The August Monthly Service of Church Headquarters was performed on the 26th in the Main Sanctuary with the Shinbashira presiding.
To commence the Service, the Shinbashira, accompanied by the other Service performers, worshiped at the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall before proceeding to the Main Sanctuary, where he read the prayer to God the Parent. The Shinbashira began the prayer by thanking God the Parent for the profound blessings we receive daily. He then said: “All of us, including church head ministers and Yoboku, are resolved, amid this seasonable time, to pursue the path of spiritual growth ever more earnestly and follow the path of the Divine Model spiritedly. We are also resolved to devote ourselves to realizing the Joyous Life World by sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings, implementing salvation work, and making sincere efforts in ‘repairing and fostering.'”
The prayer was followed by the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements while the congregation single-heartedly joined in singing the songs for the Service.
Following the performance of the Service, Honbu-in Naohisa Takai took the podium. He began the sermon by looking back on the days when the Secret Directive was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs in 1896 and said, “In those days, our predecessors, who keenly realized the blessings of God the Parent, made every effort to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings and implement salvation work without the least consideration for their personal affairs.” He thus referred to the footsteps of our predecessors who exerted themselves to convey the teachings regardless of the difficult social situations at that time and said, “Whether we are able to receive the miraculous blessings of God the Parent depends totally on how thoroughly we Yoboku devote our true sincerity to people who are suffering.”
He also shared his own experiences in administering the Sazuke, the Divine Grant, to people in the Congo, Africa, as well as in having the Sazuke administered to him when he was suffering from illness. Based on these experiences, he said, “The more you administer the Sazuke, the more you will come to appreciate the working of God the Parent.”
He closed his sermon by calling upon the listeners to unite their minds and apply themselves to performing the service, sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings, implementing salvation work, and doing hinokishin so that God the Parent’s blessings could be received, thus enabling us to reconstruct the present world into the world of bliss in which God and humankind would dwell in perfect unison.