The November Monthly Service was conducted on the 26th in the Main Sanctuary of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant.
At 9:00 A.M., the Shinbashira and the other Service performers left the Staff Quarters to pay respects at the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall before proceeding to the Main Sanctuary. At the Main Sanctuary, the Shinbashira read the Service prayer aloud. He first expressed appreciation for God’s profound parental love and then said: “Although the path has been extended not only in Japan but also to many other parts of the world, the great majority of the world’s population do not yet know of the true Parent. Reflecting upon the day of origin of the path, which was begun by Oyasama alone, those of us who have been drawn to the path ahead of them are determined to cultivate deep sincerity and to redouble our sincere efforts to convey and spread the path of universal salvation to the increasingly unstable world.”
Noting that only a month remained in the year of Oyasama’s 120th Anniversary, he also asked God the Parent for further blessings, saying: “We will do our best in the remaining days and follow through on the goal we set at the beginning of the year so that we will not have any regrets at the end of the year. Together with all present, I pray that You will accept our resolve and grant us blessings whereby the world will soon be reconstructed as the world of the Joyous Life that You so desire.”
The Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were then performed joyously. The congregation seated in the four worship halls as well as the Inner Courtyard and surrounding precincts joined in single-heartedly singing the songs for the Service. The spirited voices of the followers echoed in and around the precincts where colorful autumn leaves were glittering in the light rain.
After the Service, Honbu-in Yoshimi Maegawa, the bishop of the Mission Headquarters in South Korea, took the lectern to deliver the sermon. Reflecting upon the day of origin of the Teaching’s founding, he reminded the listeners, “The day of origin of this path shows us the significance of following the path in accord with God the Parent’s intention.” Referring to a precious lesson that he learned from the days when he was a junior staff member of Church Headquarters, he stressed the importance of listening to what Oyasama said and straightforwardly putting it into practice.
He then shared with the listeners his personal experiences of serving as the bishop of the Mission Headquarters in South Korea–the country where Tenrikyo’s overseas mission began. He went on to recount the footsteps of the followers in post-war South Korea, who had to face great difficulties in keeping their faith alive while undergoing hardships of persecution resulting from anti-Japanese feelings.
Rev. Maegawa also referred to the former Shinbashira’s visits to several districts in South Korea in August and September, saying: “That was the first time that the South Korea diocese was visited by the former Shinbashira. Now, the followers in South Korea are discussing how to give expression to their joy through future activities.”
He also expressed his concerns about the current world situation. “In the world today,” he said, “a large number of people are competing and fighting with one another and, in some cases, are even going to war due to differences in nationality, ethnicity, religion, language, and ways of thinking.” He concluded his remarks by saying: “Ladies and gentlemen, it is us whom God the Parent drew forth to the precious teachings. Only when we listen to the voice of God with the mind of simple openness and translate what God says into action can we spread the Joyous Life in wider and wider circles.”