The Shinbashira Addresses New Year’s Meeting

After the evening service on January 4, the annual New Year’s meeting took place at the Assembly Hall of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters. Attending the meeting were 644 officials of Church Headquarters, head ministers of directly supervised churches, superintendents of dioceses, members of the Assembly, and committee members of Tenrikyo associations.

The Shinbashira first extended his New Year’s greetings to the participants. Mentioning that it is going to be his fourth year as the Shinbashira, he then said how fast time had flown. After that he reviewed the seminars that had been held since the announcement of Instruction One at the Inauguration Service for the Shinbashira.

Looking back upon his Inauguration Service, he said: “Since I thought that it was necessary for all Yoboku to awaken to their role and start taking action, I announced the Instruction which emphasizes these points. In order to provide opportunities for Yoboku to be clearly aware of the spirit of Instruction One and help them grow spiritually themselves, the ‘District Lectures for Yoboku: Action and Progress’ were held. The Head Ministers Seminar in Oyasato was also held following the District Lectures to urge all the church head ministers to step up their implementation.”

The Shinbashira then commented: “After the 110th Anniversary of Oyasama, we celebrated Oyasama’s 200th Birthday in the 161st year of Tenrikyo. We have not had any big events for a while since then. I used to feel that the 110th Anniversary was held only recently, but now I feel that the next anniversary is drawing close.” He went on to say, “I believe that the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama ought to be held.” He then added, “More details are to be announced on appropriate occasions in the future.”

He continued: “The District Lectures and the Head Ministers Seminar were not specifically intended to prepare us for the next anniversary of Oyasama. Church Headquarters held those seminars to provide opportunities for each Yoboku and church head minister to reaffirm their determination to walk the eternal path and have faith that lasts generation upon generation for eternity.”

“What we must keep in mind,” he said, “is to achieve spiritual growth that accords with Oyasama’s intention, and at the same time we must fulfill our responsibility for nurturing others no matter what position or situation we are in.” He concluded his remarks by saying: “Directly supervised churches, dioceses, the Women’s Association, the Young Men’s Association, the Boys and Girls Association, and our various schools have their own roles to play. If they fulfill their roles, I believe that they will naturally be able to work in close cooperation with one another in a unity of mind.”

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