The New Year’s meeting of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was conducted in the Assembly Hall following the evening service on January 4. Attending this meeting, at which the Shinbashira delivered his New Year’s address, were 664 officials of Church Headquarters, head ministers of directly supervised churches, superintendents of dioceses, members of the Assembly, committee members of Tenrikyo associations, and heads of Tenrikyo facilities.
The Shinbashira began his address by extending New Year’s greetings to the listeners and expressing his appreciation for the sincere efforts they had made during the previous year. He went on to tell this group of leaders who play core roles in the tasks of the path: “I want to ask you to serve in your roles in a manner that will enable you to make progress in your own spiritual growth. . . . Please make a point of eliciting God the Parent’s intention from the various situations shown in your lives. Furthermore, if your pondering makes you aware of some mistakes in your way of thinking, please reflect humbly on them and make the effort to correct them.
“When we serve in the same role over an extended period of time,” he continued, “we run the risk of becoming complacent or assuming that we are always right. Taking a fresh attitude is, therefore, a key step toward furthering our spiritual growth. Please be fully aware of what is entailed by the roles and tasks entrusted to you and make a determined effort to serve in them, so that you may continue making progress in your spiritual growth throughout the year and thereby bring yourselves into accord with God the Parent’s intention.”
Preceding the Shinbashira’s address, Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi offered New Year’s greetings to the Shinbashira on behalf of those attending the meeting. After noting the widespread feeling that society is becoming increasingly cold and indifferent as well as the growing sense of uneasiness about the future, Rev. Iburi reaffirmed the followers’ readiness to make headway along the path of single-hearted salvation by reflecting Oyasama’s warm parental heart to society at large and by guiding as many people as possible back to Oyasama’s warm embrace. He also pledged their commitment to base their daily lives and activities on the three guiding principles for Yoboku: “the spirit of single-heartedness with God,” “the attitude of hinokishin,” and “unity of mind.” Rev. Iburi closed his greetings by asking the Shinbashira to continue providing them with his guidance throughout the year.