On May 25, the Young Men’s Association Headquarters held a pep rally in Church Headquarters’ Dining Hall 2 to prepare for the upcoming “Gatherings for Tenri Young Men: Unity and Progress.” It was attended by some 1,400 committee members of chapters based in directly supervised churches and dioceses.
This pep rally was organized to provide those who will be leading the preparations for the gatherings with an opportunity to enhance their understanding of the purpose of the gatherings. The rally also aimed at giving them impetus to rouse themselves in preparing for the gatherings, which are scheduled to be held in each diocese in Japan as well as in some overseas countries between August and December this year–the year of the association’s 90th anniversary.
The gatherings are intended to provide all members with an opportunity to renew their awareness as Arakitoryo, pioneers of the path, who are to lead the way toward the realization of the Joyous Life World, and make a fresh resolve to strive for world salvation in unity of mind. The association headquarters set a goal of drawing a total of 50,000 members to these gatherings.
The pep rally began at 2:00 P.M. with an address delivered by the Shinbashira, who serves as the president of the Young Men’s Association. After expressing his gratitude for the efforts that the members have been devoting to the association activities, he reflected upon the past commemorative activities conducted at the important junctures presented by the association’s anniversaries. “Given that this year marks the 90th anniversary of our association,” he said, “it is a good time for people involved with our association to reflect upon its founding spirit. During this seasonable year, I believe it is of paramount importance that they resolve their minds once again, pledging together to make further progress by building upon their predecessors’ achievements.”
The Shinbashira then referred to the fundamental spirit that gave rise to the founding of the association, namely, the spirit of Arakitoryo, pioneers of the path. He then pointed out that the members tend to forget about this fundamental spirit and are prone to think, “We do this and that because we were told to or because it is customary to do so” or “We do it because the association headquarters asked us to do.” He thus requested them not to become passive about association activities.
The Shinbashira then made clear that the purpose of holding the gatherings is to have its members “reflect on the way association activities should be conducted so that they can take a new step forward with a fresh mind.” He went on to say that the gatherings are organized to encourage all association members to “become clearly aware of the mission entrusted to them as Arakitoryo and to rouse themselves to carry out that mission.”
The Shinbashira then explained “unity,” which appears as part of the title of the gatherings. “Unity” comes about when the members live each day with their minds focused on the shared goal despite the differences in their positions and roles. He said that this can be achieved by “taking advantage of the characteristics given to each of them” and by “uniting their minds to realize the shared goal.” He also said that the members should base their thoughts and actions on Oyasama’s Divine Model so as to bring their minds into accord with the intention of God the Parent and Oyasama.
Referring to the goal of 50,000 participants, which roughly amounts to the total number of the association members, he said to the audience, “Although the number may be quite difficult to achieve, once you set the goal, you ought to strive to accomplish it.” He concluded by saying, “I hope you will continue putting your efforts into drawing as many members as possible to the gatherings, right down to last minutes, so that you can be shown the blessing of having all association members attend the gatherings and unite in their pledge to make further progress.”
It was followed by a video presentation, which explained the purpose of the gatherings as well as the contents of the program. Association Headquarters Chairman Chikara Iburi then made a pledge on behalf of all participants. He stated that the mission entrusted to every member of the Young Men’s Association is to be a pioneer of the path that leads to the Joyous Life, always aiming for world salvation. “Through organizing the gatherings,” he said, “we are resolved to exert our utmost in working tirelessly to discover new members and nurture all our members so that our association will be full of vitality with more and more members actively striving for world salvation.”
The participants then performed the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo with the Shinbashira, and renewed their resolve for the upcoming gatherings.