Tenrikyo Basics Course Lowers Age Requirement to Fifteen

Tenrikyo Education and Nurture Department has decided to lower the minimum age requirement for attending Tenrikyo Basics Course from 17 to 15. This revision will come into effect on October 1. In anticipation of the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama, it is hoped that ever more people will take advantage of the Basics Course, which is designed for people learning the teachings of Tenrikyo for the first time. Until now, the eligibility for the Basics Course has been “anyone who is 17 years of age or older,” which is the same age requirement as for attending the Besseki lecture. Over the past year or so, however, the department was deluged with requests from many Tenrikyo churches and dioceses to allow first-year and second-year high school students–most of them under 17 years of age–to attend the Basics Course. In response to the requests, the department examined the possibility of lowering the age requirement. The announcement of the revised age requirement was made on July 27 at the monthly meeting of the Kanamekai (the association comprising the head ministers of all directly supervised churches), as well as at a meeting of diocese superintendents. In order to promote the vertical mission and sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings, followers will soon be able to encourage first-year and second-year high school students to attend the Basics Course as a preliminary step toward the Besseki lecture. An Education and Nurture Department official said, “After you bring young high school students, barely 15 years of age or so, to the Basics Course, it would be a good idea to try to create an opportunity to talk about their impressions and reflections together, whether at church or at home, for that would make their attendance at the course even more meaningful.” The Basics Course takes about 90 minutes and comprises two talks and two videos designed to make the teachings easier to understand. The course starts with a video entitled “Tenrikyo: The Path to the Joyous Life,” which presents an overview of the Home of the Parent and of the teachings. Two lectures entitled “God the Parent, Oyasama, the Jiba” and “A Thing Lent, A Thing Borrowed” are given by experienced lecturers. The other video, “The Joy of Faith,” shows some aspects of the practice of faith. The course is offered not only in Japanese but also in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, German, Italian, Filipino, and Thai. Dates for the upcoming Basics Course in English are posted at “TENRIKYO Online” (URL: www.tenrikyo.jp/en/newsletter/). Those wishing to attend a non-Japanese version on an unscheduled day are requested to contact the Overseas Department’s Human Resources Development Section at least one week in advance (e-mail: edust@tenrikyo.jp; phone: 0743-63-1511 ext. 5348/5362). The Basics Course now takes place in the basement of East Left Wing 3 of the Oyasato-yakata building-complex. Yet, sometime this year, the venue will be changed to the second floor of South Right Wing 2, which is nearing completion. The donation for attendance is 500 yen. A handbook, Journey to the Joyous Life, is given to everyone attending the course. For further details, please contact the Human Resources Development Section.

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