A general outline for a new instructional system being developed by the Education and Nurture Department (headed by Rev. Motoyoshi Tomimatsu) was presented on November 27 at the monthly meeting of the Kanamekai (the association comprising the head ministers of all directly supervised churches), as well as at a meeting of diocese superintendents and at the 188th ordinary session of the Assembly.
The new system–to be launched during the season of spiritual growth when the followers are working to prepare for the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama (to be observed in 2006)–is intended to strengthen Church Headquarters’ instructional capacities to promote spiritual growth. It will consist of ten courses offered in the Home of the Parent, as shown in the chart on the right. The Education and Nurture Department has released its implementation plans for the first of these courses, Tenrikyo Basics Course, which is to start on April 1, 2003. As for the other courses, only a tentative framework has been indicated.
The Basics Course aims at introducing Tenrikyo to those who, though interested in Tenrikyo or seeking salvation, have yet to become followers. Anyone who is 17 years of age or older is eligible to attend. The course is also recommended for anyone considering attending the Besseki lectures, though it is not a prerequisite for Besseki attendance.
This 105-minute course will comprise two talks–on the themes of a “Thing Lent, a Thing Borrowed” (referring to the teaching that the human body belongs to God) and “God the Parent, Oyasama, and the Jiba”–and two videos showing some aspects of the Home of the Parent and of followers’ faith practice.
The Basics Course will take place in the basement of East Left Wing 3 of the Oyasato-yakata building-complex. While the Japanese version of the course will be offered every day except the year-end and New Year’s season (1:00 P.M. on weekdays; 9:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays), the schedule for other versions will be announced in advance of each session. Those wishing to attend a non-Japanese version on an unscheduled day, however, will be requested to contact the Overseas Department’s Education Support Team at least two weeks beforehand. The donation for attendance is 500 yen.
The Three-day Course is intended only for those who are in the working-age population and have difficulty taking three months off to attend Shuyoka (Spiritual Development Course). Upon completing Three-day Courses I, II, and III, one will be eligible to attend Head Minister Qualification Course One (or the Yoboku Course, which will replace it in the future). Three-day Course I is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2004, to be followed by Courses II and III in due course.
The current Head Minister Qualification Course One and Course Two will be replaced by the Yoboku Course and the Minister Course, respectively, as they become available.