Boys and Girls Association
On January 27, Tenrikyo Boys and Girls Association held its leaders’ first meeting of the year in Dining Hall 2, drawing 1,653 participants—including heads of directly supervised chapters and diocese chapters as well as members of the nurturing committees of those chapters.
This year, the association will be promoting the same guidelines for association activities as last year: “Let’s implement the Joyous Life each day and convey to children the joy it brings.” Along with the guidelines, four concrete goals for association activities were announced. The first three concrete goals are the same as last year: (1) Having all chapters conduct children’s sleepovers and get-togethers at their churches; (2) Conducting hinokishin activities in districts and encouraging participation by whole families; (3) Redoubling efforts to nurture members in junior high school—conducting and enhancing the “Workshop for Children of the Path” in directly supervised chapters and the “Workshop for Association Members in Junior High School” in diocese chapters. The fourth concrete goal was newly adopted this year, namely: (4) Holding various seminars and workshops to develop human resources who will organize and conduct association activities.
The meeting began with an address by Director-in-Chief of Religious Affairs Yoichiro Miyamori. Touching on the association’s activity guidelines and concrete goals for association activities, Director-in-Chief Miyamori spoke about the frame of mind that adult leaders should be in as they promote the “vertical mission.” He said that the Joyous Life refers to a way of living that is filled with gratitude for God the Parent’s blessings and that focuses on making repayment for those blessings. Quoting a Divine Direction that reads, “If you understand the teachings theoretically but do not understand the truth behind whatever presents itself each day, this will not do, will not do, will not do” (Osashizu, April 17, 1889), he said that what is important is how we live moment to moment in our daily life, not just at times when things are going well for ourselves. He also said that we should make it a point to implement the Joyous Life “each day,” as the activity guidelines have it, and that we should always be grateful for God’s blessings under any circumstances and set an example of living in gratitude for our family, our neighbors, and others, including children. He asked the participants to carry out association activities this year once again in a way that centers on these endeavors.
Director-in-Chief Miyamori went on to say: “Depending on the environment that we provide for children, they will grow differently. Because our attitude and state of mind will rub off on them, we must convey the teachings of Oyasama straightforwardly, try to nurture them in unity of mind, and show our sense of joy and spiritedness. These efforts are always crucial with regard to any aspect of our life of faith.”
Chairperson Chikara Iburi then took the podium to announce the activity guidelines for this year. He said, “Those of us who are adult leaders should always be mindful of implementing the Joyous Life, tell children about the joy it brings, and reflect that joy to them through our own attitude.”
He then explained the concrete goals for this year. He said that we should provide association members with such opportunities as children’s sleepovers and get-togethers at churches and hinokishin activities in regional districts so that they can learn and implement the teachings. He also said that we should try to reach out to association members and their parents and invite them to those activities. “I very much hope that we will proactively conduct regular activities this year as well so that we may guide and nurture all association members, without exception, into becoming genuine Yoboku,” he said.
Moreover, referring to the new concrete goal, “Holding various seminars and workshops to develop human resources who will organize and conduct association activities,” Chairperson Iburi said, “It is indispensable for us to develop human resources who will carry forward the association activities at each chapter so that we can pass on to younger generations our enthusiasm and sense of mission regarding nurturing association members.” He encouraged the directly supervised chapters to take advantage of various workshops and seminars organized by the association headquarters and also to be more proactive in organizing their own workshops and seminars in this regard.
Finally, regarding the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba for 2019 (Tenrikyo 182), Chairperson Iburi said that the Children’s Pilgrimage affords us an important opportunity to nurture children, who are precious gifts for all of us human beings. “With a firm conviction that the Children’s Pilgrimage is such an important occasion,” he said, “I hope you will bring back as many children as possible to Jiba so that we can impart the joy of returning to Jiba.”
On January 27 and 28, Tenrikyo Women’s Association held a seminar for the chairwomen of directly supervised chapters and diocese chapters at Moya 38 with an attendance of 251 people.
The association announced that it will continue to promote its slogan for spiritual maturity:
Let’s follow the Divine Model and become the foundation for the Joyous Life.
The activity guidelines are also the same as last year:
Let’s grow spiritually into true Yoboku with our sights set on making repayment for the blessings we receive.
Let’s study the teachings and make them our own.
Let’s nurture those close to us into true Yoboku.
