The April Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was solemnly conducted in the Main Sanctuary on the 26th with the Shinbashira presiding. A blue sky stretched above Oyasato, with the spring sun shining on fresh green leaves and fully blossoming azaleas adding bright colors.
In the service prayer, the Shinbashira expressed gratitude to God the Parent for the daily blessings we receive and stated our resolve to redouble our efforts to engage in hinokishin spiritedly in the weeks leading up to Tenrikyo Hinokishin Day’s 70th anniversary. He also asked for guidance that would enable us to have new buds of progress sprout in the path one after another in order to allow the truth of the Parent to shine forth. Furthermore, he said: “We firmly resolve to cultivate the true sincerity that accords with the truth of heaven and to respond to the urging of the Parent’s heart by putting efforts into the performance of the service and the administration of the Sazuke while perceiving the truth without being carried away by self-centered human thought.”
After the performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements, Honbu-in Tomoo Itakura delivered the sermon. He began by saying that in preparation for the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama, which will take place in four years, it is important for all Yoboku to settle firmly in their minds the import of the Kakisage. He stressed the importance of maintaining true sincerity each and every day, thus allowing for the joyous acceptance of whatever happens, as well as the need to become a person who convinces others of the truth of the teachings.
Also, referring to the Divine Model of Oyasama, he quoted a remark Oyasama made when the Nakayama family’s main house was dismantled in 1853: “Now I shall begin to build a new world. Celebrate the occasion with me!” Pointing out that it has been 150 years since Oyasama sent her daughter Kokan to the city of Naniwa to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings, he said: “With respect to building a new world, we Yoboku, who serve as Oyasama’s instruments, must make greater efforts to spread the teachings and engage in salvation work so we can teach people throughout the world that the true Parent of all humankind is Tsukihi, God the Parent. For it is by bringing ourselves into accord with the intention of the Parent that we bring happiness into our lives and actualize the world of the Joyous Life.” He urged all followers to work together as one in this regard.
Among the congregation at the Service on that day were many overseas followers who had stayed on after the Oyasama Birth Celebration Service as well as the Tenrikyo Women’s Association Convention, held earlier in the month. Simultaneous interpretation was provided in English, Korean, Taiwanese, Thai, Portuguese, and Spanish for a total of 240 people on that occasion.