On April 20, the 13th Seminar for Branch Chapter Chairwomen was held under the sponsorship of the Women’s Association. It drew 59 participants from eight countries and territories, including the United States, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea, and Taiwan.
The latest seminar, which was specifically designed for overseas chairwomen, was the concluding session of a round that targeted about 3,400 chairwomen who have been appointed over the past 10 years. An earlier round of seminars for branch chapter chairwomen, started in 1986, had drawn approximately 15,000 chairwomen over nine years.
These seminars were aimed at helping chairwomen become clearly aware of their roles and advance in spiritual growth, since they are to serve as leaders in conducting the Women’s Association activities at their respective churches.
The 13th seminar started at 9:00 A.M. It included three lectures: “On the Fundamental Spirit of the Women’s Association,” by Mrs. Matsuko Imanishi; “Conducting the Women’s Association Activities,” by Committee Member Shigeko Tanaka; and “The Truth of the Everliving Oyasama,” by Honbu-in Tomoharu Itakura. Simultaneous interpretation was provided in English, Portuguese, and Korean to cater to the participants’ cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
Three of the participants then delivered faith experience speeches. Brotherhood Branch Chapter Chairwoman Kay Morishita–from the United States–spoke about the divine guidance of God the Parent she had received in her childhood amid illnesses and other troubles encountered by her family. She went on to refer to the activities she now performs in the local community in Los Angeles where her church is located. They include the beautification of the neighborhood, caring for children through after-school programs, and working with the police department and government officials to reduce criminal factors. She said: “Because the experiences of my childhood taught me that a church is a place of peace and comfort, I am working with my husband to make our church a beacon of light and hope for those in need.”
Chung Dong Branch Chapter Chairwoman Yun Gap-sum–from South Korea–shared with the listeners a story of miraculous salvation that allowed a 63-year-old man to recover from life-threatening brain hemorrhage. Then, by way of stating her decisive resolution in anticipation of the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama, she expressed her conviction of faith that she had kept ever since she had first gone out to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings– namely, “The path of single-heartedness with God becomes what it is through God the Parent’s miraculous blessings and guidance that are far beyond human ideas and comprehension.”
Brazil Yamashiro Branch Chapter Chairwoman Takako Onishi–from Brazil–who went to Brazil with her husband in 1962 and set up their church in 1991, shared her reflections upon her course of life. “Making great use of women’s abilities, characteristics, and roles, I would like to devote myself to the missionary work with a mind capable of connecting people and of mutual help in anticipation of the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama,” she said.