February Monthly Service Performed

The February Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was solemnly conducted on the 26th with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant. Although it is usually still cold at this time of year, the occasion was blessed with fine weather, and the temperature reached a high of 16ºC (60.8ºF). In front of the Foundress’ Sanctuary, the plum blossoms gave off their sweet fragrance. In the Service prayer, the Shinbashira expressed his resolve on behalf of all followers, saying, “We are resolved to constantly base our daily lives on the standard of Oyasama’s Divine Model without being swept along by the worldly tendency to think that all is well if the present is well for oneself alone.” He went on to say, “We will exert our utmost efforts to perform the Service and administer the Sazuke exactly as You taught us, as well as to convey the intention of the Parent to whomever is close at hand, so that we can ensure that our churches–places where the Jiba is represented–fulfill their role as models of the Joyous Life and provide a dependable guide for people in the communities.” Following the performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements, Honbu-in Sumiharu Ueda took the podium to deliver the sermon. Touching upon the fact that this year marks the 170th year of the Teaching, he first looked back on the day of origin of the founding of the Teaching. He then said, “Whatever hardship may befall us, we can take it as guidance to help us grow spiritually and remain joyous and spirited as long as we have settled the intention of God the Parent in our minds.” After quoting from the Shinbashira’s sermon delivered at the Spring Grand Service in January, he also stressed: “We have just begun advancing toward the next milestone in our spiritual growth. It is important for us at this stage to make efforts to enhance our churches’ activities in ordinary times–namely, our performance of the service and our work to spread the teachings.” After introducing concrete examples of the activities of two churches that appeared in the monthly Michi no Tomo magazine, Rev. Ueda said: “It is essential for us to reach out to and sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings on our local communities. We must therefore grasp the nature of the needs of our communities and rack our brains to help address them.” In closing, he drew attention to the Head Ministers Seminar in Oyasato and the Seminar for Successors, both of which are to be held this year, and made their significance clear.

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