The Shinbashira and Mrs. Harue Nakayama Visit Hawaii to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary

Tenrikyo Mission Headquarters of Hawaii, located in Honolulu, celebrated the 50th anniversary of its establishment on September 18, with the presence of the Shinbashira and his wife. For the anniversary service, some 550 followers assembled not only from such Hawaiian islands as Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, and Kauai, but also from the U.S. mainland and Brazil.

After the installation of Bishop Michihito Hamada on May 16, 2001, the mission headquarters started promoting its 50th anniversary slogan, “World salvation begins with harmony in your family,” as well as three activity guidelines: “Express gratitude in prayer,” “Convey the joy of faith,” and “Nurture our youth.” In preparation for the anniversary, some parts of the mission headquarters’ facilities were remodeled, repaired, or repainted. During the improvement of the facilities, the worship hall was made barrier-free.

Another effort in preparing for the 50th anniversary was an essay contest, which was organized by the mission headquarters in the hope that it might provide missionaries with a better understanding of Hawaiians’ view of religion, thereby promoting their missionary work in Hawaii. The general public was also invited to submit essays. The winners were awarded their prizes on June 20, directly following the monthly service at the mission headquarters.

Furthermore, on May 15, four months before the 50th anniversary, the Hawaii chapters of the Women’s Association and the Young Men’s Association co-sponsored a pep rally at the mission headquarters. Some 120 followers from Hawaiian islands participated in this rally and pledged together to put their utmost effort into the anniversary by sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and engaging in salvation work while uniting their minds. The followers of the path in Hawaii thus engaged in activities befitting this timely season as they prepared themselves for the 50th anniversary of the mission headquarters.

On the 18th, Honolulu was blessed with a clear sky. Despite the heat, a pleasant breeze blew at times, giving a hint of autumn in the air. Followers began to assemble in the worship hall from early morning, and those who could not be seated inside took seats in a marquee where they could watch the commemorative service on a large TV monitor.

At 10:00 A.M., the anniversary service started with Bishop Hamada’s reading of the prayer, in which he said, “Reflecting upon the 50 years of the path to which our many predecessors devoted themselves, we would like to take a new step in laying the foundation to allow the path to flourish through all generations to come.”

Following the prayer, the Shinbashira took the podium and delivered an address. After carefully explaining the significances of the mission headquarters, the Shinbashira said: “To have a stance of faith that is single-hearted with God means to base our thoughts and actions on the intention of God the Parent and Oyasama rather than on worldly ways of looking at things. Cultivating this stance of faith while conducting various activities is, in my view, the basic way of thinking that is appropriate for a mission headquarters, which is entrusted with the central role of providing care and guidance.”

The seated service was then performed joyously with the Shinbashira and his wife as center. It was followed by the performance of the Teodori, Dance with Hand Movements. After that, Bishop Hamada thanked the Shinbashira and then addressed the followers who attended the service.

Following the service, a reception was held to celebrate the occasion. At the end, everyone joined in singing the “Oyasama 120th Anniversary Song” and “Let’s Walk with Friends of the Path,” which was composed by Rev. Takatoshi Mima, head minister of Koshinokuni Hawaii Church.

Hawaii Chapters of Women’s and Young Men’s Associations Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Their Establishment

On the 19th, following the mission headquarters’ September monthly service, the Hawaii chapters of the Women’s Association and the Young Men’s Association–both chapters having been founded upon the mission headquarters’ establishment–held a joint convention to mark their 50th anniversary in the presence of the presidents of both associations, namely, the Shinbashira and Mrs. Harue Nakayama. Attending the convention were some 400 people, including 150 Women’s Association members and 100 Young Men’s Association members.

In his address, the Shinbashira explained the significance of Oyasama’s anniversary and the mission of pioneers of the path. He then expressed his hopes for the members by saying, “I would like to ask you, therefore, to maintain pride and conviction in your role as pioneers of the path and give full play to your youthful vitality in leading other Yoboku in church and district activities.”

This was followed by the address given by Women’s Association President Harue Nakayama. She explained the meaning of “nurturing,” referring to the Shinbashira’s words at the Spring Grand Service and the Women’s Association Convention earlier this year. She then said, “I would like us to implement our activity guidelines so that we may give full play to the qualities with which God the Parent has endowed us.” Following this, representatives of the two associations expressed their resolutions for the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama. A banquet in honor of the Shinbashira and his wife followed.

The Shinbashira and His Wife Visit Churches in Hawaii

The Shinbashira and his wife visited a number of churches in Hawaii between September 14 and 17 before the mission headquarters’ 50th anniversary service. They left Japan on the evening of the 14th and arrived in Honolulu around 11:00 A.M. on the same day. After being warmly welcomed with leis, they headed for the Mission Headquarters of Hawaii. In the afternoon, they visited Honolulu Church (Honjima) and Honolulu-ko Church (Hofu), both located in Honolulu, as well as Hawaii Missionary House and Hawaii Tenri Cultural Center.

On the following day, the Shinbashira and his wife visited Taiheiyo Church (Shuto) and North Honolulu Church (North America) in Honolulu, Aloha Church (Shuto) in Waipahu, and Koshinokuni Hawaii Church (Koshinokuni) in Pearl City. On the same day, they also made a courtesy call on Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle.

On the 16th, they flew to Hawaii Island. They visited Kakaako Church (Honjima) and Hilo Church (Honjima) to encourage followers there and returned to Honolulu on the 17th.

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