The Boys and Girls Association leaders’ first meeting of the year was held on January 27 at Dining Hall 2 in the Home of the Parent and was attended by leaders from directly supervised churches and dioceses.
This year’s guidelines for association activities are: “Let’s implement the teachings using Oyasama’s Divine Model as a dependable guide and convey to children the joy of faith.” The concrete goals set for 2023 are the following three: (1) Let’s tell children stories of Oyasama; (2) Let’s hold children’s gatherings at our churches; and (3) Let’s carry out hinokishin activities with children in local communities.
At the meeting, Honbu-in Harunobu Nakayama, who serves as the association’s senior adviser, took the podium to read a message from the Shinbashira, the president of the association.
The Shinbashira, in his remarks, underscored the central objective of the Boys and Girls Association, which is to effectively convey the intention of God the Parent and Oyasama to children without fail. He highlighted the significance of devising and exploring age-appropriate ways to teach children how to walk on the path based on that intention. The Shinbashira went on to encourage the audience to make a concerted effort to ensure that children grow into Yoboku who accord with the divine intention.
Moreover, the Shinbashira stressed that if children can grasp—through the association’s activities—that adhering to the intention of God the Parent is the path to their own happiness, this will provide spiritual sustenance for them and bring joy to their future journeys.
He then drew attention to Oyasama, who directly guided individuals on their journey toward the Joyous Life by observing their individual progress in spiritual growth. He emphasized that Her Divine Model serves as a dependable guide for us as we strive to help children understand how to live in single-heartedness with God. To follow the Divine Model, it is imperative to acquire a thorough understanding of The Life of Oyasama and accurately comprehend the Divine Model. The Shinbashira stated that it is essential to familiarize ourselves with the words and attitudes that Oyasama used to nurture and guide others. It is also necessary to make daily efforts to cultivate our sensitivity to perceive the parental love for children embodied in Her words and attitudes, as it is our responsibility to seek the path and guide the children of the path.
In conclusion, the Shinbashira said: “As we embark on the ‘three years, one thousand days’ period as the Tenrikyo community, let us keep in mind that our spiritual growth, guided by the Divine Model, will contribute to the development of our children. Let us rededicate ourselves to the task of nurturing future Yoboku who will bring peace of mind to Oyasama.”
After the Shinbashira’s message was read out, Chairperson Daiji Tanabe addressed the audience and provided an overview of the association’s activity guidelines and concrete goals. He also announced the return of the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba after a four-year hiatus, saying that the event would take place from July 27 to August 6 this summer. After reflecting on the significance of the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba and its history, he expressed his aspiration to restart this tradition with a fresh mind and renewed energy and to move forward step by step, while at the same time emphasizing the importance of cultivating the proper frame of mind to organize and manage the event.
Further details will be announced in April and made available on the official website of the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba.