June Monthly Service Performed
Tenrikyo Church Headquarters conducted the June Monthly Service on the 26th at the Main Sanctuary with the Shinbashira presiding.
In the Service prayer, the Shinbashira expressed his appreciation for God the Parent’s deep parental love and boundless blessings and said, “We Service performers as well as church head ministers and Yoboku will always bear in mind the path of the Divine Model and, with a bracing sense of commitment, strive to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings and engage in salvation work in a step-by-step manner, starting right where we are, during this season set aside for decisive efforts.”
The Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were then performed joyously. A seasonal rain front associated with a low pressure system brought heavy rainfall to western Japan, and it rained hard in the Home of the Parent, too. There were, therefore, many followers attending the Service in the Sanctuary Corridor and under the worship halls in addition to inside the Main Sanctuary where they joined in singing the Songs for the Service in unison. Also, about 1,000 church head ministers attended the Service within the boundary bars together with the Service performers.
Following the Service, Honbu-in Masatoshi Masuno took the podium to deliver the sermon. He first pointed out that the mission of Yoboku, who are the instruments of Oyasama, is “to bring joy to others through helping them be saved and, thereby, to work toward the Joyous Life World—which is to say, “to follow the path of single-hearted salvation.” He went on to say, “We need to reflect on ourselves asking ourselves whether we inadvertently neglect salvation work on account of being busy with our everyday lives,” and spoke on the implementation of the Service and the Sazuke, which are taught as constituting the path of single-hearted salvation. Regarding the Service, Rev. Masuno referred to the importance of devoting our true sincerity to God the Parent and praying for the salvation of others. Next, regarding the Sazuke, he explained that it is imperative to pray for world salvation, practice filial piety, engage in hinokishin, and visit our churches in order to build virtue that will allow us to receive God’s marvelous blessings whenever we administer the Sazuke to others.
Rev. Masuno then shared his own experience while talking about how filial piety should be practiced. He also encouraged the congregation to make further efforts to engage in salvation work by saying, “We Yoboku, who serve as the instruments of Oyasama, should take every opportunity to administer the Sazuke with a mind that seeks to bring joy and reassurance to Oyasama.”
Church Head Ministers Attend the Service in the Designated Area
All church head ministers are to attend one of the Monthly Services in a designated area next to the Inner Sanctuary from this June to December of next year, except when the Spring and Autumn Grand Services take place. During this “three years, one thousand days” season leading up to the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama, church head ministers, who represent their churches, are to offer their resolutions, report to God the Parent and Oyasama on the progress they have made in their daily efforts in salvation work, and reaffirm their strong commitment.
June 26 saw the first group of head ministers attend the Monthly Service within the boundary bars. At 7:45 a.m., about 1,000 head ministers dressed in their service garments came to the registration desk in Foundress’ Hall 3 one after another. After assembling in an area located behind the northwest corner of the West Corridor, they proceeded to the Main Sanctuary and took their seats in the designated area about 15 minutes before the beginning of the Service. The four worship halls were filled with followers.
After the performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements and the subsequent sermon by Honbu-in Masatoshi Masuno, the head ministers left the Main Sanctuary for the Foundress’ Sanctuary, following the Shinbashira and the other Service performers. After the Service performers finished paying their respects to Oyasama, the head ministers entered the Foundress’ Hall, where they too paid their respects to Oyasama, with Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Yoshitaro Ueda leading them.
Director-in-Chief Ueda then delivered an address, saying, “I trust that all of you who have attended the Monthly Service in the designated area as the first group have taken this opportunity to make a pledge to fulfill your resolve for the anniversary.” Explaining that the activity guidelines for the anniversary are described in Instruction Three, he said that the spirit of the guidelines is that all Yoboku should engage in salvation work. He went on to say, “I hope that you church head ministers will work hard for single-hearted salvation as Yoboku among Yoboku while setting an example to people around you.”