Tenrikyo Women’s Association held its 105th convention in the Home of the Parent on April 19, the day after the Oyasama Birth Celebration Service. This was its first convention in four years that had no COVID-related restrictions. The occasion drew some 19,000 members from various parts of the world, both within the country and overseas.
The Women’s Association is carrying out its activities under the same slogan for spiritual maturity as in previous years—“Let’s follow the Divine Model and become the foundation for the Joyous Life”—while at the same time following its new activity guidelines, namely: “As we move toward the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama, let’s be thorough in ensuring that we nurture ourselves and others sincerely”; “Let’s convey and spread the original intention of God the Parent”; and “Let all of us—young and old alike—savor the joy of salvation work.”
The weather in the Home of the Parent was cloudy in the morning. At 9:00 a.m., groups of members began to file into the Sanctuary precincts one after another, led by their directly supervised chapters’ flag-bearers. Just before 10:30 a.m., as the convention was about to start, rain began to fall, and the venue for the convention was changed from the Inner Courtyard of Church Headquarters to the East, West, and North Worship Halls.
At 10:48 a.m., Women’s Association President Harue Nakayama escorted Successor-Designate Daisuke Nakayama and other distinguished guests into the East Worship Hall. The ceremony began with the singing of the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo. This was followed by a pledge made by a representative of new members and a progress report presented by Committee Member Itsuyo Maegawa.
President Nakayama then delivered her address. After quoting from Instruction Four and the Shinbashira’s New Year’s Address, she stressed the importance of making progress along the path of spiritual growth. “I believe that spiritual growth is something we can achieve by making constant efforts to implement the teachings with our sights set on the Divine Model of Oyasama. I believe that making spiritual growth refers to our constant efforts to live our lives in the spirit and attitude of single-heartedness with God,” she said.
Touching upon the slogan for spiritual maturity and the activity guidelines, she also noted: “By spreading the teachings and saving others, we can feel and experience the blessings of God the Parent and the guidance of Oyasama. I believe that it is imperative for us to be mindful of helping our children, grandchildren, and those close to us to feel and experience such joy and elation in receiving God’s blessings.”In conclusion, she urged members to make every effort to achieve spiritual growth as they move toward Oyasama’s 140th Anniversary.
Next, Director-in-Chief of Religious Affairs Yoichiro Miyamori took the podium to read a message from the Shinbashira. The Shinbashira, in his remarks, first underscored the significance of conducting Oyasama’s anniversaries and went on to state, “When we set aside a special period to conduct our decisive pre-anniversary activities, we consciously renew our awareness of the need to work on our spiritual growth.”
He then drew attention to Oyasama’s Divine Model by saying, “We can make progress in spiritual growth by engaging in self-reflection based on the Divine Model, replacing the mind, and personally making effort upon effort to implement what is taught in the Divine Model.”
The Shinbashira then spoke about the importance of the entire Tenrikyo community’s unity of minds in harmony as they move toward their shared goal. “I believe that the unity of minds in harmony is, in fact, a blessing of God the Parent—a blessing that comes about when we each do our utmost to play our respective roles and duties with complete trust in God the Parent’s intention. . . . We are striving to respond [to the intention of Oyasama] with our minds in unison while at the same time seeking to fulfill our respective roles and responsibilities as we work to move forward ever more powerfully along the path of spiritual growth,” he said.
He concluded his address by stating: “Your lively activities will contribute greatly to enabling the Tenrikyo community to bring joy to Oyasama. I sincerely hope, therefore, that you will all follow the path in bright and cheerful spirits during the ‘three years, one thousand days’ leading up to the 140th Anniversary of Oyasama.”
Following the Shinbashira’s address, Member Representative Michiko Ue delivered a pledge on behalf of all members.