Participants at the Mission Center in Thailand (Feb. 17)
The Overseas Seminar for Successors, sponsored by the Overseas Department in conjunction with the Seminar for Successors in Jiba, is now taking place around the world. The first session was held in the U.K. last August, and four other sessions were held by the end of 2007 at venues in the Congo, the U.S., Hong Kong, and the Philippines. A total of 175 participants attended these five sessions. Between January and mid-February this year, seven more sessions were held in six countries and regions outside Japan: Taiwan (two sessions), Nepal, Australia, Indonesia, Colombia, and Thailand.
On February 17, the Overseas Seminar for Successors was held at the Mission Center in Thailand and was attended by 86 participants–an increase of more than 20 over the previous seminar held 10 years ago.
The seminar was conducted in Thai with simultaneous interpretation provided for Japanese speakers, with the exception of the video presentation and discussions, for which the participants were divided into groups according to their language background. The seminar began with a prayer service led by Mission Center Head Setsuji Imamura. Then, Mr. Nobuya Noguchi, staff member of the Overseas Department, gave a lecture entitled “God the Parent’s Providence.” He explained God the Parent’s intention and workings in creating humankind as well as Oyasama’s Divine Model. The participants eagerly listened to the lecture and many of them took notes. After the lecture, they had an opportunity to listen to faith experience speeches given by two participants.
In the afternoon, a video entitled “Guided by Oyasama” was shown. It was followed by a discussion, in which the participants actively shared their experiences and exchanged their ideas. Rev. Imamura then delivered the second lecture entitled “The Path to Spiritual Maturity.” The participants were then divided into small groups in which they shared their post-seminar plans and resolutions with one another. Then, they reassembled and performed the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo in high spirits. The one-day seminar came to an end with a video message from Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi, through which they renewed their awareness of being the successors of the path.
In Taiwan, the Overseas Seminar for Successors was held at two venues: the Mission Headquarters in Taiwan (North Venue) on January 20 and Shinmeishinei Church (South Venue) on January 19. A total of 92 participants attended the sessions. The majority of the participants at the North Venue were the sons and daughters of church head ministers and fellowship heads, while the majority at the South Venue were either children of general followers or others who are relatively new to the faith.
The session in Nepal was held at the Nepal Renrakusho on February 16. Due to the riots that had occurred in Kathmandu on the previous day, a curfew was imposed and transportation was disrupted. Although some people could not make their way to the venue, the session was held anyway, drawing a total of 65 people, which is more than three times the number of participants in the previous seminar held ten years ago.
Participants in Australia practicing the musical instruments at the Oceania Centre (Feb. 16)
On February 16 and 17, the Overseas Seminar for Successors was held in Australia for the first time. Held at the Oceania Centre, it drew 27 participants including two from New Zealand. The session was conducted mainly in English because half of the participants were Australian, and lectures were simultaneously interpreted into Japanese. As for video presentations and discussions, the participants were divided into groups according to their language background.
Other sessions of the Overseas Seminar for Successors were also held at Indonesia Shutchosho on February 10 with 10 participants and at the Mission Center in Colombia on February 16 and 17 with 56 participants.
Other countries with venues for the Overseas Seminar for Successors include Mexico, Singapore, Brazil, Peru, Argentina, South Korea, and India.