In anticipation of commemorating its 100th anniversary next April, the Women’s Association has been holding the “100th Anniversary Pep Rally for Women’s Association Members” regionally since May 1. The association is asking all members to participate in the pep rally, since it is designed to encourage them to return their thoughts to the intention behind the association’s founding and, thereby, renew their minds and take a leap in their spiritual growth. The pep rally will have been held at more than 300 venues, including 19 overseas venues, by the time it comes to a close in September.
Some of the venues were honored by the presence of Women’s Association President Harue Nakayama, who spoke to the participants about the importance of sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and engaging in salvation work during this seasonable time. She also told them: “If you know of any members who have not yet participated in the pep rally, please take it upon yourself to encourage them to attend one of the remaining venues. That, I believe, is also one way you can sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings.”
President Nakayama told the listeners at one of the venues, “The aim of this pep rally, whether for venues in Japan or overseas, is to have all association members fully understand the intention in commemorating the association’s 100th anniversary so that they may fully commit themselves to our pre-anniversary activities while encouraging and helping one another and, thereby, have no regrets when the 100th anniversary arrives.”
Citing a passage from Instruction Three, which was issued by the former Shinbashira prior to the Centennial Anniversary of Oyasama, President Nakayama said: “The number one hundred implies a return to one, a new beginning. Thus it is of utmost importance for us to return to the origin, that is to say, God the Parent’s intention in creating humankind.” She went on to ask every member to spread the message that a true settling of families and society can be achieved by living in accord with Oyasama’s teachings and concluded her remarks by encouraging every member to return to Jiba for the 100th anniversary with one person to attend the Besseki.
In North America, the pep rally was held in Los Angeles and New York with a total turnout of 287 members, and a third venue is scheduled for the end of August in Vancouver, Canada. The America Chapter of the Women’s Association, which made a resolution to have 500 members return to Jiba for the commemorative convention next April, received help from the heads of districts, churches, and fellowships in calling on every member to attend the pep rally. On May 16, 229 members living in the United States and Canada gathered in Los Angeles to attend the pep rally at the Mission Headquarters in America, which was the first overseas venue. Some of the participants were moved to tears as they listened to the talk given by the lecturer sent from the Women’s Association Headquarters. The video presentation was given in four languages: English, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.
In Hawaii, the pep rally was held at three venues, drawing a total of 191 members. At the Hawaii Chapter’s annual convention held on May 16, a special appeal was made to ensure that the 100 members attending the convention would also participate in the pep rally. As it turned out, as many as 121 members gathered at the Mission Headquarters of Hawaii on May 30 to participate in the pep rally.
At Tenrikyo Oceania Centre in Brisbane, Australia, the pep rally was conducted on June 28, with a turnout of 39 members.
In Brazil, the pep rally was held at three venues, including the mission headquarters located in Bauru, on June 13 and 14 with a total turnout of 1,089 members. In Colombia, the pep rally was held at the mission center located in Cali with 54 participants, including some who had come from neighboring Venezuela.
In Taiwan, 575 members participated in the pep rally, which was held at two venues, including the mission headquarters located in Taipei. In Hong Kong, the pep rally conducted at the mission center on May 31 drew 28 members.
On July 11, the 100th Anniversary Pep Rally for Women’s Association Members in Europe was held in conjunction with the 25th Yoboku Reunion at Tenrikyo Europe Centre. A total of 100 people including children attended the event, assembling from France, Spain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
After a video presentation, Mrs. Emiko Moroi, Tenrikyo Women’s Association Headquarters committee member, gave a lecture. First she explained how the association came to be founded: “The desire of God the Parent and Oyasama is to teach us the Joyous Life and to save all of us, and the intention contained in beginning the Women’s Association was for women to study this desire of God the Parent and Oyasama and put the teachings into practice in our daily life.” Then she went on to give examples about how to implement the teachings: “We are taught that the eyes are there so that we can find joy in seeing things; the ears are there so that we can find joy in hearing things; and the mouth is there so that we can say things to bring joy to others. . . . I am convinced that when we become capable of seeking the parental love of God the Parent contained in illnesses and troubles, then we are moving closer to attaining the Joyous Life, the state of mind in which we are able to perceive joy in everything we see and hear.”
She also emphasized the importance of how we perceive things in life: “We need to trust completely in the parental love of God the Parent. When we are able to perceive everything—including people, place, and work—as marvelous gifts from God the Parent and receive them with heartfelt gratitude, and when we maintain that state of mind, it is only natural that any of us will be able to live a joyful and satisfying life.” She concluded her lecture by saying: “We are the children of God the Parent, brothers and sisters who live in this seasonable time. In order to come closer to God’s parental love in beginning the Women’s Association, and to respond to the parental concern that awaits our individual progress in following the path, let us walk the path in the spirit of helping one another and encouraging one another.”
After the lecture, two faith experience speeches were given: Mrs. Kaoruko Kato giving her speech in Japanese, followed by Mrs. Masae Sudre sharing her joy of faith in French. Simultaneous interpretation was provided throughout the program. Before closing, the participants performed the seated service, followed by a commemorative photo taken outside the building.