At the meeting of all directly supervised church heads and diocese superintendents held on February 27, Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Zensuke Nakata spoke about the direction in which the Tenrikyo community should move in the period following the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama.
Director-in-Chief Nakata first expressed his wish for the Tenrikyo community to share the same goal. He mentioned that one of the fruits of the pre-anniversary activities, which were focused on committed efforts to help save others, was the blessing of roughly 23,000 people attending the Besseki lecture for the first time. He remarked, “In many churches, people must have developed a certain degree of confidence, thinking, ‘We can do it if we put our mind to it.’” Yet, such confidence is not yet well-established or widely shared. He emphasized the importance of making salvation work an integral part of our regular activities. In concrete terms, he indicated that from now until autumn we must make good use of activities related to returning to Jiba such as this year’s Students’ Pilgrimage and Children’s Pilgrimage, whose official titles are prefixed by “Oyasama 130th Anniversary,” so as to nurture and guide Yoboku and other followers.
Director-in-Chief Nakata said: “We should encourage those who have attended their first Besseki lecture to go on to attend the second, third, and so on, until they receive the truth of the Sazuke, the Divine Grant. We should moreover help them grow spiritually so that they will administer the Sazuke and strive for the salvation of others.” He said that this is one example of making salvation work part of our regular activities. Regarding the pilgrimages, he requested the audience to “put extra effort and ingenuity into having pilgrims savor the truth of Jiba and experience the warmth of Oyasama.”
Referring to the Shinbashira’s sermon at the Oyasama 130th Anniversary Service, Director-in-Chief Nakata drew attention to the following three points: “sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and helping save others on a regular basis”; “developing human resources who will shoulder the future of the path”; and “providing care and guidance to those Yoboku and other followers living far away from their church.” He then emphasized the importance of “doing what needs to be done properly and carefully and continuing such efforts.” He concluded by saying, “In due course, I would like to set out further details of activities aimed at ensuring that we can pass the path on to the next generation.”