On November 25, Tenrikyo Students Advisory Committee held the Student Nurturers Convention in Dining Hall 3 in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the committee’s founding. The convention, which drew 1,153 people, was honored by the presence of the Shinbashira, who explained the stance of mind for student nurturers and emphasized that those who are responsible for guiding students must embody unshakable faith and conviction so that they can maintain a resolute attitude to nurturing the young. Founded in 1978 for the purpose of nurturing students who will carry the path forward in the future, the Students Advisory Committee has been working on the development of students not only within but also outside Tenrikyo through its programs and events such as the Students Training Course, Students’ Spring Pilgrimage to Jiba, Work & Talk (gathering for university students), and Manabi-ba (gathering for high school students).
The convention commenced at 1:00 P.M. Following a moment of worship, the Shinbashira took the lectern to address the participants. He began his address by looking back on the history of the Students Advisory Committee. Touching on the recent enrichment of committee activities, he asked the attendees to reaffirm the importance of nurturing the young generation and impart significance to the occasion by renewing their determination to achieve further progress in their activities. The Shinbashira then quoted from a Divine Direction that says: “In due order, one stands ahead and nurtures those who come after. This is the path” (Osashizu, September 19, 1898). He then explained the passage, saying: “Those of us who have been drawn to the path ahead of others are encouraged to nurture young people to become Yoboku who can live up to Oyasama’s expectations. To accomplish that, we need to take the initiative to stay in accord with Her intention and show young people how we ourselves attain spiritual growth. This is the order of the path.” He went on to say: “The most important thing is the spiritual growth of those who lead. . . . What we must cultivate is the spirit of single-heartedness with God, which allows us to be in full accord with the intention of Oyasama in all situations. . . . It is also important to have the conviction that is single-hearted with God so that we can think, make decisions, and take resolute action based on the teachings and the Divine Model.”
Further, quoting from the Divine Directions and Anecdotes of Oyasama, the Foundress of Tenrikyo, the Shinbashira explained the stance of mind for nurturers by saying: “First of all, we nurturers ought to make efforts to near the parental heart of Oyasama. . . . Then based on the conviction that is single-hearted with God, we need to devote time and sincerity to nurture the young in the same way we take care to weed and fertilize when we grow crops. That effort will be rewarded with God’s blessings, and we will experience the joy of having helped young people to grow.” The Shinbashira then referred to the truth of the Sazuke, the Divine Grant, saying: “I am sure that the Students Association encourages its members to attend the Besseki lectures and become Yoboku once they reach the age of seventeen. . . . I hope that, once they receive the truth of the Sazuke, you will guide them to become Yoboku who can make every effort to administer the Sazuke. . . . I also hope that you will teach them that we can experience the workings of the everliving Oyasama at a deeper level when we strive to administer the Sazuke while personally trying to serve as Her instruments and to emulate Her parental love that is singly intent on saving all people.” Before closing his address, the Shinbashira said: “What we need to convey to the younger generation is the joy of faith that is in accord with Oyasama’s intention. Therefore, the first thing I would like you to do is to live joyously each day and reflect that joy to young people with patience, so that the teachings of the Parent will be imparted to them.”
Following the Shinbashira’s address, Students Advisory Committee Chairman Tadakazu Nishiura gave a talk. He said: “If we slacken our efforts to talk to students who are unaware of the Parent’s teachings, they will never have a chance to come across the path. It is our responsibility to sprinkle the fragrance on these students. . . . Let us take the Shinbashira’s words as our guide and continue our efforts!”
This was followed by a video presentation, which traced the history of the Students Advisory Committee. A thanksgiving service was performed at the East Worship Hall after the convention.