On July 18, the Mission Headquarters in South Korea held a ceremony to mark the completion of a new facility known as Tenri Educational and Cultural Center, with Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi and Overseas Department Head Yoshiaki Mihama attending as guests of honor. In spite of the rainy weather, the ceremony was attended by some 1,500 followers from all over South Korea.
The new center is designed to serve as a place to nurture the next generation of the path. The need for such a building was recognized when the mission headquarters started to pay particular attention to the development of human resources a few years ago. The plan to build the facility was announced on November 18, 2004, at the monthly service of the mission headquarters, and its construction began in March 2005. The new building–completed after one and a half years of construction–has a reinforced concrete structure with three stories above and one below ground. The combined gross floor area of the building is 3,108 square meters (33,450 sq. ft.). Its exterior is covered with glass and marble walls, which adds a modern touch to the building. Its first floor houses a multi-purpose hall with a seating capacity of 225, a library, and a nursery room, and the second floor consists of study rooms, a grand hall, and so on. Displayed in the entrance is the center’s logo consisting of a black snake in the shape of the letter “E,” the initial letter of “education.” The black snake stands for the “providence of pulling forth,” which is referred to as Otonobe-no-Mikoto.
At the ceremony, Bishop Yoshimi Maegawa delivered an address and expressed his appreciation by saying: “Thanks to all of the followers who devoted their sincerity to the mission headquarters regardless of the differences of church lineage, the construction was successfully completed. As befits the new facility’s name–Educational and Cultural Center–we would like to use the facility to develop human resources capable of contributing to the realization of the Joyous Life World.”
Following the bishop’s address, Rev. Iburi took the podium to deliver a congratulatory address. In it, he encouraged the audience, saying: “I would like you to make the most of this marvelous facility so as to nurture human resources–who will walk on the path to the Joyous Life–by bringing out their talents. I strongly hope that this facility will be utilized effectively to nurture the next generation of the path in South Korea.”
The ceremony was brought to a close with a performance of six songs such as “Oyasama 120th Anniversary Song” and “Kokai (Voyage),” which were sung by the mission headquarters’ choir comprising 91 members.