The 18th Europe Yoboku Meeting was held on August 10 at Tenrikyo Europe Centre, located in Antony, France. About 90 people from several European countries, including the U.K., France, Spain, and Germany, assembled at the center to attend this annual event.
Following the performance of the service, Europe Centre Head Noriaki Nagao addressed the congregation consecutively in French, English, and Japanese. Thereafter, the main lecture was delivered by the guest speaker, Rev. Motohiro Fukaya, former head of Tenrikyo Mission Center in Colombia. Basing his talk on the complex problems that presently plague Colombian society, he highlighted the role that Tenrikyo followers can play in the world and emphasized the importance of performing the service and administering the Sazuke in the course of our daily lives. His lecture was simultaneously interpreted into English, French, and Spanish.
In the afternoon, the participants broke into smaller groups in order to hold discussions focusing on the subject material presented by Rev. Fukaya earlier in the day. Thereafter, a practice session for administering the Sazuke was conducted to ensure that the participating Yoboku all had a firm grasp of the administration procedure. This was followed by a prayer service to ask for blessings on behalf of participants with physical complaints.
Europe Centre Head Nagao said: “There are many people who look forward to attending this Yoboku meeting each year. Although the participants have no common language, they always manage to encourage and inspire one another. They also find that they learn something new about the teachings each time they participate.”
Following the Europe Centre’s monthly service on August 11, the 6th annual Europe Seminar was conducted between August 12 and 18 at the center. This year, there were 10 participants hailing from four European countries: the U.K., France, Spain, and Germany. This seminar is designed to provide an opportunity for followers from that diocese to study the teachings in European languages. This year, a Spanish class was conducted in addition to the yearly English and French classes.
Classes centered on The Doctrine of Tenrikyo, The Life of Oyasama, and the Mikagura-uta, The Songs for the Service. In addition, the daily schedule included time slots for doing hinokishin as well as for practicing the service dance and musical instruments.
Mr. Alton Wilson, 75, a first-time participant in the seminar, said: “This seminar has helped me deepen my understanding of the teachings for the Joyous Life. And I can tell you that I am truly filled with gratitude for God the Parent’s wondrous blessings.”