On November 25, Tenrikyo Student Advisory Committee sponsored an annual convention entitled “Student Nurturers Convention.” Held in Jiba with the presence of the Shinbashira, the convention drew over a thousand people, 400 more than the previous year. This was the first convention where the present Shinbashira spoke directly to those entrusted with the role of nurturing high school and college students in their respective dioceses and directly supervised churches.
In his address, the Shinbashira first emphasized the importance of being thorough in passing down the faith to the young. After explaining how we should maintain our mission and attitude as Yoboku during the “three years, one thousand days” leading up to the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama, he spoke on the topic of nurturing young people. “The Student Advisory Committee,” he said, “has been encouraging young people to attend the Besseki lectures when they become 17 years of age. Some of them receive the Sazuke and become eager to administer it. Others, I presume, receive it without giving much thought to it, merely thinking it would be better to receive it as early as possible. In either case, receiving the truth of the Sazuke during their school days implies that they will spend a longer time living their lives as Yoboku. We should nurture them in a way that they will grow into useful timbers, without being bent as they grow, so that God the Parent can utilize them in the future. I regard this as a task for all of us. For the students to grow into fine Yoboku, it is important for us not to inadvertently lead them astray. Moreover, we should be guiding them, always keeping a step or two ahead of them. If we want young people to grow into fine Yoboku, it is important for us to first make the effort to nurture ourselves and become fine Yoboku.” He closed his address by urging the audience “to make every effort to nurture as many young people as possible, using every available means, so that they will grow into fine Yoboku.”
Following the Shinbashira’s address, Student Advisory Committee Chairman Yuji Terada delivered an address. “Presently,” he said, “we are preparing ourselves to undertake the activities to be conducted during the ‘three years, one thousand days’ leading up to the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama. The passage from Instruction Two that reads, ‘[I]t is essential for us ourselves to live each day in a manner based on the teachings,’ clearly applies to those of us who are engaged in nurturing high school and college students. Let all of us, therefore, begin by making efforts to nurture ourselves to become fine Yoboku.”
The convention ended with a video presentation illustrating the annual activities sponsored by the committee.
The action policy and activity items for the next year are usually presented at the convention every year. This time, however, they are to be drawn up after referring to the Shinbashira’s address at the convention and announced next January.