72,000 Followers Attend Spring Grand Service

The Shinbashira led the congregation in the Spring Grand Service on January 26 at the Main Sanctuary of Church Headquarters. The Service commemorated the lunar calendar date of January 26, 1887, the day that Oyasama withdrew from physical life. Carrying on the momentum that had maintained a lively atmosphere at Jiba throughout the anniversary year, the occasion–which came exactly one year after the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama–brought together some 72,000 followers, including many from overseas, who filled the Main Sanctuary and the Foundress’ Sanctuary, as well as much of the Sanctuary precincts. In his prayer to God the Parent, the Shinbashira made a resolve on behalf of all followers by saying: “All of us, including church head ministers and Yoboku, received Your boundless blessings as we advanced our steps toward the anniversary of Oyasama. Perceiving Your blessings as a source of joy, we are resolved to exert layer upon layer of efforts for spiritual growth in order to measure up to Your intention. We are further resolved to exert our utmost sincerity in sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and engaging in salvation work so that we may bring joy to the everliving Oyasama and widen the circle of joyousness step by step, starting with whatever is close at hand.” Following the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements, the Shinbashira took the podium to deliver the sermon (see pages 2 and 3 for full text). First, regarding the stance of mind that should be maintained in ordinary times after the special anniversary season, he stressed the importance of making the teachings the dependable guide for our thoughts and decisions without forgetting what is essential or getting swept along by the current of the times. He also said that it was local churches and Yoboku that should take the lead in spreading joyous living in wider and wider circles. He then encouraged the listeners to maintain and give full expression to the “mind of saving others”–which they had nurtured and cultivated through the anniversary-related activities–by proactively reaching out to those who do not have a dependable guide and sprinkling the fragrance of God’s intention on them. He requested them to enhance their performance of the service and their work to spread the teachings, for these tasks, he said, constitute the core of churches’ activities in ordinary times. To close his sermon, the Shinbashira asked all Yoboku to make continuous efforts to strengthen their faith and implement the teachings, adding, “In terms of building on the anniversary-related activities and further invigorating the Tenrikyo community in the years ahead, how we perform our tasks this year will be truly significant.”

Share this article:

Comments are closed.