The Shinbashira Delivers New Year’s Address

The Shinbashira, Zenji Nakayama, delivered his New Year’s address at the New Year’s meeting of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters conducted in the Assembly Hall following the evening service on January 4. The meeting was attended by 705 participants, including resident 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 opened his New Year’s address by offering his New Year’s greetings and expressing his appreciation to all for their efforts in the previous year. Then he said, “Looking back on last year, I think I have been getting better little by little.”

Taking an honest look at the current situation of the path, he went on to say: “As we follow the path and nurture those who are following the path after us, I think we may be forgetting many of the basics of our faith, or the basics of how to follow the path. It seems to me that we find ourselves in the present situation surrounding the path as a result of having been gradually swept along while thinking that we are still all right. . . . The former Shinbashira often said in his New Year’s Address, in effect, ʻI would like us to make progress from last year in spiritual growth, however small it is.’ This refers to an important aspect of our faith. I want to ask you, therefore, to ensure that you are not just going through the motions or letting yourself be swept along as you perform your tasks.”

Prior to the Shinbashira’s address, Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Zensuke Nakata offered New Year’s greetings to him on behalf of the congregation.

He said that, in order to advance even a step further along the path of spiritual growth in our given situation during last year, we earnestly followed the path by performing the tasks of the path in our respective roles and positions, while reflecting upon God the Parent’s intention and seeking the guidance of the everliving Oyasama.

Rev. Nakata then expressed the resolve of all followers by saying, “We will make concerted efforts in unity of mind to carry out our tasks throughout this year in the hope of receiving God the Parent’s blessings.”

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