On May 26, the Post-Disaster Recovery Committee was established. This committee was established to further pursue the recovery of affected areas with a wider range of efforts. Tenrikyo Church Headquarters established Tenrikyo Disaster Relief Headquarters after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan. In the ten weeks since, the Disaster Relief Headquarters launched a variety of efforts to assist disaster survivors. These efforts included starting two separate funds for donations (“Tenrikyo Disaster Relief Fund” and “Support Tenrikyo Disaster Efforts”) and dispatching Disaster Relief Hinokishin Corps units (69 as of May 27), in addition to setting up two offices—one to make arrangements to house people displaced by the disaster at Church Headquarters’ facilities or followers dormitories and the other to provide psychological care for survivors in affected areas.
Along with continuing the work of the Disaster Relief Headquarters, the Post-Disaster Recovery Committee will also seek the restoration of missionary activities to help with the recovery of churches in affected areas. Because the committee has assumed the management of all Tenrikyo-related relief efforts, the Disaster Relief Headquarters set up immediately after the March 11 disaster will be hereby dissolved. Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Yoshitaro Ueda will serve as chair and Director-in-Chief of Religious Affairs Hiroaki Yamazawa will serve as vice-chair of the committee.
Support to Be Provided to Four Affected Dioceses for the Children’s Pilgrimage
A plan to offer support to affected dioceses for this year’s Children’s Pilgrimage was announced at the May 27 meeting of the Kanamekai (association comprising the head ministers of all directly supervised churches). Details of the plan included the decision for Church Headquarters to bear all traveling and lodging expenses of pilgrimage groups who have applied through Fukushima, Ibaraki, Iwate, and Miyagi dioceses.
Rev. Susumu Haruno, executive officer of the Post-Disaster Recovery Committee, said: “We want churches, Yoboku, and followers who may have felt they cannot return this year as a result of the disaster to be spirited. Thus, we’d like to encourage as many people as we can to return to Jiba.”