Young Women Leaders Gather to Prepare for This Autumn’s Convention

On June 4 and 5, Tenrikyo Women’s Association Headquarters held a training course for young women leaders at Moya 38. Designed to heighten their awareness of their role as young women leaders and deepen their faith, the training course drew 244 participants from dioceses and directly supervised churches. The course included programs to help the leaders make plans and preparations for the upcoming Young Women’s Convention, which will, for the first time, be held regionally at 58 domestic and overseas venues this autumn.

Opening remarks were given by Women’s Association Headquarters Committee Member Hiroko Kasai. Mr. Masayoshi Masuda, head of Noritada Fellowship, then gave a lecture entitled “Showing Gratitude for the Abundant Blessings We Receive.” He emphasized: “All of us are kept alive by receiving abundant blessings from God the Parent and Oyasama day after day. Instead of praying for more blessings, I suggest we make it a habit to be aware of the blessings we are already receiving.”

Next, Association Headquarters Committee Member Yoko Terakado gave a lecture entitled “Performing the Service with a Sincere Mind.” A video presentation following the lecture depicted young women attending Shuyoka, the Spiritual Development Course, organizing fife-and-drum corps activities, and otherwise involved with the path.

To start off the second day, the participants attended the morning service at the Main Sanctuary and engaged in corridor-cleaning hinokishin. They wiped the wooden floor wholeheartedly while joyously singing the Songs for the Service.

After a morning assembly, Women’s Association President Harue Nakayama spoke to the participants about the activities for young women. “I would like you to implement your activities while keeping their purposes in mind, rather than just going through the motions of carrying them out.” Furthermore, she explained that the Young Women’s Convention is the culmination of everyday activities for young women and said, “Making it a daily practice to implement the guidelines for young women’s activities will, I believe, enhance your spiritual growth.”

Next, Honbu-jun’in Hirokazu Moroi gave a lecture entitled “Toward Oyasama’s Anniversary.” A question-and-answer session pertaining to the 24th Young Women’s Convention was then conducted, in which Women’s Association Headquarters Committee Member Yasuko Fukaya answered questions that had been submitted by the young women in advance.

On each day, a small group discussion and a speech session were held. In the group discussions, participants exchanged ideas and suggestions on their daily efforts and the duties entailed by their leadership roles. During each speech session, six young women leaders shared their experiences of living more in touch with their faith.

One of the participants, Naoko Uchida of Asakura chapter, commented: “I had many anxieties because I could not come up with any ideas on how to organize the Young Women’s Convention. I now feel very spirited after having had this opportunity to talk with other young women leaders like myself since we could share our concerns and concrete activity plans.”

After the completion of the training course, many participants gathered in the first floor lobby where handmade fliers and leaflets were posted. There were many who were taking pictures with their mobile phones or cameras. Before starting her homeward journey, a participant said, “These will help me to prepare materials to invite other members to the convention!”

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