On January 28, Tenrikyo Women’s Association held its first gathering for overseas branch chapter chairwomen in Yoki Hall of South Right Wing 2. This gathering was conducted to provide an opportunity for overseas branch chapter chairwomen to listen to an address by Women’s Association President Harue Nakayama and pledge together to implement the teachings with a fresh mind in the period following the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama. A total of 94 branch chapter chairwomen from 11 countries and regions attended the gathering.
Promoting the slogan for spiritual maturity, “Let’s follow the Divine Model and become the foundation for the Joyous Life,” Tenrikyo Women’s Association had conducted enthusiastic pre-anniversary activities based on its activity guidelines. From August to December 2014, seminars for branch chapter chairwomen were held in the Home of the Parent and at seven overseas venues so that branch chapter chairwomen could receive the truth of Jiba and pledge together to accelerate their anniversary-related activities in their community for the second half of the pre-anniversary period. The recent gathering for overseas branch chapter chairwomen was organized specifically to provide its participants with an opportunity to listen to the address given by President Nakayama.
At the beginning of the gathering, President Nakayama took the podium to deliver her address. She began by mentioning the Oyasama 130th Anniversary Service, which had been duly performed, and expressed her appreciation for the effort the entire Tenrikyo community had devoted to the pre-anniversary activities. She then told the participants that—whether they felt that they had exerted all their strength in carrying out pre-anniversary activities or whether they were regretting or reflecting critically on their shortcomings—they would all do well to build on the work they had put in to help them move forward toward the realization of the Joyous Life World.
After referring to the guidelines for association activities, she said with emphasis: “All of us are kept alive by receiving the complete providence of God the Parent. In the course of our daily lives, it is very important that we become aware of God the Parent’s workings in all matters and foster a sense of appreciation instead of taking everything for granted.” She said that a new journey had already begun after the Oyasama 130th Anniversary Service and that, in order to ensure that all association members keep moving forward instead of staying put, they must focus on becoming true Yoboku by feeling grateful for God the Parent’s profound parental love and cultivating the mind of making repayment for the blessings in daily life.
She encouraged the branch chapter chairwomen to continue sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and helping others be saved. In order to help realize the Joyous Life World, she stressed the importance of increasing the number of women who yearn for Oyasama and make an honest effort to follow the path of the Divine Model.
Referring to the Young Women’s Convention, which is scheduled to be held regionally from August to December this year, she said: “The emphasis is put on having young women visit a church on a regular basis and as often as possible. During the lead-up to the convention, I would like them to focus on studying the teachings at a church, implementing the teachings in their daily lives, and fostering friendships with other young women.”
Lastly, she requested her listeners to perform their tasks while taking joy and pride in the fact that these are precious tasks God the Parent has entrusted to them to help the path of single-hearted salvation advance toward the Joyous Life. She concluded her address by saying, “Please stay focused on making as much progress as possible in your spiritual growth to bring joy to God the Parent and Oyasama while striving to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings, carry out salvation activities, and nurture those close to you into true Yoboku.”
Representing all overseas branch chapter chairwomen, Mrs. Satoyo Hisao, chairwoman of Maui Branch Chapter in Hawaii, and Mrs. Masako Uchiyama, chairwoman of Meihaku-ichi Branch Chapter in Brazil, took turns expressing their appreciation to the association president. As a token of appreciation by all overseas branch chapter chairwomen, a bouquet of flowers was presented to the association president. At the end of the gathering, the president and all the participants joined together for a commemorative photo.
Mrs. Kayo Saito, chairwoman of Honolulu Branch Chapter in Hawaii, commented with a smile: “An association member once told me that through making a steady effort to carry out missionary activities in her daily life, she became aware of God the Parent’s blessings. Today, I felt the need to continue implementing the activities that I had carried out during the pre-anniversary season. I will put my utmost effort into increasing the number of association members who sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings and help others be saved.”