July Monthly Service Joyously Performed

The July Monthly Service of Church Headquarters was joyously performed on the 26th at the Main Sanctuary with the Shinbashira presiding.

In the service prayer, the Shinbashira first expressed his gratitude for the profound blessings of God the Parent, who laid the ultimate path by taking Oyasama as the Shrine. He then said, “We Service performers will, from now, conduct the July Monthly Service by performing the Kagura and the Teodori joyfully in high spirits together with the great many children of the path who have assembled before You while letting their minds melt into the mind of the Parent.”

Concerning the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba, which was to commence on that day, he said: “I pray that You watch over the great number of children who have returned to Jiba with high expectations amid this hot weather. I also pray that, through Your guidance, everything will proceed as scheduled and the children will bask in Your blessings and develop their merit to the fullest extent so that they may grow up in accord with Your intention.”

He went on to say: “Perceiving the minds of those who are seeking after the true path amid the present state of affairs in the world, all of us, including church head ministers and Yoboku, have strengthened our resolution to advance steadily along the path of constructing the Joyous World by keenly realizing that our duty is to convey the teachings of the true path, the truth of our real Parent, which will bring peace to the world.” He concluded the prayer by asking God the Parent for further blessings, saying, “Together with all present, I sincerely pray that You, out of Your warm parental heart, will use us for accelerating the construction of the world and sweep away evils in this world so that we may strengthen our bonds as brothers and sisters and savor the path filled with joy even a day earlier.”

The Service—the Kagura and Teodori—was then performed around the Kanrodai. Among the large number of worshipers attending the Service were many children who had come for the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba.

Following the Service, Honbu-in Motoo Matsuda took the podium to deliver the sermon. He started his sermon by saying, “The most important thing to do in our faith is to implement the teachings and to carry out the intention of the Parent.” He thus later said, “You will be a true follower of Tenrikyo if you walk the path of world salvation and the salvation of others.” Explaining the hand movement for “tasuke” (salvation), he went on to say: “Your selfish mind is to be reborn as parental love based on single-heartedness with God and single-hearted salvation. The mind thereby evolves from a mind that wishes only for the self to be saved to the mind that seeks to save others. In this manner, you are able to sweep away the dust of mind, your mind will be purified, and you will be saved.”

Referring to the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba, he said, “The vertical mission is, needless to say, actually considered salvation work, and in a sense it is the primary salvation activity.” He emphasized the great importance of engaging in the vertical mission and nurturing the successors to the path, saying, “It will require hard work to help children grow until they can not only convey the teachings to others but also become Yoboku who strive toward world salvation.”

He went on to say: “We are alive! When one comes to realize that one is living in the blessings in whatever situation, there can be no greater joy. Therein lies exuberant joy. I believe that faith is an expression of exuberance, too. Without exuberance it cannot be called true faith.” He concluded the sermon by sharing his motto, saying: “In your heart, have gratitude, and then joy. Have a smile on your face and say, ‘thank you.’ Put that into action as hinokishin.”

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