General Plan for Commemorative Activities Announced

At the January 26 meeting of the Kanamekai (association comprising the head ministers of all directly supervised churches), Honbu-in Motoo Matsuda, chairman of the Oyasama 120th Anniversary Commemorative Activities Planning Committee, announced a general plan for the activities to be held in the Home of the Parent next year.

The Service for the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama will be conducted on January 26, 2006. In addition, since the entire year is to be regarded as the year of the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama, the other Services performed on the 26th of each month (with the exception of the Autumn Grand Service in October) will be performed “by receiving the truth of January 26.” The underlying concept for the activities is to give expression to Oyasama’s intention in saying: “Whoever comes [here] shall never leave without being filled with joy.” Therefore, to ensure that everyone will savor the joy of returning to Jiba, the year’s activities will be targeted primarily at those who are new to the faith, those who are making their first visit to the Home of the Parent, and those who are returning to Jiba with their family members. One suggestion was that, instead of organizing large-scale events, we might profitably take full advantage of the followers dormitories’ potential to create a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere that would allow followers to feel as if they were at home. This would also enable each directly supervised church to become more self-sufficient in enhancing a sense of unity among its followers by allowing fellow church members to share with one another the joy of returning to the Home of the Parent. In concrete terms, it was decided that a variety of programs would be broadcast via cable television to each followers dormitory between the 25th and 27th of each month and around the day of the Oyasama Birth Celebration Service as well as on weekends and national holidays throughout the year of the 120th Anniversary. The latest information and images available at the time, including broadcasts of various events and activities conducted in the Home of the Parent, and programs regularly televised by Doyusha Publishing Company will also be shown. Also made available will be Doyusha’s documentaries about the past anniversaries of Oyasama, movies about notable early followers, and films such as those designed to facilitate learning about the teachings and those reporting Tenrikyo’s various activities. Moreover, in order to assist the directly supervised churches in promoting their activities at the dormitories, there has been some discussion on the possibility of making arrangements for lecturers, musicians, or artists to be dispatched to the dormitories at their request. The Oyasato-yakata’s South Right Wing 2, which will be completed within this year, is scheduled to serve as a facility where pilgrims to Jiba can experience and learn the teachings. A video entitled “The Blessings of the Parent,” which depicts the joy of living in the bosom of God the Parent, will be shown on the second basement level, while an exhibition illustrating the path of the Divine Model and the teachings of Tenrikyo will be held on the first basement level. The front office and reception area of Tenrikyo Basics Course will be located on the first floor, along with an information desk as well as an exhibition area for Tenrikyo events and activities, where video presentations on the Home of the Parent will also be offered. The second floor will be equipped with lecture rooms for the Basics Course. On the third floor, there will be exhibitions pertaining to the overseas mission of Tenrikyo as well as the past anniversaries of Oyasama. Commemorative lectures and symposiums as well as concerts will be held in the auditorium located on the fourth floor, which can accommodate 370 people. For pilgrims returning to Jiba with their children, some play areas will be provided around the Sanctuary precincts. These will be available on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Sundays as well as national holidays from February through December, except for July and August, next year. These play areas are designed to enable children, as well, to savor the joy of returning to the Jiba.

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