The November Monthly Service 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 guides people along the path of spiritual growth while helping them go through many a difficulty safe and sound. He said: “With only a little more than a month remaining in this year, all of us Yoboku including church head ministers are once again reflecting on the resolutions we made at the beginning of the year. We intend to do everything we can to fulfill our resolutions with an ever stronger sense of commitment so that we may make solid progress that will lay a foundation for the next year.”
On the day of the Service, the Home of the Parent was blessed with beautiful sunny weather, with vibrant late autumn foliage scattered around the Sanctuary precincts.
After the Service, Honbu-in Michikazu Takahashi took the lectern to deliver the sermon. He first referred to the Shinbashira’s sermon at this year’s Autumn Grand Service, saying that the Shinbashira encouraged all Yoboku to thoroughly engage in salvation work. Honbu-in Takahashi noted that God the Parent created the world and humankind and that Oyasama demonstrated the path of the Divine Model of the Joyous Life for 50 years and remains alive now and forever while working single-heartedly for world salvation. He then stressed that people could work for the salvation of others only because they are embraced by God the Parent’s parental love that desires to save all humankind and are guided by Oyasama. “We must never forget this precious assurance,” he said.
Honbu-in Takahashi next posed questions: “What does Oyasama desire of us with regard to salvation work? What can we do to implement it?” Touching upon some stories in Anecdotes of Oyasama, he explained that although people might not be able to do exactly the same things as Oyasama did, it was certainly possible for them to have a gentle heart like Hers and give kind words of consideration to others. He went on to say that the important thing is to single-heartedly believe in and rely on God the Parent, always remember to make repayment for God’s blessings, and tell others about the joy they felt at being saved.
Moreover, Honbu-in Takahashi said, “[I]f we make efforts in adoration of Oyasama, the Parent of the Divine Model, we can make it possible to totally comply with Her mind and implement Her teachings one by one with simple openness.” He emphasized that followers should put their hearts into performing the service and administering the Sazuke—both taught as the means for salvation—with simple openness. He also pointed out that the fundamental source of salvation is Jiba, to which people should dedicate themselves, and that they should take steps forward in accord with the voice of Jiba while upholding the truth of Jiba single-heartedly.
In conclusion, referring to the Shinbashira’s words at the Autumn Grand Service once again, Honbu-in Takahashi asked the congregation to make continuous efforts to respond to the Shinbashira’s encouragement.
Days Prior to the Monthly Service
The seated service was performed at noon at the Main Sanctuary from November 23 to 25, drawing a total of about 10,000 people. Also during this three-day period, there were 1,878 Besseki Lecture attendees (including 402 first-time attendees) and 430 people who attended the Tenrikyo Basics Course.