The November Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was conducted on the 26th in its Main Sanctuary with the Shinbashira presiding as chief officiant. The occasion was blessed with fine weather, with the temperature reaching 10ºC (50ºF) by the time the Service began.
In the Service prayer, the Shinbashira expressed resolve on behalf of all followers, saying: “We Service performers as well as church head ministers and Yoboku are resolved to exert our utmost sincerity in conveying the intention of the true Parent to those who, without any knowledge of the Parent of Origin, are misusing the freedom of the mind and suffering from illness and trouble. In the hope that they may join us in walking on the path of single-hearted salvation laid by Oyasama, we are resolved to follow the path of the Divine Model in unity of mind and devote ourselves to sprinkling the fragrance of the teachings and engaging in salvation work in high spirits.”
Following the performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements, Honbu-in Hidekazu Kita took the podium to deliver the sermon. He first said that this year had been intended for us to conduct our activities of ordinary times following our special, committed drives associated with the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama. Then he talked about Yoboku’s daily behavior and way of talking, which would become the basis for our activities of ordinary times. He said: “Those who are following the path should study the teachings as often as possible without missing any opportunity. We are apt to get self-serving ideas into our heads, which could interfere with our faith. Therefore, it is important to always inquire into the origin and put whatever we learn into practice.” Drawing on his experience working at the Education and Nurture Department, Rev. Kita further said: “One of the great things about the teachings of the path is the fact that they are the teachings of the kana syllabary, which is meant to imply that the teachings are easy for anyone to understand. . . . Yet beyond understanding the teachings, we must implement them. Only then can we embody the teachings. What we embody will become the treasure of the mind, which will not wear out even if we use it. Rather, the more we use it, the more it will enhance its value. Eventually, it will become the treasure that will protect us for a lifetime. . . . We can make the most of the treasure only in the course of our daily lives. There is no point if there is a discrepancy between our faith and daily lives.” He then quoted the following words from the Shinbashira’s sermon at this year’s Spring Grand Service: “In Anecdotes of Oyasama, we can find many exemplary models of how we should lead our daily lives as Yoboku.” Rev. Kita introduced three anecdotes and concretely explained how we should have them serve as exemplary models to us as we live our daily lives. He went on to emphasize the importance of building virtue in our daily lives and said, “If we put time and effort into building virtue, our cumulative effort, when it reaches a certain point, will allow wondrous and unlimited workings to be shown to us as we strive to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings and engage in salvation work.” He closed the sermon by saying: “Let us make the joy of receiving the wondrous and unlimited workings the driving force and enrich our daily activities–performing the service and spreading the teachings.”