The Shinbashira delivered his New Year’s address at the New Year’s meeting of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters conducted in the Assembly Hall following the evening service on January 4.
The meeting was attended by 709 participants, including resident staff members of Church Headquarters, head ministers of directly supervised churches, superintendents of dioceses, members of the Assembly, committee members of Tenrikyo associations, and heads of Tenrikyo facilities.
The Shinbashira opened his address by offering his New Year’s greetings to all participants.
Looking back on the past year, he then said, “Last year, we observed the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama and embarked on the next stage.”
As for the Seminar for Successors scheduled to be held this year, the Shinbashira stressed, “Mindlessly following the instructions given regarding the seminar is not the right attitude to take; more than ever before, it is vital to put in serious and sincere work.”
Touching upon the basic stance of mind that ought to be maintained by those who are in a position to nurture young people and send them to the seminar, the Shinbashira said, “As those of us who are in a position to nurture the young are also followers of Oyasama, we should also realize that we need to make progress in our own spiritual growth.”
He went on to say, “It is vital for us to perceive God’s intention embodied in the occurrences we encounter as we carry out various tasks related to the work of God and to grow spiritually to bring ourselves even one or two steps closer to being in accord with that intention.”
The Shinbashira concluded his address by saying: “This year, too, a variety of things may happen. However, I very much hope that all of you will carry out your tasks while maintaining a strong unity of minds.”
Prior to the Shinbashira’s address, Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Zensuke Nakata offered New Year’s greetings to him on behalf of the congregation.
He said, “We intend to take a fresh look at our own faith and to strive to serve fully in accord with the intention of the Parent under the motto of making repayment for God’s blessings.” Rev. Nakata went on to say, “Facing the present situation squarely and asking ourselves what we can do and what needs to be done, we will work to steadily make progress along the path so that we can live up to God the Parent’s expectations.”
He then expressed the resolve of all followers by saying, “We will make concerted efforts to carry out our tasks in order that we can follow Oyasama’s Divine Model in good order exactly as it was taught.”