Let’s sprinkle the fragrance and help save others, aiming for a million members.
In the seminar, Association President Harue Nakayama addressed the participants, drawing on the Divine Direction delivered on January 4 (by the Gregorian calendar), 1887—when Oyasama’s physical condition became critical.
After describing Oyasama’s condition as a manifestation of God’s strong concern and regret, she emphasized that, no matter what serious illnesses or troubles we encounter, we must remember God’s parental love, which is behind them all—the parental love that is constant and solely intent on single-hearted salvation. She then explained how we should live each day as Yoboku to respond to the parental love and stressed the significance of the activity guidelines. “I believe that we should lead our lives with a deep feeling of gratitude to God the Parent and Oyasama and keep our thoughts and actions focused on making repayment for the blessings we receive,” she said.
The president concluded her address by asking those present to make every effort to encourage as many people as possible to participate in the pep rally for the 110th anniversary of the Women’s Association—which will be held regionally this year—and next year’s 102nd convention commemorating the 110th anniversary as the association continues to aim for a million members.
During the seminar, the participants also listened to lectures and held group discussions.
The association is scheduled to hold various events and activities this year such as the following: The 101st Women’s Association Convention will be held in the Inner Courtyard of Church Headquarters on April 19. On the afternoon of that day, lectures will be held as a commemorative event at six locations in the Home of the Parent. The regionally held pep rally will take place between May and September. On November 3, furthermore, the 29th Young Women’s Convention will be held in the Inner Courtyard of Church Headquarters. Other activities include regular events such as the Lecture for Mothers and various seminars.
Young Men’s Association
On January 25, Tenrikyo Young Men’s Association held its monthly meeting at Yoki Hall. There were about 400 attendees, including chapter chairmen from directly supervised churches and dioceses as well as members of the steering committee.
Last year marked the 100th anniversary of Tenrikyo Young Men’s Association, a milestone its members had regarded as a season for a “return to one, a new beginning.” Up until the anniversary convention day, association members had engaged in missionary work and sought the path to deepen their faith while reflecting upon the spirit contained in the day of origin of its founding. This year, the association is promoting new guidelines: “Take on challenges for world salvation.”
At the meeting, Association President Daisuke Nakayama took the podium to address the participants. He began by describing his vision of the future of the association after its association’s 100th anniversary. He said, “In ten years’ time, Arakitoryo, pioneers of the path, will each be conveying the teachings of Oyasama and helping save the minds of people throughout the world . . . while addressing social problems in their countries and communities.” He urged the participants, who are in leadership positions, to take on world salvation in their own ways.
Furthermore, President Nakayama explained the new guidelines, “Take on challenges for world salvation,” by defining “world” as everyone and everything around us and “salvation” as conveying the teachings of Oyasama to those who are suffering and thereby saving their mind. He then pointed out three elements necessary for undertaking the challenges of world salvation: “to realize our virtues and do what we can to engage in salvation work while respecting one another,” “to pay close attention to social problems,” and “to translate the teachings into contemporary language.” He went on to state that the association would provide all sorts of information at monthly meetings and through an “online salon,” a closed community on the Internet, which the association will newly start this year.
Lastly, President Nakayama emphasized the importance of us each changing our way of thinking. He said that we can open up a bright future by building on the foundation laid by our predecessors. He then concluded, “Together with all of you, I would like to develop our association into a new Young Men’s Association where our members will always be agog with excitement at what lies in store for the days ahead.”
Association Chairman Yoshihito Ando then explained that the Young Men’s Association’s “online salon” would be set up as a Facebook group. This project will initially be targeted only at chapter chairmen from directly supervised churches and dioceses, overseas chapter chairmen, and members of the steering committee. The association will regularly introduce activities conducted in chapters and dioceses as well as deliver learning content related to the Scriptures and the teachings.
Chairman Ando concluded by saying: “Let those of us who are leaders take the initiative, convey our spiritedness to other members, and enjoy ourselves spontaneously. Let us embark on the challenges of world salvation together.”
The major activities for this year will include the 95th convention to be held on October 27 in the Inner Courtyard of Church Headquarters. Also, the Oyasato Construction Young Men’s Association Hinokishin Corps will conduct the monthly 24-day corps and 3-day corps. The 10th International Hinokishin Corps will be formed in July.