Pep Rally for the “Three Years, One Thousand Days” Period Toward the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama

On October 27, the day after the Autumn Grand Service, the “Pep Rally for the ‘Three Years, One Thousand Days’ Period Toward the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama” was held at Dining Hall 2 in the presence of the Shinbashira and his wife, Harue, and Successor-Designate Daisuke Nakayama and his wife, Nobue. The event was attended by a total of 589 people, including Honbu-in (Church Headquarters’ executive officials), Honbu Jun’in (Church Headquarters’ senior officials), head ministers and their spouses of directly supervised churches, heads of dioceses, and heads of Church Headquarters’ overseas mission facilities.

The pep rally was intended as an opportunity for followers who are in leading positions of the path to come together and pledge to fulfill their duties at the forefront of the “three years, one thousand days” activities for the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama. After the participants prayed to God the Parent, Oyasama, and the Mitama-sama, Director-in-Chief of Religious Affairs Yoichiro Miyamori read aloud Instruction Four, which had been announced the day before.

Rev. Miyamori then delivered an address. He noted that, by announcing Instruction Four at the Autumn Grand Service, the Shinbashira explained the significance of the pre-anniversary activities and offered guidelines on how to follow the path during the lead-up to the anniversary. He then quoted an Ofudesaki verse: “Ponder and come follow Me with firm resolve. There is a path of hope in the future” (V:24).

Rev. Miyamori explained how this verse can apply to us at the present time. He first pointed to the word “ponder” and spoke about the need to ponder the meaning of embarking on the pre-anniversary activities as well as the roles of the followers in the leading positions. He then said, “We should take the initiative to move forward on the path so as to allow each and every Yoboku to raise his or her awareness of being Oyasama’s instrument and thereby make progress in spiritual growth.”

Rev. Miyamori went on to refer to the phrase “with firm resolve” to emphasize how we should strive to make decisive progress in our spiritual growth with our sights set on a clear goal. “We would like to begin our pre-anniversary activities with firm resolve so as to allow ourselves to unite our minds, to make as much progress as possible on our journey of spiritual growth, and to maintain our focus and determination during the ‘three years, one thousand days’ period.”

As for the phrase “come follow Me,” Rev. Miyamori said, “As a matter of course, it is Oyasama’s Divine Model that we must follow.” He then noted that yearning for Jiba, bringing ourselves into complete accord with the intention of God the Parent, and engaging in single-hearted salvation day after day is the way to respond to the Parent’s heart, which is described in an Ofudesaki verse that says, “Day after day, the concern of the Parent is only about the means to save you” (XIV:35).

Toward the end of his address, Rev. Miyamori said, “Let us ponder deeply, align the orientation of our minds, and settle our minds in ways that will allow us to make the most of this season and thereby make the three-year pre-anniversary period meaningful as we strive to walk the path of Oyasama’s Divine Model and of single-hearted salvation during the ‘three years, one thousand days’ period.” Further, he said: “Our duty is to build up the momentum of salvation work by conveying the significance and spirit of conducting the pre-anniversary activities as contained in Instruction Four. Let those of us who are assembled here today wholeheartedly devote ourselves to this cause in the hope that all Yoboku in the path—including church head ministers, people around us, and ourselves—will be able to spend the next three years in ways that will allow them to make progress in spiritual growth.”

Following the address, Rev. Michiteru Suzuki, who is head minister of Gakuto Grand Church, made a pledge to the Shinbashira on behalf of all the participants. “We will exert our utmost in engaging in single-hearted salvation during the ‘three years, one thousand days’ period so as to be able to show progress in our spiritual growth and the development of our churches in ways that can bring joy and peace of mind to the everliving Oyasama. We are determined to fulfill our duties to achieve this goal in unity of mind by making ourselves genuinely spirited,” he said.

The participants then moved to the East Worship Hall of the Main Sanctuary and performed the seated service together.

Following the pep rally, “Visits by Church Headquarters Officials” will be conducted at all directly supervised churches during the period from November 10 to February 28 next year. Moreover, directly supervised churches will carry out “Visits to All Churches” of their affiliation by the end of May.

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