For College Age Students
The College Division of the Students Training Course was held in Jiba from March 4 to 8. A total of 459 university, junior college, graduate school, and technical school students connected to the path participated in the course. The participants were divided into groups that belonged to one of four houses, each of which had its own director, vice director, and counselors. The course was supported by a total of 219 staff members.
This year’s theme was “Feeling Close to the Service.” During the course, the students learned about the service through lectures and group times as well as practiced the dance and musical instruments for the service. The “Service Practice,” which was the main event for the entire course, was conducted in each house, where the participants earnestly performed the seated service, the Yorozuyo, and the Twelve Songs.
In the closing ceremony, Rev. Yoshimasa Shimizu, chairperson of the Students Advisory Committee, took the podium to deliver an address. Noting that the service is an important teaching Oyasama taught to help us realize the Joyous Life, he said: “I would like you to make efforts to implement what you have learned here, even after you go back home. Let us walk the path together to draw closer to the Joyous Life.”
After that, the students completed the course by performing the dance to the Eight Verses of the Yorozuyo. They received certificates of completion from their group counselors and made a promise to see one another again in Jiba.
For High School Graduates
From March 10 to 12, the students training course for high school graduates was held for the first time in four years. The course was attended by 302 high school age people, who had just graduated or were expecting to graduate this spring.
This course started eight years ago and is intended to provide high school graduates—who are about to embark on a new stage of life including going on to higher education and starting to work—with an opportunity to learn about the teachings and Oyasama’s Divine Model and deepen ties with followers in the same generation in the hope that this experience may be useful for their future life of faith.
During the course, the participants belonged to one of four houses, where smaller groups were also formed, and two counselors—one male and one female—were assigned to each group. With a total of 212 staff members supporting the course, the participants deepened friendship with their fellow followers of the path through taking part in various activities such as group times, lectures, and group discussions.
On the last day of the program, a lecture entitled “To You, for Your Future” was delivered in each house by its head, who shared the joy of faith with the participants.
In the closing ceremony, Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Zensuke Nakata gave certificates of completion to representatives of the houses.