The Shinbashira Addresses New Year’s Meeting

Tenrikyo Church Headquarters held its annual New Year’s meeting in the Assembly Hall after the evening service on January 4. Attending the meeting were resident staff ministers of Church Headquarters, head ministers of directly supervised churches, superintendents of dioceses, members of the Assembly, and committee members of Tenrikyo associations.

The Shinbashira began his New Year’s address by extending his wishes for the new year, which is to be the concluding year of the “three years, one thousand days” season that will culminate in the observance of the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama next year. He then remarked, “The first two years have gone by in such a flash that I can hardly believe we are already embarking on the third and final year.” He then touched on the way followers should spend this year and confirmed the listeners’ understanding of the significance of the activities being undertaken during this season. “This year,” he said, “we will be expected to conduct ourselves in a resolute manner befitting the year to complete our pre-anniversary activities. . . . It goes without saying that the main focus of our pre-anniversary activities should be to respond to the deep parental love of Oyasama, who shortened Her term of physical life by 25 years out of Her desire to hasten our salvation.”

“In order to grow into the sort of people who accord with the Parent’s intention,” he continued, “all of us will have to make an effort to draw a step or two closer to that intention. Now is the time to actually do that. We have been striving, as we agreed upon at the outset of this season, to attain spiritual growth during this three-year period by focusing our efforts on what, in Instruction Two, I expressed as ‘cultivating the mind of saving others’ and ‘implementing salvation work.'” The Shinbashira thus reminded the listeners that the way to accord with the intention of the Parent is to cultivate the mind of saving others and implement salvation work.

The Shinbashira went on to say: “A thorough understanding of the duties that go with our positions, while necessary, is not sufficient. We must also take the initiative to fulfill those duties while pondering how we should carry them out in order to bring joy to Oyasama.” He then brought his address to a close by saying, “I want to ask you to bear these things in mind throughout the year and carry out your respective duties while maintaining a firm unity of minds.”

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