Between November 11 and 19, Joyous Life Lectures were held at four venues in three European countries. The lectures, which were sponsored by Tenrikyo Overseas Department, introduced the basic teachings of Tenrikyo, targeting those still new to Tenrikyo and its teachings.
Serving as the lecturer was Rev. Yoshihiko Shirokihara, head minister of Honshiba Grand Church. The lectures focused on some of the fundamentals of the teachings such as the Joyous Life, the truth of “a thing lent, a thing borrowed,” and the significance of the Service. Delivering the lectures in either English or French, Rev. Shirokihara also shared some of his personal experiences to illustrate the teachings. After each lecture, a question-and-answer session was held and the Sazuke was administered for those who requested it.
On the 11th, the first lecture was held at Yamana Madrid Mission Station in Madrid, Spain, and another lecture was held the following day at Galicia Mission Station in La Coru�a, located in the northwestern region of Spain. These two lectures drew a total of 21 participants.
At Galicia Mission Station, where followers had invited their friends and family, the lecture was attended by 16 people. During the lively question-and-answer session, the lecturer was asked questions such as, “What is God’s intention behind natural disasters?” and “What is God’s message to the victims?” Many continued asking Rev. Shirokihara questions in private and thanked him for his informative talk.
On the 18th, the lecture was held at Tenrikyo UK Centre in London, England, with 47 participants. Roughly half of the participants were newcomers who had been invited by Tenrikyo friends and acquaintances. After the lecture, participants posed questions pertaining to the Tenrikyo service as well as questions dealing with religious comparisons. One participant inquired whether the teachings of Tenrikyo stressed repentance in the way Christianity does.
On the 19th, the lecture changed venues to Tenrikyo Europe Centre in Antony, France, where 47 participants attended.
Looking back on the four lectures, Rev. Shirokihara said, “Since everyone listened to the lectures attentively and so many of them posed insightful questions, I felt that the time I spent with them was truly meaningful and worthwhile.” Regarding the Tenrikyo followers who also took part in the lectures, he mentioned, “The eagerness with which they sought to understand the teachings showed me just how connected they are with the path, regardless of how far away they are from Jiba.”