Boys and Girls Association Activity Guidelines 2024

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 heads of directly supervised chapters and diocese chapters as well as nurturing committee members from those chapters and district chapters.

This year, the association will be promoting the same guidelines for association activities as last year: “Let’s implement the teachings using Oyasama’s Divine Model as a dependable guide and convey to children the joy of faith.” As for concrete goals for association activities, the association has three, which are almost the same as last year’s, except that the second one has been slightly revised. They are: (1) Let’s tell children stories of Oyasama; (2) Let’s hold children’s sleepovers and get-togethers at our churches; and (3) Let’s carry out hinokishin activities with children in local communities.

At the meeting, Honbu-in Michikazu Takahashi, who serves as the association’s senior adviser, took the podium to read a message from the Shinbashira, the president of the association.

In his message, the Shinbashira reiterated that those who follow the path, regardless of whether they are working exclusively for the path or not, need to always bear in mind God the Parent’s intention, feel and perceive God’s blessings daily, express their gratitude for the blessings with their sights set on the Divine Model of Oyasama, and strive to live joyously and spiritedly at all times.

Further, he pointed out that the mission entrusted to the Boys and Girls Association is to help children at an early age to lay a foundation as a follower of the path. The Shinbashira expressed his hope that children of the path would not only learn the teachings with a level of accuracy appropriate to their age but also cultivate their sensitivity to straightforwardly and honestly feel and perceive the blessings and guidance of God the Parent and Oyasama from childhood.

He also spoke at some length about God the Parent’s intention in creating human beings and about Oyasama’s wholehearted and exhaustive efforts in teaching and training them. The Shinbashira hoped that those walking the path ahead of children—those striving to help boys and girls build a firm foundation of faith in them—would take the initiative to inquire into the parental love of God the Parent and Oyasama and to maintain a joyous perception of whatever happens in the course of their daily lives as they deepen their own faith and near the parental love.

He concluded his message by stressing that Oyasama patiently and diligently nurtured those who did not readily understand Her teachings by giving tangible expression to God the Parent’s intention through Her own example. The Shinbashira asked the association’s leaders to emulate Oyasama in their efforts to guide and nurture children with conviction of faith and enthusiasm.

Following the Shinbashira’s message, Chairperson Daiji Tanabe addressed the audience and provided an overview of the association’s activity guidelines and concrete goals. There was also an announcement regarding the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba for 2024 (Tenrikyo 187). The pilgrimage will be held between July 27 and August 4.

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