In Anticipation of the “Three Years, One Thousand Days” Season Leading Up to the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama
In October 2016—when the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama was conducted—a meeting was held for heads of directly supervised churches and dioceses to discuss the future of the path. Regarding the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama as the next milestone, the participants in the meeting were called on to carry out activities with a shared sense of purpose over the next ten years. In particular, we decided to make a fresh start by encouraging reflection on the way we followed the path and by promoting our basic practices of faith such as making repayment on a daily basis for the blessings we received.
It has been four years since that time. We have six years left before the next milestone. This means that the “three years, one thousand days” season will begin in three years. Today’s meeting was originally planned to be held in April to serve as a reminder of that, so that all of us could begin preparations to enable all followers of the path to rise up together in three years. My hope was that the entire Tenrikyo community would embark on the pre-anniversary season with a shared understanding.
In the concluding year of the “three years, one thousand days” season that led up to the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama, many directly supervised churches and church affiliation–based groups added liveliness and momentum to the pre-anniversary activities by taking it upon themselves to strive to bring first-timers to the Besseki lectures, thereby creating a positive sense of competition. So long as we set clear goals and make a commitment to achieve them, we will be blessed with tangible results.
If we build and maintain a similar level of momentum and carry out our activities in a proactive and spirited manner throughout the “three years, one thousand days” season, we can achieve tremendous results that will serve as a springboard for the path to grow vigorously. Besides, if we can maintain the momentum for three years instead of one, it gives the kind of Yoboku who might be initially hesitant to participate more of a chance to join in the activities of the season and grow spiritually with other Yoboku.
To create such momentum, it is a prerequisite that all of us here have a strong sense of purpose and convey Oyasama’s intention in withdrawing from physical life clearly to others as we make preparations in advance for spirited pre-anniversary activities.
This meeting had to be postponed from April due to the coronavirus pandemic. As the situation became worse and worse, I came to realize that we could not respond to the urging of God unless we took this knot into consideration when we pondered and decided what course of action to take. That is why the meeting is being held today.
In order for us to come closer to the realization of the Joyous Life so desired by God the Parent, we must lay a firm foundation that will allow the younger generation of the path to follow the path of single-hearted salvation with a strong sense of pride and confidence. The roles and responsibilities that we must fulfill are therefore huge as we cannot afford to postpone addressing the downward trend. In this regard, I would like to ask for your understanding and cooperation in preparing for making a fresh start.