Visits by Church Headquarters Officials Begin, Aiming to Ensure a Thorough Understanding of the Spirit of “Instruction Four”

On November 10, Church Headquarters began the “Visits by Church Headquarters Officials,” planned to take place at directly supervised churches and Church Headquarters’ overseas facilities in response to the announcement of the Shinbashira’s Instruction Four, which provides guiding principles for the activities leading up to the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama.

The “Visits by Church Headquarters Officials”—which started after the “Pep Rally for the ‘Three Years, One Thousand Days’ Period Toward the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama,” held on October 27, the day after the announcement of Instruction Four—are scheduled to run until February 28 next year and are intended for heads of directly supervised churches and their spouses as well as staff ministers. The event, whose November 10 session was conducted at the Home of the Parent, has already been held at a number of locations including the Mission Headquarters in Brazil on November 12 and Abashiri Grand Church on November 13.

Following the “Visits by Church Headquarters Officials,” directly supervised churches will carry out the “Visits to All Churches” of their affiliation by the end of May 2023 to ensure that all Yoboku gain a thorough understanding of the spirit of Instruction Four and the significance of the pre-anniversary activities.

Oyasato venue

In the Home of the Parent, the “Visits by Church Headquarters Officials”—intended for resident staff members of Church Headquarters—took place at Yoki Hall of the South Right Wing 2 of the Oyasato-yakata building-complex with an attendance of 285 people.

After Honbu-in Tadakazu Nishiura made an opening address, Honbu-in Yoshiji Matsumura took the podium to deliver a talk. Having read Instruction Four together with the audience, Rev. Matsumura spoke about the significance of the pre-anniversary activities.

As to following the Divine Model, he emphasized that the core parts of Oyasama’s teachings, which She took fifty years to teach, are the following: “making repayment,” or perceiving God’s blessings and walking the path with a sense of gratitude; “single-heartedness with God,” or living our lives while completely leaning on God; and “single-hearted salvation,” or helping others to be saved. He encouraged the audience to reaffirm these points during the pre-anniversary season. “Let us take the path of the Divine Model as our own and firmly settle our minds to be single-hearted with God and to engage in single-hearted salvation during the ‘three years, one thousand days’ season,” he said.

Next, Rev. Matsumura touched upon how to carry out the pre-anniversary activities and encouraged the audience to take the initiative to further implement the teachings so that as many people as possible may receive the blessing that helps them grow into Yoboku who can put hinokishin into practice, sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings, and engage in salvation work in this season. He told his listeners that the efforts they make in this regard will allow this path, which was laid by Oyasama, to continue into the future as an absolute, certain path.

Lastly, Rev. Matsumura asked the audience to firmly settle their minds and make decisive efforts to implement the teachings as they go through the “three years, one thousand days” period so as to set an example for those around them to follow. He concluded his talk by encouraging the listeners to sprinkle the fragrance of the teachings and help others be saved in order to allow for the further growth of the path toward the Joyous Life.

After that, Honbu-in Nishiura made a closing address, which was followed by the seated service at the East Worship Hall of the Main Sanctuary.

Other venues

On November 12, the Mission Headquarters in Brazil became the first overseas venue to host the “Visits by Church Headquarters Officials” when Honbu-in Zenpei Kubo served as the lecturer. The event was attended by 339 people including head ministers from Brazil and Paraguay.

Also, on November 13, the first directly supervised church session in Japan was held at Abashiri Grand Church with Honbu-in Zenkichi Tanaka as the lecturer. The event was attended by 61 people including head ministers, staff ministers, and heads of mission stations.

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