The June Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was solemnly conducted on the 26th at the Main Sanctuary with the Shinbashira presiding. The day was hot and humid with the temperature rising to 29.0ºC (84.2ºF) at 66% humidity.
In the Service prayer, the Shinbashira touched upon the Head Ministers Seminar in Oyasato–a three-day program intended to help enrich the substance of churches, on which people should be able to depend for appropriate care and guidance–the first session of which was to begin later that day. He said, “I hope that this program will help head ministers reaffirm their role and conduct ever more vigorous church activities.” He went on to pray, “Please continue to use us as Your instruments so that we may reconstruct the world–in which many people have difficulty in finding a way out of the morass of confusion–into a world of joy and brightness even a day sooner.”
The Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were then joyously performed. This was followed by the sermon delivered by Honbu-in Ikuhiro Masui. Quoting the beginning of The Doctrine of Tenrikyo and The Life of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo, he first reflected upon the day of origin of the founding of the Teaching. He then introduced a series of anecdotes describing how Oyasama guided people step by step with wondrous workings so that they could understand the truth of God the Parent. He emphasized, “For those of us who have been drawn to the path and taught the teachings of the Parent, conveying the teachings not only to wider society but also to our children and succeeding generations is nothing less than a key part of following the Divine Model of Oyasama.”
Rev. Masui thus pointed out the importance of the “vertical mission”–that is, the task of handing down the teachings of Oyasama and the faith of the first generation to future generations. He also stressed that it is indispensable to unite the efforts of the three associations–the Women’s Association, the Young Men’s Association, and the Boys and Girls Association–because “our efforts to impart the joy of faith should not be limited to the members of the Boys and Girls Association but extended to older generations.”
Referring to upcoming events to take place in the following months such as the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba, the High School Division of the Students Training Course, and the Seminar for Successors, Rev. Masui said that we were given an opportune season to focus increased attention on the vertical mission as well as the horizontal mission. He closed the sermon by calling upon the listeners to make daily efforts to convey the teachings to the following generation without fail.