churches, which are to serve as facilities to advance and realize salvation in each community.