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Greetings from Rev. Kanta

May 22, 2019 (Tenrikyo 182)
Honjima Grand Church Head Ministers’ Meeting

The parental heart is a gentle heart

Rev. Kanta Katayama
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister

katayama kanta

(Summary)

The Tenrikyo Women’s Association will welcome its 110th Anniversary since its establishment next year, and the activities leading up to it are becoming ramped up. I hope you will demonstrate a women’s virtue to the fullest and serve in your respective roles.

By the way, did you know that black tea is made from the same tealeaf as green tea? By the difference in the manufacturing method of fermentation, it becomes either green tea or black tea. I have heard that the best flavor for green tea is achieved by using boiled water that has cooled down just a bit. On the other hand, for black tea, pouring in very hot water which has been boiled 30 seconds more makes the tea taste delicious.

I think God also gives us characteristics that suit each of us. For example, taking architecture as an example, each tree could become a good pillar, floorboard or ceiling board. Likewise, I think God nurtures us with consideration of the best strength in each of us.

I think also that it is a good opportunity for the women's association to ponder what God the Parent is asking of us.

Rev. Yoichiro Miyamori, Director-in-Chief of Religious Affairs, gave us a message at this year's Women's Association Convention. These are some examples he gave.

Please take a moment and imagine that you are at your child’s Sports Day ―for some of you, maybe it’s for your grand child. Anyway, your child, grandchild or great grandchild is competing. Finally, the footrace has begun, and your child is running dead last. You cheered for him really hard, but he barely made it to the goal line, greatly outdistanced by his classmates, and then he came back to you.

What are you going to say to the child? Are you going to say, “All that cheering for nothing” and express your disappointment? Are you going to ask him, “Why did you come in last?” Are you going to say, “You’re an embarrassment. You’re not my child,” and ignore him?

You probably wouldn’t do such things. Instead, I am pretty sure that you would say something like, “You never gave up,” and speak highly of finishing the race. If he is looking sad, you will probably give him a hug. If he is crying, you will probably quietly give him a pat on his back.

Such kindness is indeed the parental heart.

After relaying these examples, Rev. Miyamori cited the following Divine Directions:

Kindness is the basis that enables you to nurture people’s minds.(Osashizu: May 16, 1900)

Let us focus on saying kind words to others.

The Children’s Pilgrimage is finally around the corner.

Of course it is important to nurture the youth who hold the future in their hands. At the same time, I feel that your other church members, their families, those around them and those who are unfamiliar with the Path, all have the ability to be of service by contributing toward the construction of the Joyous life. We must find them, draw out and polish their qualities, and guide them so that this person so as to enable them to be of necessary service to others.

I would like to ask for your effort so that we can together nurture our human resources this summer.

Thank you very much.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Seminar for those nurturing students

May 22, 2019 (Tenrikyo 182)
Honjima Grand Church Monthly Service Sermon (Summary)

My first Sazuke administration

Rev. Shoetsu Nakayama
Church Headquarters Student Advisory Committee Member

Rev.nishiyamamichinori

(Summary)

I think that the greatest proof that Oyasama is everliving is in the truth of the Sazuke.

When I received the truth of the Sazuke and came home, my father was waiting for me in the car in front of our followers dormitory with the engine running. I got pushed into the car and two hours later, we arrived at a hospital in Akashi City.

The sun had already set and it was getting late. From the end of the hallway, I heard a voice yelling, “Kill me!” When I was thinking, “What a place!” I was being taken right to the owner of that voice.

A rotund man was sitting on his bed, grabbing onto a rope hanging from the ceiling and yelling at the top of his lungs, “It hurts so much, just kill me!”

He had gotten surgery for ulcerative colitis and the surgery had gone well, but since he was quite portly, the long incision on his stomach was not closing well. This situation had been going on for quite some time and not only was his wound not healing it was also beginning to form pus. His painkillers were only working for 1-2 hours at a time, and we had arrived just as his medications were wearing off.

My legs were shaking at the sight of this horrifying scenery. Just as I was feeling like there was no way I could pray for this man, my father pushed me forward. It was my first time at such a ghastly scene, so I was completely panicked. My father says to the nurse changing his dressing, “Don’t put the new bandage on yet.” I really wish he hadn’t said that.

The wound was exposed, and the stitches looked like the stitching on a baseball. It looked like the insides were about to burst between the stitches.

Upon seeing this, just when I thought, “I can’t do this” and I felt like I was going to faint, my father said,” Oyasama is always with you, so it’ll be okay.” I felt inside me a renewed courage.

Anyway, I began to whole-heartedly administer the Sazuke. When my hands touched the infected area, it was feverishly hot. I think it was hot because it was festering.

The person once again yelled, “Just kill me!”

I didn’t know what to do, so I just called out, “Oyasama, Oyasama,” as I frantically administered the Sazuke. Finally, after I clapped twice at the end, I looked into that man’s eyes for the first time. When I did, although he was yelling until just a while ago, he looked at me with a very calm look on his face. Then he said, “You have given me comfort.”

