On August 30, the first “Gatherings for Tenri Young Men: Unity and Progress” were conducted at venues in Tokyo, Hokkaido, and Saitama Prefecture. The gatherings are intended to provide all association members with an opportunity to renew their self-awareness as Arakitoryo, pioneers of the path, and resolve to strive for world salvation in unity of mind during this year of the 90th anniversary of the Young Men’s Association. The association has set a goal of drawing a total of 50,000 members to these gatherings, which are scheduled to be held at over 100 venues, including some overseas, by the end of this year. The Shinbashira, who serves as the president of the Young Men’s Association, visited the Tokyo venue on the 30th and two venues in Hokkaido on the 31st. On those two days, the gatherings were conducted at 21 venues throughout Japan, drawing some 8,200 people in total.
Tokyo Diocese Chapter of the Young Men’s Association held its gathering at Hibiya Hall. Regardless of the rainy weather, the gathering was held in a lively atmosphere, attended by 1,236 participants.
The gathering began with a fanfare. Following Tokyo Diocese Chapter Chairman Toyokazu Tanaka’s greetings, the Shinbashira took the lectern to address the participants. He said: “At this juncture as we mark the association’s 90th anniversary, we ought to actively promote the Young Men’s Association’s activities. In order to do so, I would like not only those of you who are playing a central role at the diocese and church levels, but also all of you association members–whatever position you may have–to take this opportunity to renew your self-awareness as association members connected with the path, that is, as Arakitoryo, pioneers of the path.”
This was followed by a video presentation entitled “The Young Men’s Association: 90 Years of History,” which showed the history of the Young Men’s Association from its founding to the present. Then a lecture entitled “Life with Faith–Path to the Joyous Life” was delivered by a former member of the association. The speaker was Yodo Branch Church Head Minister Taketomo Kanayama, who shared his faith experience in which he realized the blessings of God the Parent through his own illness. Rev. Kanayama also talked about his experience during missionary work and shared his insights into how to find joy in daily life.
The lecture was followed by another video, entitled “Documentary on Tenri Young Men: The Moment When They Felt God’s Presence.” The video introduced three association members, whose stories impressed and encouraged the participants. Then the president’s message was read by Association Headquarters Chairman Chikara Iburi on behalf of the president. The gathering was brought to a close after the participants joined in singing the Young Men’s Association anthem.