After the evening service on January 4, the annual New Year’s meeting took place at the Assembly Hall of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters. Attending the meeting were 658 officials of Church Headquarters, head ministers of directly supervised churches, superintendents of dioceses, members of the Assembly, committee members of Tenrikyo associations, and heads of Tenrikyo facilities.
The Shinbashira first offered his New Year’s greetings to the participants. He then mentioned that he had asked the participants at last year’s meeting to enrich their activities in ordinary times. He also said he had expressed his wish for those belonging to a church to carry out their church’s mission as well as to bring their church into accord with God the Parent’s intention. Looking back upon the past year, he stated, “We all tried to take a new step from the special anniversary season and promoted our regular activities with our minds refreshed.” Referring to the Head Ministers Seminar in Oyasato, the Seminar for Successors, and the campaign to hand-deliver Tenri Jiho newspaper, he continued: “We have made a sincere effort to nurture all Yoboku in order to enable them to implement the teachings of the Joyous Life in their daily lives. We also have encouraged all church head ministers to perform their tasks diligently.” He added, “It seems to me that many of those who participated in the Seminar for Successors have come to understand what they could not understand before and have learned what they should do in their lives.” He went on to say, “Unless you strive to bring those participants to your church and provide them with work, you will never be able to make any change at all.” He thus emphasized the importance of inviting young people including participants in the Seminar for Successors to church activities as well as association activities and building close ties with them. He concluded his address by saying, “In the present state of the world, there might be some difficulties that hinder your efforts to nurture those belonging to churches, but I would like to request all of you to fulfill the duties that you have been given through your positions.”