The July 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.
Church Headquarters had announced that followers would be allowed to attend the Service in the East, West, and North Worship Halls from the July Monthly Service onward. Followers who had returned to Jiba to attend the Monthly Service sanitized their hands at the entrance and attended the Service in the Main Sanctuary while maintaining social distancing as instructed by Church Headquarters’ staff members.
In the Service prayer, Rev. Nakayama first expressed gratitude to God the Parent for creating the world and human beings and for having since been nurturing and guiding us with the complete providence, which includes the providence of fire, water, and wind, as well as with boundless parental love. After noting that the “Children’s Hinokishin for Summer Vacation” program will be held from July 26 to August 28, Rev. Nakayama said: “I would like to ask You to guide us in a way that will allow the Boys and Girls Association members, who are to carry on the path in the future, to receive Your blessings and thereby grow into fine Yoboku. I would also like to ask You to help us make sure that everything proceeds smoothly throughout the duration of these events.”
The prayer was followed by the joyous performance of the Kagura Service and the Dance with Hand Movements. After the Service performance, Honbu-in Shigehito Kimura took the podium to deliver the sermon.
In his sermon, Rev. Kimura spoke about the purpose of developing human resources in the path as well as how it should be carried out. Noting how a model of how to nurture Yoboku can be found in the Divine Model of Oyasama, he said, “Her model path of single-hearted salvation shows us not only how to resolve issues including illness or other problems but also how to nurture people until they are able to replace their minds and grow into those who can help save others.” He then said that, just as Oyasama took every possible means to wholeheartedly guide and instruct us through Her Divine Model, it is important for us to convey Her teachings to others by using different ways and means appropriate to the person, place, and time—such as by demonstrating how to follow the teachings through our own actions—as we guide and instruct people wholeheartedly, sincerely, and patiently.
Rev. Kimura then pointed out that it is God the Parent and Oyasama, rather than we human beings, who nurture human resources in this path. He said that, if God the Parent accepts our true sincerity as we wish for other people’s spiritual growth and understanding and take necessary actions to help them, God will work for us and enable them to achieve spiritual growth. “What is crucial is that those of us who are in a position to nurture others should firmly settle in our minds the spirit of single-heartedness with God and become closer to the parental love of Oyasama, who is singly intent on saving people, while maintaining the attitude of walking together with others,” said Rev. Kimura.
After noting how nurturing people cannot be done in one day as it takes time and effort, Rev. Kimura concluded his sermon by saying, “Let us first reflect on and assess our current states, and let us also strengthen our sense of mission to nurture Yoboku who shoulder the future of the path and advance forward one step at a time.”