From July 30 to 31, Boys and Girls Association held the first session of the Boys and Girls Hinokishin Corps Training Course in the Home of the Parent, which was attended by 163 people from 17 chapters. After being canceled for two years in a row due to COVID-19, the hinokishin corps was held in four sessions this year.
At 9:00 a.m. on July 30, corps members from various directly supervised churches and dioceses including the U.S. mainland gathered at Moya 38. During the opening ceremony, Boys and Girls Association Chairperson Isaku Nishida read a message from the Shinbashira, who serves as the association president. Then Chairperson Nishida delivered an address, in which he told the members to maintain a sense of gratitude to God the Parent and those in their churches and families who gave them a chance to join the corps as well as to their fellow members. After that, they were divided into groups, and their group counselors took them to the Main Sanctuary, the Foundress’ Sanctuary, the Memorial Hall, and the historical buildings.
On the next day, after performing the service at the Main Sanctuary, the members in groups went to the designated hinokishin sites. Under the blazing sun, they worked up a good sweat sweeping steps outside the Worship Halls and the Foundress’ Sanctuary, cleaning duckboards placed in the areas where worshipers remove their shoes, and pulling weeds in front of the East Center Wing of the Oyasato-yakata building-complex.
In the closing ceremony, Rev. Fumio Yamase, head of the Boys and Girls Hinokishin Corps Headquarters Office, addressed the members. Mentioning that junior high school age members are old enough to take care of younger children, he said: “I would like you to become the sort of member who can serve as a model for younger children. To this end, I hope that you keep in mind the Boys and Girls Hinokishin Corps’ motto and engage in hinokishin activities and association activities in your dioceses and districts.”
The second session of the training course was held from August 13 to 14, the third session from August 20 to 21, and the fourth session from August 27 to 28.