The Lecture for Mothers, hosted by the Women’s Association, was held on the afternoon of November 26 at Tenri City Auditorium, drawing 964 people. The lecture was held five times this year, drawing a total of 4,894 people.
The lecturer was Mrs. Yoko Fukuda, wife of the head minister of Melbourne Shinyu Church, which is located in Melbourne, Australia. In her lecture, she first reflected on the 100th Anniversary Pep Rally for Women’s Association Members, which was held regionally throughout Japan as well as in different parts of the world this year. She attended the pep rally that was held at the Brisbane venue in June. There, she renewed her pledge to make efforts to come closer to the intention of God the Parent, and she spoke about the resolution she made in anticipation of next year’s 100th anniversary convention of the Women’s Association.
Mrs. Fukuda then talked about her life experiences during the past 30 years, explaining how her family moved to Melbourne and set up a mission station in 1981 and then received sanction to establish Melbourne Shinyu Church in 1989. Sharing a story from the early days of the mission station, Mrs. Fukuda described how an encounter with a local resident–a man who knocked on their door to see if they would give him Japanese lessons–was instrumental in enabling the mission station to assemble a 17-member pilgrimage group to return to Jiba in 1986 to attend the Centennial Anniversary of Oyasama. She also talked about the Australia Study Tour dispatched by Tenrikyo Young Men’s Association whose members visited the church and engaged in various activities in Melbourne over the years. She said that her three children have grown up to become Yoboku who eagerly engage in the tasks of the path thanks to their interactions with the members of the tour.
Emphasizing that the everliving Oyasama will always nurture and protect us, wherever we may be, she quoted the following passage from the Divine Directions: “In this path, if you affirm ‘God!’ and ‘Oyasama!’ in all situations and keep God’s directions always firm in your mind, I shall always be with you whether you go one mile, two miles, three miles, or ten miles. Never will you be alone in sudden despair even if you go out to a distant place. From heaven, God will always stand firm in your favor” (Osashizu, April 3, 1887).
Mrs. Fukuda concluded her lecture by saying, “I would like to make further progress in my own spiritual growth by receiving the truth of Jiba and the truth of the Parent, so that I will be in a better position to help our followers and children become fine Yoboku who can bring joy to God the Parent and Oyasama.”