On January 27, the Boys and Girls Association leaders’ first meeting of the year was held in Dining Hall 2, drawing 1,739 participants—including heads of directly supervised chapters and diocese chapters as well as members of the nurturing committees of those chapters.
The meeting began with an address by the Shinbashira, who also serves as president of the association. Touching upon the 50th anniversary commemoration of the association’s founding held last year, the Shinbashira said that since those of us who are in a position to nurture the young are also followers of Oyasama, we ought to make progress along the path to the Joyous Life together with children, while reflecting on the original intention in founding the association.
Following the Shinbashira’s address, Association Chairman Chikara Iburi announced the new guidelines for association activities: “Let’s implement the Joyous Life each day and convey to children the joy it brings.” He said, “[T]he vertical mission requires adult leaders including parents to make an honest effort to implement the Joyous Life in the course of their daily lives.”
Chairman Iburi also announced the following new concrete goals for association activities: (1) Having all chapters conduct children’s sleepovers and get-togethers at their churches; (2) Conducting hinokishin activities in districts and encouraging participation by whole families; (3) Redoubling efforts to nurture members in junior high school—conducting and enhancing the “Workshop for Children of the Path” in directly supervised chapters and the “Workshop for Association Members in Junior High School” in diocese chapters. He then encouraged the listeners by saying: “I want to remind you that being thorough in conducting our regular activities creates an environment that is conducive to nurturing children. I hope that all of us will get down to work on implementing the concrete goals so that we may show thoroughness in conducting our regular activities.”
There was also an announcement regarding the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba for 2017 (Tenrikyo 180). The pilgrimage, which is the culmination of all the association activities, will be held under the theme “Spreading smiles! Help each other!” for a 10-day period between July 26 and August 4, and the association is emphasizing the message “Let’s promote our regular activities and increase the number of children returning to the Home of the Parent!”