The 54th Meeting for Newly Appointed Church Head Ministers was held on May 27 and 28 in the Home of the Parent with a total of 505 participants. Attending this study session were 331 new head ministers–all of whom had been appointed between October last year and April this year–and 174 of their spouses, including 20 overseas participants.
On the first day, Education and Nurture Department Head Motoyoshi Tomimatsu delivered the first lecture. After commenting on the world religious situation, he said: “As leading Yoboku, whose task is to save all people in the world, you should put your utmost sincerity into performing the daily services and be spirited in saving others so that you may bring joy to the Parent. I would like you to take this mission to heart as you walk the path each day.”
In the second lecture, Honbu-in Takanori Nagao talked about the role of churches and the importance of nurturing Yoboku and raising successors to the path. Then, the participants were divided into small groups to hold a discussion session.
On the second day, the meeting ended with an address by Director-in-Chief of Religious Affairs Tomoo Itakura. He said: “During this season of preparing to meet the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama, you made a new start as church head ministers. If you take advantage of this opportunity to make your churches take further strides forward with a unity of mind exactly as taught, you will assuredly be shown God’s wondrous workings and be guided to a joyful state.”
Then, he told his listeners: “It is because our predecessors went through many years of hardship and sowed seeds of sincerity that the path has become what it is. Seeking not pleasure but hardship, we should accumulate the truth of effectiveness even more than our predecessors did so that we can hand down the joy of faith to the next generation.”
He stressed the importance of nurturing successors to the path, saying, “Since the truth of a church name is eternal, we should exert our utmost to nurture human resources, especially successors to the path.” He went on to say: “We can hardly attain the true joy of faith in one day. Don’t you think it is appropriate, therefore, for leading Yoboku such as yourselves to live each day by giving thought to how to nurture Yoboku?”
He also said: “You may be shown unexpected knots like illnesses or troubles. When encountering such knots, if you forget the mind that you had on the day of origin, you might become dissatisfied and easily be swayed by self-centered human thoughts. I think that such knots are shown out of the parental heart in order to let us reflect on our use of mind that is not single-hearted with God and settle our mind to follow the path. When encountering such knots, please turn your thoughts back to the Divine Model of Oyasama and seek the intention of the Parent in the Scriptures.”
He concluded his address by saying: “The responsibility of a church head minister is very heavy, but you can feel great pride and joy in carrying out your responsibility. I would like you to follow the path with confidence and pride.”