The Shinbashira delivered his New Year’s address at the New Year’s meeting of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters conducted in the Assembly Hall following the evening service on January 4. The meeting was attended by 681 participants, including resident staff members of Church Headquarters, head ministers of directly supervised churches, superintendents of dioceses, members of the Assembly, committee members of Tenrikyo associations, and heads of Tenrikyo facilities.
The Shinbashira opened his New Year’s address by offering his New Year’s greetings and expressing his appreciation to everyone for their efforts in the previous year.
After looking back on his way of living last year, the Shinbashira expressed his hope saying, “I would like to do all I can this year to make as much progress as possible in spiritual growth.”
Touching upon the Seminar for Successors that has been held since late August last year and will continue this year, the Shinbashira mentioned: “I often hear people use the phrase ‘season for nurturing the successors of the path.’ However, nurturing the successors of the path should not be limited to such specific seasons.”
Pointing out that church activities as well as association activities can be perceived as means of nurturing the successors of the path, he went on to say: “If our activities—whether church activities or association activities—had been conducted in ways appropriate for their purposes, we would not find ourselves in the situation that we are in today.”
Further, the Shinbashira said, “We have associations that provide activities appropriate for their members. We also have churches that were born out of the pledge to proactively convey and spread the path. Yet we are in our current situation. This suggests that our activities are not effectively connected to one another, even though we are making ourselves busy. I wonder if we have gotten caught up in our immediate goals and lost sight of our ultimate goal that lies ahead. . . . Toward our shared goal, therefore, I very much hope that you will face the present situation squarely, unite your minds as one, and once again confirm your commitment to the ultimate goal so that you can properly carry out your respective activities this year.”