Tenrikyo Church Headquarters held its annual New Year’s meeting in the Assembly Hall after the evening service on January 4. The 658 participants–including resident staff members of Church Headquarters, head ministers of directly supervised churches, superintendents of dioceses, members of the Assembly, and committee members of Tenrikyo associations–listened intently to the Shinbashira’s New Year’s address while giving fresh thought to what their priorities should be and how they could take steps forward during the second year of the “three years, one thousand days” activities preceding the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama.
The Shinbashira first extended his wishes for the New Year. Then, saying that we had embarked on the second year of the “three years, one thousand days” activities leading up to the anniversary, he told the listeners, “I hope that, by reflecting on what you achieved last year, you will advance further along the path of spiritual growth so as to live up to Oyasama’s expectations.”
Referring to the wish he had expressed at the New Year’s meeting last year–the wish “that Jiba may have a lively atmosphere in the year of the anniversary”–he reminded the listeners that the remark was not meant to refer to merely increasing the number of visitors to Jiba, but to strengthening our efforts to grow spiritually, whereby the lively atmosphere would naturally be created.
Having stressed that we need to intentionally allow our minds to grow spiritually in our daily lives, the Shinbashira cautioned the listeners that although busily engaging in other things that went with their positions was fine, there was a danger that they would let their busyness get in the way of their spiritual growth. He also pointed out that we have to reconfirm that the “three years, one thousand days” season leading up to the anniversary of Oyasama is a crucial time when we should keep firmly focused on our spiritual growth as we conduct our tasks.
The Shinbashira went on to say that our concerted implementation toward the anniversary would only be achieved through understanding our respective roles from the innermost heart and translating that understanding into action. He concluded his address by asking the listeners to firmly bear the intended message in mind and devote themselves to their respective roles in high spirits.