Tenrikyo Young Men’s Association held its 96th convention on October 27 with approximately 600 members attending in person. This was the first convention in three years, and its attendance was limited to representatives of the directly supervised chapters and those from dioceses and overseas chapters. The program consisted of two parts, Part One being held in the East Worship Hall of the Main Sanctuary and Part Two in Church Headquarters’ Dining Hall 2.
Shortly after 8:00 a.m., participants started to gather in the East Worship Hall. They sat down with an appropriate distance between them and waited quietly for the start of the event.
At 9:00 a.m., President Daisuke Nakayama ascended the upper dais to lead the seated service. After this, the Shinbashira made his entrance and gave a few remarks expressing his congratulations on the occasion. His address was then read by Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Zensuke Nakata.
The Shinbashira began his address by asking the participants to “take back to your church and diocese chapters what you receive at this convention and share it with other members of your chapters.” Then, touching upon the spirit of Arakitoryo, pioneers of the path—the spirit that forms the basis of the guiding principles for the association’s activities—the Shinbashira explained that what is expected of Arakitoryo is to “spread the teachings” by taking the initiative in going into places where the teachings of the path are not yet conveyed and to “seek the path” by cultivating one’s faith. Noting that these are inseparable in the mission of pioneers of the path, he said that the most important thing for the association members is to become able to carry out this mission and that a core part of the association activities is to help as many young people of the path as possible to fulfill this mission.
The address went on to state that the time one spends as a member of the Young Men’s Association is regarded as a period of preparation for the future. In this sense, the first thing he wants young people to do is firmly settle in their mind the intention of God the Parent. In order to do this, the Shinbashira encouraged them to deepen their understanding of the teachings and to learn about the history of Tenrikyo.
The Shinbashira added: “What you learn by working at allowing your mind to mature and by applying your best effort to what you are given on a daily basis while following the guidelines of the faith taught through the Divine Model and the Scriptures will become nourishment for your growth. Accumulation of this nourishment will pave the way for your spiritual growth.”
Toward the end of the address, he mentioned Instruction Four—which he had announced at the Autumn Grand Service on the day before in anticipation of the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama—and expressed his hope that all of us children of the path will unite our minds, give thought to the day of origin of Oyasama’s anniversaries, and respond to Her parental love by bringing forth the fruits of spiritual growth as we work together as one to conduct the activities leading up to the upcoming anniversary.
He closed his address by referring to the upcoming “three years, one thousand days” season leading up to the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama. He said: “That is the season in which the entire Tenrikyo community makes a committed drive in unity of mind. With this in mind, I hope that you will demonstrate the true value of Arakitoryo, pioneers of the path, in a manner befitting young men of the path.”
Later, Part Two took place in Dining Hall 2.
President Nakayama gave an opening address, in which he emphasized the importance of “questions and dialogues” in today’s era of drastic social change.
He said that where there is a question, there is an opportunity for a dialogue, which will bring us new insights and that the newly gained insights will broaden our perspectives and give us a chance to take on new challenges. He went on to note that—through dialogues on the teaching of “a thing lent, a thing borrowed”—he realized the importance of becoming a person who can effortlessly ensure that the teachings get across to others. He said that, while it was important to convey the teachings to others, we could first focus on settling the teachings in our own mind, thereby becoming a person who can effortlessly make the truth of the teachings self-apparent to others and from whom a joyous fragrance always emanates spontaneously.
Further, referring to the pre-anniversary activities that will start in 2023, President Nakayama encouraged the listeners to ask themselves and others the question “What is the Divine Model of Oyasama?” so that they could take spontaneous actions to follow Oyasama’s Divine Model.
He closed his address by asking the participants to enjoy leading a life of faith while exploring Oyasama’s intention behind the Divine Model through “questions and dialogues.”
This was followed by an interactive work session in pairs.
Lastly, following a speech by Chairman Yuzo Yaoi, all members in attendance sang the Tenrikyo Young Men’s Association Song.
The 24th Committee Launched
At the monthly meeting held on October 27, Tenrikyo Young Men’s Association announced the installation of its 24th committee as well as personnel changes as the 23rd committee’s term came to an end. Rev. Masazumi Yasui was appointed as the new association chairman.