The June Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was performed in the Main Sanctuary on the 26th with the Shinbashira presiding.
A large number of followers filled the worship halls from early in the morning. Among them were many who, on the previous day, had attended the prayer service for the commencement of the westward expansion of the Sanctuary precincts and participated in earth-carrying hinokishin at the construction site.
The Service commenced with the Service prayer read by the Shinbashira. In the prayer, he first expressed gratitude to God the Parent for the blessings that we receive daily. Then, referring to the westward expansion of the Sanctuary precincts, he asked God the Parent to accept our spiritedness in doing earth-carrying hinokishin and allow us to enjoy the fruits of salvation work while making this spiritedness a sort of fertilizer for constructing the Joyous Life World.
Referring also to the Oyasama 120th Anniversary District Lectures, which were scheduled to be completed by the end of June, he said: “All of us, including church head ministers and Yoboku, made a pledge to advance along the path of single-hearted salvation at the juncture provided by the District Lectures. Let us continue to advance along the path ever more earnestly and thoroughly.”
The Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were then joyfully performed while the followers joined together in singing the Mikagura-uta, The Songs for the Service.
Following this, Honbu-in Tomiji Iwatani took the podium to deliver the sermon. He first explained how we should settle our minds amid this seasonable time leading up to the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama. He said: “Making progress in spiritual growth means nearing the parental heart of God the Parent and Oyasama. We should, therefore, make ever more efforts to understand and savor the parental heart that desires to save all humankind and share the Joyous Life together with us.”
He further said: “Oyasama taught us the Service and the Sazuke, the Divine Grant, for the sake of world salvation. Daily and always, therefore, we should remember to perform the service and administer the Sazuke, and single-heartedly devote our sincerity to salvation work.”
He went on to say that, in order to receive blessings through our efforts to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings or implement salvation work, it is necessary for our individual sincerity to be accepted by God the Parent. Only then, he added, can we receive God the Parent’s workings and Oyasama’s guidance. He concluded his sermon by calling upon the listeners to take concrete steps to show their gratitude and make repayment for God’s blessings so that we can attain substantial spiritual growth during this seasonable time.