Interdisciplinary Course on Vertical Mission, which used to be called Vertical Mission Institute, was reorganized at the Home of the Parent by the Boys and Girls Association Headquarters with the aim of understanding the dramatically changing social environment in which children live and discovering ways to nurture the Boys and Girls Association members who will become Yoboku shouldering the responsibilities for the path in the future. The course consists of two parts. The first part of the course was held from November 26 to 30, attracting 220 participants. The second part will be offered from January 27 through 30. The course had previously been held nine times from 1969 through 1991 under the name of Vertical Mission Institute.
On the afternoon of the 26th, the opening ceremony for the course was conducted at Moya 38. After the ceremony, the participants joined together in reading aloud the second Shinbashira’s address delivered at the first Boys and Girls Association Leaders Meeting in October 1967. From the next day on, ten lectures and workshops on various subjects were held mainly at the lecture hall in the Oyasato-yakata’s East Right Wing 1. Four Honbu-in, including Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi, delivered lectures on how to nurture children based on the teachings. Six leading specialists, including doctors and psychotherapists, gave lectures on children’s mentality and behavior and methods to nurture children.
Sharing his faith experience in his youth and giving his insight into today’s social problems, Rev. Iburi spoke on the process of making spiritual growth in his lecture entitled “What is a Yoboku who can take over the responsibilities for the path?” He said: “The starting point of faith is to feel gratitude for the blessings of God the Parent. Even a child born into a religious environment stands at the same starting point. I believe that people set off on their journeys of faith when they decide to open their hearts to God the Parent and follow the path always veering toward the intention of God the Parent. The process of taking those footsteps is the path to spiritual maturity.” Then he said: “Today, people are turning aside from what the Parent desires and veering away from the intention of the Parent. What does the Parent think of such people? Yoboku ought to ponder over this question.”
He went on to say: “Two things from the Divine Model of Oyasama could be cited as barometers of spiritual maturity. The first is how much joy one brings others, and the second is how sincere one is about saving others. The barometer of spiritual maturity is not how old you are but how long you have followed the path with the true sincerity.” He concluded his lecture by saying, “All of us Yoboku can make steady progress in spiritual growth by practicing what Oyasama taught us.”