Tenrikyo Women’s Association held its Seminar for Young Women Leaders at Moya 38 on February 11 and 12, 2013. A total of 374 young women leaders from directly supervised chapters and diocese chapters attended the seminar. The Young Women’s Convention, scheduled for November 4 of this year, will be held at the Home of the Parent for the first time in 10 years. In anticipation of that convention, young women have been conducting activities to internalize the teaching concerning the ten aspects of God the Parent’s complete providence as well as to study the proper use of mind that leads to the Joyous Life.
The objective of the Seminar for Young Women Leaders is to have young women leaders, who have few opportunities to interact with other young women leaders, return to the Home of the Parent, deepen their faith by sharing their thoughts with one another, and raise their awareness as leaders.
This year, the Women’s Association increased the number of participants from one to two for every directly supervised chapter and diocese chapter, with the intention of giving opportunities to more young women leaders to study the teachings.
On the first day, the seminar started with the greetings by the association president, Mrs. Harue Nakayama. She spoke about the significance of observing the anniversaries of Oyasama and how the predecessors of the path had earnestly followed the path of making repayment for the blessings they received. She then emphasized that maintaining firm faith just as the predecessors did and following the path of making repayment for God’s blessings, which means to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings and engage in salvation work, are tasks that women must carry out as followers of the path. She added, “We are here today because of hardships that the first–generation followers and other predecessors had to go through.” She concluded by saying that it is important to remember the predecessors’ footsteps and focus on making repayment for God’s blessings as the core aspect of the “three years, one thousand days” pre-anniversary activities.
She then referred to the association’s activity guidelines which begin with the slogan, “Let all of us Women’s Association members follow the path of making repayment for the blessings we receive.” She explained that growing to become a true Yoboku oneself as well as nurturing others to become true Yoboku can be considered ways of making repayment for God’s blessings. Before concluding, she asked young women leaders to make proactive efforts to grow spiritually and become true Yoboku themselves.
Honbu jun’in Yoshihiko Shirokihara then took the podium to deliver his lecture entitled “The blessings of God the Parent.”
Ms. Masae Morii from Aichi Diocese Chapter listened to the lecture attentively. Since last year, Aichi Diocese Chapter has been holding a study session every two months in order to help young women internalize the teaching concerning the ten aspects of God’s complete providence. Ms. Morii, who will be appointed as the diocese’s young women leader at the diocese convention in June of this year, said: “Through holding the study sessions at our diocese, we are seeing more young women who are saying that they perceive God’s blessings in the ordinary events in their daily life and are able to find joy even in little things. From now on, I would like to further improve the contents of the study sessions and revitalize our chapter activities.”
On the second day, Minakuchi Chapter Chairwoman Mihoko Fujihashi delivered her lecture entitled “The preciousness of the Sazuke.” It was followed by a small group discussion, in which the participants actively exchanged thoughts based on the lecture and shared their resolutions for the upcoming young women’s convention.
Ms. Yoko Aoyama, who is Honriyo Chapter Young Women Leader, expressed her resolution, “On the occasion of this year’s Young Women’s Convention, I am determined to bring people to attend the Besseki lecture.” Starting four years ago, Honriyo Chapter has been holding a Nioigake Day every month, giving roadside speeches and handing out pamphlets in front of train stations in Tokyo and Saitama prefectures. Initially, there were only a few participants on each occasion; however, it now draws more than ten participants at each location due to the steady efforts of young women who invite their friends to join them.
Ms. Aoyama said: “One of the women who recently accepted a pamphlet we were passing out later joined us in our chapter’s monthly meeting. I realized that through taking action proactively and sowing seeds of sincerity, buds will sprout. In order to be blessed with having as many young women as possible return to Jiba, I am determined to increase my efforts.”