On November 30, Tenrikyo Women’s Association concluded the last of the three Besseki Months conducted as part of the association’s 100th anniversary activities. The third Besseki Month was conducted between October 20 and November 30. Throughout the year, the association’s directly supervised chapters, branch chapters, and diocese chapters have held various activities toward achieving the 100th anniversary slogan, “Let each of us, by God’s blessing, have one person attend the Besseki lecture.”
On November 28, which was the last Sunday of the month, some directly supervised churches as well as directly supervised chapters of the Women’s Association organized pilgrimage groups, which included people who attended the Besseki lecture. The Main Sanctuary, the Foundress’ Sanctuary, and much of the Sanctuary precincts were filled with followers who had returned to the Home of the Parent. At noon, a prayer service was performed at the Main Sanctuary with the inclusion of the wooden clappers, and the North, East, and West Worship Halls were filled with followers who joined in the prayer service. On this day, the Besseki Lecture Hall was busy with a total of 1,187 people attending the Besseki lecture, of whom 255 were first-timers.
On that day, Nishijin Grand Church organized a pilgrimage group in anticipation of the church’s 120th anniversary, which will be commemorated next year. Some 800 people participated in the pilgrimage group, including about 50 who attended the Besseki lecture. During the lead-up to next year’s anniversary, the Nishijin Chapter of the Women’s Association has been working actively and tirelessly to discover and nurture young women. Ever since the 25th Young Women’s Convention, which was held regionally in 2007, Nishijin Chapter has been holding monthly study meetings at the grand church. These study meetings, which are geared to young women, focus on the service. Starting last year, the chapter has also been holding monthly meetings at the Home of the Parent with the aim of enabling its members to attend the Grand Services and the Monthly Services as well as engage in hinokishin activities in Jiba. To publicize these meetings, young women leaders visited churches to give presentations, and they also sent out brochures promoting young women’s activities to all subordinate churches.
Nishijin Chapter’s Mitsuki Nagao, who serves as the chairwoman of the young women’s group, said, “After attending one of these meetings or events, many people took an interest in attending other activities and gatherings, and some of them even attended the Besseki lectures.” Koharu Yamashita, who participated in the September monthly meeting of Nishijin Chapter for the first time, attended her ninth Besseki lecture on November 28. She shared her impression of the meeting with a smile, saying: “The meeting was very lively and the members welcomed me with heartwarming kindness. Some of the things that were shared at the meeting in regard to the importance of the service resonated with me. I felt that I would like to attend other activities and learn more about the teachings.”
A representative of the Women’s Association Headquarters said: “We have less than a month remaining in this year during which we commemorated our association’s 100th anniversary. We are all determined to continue to exert our utmost efforts toward achieving the 100th anniversary slogan, ‘Let each of us, by God’s blessing, have one person attend the Besseki lecture.’ And in order to make a new start toward attaining a new level of spiritual growth, we would like all association members to make tireless efforts to impart the marvelousness of the teachings to people around us first, so that we will carry out the tasks of sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and engaging in salvation work in our daily life. In order to have a large number of members assemble at next year’s convention and show God the Parent and Oyasama our high-spiritedness once again, we are determined to make progress in our activities in unity of mind.”