The November Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters 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 the Joyous Life. He then said: “All of us Service performers as well as church head ministers and other Yoboku will take a fresh look at where we stand now as we intend to strongly advance our spiritual growth, settle the teaching of ʽa thing lent, a thing borrowedʼ in our minds, and follow the path of single-hearted salvation with a mind filled with joy—which allows us to make repayment for the blessings we receive.”
The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements.
Taking advantage of the weekend, many churches organized their group pilgrimages to Jiba on that day, when the Home of the Parent was blessed with an Indian Summer. The autumn leaves in the Sanctuary precincts shone in the warm sunshine as many followers spiritedly sang the songs for the Service.
Following the Service, Honbu-in Noriaki Nagao took the lectern to deliver the sermon. First, Rev. Nagao spoke at some length about the three terms used in the Ofudesaki to refer to God the Parent—namely, “God,” “Tsukihi” (literally, “Moon-Sun”), and “Parent.” He said that the three terms explain the relationship between God the Parent and human beings in an easy-to-understand way.
Honbu-in Nagao went on to say, “If we are truly convinced that God the Parent is our Parent who originally gave birth to us human beings, we can change our perspective on the knots of difficulties we encounter in our daily lives, such as illnesses and other problems.” He mentioned that in our actual lives it is often hard to accept such knots in a positive manner. However, he emphasized that if we have faith in and completely rely on God as our true Parent and regard our knots as great opportunities to attain spiritual growth, our mind will surely become ever more spirited, thereby laying the foundation for receiving the blessings of God.
Rev. Nagao also stated that God the Parent, whom we worship, and Oyasama, whom we adore and revere as our “beloved Parent”—which is what “Oyasama” literally means—are both seen as the “Parent” of humankind. He stressed that we have to let people in the world know that the world is sustained by the providence of God the Parent, who created and has constantly provided for it.
Further, after referring to the recently distributed poster for schools, universities, and seminaries in Tenri—which says, “Let’s study and learn at the Home of the Parent”—Rev. Nagao told the listeners: “If we liken Tenrikyo to a house, I would say that Tenri Kyoko Gakuen High School, Tenri High School, Tenri Health Care University, and Tenri University might constitute the main entrance to the house and that Tenri Graduate Seminary and Junior Seminary could be the drawing room. When the wide-opened main entrance and well-equipped drawing room function together as a harmonious whole, the house—which is to say, Tenrikyo—can be truly firm and stable.”
“As for children from overseas,” he said, “we have Tenrikyo Language Institute (TLI).” Furthermore, he pointed out that some overseas followers’ sons and daughters are studying at Tenri Kyoko Gakuen High School, Tenri Graduate Seminary, Tenri Junior Seminary, and Tenri University. In conclusion, Rev. Nagao asked the listeners to tell more and more people, both in Japan and overseas, about the educational opportunities available in the Home of the Parent.