Following Church Headquarters’ evening service on January 4, about 700 Church Headquarters’ officials, head ministers of directly supervised churches, superintendents of dioceses, members of the Assembly, and committee members of Tenrikyo associations gathered in the Assembly Hall to attend the annual New Year’s meeting.
To commence the meeting, Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi offered greetings to the Shinbashira on behalf of all who were present. He also stated their resolution to follow the spirit of Instruction One and to dedicate the full measure of their sincerity in the cause of world salvation so as to meet the expectations of God the Parent and Oyasama. The Shinbashira then delivered his New Year’s address. He began by sharing his reflections on the past year, during which Tenrikyo celebrated the 200th birthday of Oyasama and observed his inauguration as the Shinbashira. After reading Instruction One aloud, the Shinbashira said: “The former Shinbashira, during his term of office, often spoke on the subject of ‘the enrichment of church substance.’ Please recall that substance of a church can be enriched only when the church is pervaded by an atmosphere that enables it to serve its community as a model of the Joyous Life. That atmosphere is ultimately created by the people who belong to the church rather than by fancy buildings or spacious premises. Bearing that in mind, I think we can understand that priority must be given to the way we Yoboku lead our lives and the way we use our minds. While the number of Yoboku is rather large, it is essential that each Yoboku be fully aware of the duties that come with that position and live in a way that accords with the mind of God the Parent and Oyasama. In fact, the content of Instruction One was motivated by my desire to see this accomplished.”
In closing, he said: “This year, I hope that each and every one of us will reflect once again on whether the way we are following the path actually measures up to the intention of God the Parent and Oyasama. As people who have faith in this path, we should make an effort, first and foremost, to take at least one step forward in our spiritual growth and to keep our minds focused on living in a way that conforms to the divine intention.”