The High School Division of the Students Training Course was held at the Home of the Parent from August 9 through 15 with a total of 1,668 students participating. This annual one-week course intends to provide students who do not attend schools in the Home of the Parent with an opportunity to study the teachings together in Church Headquarters facilities, come into touch with the parental love of Oyasama, share their experiences in faith with fellow students, and cultivate friendships.
The students were divided into groups according to their grades and the number of times they had participated. In addition to attending the morning and evening services daily, they listened to lectures led by their homeroom instructors, practiced the dance and musical instruments for the service, and dedicated themselves in efforts of hinokishin, or selfless and thankful action. After the evening service, such activities as “Faith Discussion Groups” and “Indoor Olympics” were held in their dormitories, where under the care and guidance of their counselors, the students deepened their friendships with one another through those activities. During the program, 509 students (184 first-timers) attended the Besseki lectures.
The main event for each class was designed differently. First-time sophomores took part in a walk rally conducted at North Left Wing 8 and West Right Wing 8 of the Oyasato-yakata building-complex, where they were divided into small groups to make rounds of checkpoints, where quizzes and games awaited them. First-time juniors visited the Foundress’ Birthplace and the Dining Service Center. First-time seniors participated in an event called “Talk in Doyusha,” where they learned how to broadcast the news and had a chance to appear on a TV program.
Second-time participants crossed the Jusan Pass–the mountain pass that Oyasama’s youngest daughter, Kokan, crossed to reach Osaka for missionary work when she was their age. All participants left Takayasu Grand Church in Osaka around 8:30 A.M. and helped one another to cross the Jusan Pass. Before noon, the students safely arrived at the goal at the foot of the mountain, from where they took buses to return to Jiba.
Third-time participants visited Oka Grand Church and its environs in Asuka Village, where they enjoyed an exchange program by taking part in a recreational dance and watching a variety show. After the evening service on the 13th, they danced the Teodori, the Dance with Hand Movements, at the East Lecture Hall to express their gratitude for the blessings that had enabled them to participate in the course three times.
On the 15th, all the students assembled for the closing ceremony, in which Honbu-in Kazuo Nagao, Church Headquarters’ executive board member in charge of this course, encouraged the students, saying: “At present, not only church head ministers but all followers of the path have been exerting their utmost during this ‘three years, one thousand days’ season leading up to the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama. I want to ask all of you to bear in mind what you have learned at Jiba during the past week and implement it in your life. This is, I believe, a pre-anniversary activity that you yourself can conduct.”