On November 19, Yoboku Gathering was held at the Mission Headquarters in America in the presence of Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Zensuke Nakata, drawing a total of 175 participants including Yoboku and followers from various parts of the U.S. mainland and Canada. The gathering has been held for the past 16 years, aiming to encourage Yoboku living in North America to become more and more proactive.
At the opening of the gathering, Director-in-Chief Nakata delivered a lecture, which he started off by stating that all of us Yoboku should continue striving to make steady progress along the path of spiritual growth. He then said, “We need to make sure once again that we fully understand the basic teachings and to reflect on our daily practice of the faith.”
Then referring to the history of the path in North America, he encouraged the participants to build on the efforts early followers devoted to the mission there and to make steady efforts to spread the teachings more and more widely.
He further emphasized that the path that we are trying to follow can be seen as the path of single-hearted salvation and the path of making repayment for God’s blessings. He said: “Paying close attention and listening to people’s problems can themselves be a very important aspect of salvation work. I hope all of you start with anything you can do to carry out salvation work without thinking too much about it. You should also live each day striving to make repayment for the blessings God constantly gives you.”
Following the lecture, the participants were divided into small groups for group discussion. A participant who is in his 30s commented: “I realized that listening to what is on the mind of those who have worries can be one of the means to help them. When I try conveying the joy of faith to younger people who will shoulder the path in North America in the future, I will first try to listen to what they have to say.”
Bishop Hiroshi Alexander Fukaya said: “In group discussion, many groups made full use of the available time to proactively exchange opinions. Since Director-in-Chief Nakata encouraged us to make a fresh start for the next milestone on our journey to spiritual maturity by making repayment to God the Parent, I would like to promote community-based activities such as hinokishin ever more widely.”