March Monthly Service Performed

The Shinbashira officiated at Church Headquarters’ March Monthly Service, held on the 26th in the Main Sanctuary.

The Shinbashira and the other Service performers, having paid respects at the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall, filed into the Main Sanctuary shortly after 9:00 a.m. The Shinbashira then proceeded to deliver the Service prayer, in which he stated: “In anticipation of conducting our activities relating to the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama, we will establish the groundwork for the mind by sweeping our heart, by cultivating strong sincerity that accords with God the Parent’s mind, and by strengthening our mutual connectedness and cooperation. We are thus committed to enhancing our capacities to build a new world and making genuine strides toward salvation.”

The congregation included many families with children who took advantage of their spring breaks to attend the Service. Also present were large numbers of young people participating in the Students’ Spring Pilgrimage to Jiba.

While the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements were being performed, the followers joined spiritedly in singing the accompanying songs.

This was followed by a sermon delivered by Honbu-in Iwane Matsui, who, basing himself on remarks made by the Shinbashira and by the former Shinbashira, shared his thoughts on the conviction of faith required for advancing the groundwork for spiritual construction before implementing the activities for the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama. He stressed that one cannot receive God the Parent’s workings in salvation work if one misunderstands the order of things indicated by the Divine Direction delivered on January 13, 1887, which taught: “Because Tsukihi [referring to God] exists, the world exists. . . .”

Honbu-in Matsui urged his listeners to settle in their heart the truth of a “thing lent, a thing borrowed”–that is, the truth that the human body is on loan from God–for this would allow anyone to perceive God’s intention in everything, regardless of what situation one might be in and what role one might have to play. “Let all of us,” he said, “grow spiritually to the point where we can accept whatever is happening as an expression of the Divine Truth.”

It is important, he said, to make one’s best efforts to fulfill one’s given role in order to enable the next stage to commence. He added that God the Parent and Oyasama give Yoboku (timber for constructing the Joyous Life) important tasks during appropriate seasons and that the approaching Women’s Association Convention represented one such season. He concluded his sermon by inviting all followers to work in a unity of mind to respond to the Parent’s intention and make repayment for the blessings received from God.

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