November Monthly Service Performed

Tenrikyo Church Headquarters conducted the November Monthly Service on the 26th with the Shinbashira presiding. A number of directly supervised churches–including Honriyo, Sakurai, Kasaoka, Shikito, Ikoma, Kawanoe, Aboshi, Yamakage, Shikishima, Toai, Izumi, and Toyoshige–organized group pilgrimages to Jiba between the 25th, the day before the Monthly Service, and the 28th, a Sunday.

At 9:00 A.M., the Shinbashira and the other Service performers paid respects at the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall and then proceeded to the Main Sanctuary. In the Service prayer, the Shinbashira referred to the fact that there was only one month remaining in the second year of the pre-anniversary season. He continued: “We Service performers as well as all church head ministers and Yoboku have worked hard with firm resolution so we might be shown the blessing of great progress during this important season. Nonetheless, I feel we are still far from achieving our goal.” Reflecting upon the train of typhoons that struck Japan and the disastrous earthquakes in Niigata Prefecture, he said: “We are keenly aware of God the Parent’s hastening in these things that happened around us. We will reflect upon the steps we have taken thus far and put further efforts into devoting ourselves to the true path that was taught to us.” He then prayed that the people who had been afflicted by those disasters would regain their peace of mind even a day sooner. This was followed by the performance of the Kagura and the Dance with Hand Movements and the whole congregation joined in singing the songs for the Service in a unity of minds. After the Service, Honbu-in Yasuhito Shinomori took the podium to deliver the sermon. He began by saying that two years had already passed since the announcement of Instruction Two, in which the Shinbashira not only indicated the basic stance of mind we should maintain during the season leading up to the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama but also pointed out the direction we should take in conducting our pre-anniversary activities. “This is a time,” said Rev. Shinomori, “when we must reflect on what we have done over the past two years, correct any shortcomings we may have had, and dedicate ourselves spiritedly to the work of single-hearted salvation while following the Divine Model of Oyasama.” Then, referring to Anecdotes of Oyasama, the Foundress of Tenrikyo, he said, “In Her Divine Model, Oyasama showed us how to maintain high-spiritedness even in the most difficult circumstances.” Rev. Shinomori furthermore referred to a young missionary who asked the second Shinbashira at the 7th Tenrikyo Young Men’s Association Path Seekers’ Seminar, which was held in September 1959, “What should I do to raise my spirits when I am depressed?” Rev. Shinomori said that the second Shinbashira responded by saying, “Sing the Songs for the Service in as loud a voice as you want until you feel refreshed and your mind becomes clear. You will surely receive blessings.” Rev. Shinomori went on to say that this simple advice had helped him raise his spirits whenever he was depressed or faced with knots. To conclude, Rev. Shinomori said: “Our many predecessors devoted their sincere efforts and made contributions to the path so that they might bring joy to Oyasama during every pre-anniversary season. They went through knots of various kinds by uniting their minds and received blessings.” He continued: “Although our individual power may be small, we are Yoboku serving as the instruments of Oyasama, who is always working for world salvation. Let us therefore resolve to engage in the pre-anniversary activities in high spirits and with enthusiasm.”

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