Honored by the presence of the Shinbashira, the Osaka Diocese performed the service on April 9 to commemorate its founding anniversary, drawing about 2,500 followers, including the diocese’s officials, church head ministers, and Yoboku (“timber” for constructing the Joyous Life). Following the service, the diocese also held a ceremony in honor of the opening of the new Osaka Missionary House.
The commemorative service began at 10:00 a.m., when the Shinbashira led the congregation in worship, followed by a service prayer delivered by Diocese Superintendent Kyoichi Tanabe. The Shinbashira then took the podium to address the followers.
He began by reminding the followers that his intention in announcing Instruction One was to encourage all Yoboku to maintain a clear awareness of being Yoboku and allow that awareness to guide their behavior. He commented that, though many seem to interpret world salvation as pertaining only to the overseas mission, the term “world” includes one’s own surroundings as well. Even within Osaka Prefecture, he said, there are more people who do not know the teachings than those who do. Sharing the teachings with those people, he said, should not be neglected inasmuch as God the Parent’s intention is to “save all humankind.” He encouraged the listeners to start with whoever is close at hand.
Our aim, continued the Shinbashira, is to construct the world of the Joyous Life—an undertaking that requires that God the Parent’s teachings be understood. Emphasizing the importance of relating to whatever is happening by basing oneself on the teachings, he stated that a part of the mission entrusted to those who were drawn forth to the path a step before others is to study the teachings each day and impart to others the way of thinking and living set forth in the teachings. “Yoboku are Oyasama’s instruments,” he said, “whose duty is to spread God the Parent’s teachings ever more widely by conveying them to the people of the world. . . . The truth of the Sazuke is bestowed as the truth of effectiveness in the cause of single-hearted salvation. This means that the truth of the Sazuke has been provided to help us spread the teachings.”
Concerning a follow-up to the “District Lectures for Yoboku: Action and Progress,” the Shinbashira reiterated that what Yoboku ought to do this year is actually to implement the point made in the “District Lectures” by doing whatever they can through their own capacities. “Some Yoboku,” he said, “are working exclusively for the path. Many others, however, have a job in society at large. Yet, one can play one’s role as Yoboku under any circumstances so long as one has a willingness to do so.” He concluded his remarks by asking the listeners to carry out their church activities in a lively manner so that the diocese as a whole might become lively.
The service was then performed, followed by the opening ceremony for the Osaka Missionary House, whereafter diocese officials showed the Shinbashira around.