The March Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was conducted on the 26th in the Main Sanctuary with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant.
The Service began with the Shinbashira’s reading of the Service prayer, in which he said: “All of us Service performers as well as church head ministers and other Yoboku, will once again examine where we stand now during this seasonable time and continue advancing the path of single-hearted salvation for all people throughout the world. We will moreover exert our utmost in developing human resources by providing care and guidance to those people who will shoulder the path in the future.” The Service prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. The followers joined together in singing the songs for the Service with their minds in unison.
After the Service performance, Honbu-in Zenkichi Tanaka took the podium to deliver the sermon. He began by reflecting on the “three years, one thousand days” pre-anniversary activities in the lead-up to the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama. Based on the sermon delivered by the Shinbashira at the Oyasama 130th Anniversary Service, he emphasized the importance of making sincere efforts to guide and nurture those who had attended the Besseki lectures during the pre-anniversary period so that they would become Yoboku and join in the work of helping save others.
He then said: “Those who received the truth of the Sazuke can learn various things from their parents and church head ministers, as well as other experienced Yoboku. By receiving guidance and support from their predecessors, they can eventually become true Yoboku who will engage in salvation work.” He illustrated this process by sharing his own experiences and said that those in leadership roles should continue to provide care and guidance to new Yoboku so that they would take a new step forward.
He also spoke about how to reach out to young people. Quoting from the third Shinbashira’s message to the Students Advisory Committee, he encouraged the congregation to patiently provide young people with care and guidance in the spirit of sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and helping them be saved. He then said, “Let us make every effort to nurture and guide our own children as well as the sons and daughters of church head ministers and other Yoboku, so that they can receive the truth of the Sazuke and eventually grow into true Yoboku.”
Lastly, touching upon “the Oyasama 130th Anniversary Students’ Spring Pilgrimage to Jiba,” which was to take place in two days’ time, and “the Oyasama 130th Anniversary Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba,” to be held this summer, Honbu-in Tanaka concluded his sermon by saying: “Let us take each event and activity as an opportunity to reach out to younger generations. Let us keep our minds focused on fostering human resources who will shoulder the path in the future as we make a strong start toward the next milestone on the path of our spiritual growth.”