Oyasama 120th Anniversary District Lectures Now Underway

The Oyasama 120th Anniversary District Lectures–sponsored by Church Headquarters and scheduled to be offered between March and June at 1,981 venues including 110 overseas–are now well underway. Intended for all Yoboku (“timber” for building the Joyous Life), the District Lectures aim at helping them thoroughly understand the significance of the anniversary, which will be observed on January 26, 2006, so that they can live as befits Yoboku in the present season leading up to the anniversary.

The program, which includes two videos as well as two lectures, is drawing large audiences to churches, diocese facilities, community centers, and concert halls. The Tenri Jiho newspaper has recently reported from several venues that those attending the program listened intently to the lectures and nodded enthusiastically to the videos shown, some even being moved to tears.

Since the announcement of the District Lectures last summer, all districts have been making special efforts to encourage Yoboku to use this program as a springboard for strengthening their work in sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and helping others be saved. These efforts will continue until the end of June.

The first venue to host the District Lectures was Dining Hall 2 in the Home of the Parent, where more than 870 attended. The audience comprised Church Headquarters resident staff members including Director-in-Chief of Religious Affairs Tomoo Itakura, Administrative Headquarters staff members and their families, students of Shuyoka (Spiritual Development Course), staff members of followers dormitories, and other Yoboku and followers from the vicinity.

The program began at 9:00 A.M. with opening remarks by Religious Affairs Bureau Head Zentaro Tanaka, who explained the significance of the District Lectures. “This program is designed to help all of us connected with the path to join together in making a decisive resolve to grow spiritually as we embark on the ‘three years, one thousand days’ journey toward the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama,” he said. “I would encourage you to see today’s event as giving you a bracing opportunity to rededicate yourselves to the path so that you will be able to maintain high-spiritedness and constant readiness for your anniversary-related activities,” he added.

Video One was then shown, followed by Lecture One, entitled “Season for Salvation, Season for Spiritual Growth: The Significance of the Anniversary.” After an intermission, Video Two and Lecture Two followed. Lecture Two was entitled “Path to Salvation, Path to Spiritual Growth: The Mission of Yoboku.” Both lectures were delivered by Rev. Yoshihiko Yasuno. Then, following a closing speech, all present sang together the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo, thus bringing the program to a close.

Among other comments heard from those who attended, Tsuna Branch Church Head Minister Masato Kenko, 74–who also serves as the director of Nishi Grand Church followers dormitory–said: “In order to further the work of spreading the teachings and helping to save others, it is important to nurture and develop human resources. As a head minister and a followers dormitory director, I’d like to do what I can to work with younger members to help them grow into the kind of followers who can carry the path forward by engaging in salvation work with a sense of joy. . . . Drawing on the energy gained from the Jiba through today’s event, I’d like to do my utmost to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings and help others be saved during the pre-anniversary three-year period.”

In addition, many spoke about how they had taken to heart, once again, the preciousness of the Sazuke, the Divine Grant, as well as the importance of projecting the “mind of sincerity” through the way they led their lives, thereby providing a convincing example that would make the truth of the teachings self-apparent to those around them.

Share this article:

Comments are closed.