The Student Nurturers Convention, an annual convention sponsored by Tenrikyo Student Advisory Committee, was held in Jiba on November 25, drawing 730 people, including the student advisory committee chairpersons of the dioceses and directly supervised churches.
The convention began with an address delivered by Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi. First, with regard to sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings, he emphasized how important it is to live each day with the awareness of being a follower of the path. “What is important in sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings is,” he said, “what sort of fragrance you are sprinkling, for it comes from within us. In other words, who we are becomes crucial in sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings.” Indicating that a good fragrance is something that needs to be cultivated over time and emitted naturally, he encouraged the audience to make continued efforts to live each day in a manner based on the teachings, so that each of them could become a “person who convinces others” naturally.
Rev. Iburi moved on to say: “Today, society is extremely challenging for young people to grow up in. In fact, it is not an exaggeration to say that society is taking advantage of teenagers and small children. In my opinion, tackling juvenile problems ought to be one of our own specialties.” He also mentioned Tenri International Symposium 2002: Tenrikyo-Christian Dialogue II held in Jiba last September, by way of emphasizing that it is our great responsibility to assist young people in cultivating their ability to grow into people who convince others naturally, so that they will come to live their life on the basis of Oyasama’s intention. He closed his address by saying, “I should like you to take the lead in promoting activities for nurturing young people with the firm resolve to support them in every way to build a foundation for their own faith.”
Following the address by Rev. Iburi, Student Advisory Committee Chairman Yuji Terada delivered an address in which he announced the action policy and activity items for the year 2004, along with the slogan, “Let’s contact each and every student at least once a month!” Further, referring to the address delivered by the Shinbashira at last year’s convention, he asked the audience to make continued efforts to widen the circle of those reaching out to young people, by saying, “It is our mission to nurture young people in such a way that they will continue to grow spiritually even after they graduate from high school and college by participating in various activities sponsored by local churches or chapters of the Young Men’s Association and the Women’s Association.”
The convention ended with a video presenting actual stories about how followers are attempting to nurture young people in daily life.