The Shinbashira Addresses New Year’s Meeting

Tenrikyo Church Headquarters held its annual New Year’s meeting in the Assembly Hall following the evening service on January 4. Attending the meeting were 691 resident staff members of Church Headquarters, head ministers of directly supervised churches, superintendents of dioceses, members of the Assembly, and committee members of Tenrikyo associations.

The Shinbashira began his New Year’s address by extending his wishes for the new year–the first year of the “three years, one thousand days” season that will culminate in the observance of the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama in the year 2006. He then reminded the audience that he had announced Instruction Two at last year’s Autumn Grand Service for the express purpose of enhancing our unity of mind so we would be prepared to launch a concerted effort in carrying out our anniversary-related activities.

The Shinbashira then mentioned that he and his wife had recently been interviewed by two elementary school children for a new column to be carried in Tenri Jiho newspaper. Explaining that the children had asked him for advice on what they ought to be doing during this pre-anniversary season, the Shinbashira went on to give the audience some pointers on the basic stance of mind that should be maintained while working toward the anniversary.

Referring to Instruction Two, the Shinbashira said: “The import of the Instruction may not be all that easy to implement. I presume there are many people who, while understanding what the Instruction is asking them to do, feel themselves incapable of fully implementing it in their lives. I don’t find that surprising, considering the variety in the ways we pace our individual faith. The rate at which we advance our individual faith surely differs depending on whether we are a church head minister or a follower. . . . Nonetheless, I feel it is vital for each and every one of us, whatever our present standing may be, to pour our energies into implementing the import of the Instruction during the next three years so that we may all succeed in taking even a step or two forward.”

With respect to the “Oyasama 120th Anniversary District Lectures,” which will be held between March and June this year, the Shinbashira expressed his hope that these lectures would play some role in adding momentum to the pre-anniversary activities.

Emphasizing the need to implement the message contained in Instruction Two, the Shinbashira reminded the audience that the Instruction had not been written as something for us merely to read or memorize and he suggested that we take care not to spend these three years merely repeating the points laid out in the Instruction. He went on to say: “All of you are people who have been entrusted with positions of responsibility in Tenrikyo. I hope that each of you will spend this year serving in your respective position with a firm awareness of the responsibility it entails. That in itself will help us forge a unity of mind in carrying out our pre-anniversary activities.”

The Shinbashira closed his New Year’s address by announcing that the Oyasama 120th Anniversary Song had been completed.

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