The September Monthly Service of Tenrikyo Church Headquarters was performed on the 26th in the Main Sanctuary, with Successor-Designate Daisuke Nakayama serving as chief officiant on behalf of the Shinbashira.
As a measure to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, Church Headquarters has been urging general followers to refrain from attending the Monthly Service. Meanwhile, Church Headquarters has arranged for all church head ministers to attend the Monthly Service or the Grand Service at the Main Sanctuary at least once by the end of this year. The September Monthly Service was attended by the heads of directly supervised churches and dioceses along with a limited number of head ministers from other designated churches.
In the Service prayer, Rev. Nakayama expressed gratitude to God the Parent for becoming openly revealed through Oyasama as the Shrine, laying the path of single-hearted salvation, and thereby guiding us toward the Joyous Life with deep parental love. Continuing, he said: “Assembled before You are the Service performers and other designated followers who are attending the Service on behalf of all other followers. I ask that You, God the Parent, become spirited by looking upon the way they express their gratitude for Your daily blessings and pray for a settling to the world as they attend the Service in unity of mind. Despite the ongoing uncertainty affecting the entire world as well as the prolonged restrictions on our activities, all of us followers will ponder over the truth of arising occurrences in our lives, firmly settle the mind in true sincerity, pursue a deeper understanding of the teachings, and implement the Divine Model of Oyasama while making efforts to nurture the younger generation of the path.”
The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. After the Service performance, Honbu-in Umeo Izutsu took the podium to deliver the sermon.
Speaking about the current situation of the coronavirus pandemic, Rev. Izutsu said, “I believe that God the Parent is urging all people in the world to awaken to the true way of living as human beings and thereby help and support one another as brothers and sisters with a joyous mind.” He then urged the followers to take the lead in implementing the Joyous Life in a way that will be reflected in the wider world.
Rev. Izutsu went on to say that hinokishin is a form of making repayment for the divine blessings that anyone can engage in by him or herself even during the pandemic. He then noted that it is fundamental for followers of the faith to become aware of the boundless blessings of God the Parent and the parental love of Oyasama as they move forward on the path of making repayment.
Toward the end of his sermon, Rev. Izutsu shared his hope that the current great knot will allow a bud to sprout in a way that will help our minds become brightened and spirited. He concluded his sermon by saying, “While looking forward to the future path, let us continue to work together in following the path spiritedly in unity of mind as we strive to make progress in our spiritual growth.”