I felt such inspiration, “The Sazuke is amazing!” I truly felt the everliving presence of Oyasama.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Greetings from Rev. Kanta

April 14, 2019 (Tenrikyo 182)
Honjima Grand Church Head Ministers’ Meeting

Let us look back on the origin of our faith with our children

Rev. Kanta Katayama
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister

katayama kanta

(Summary)

On April 28th this year, it was 150 years since the birth of our second grand church head minister, Rev. Yoshizo Katayama. That is why I have been thinking about the origin of our family’s faith. I feel that Rev. Yoshizo has been throwing various questions at me.

For example, have I been doing salvation work? Have I been praying for people to be saved from various illnesses and problems? Have I been making efforts in my mind in order for those prayers to be accepted by God the Parent? Am I not giving up?

The great mission for us Yoboku is to do salvation work. How seriously are we engaging in this salvation work?

My great grandfather Yoshizo was told by doctors, “He won’t be able to live much longer,” but was saved by the missionary Rev. Eisa Sato of Koshinokuni Branch Church.

At first, since Yoshizo did not believe in Tenrikyo, he did not accept the administration of the Sazuke when Rev. Eisa Sato asked to administer it. However, Rev. Eisa did not give up. He performed prayer services with all his might so that Yoshizo would listen to him and God the Parent could work for him. At times, he performed the Twelve Songs of the prayer service in the cold ocean of Kosho, and finally, he offered his life and asked that Yoshizo be saved. His will with such inscription still remains at Honjima Grand Church.

Saving someone is not an ordinary deed. Am I getting closer to such a state? I feel like I am being asked this question.

After that, due to Rev. Eisa’s sincerity, Yoshizo’s mind changed a little by little, and finally transformed into one of single-heartedness with God. Furthermore, God the Parent accepted Rev. Eisa’s sincerity and they received miraculous blessings, leading to the present state.

I hope that you will take this opportunity to look back on the day of origin of our faith and relay this to the head minister’s children and let us engage in salvation work.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Monthly Sermon

April 14, 2019 (Tenrikyo 182)
Honjima Grand Church Monthly Service Sermon (Summary)

Let us make an effort to continue to the next generation the blessings we have received from our forebears and predecessors

Rev. Takako Katayama
Grand Church Associate Board Member

Rev.katayamatakako

(Summary)

My father had the honor of attending the September Monthly Service of Church Headquarters in the Inner Sanctuary in the year of the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama, but fell ill after that and passed away about half a year later on March 20th.

When I went to go thank the Grand Church Head Minister for the funeral service, he asked me, “What will you do from now?” so I replied, “I would like to continue my father’s legacy and take on the responsibility of the head minister of Honsendo Branch Church.”

I received the sanction of head minister on June 26th. Soon afterward, I felt a strangeness in my right chest, and when I felt it, there was a sharp point like a pencil. “It might be cancer,” I thought, and my mind wandered indecisively at various things until finally it was August and it was time to be seen at the Shikoku Cancer Center in Matsuyama.

The result was, as I thought, cancer, but luckily, I was told that it was in its early stage. So I pleaded to hold off the surgery until my Church Head Minister Installation Service on September 9th was over.

The Installation Service was over and the breast cancer surgery went without a hitch, but the result of the CT scan revealed that there was a possibility of lung cancer. It was in a location where a biopsy was not possible, so it was recommended that I have endoscopic surgery and I was hospitalized for another 10 days.

I am grateful that I was able to go back to a normal lifestyle right away after leaving the hospital. On top of that, I had to move the location of the church, but due to a wonderful blessing, I was able to rely on the voice of the parent and perform the relocation service without having to worry about anything.

The origin of our family’s faith started with my grandmother who understood that her family was not settled and that her family had a causality of lung diseases. With Rev. Maki Nutahara’s guidance, she began her faith in this path. She lived and served at the Grand Church but before long, had trouble in her lungs and passed away, leaving behind her children.

My father married and was doing missionary work in the Kanto area but he, too, got tuberculosis and returned to the Grand Church when I was four years old.

In the Divine Directions, it says:

“What is painful is a knot, yet buds spout from knots. Have a spacious mind that allows you to accept your pain as a knot and a source of delight.” (Divine Directions March 5, 1894)

Also in the Doctrine of Tenrikyo, we read:

… all illnesses, calamities, and troubles are expressions of the warm parental heart of God to urge our self-reflection and are none other than guidance out of love to lead us to the Joyous Life.

Although I was diagnosed with lung cancer, I didn’t think it was frightening, and I was able to live without discomfort, and for that, I am truly grateful. Because God calls it “a guidance,” I believe God teaches us in the manner that is most suitable for our spiritual growth.

The Third Shinbashira likened our faith being passed on for endless generations to a long-distance relay race. He used the expression “passing the sash to the next runner” when speaking about relaying the teachings to those who follow in our footsteps. I hope to serve in a way that those who have received the sash to follow us will look to us some day in the future as we now look upon our predecessors, parents and forebears.

Accumulating virtue takes very quiet, steady efforts, but I don’t think there is anything more important. I feel like the foundation of everything lies in the virtue of each and every person.

In the Divine Directions we read:

We sow a seed on a stone. When the wind blows, it flies away. Birds will come and pick it up. It will not germinate. A seed sown out of the sincerity of the mind is buried. Even when it is dug up with a hoe, it will not grow there. It will grow outside. (Divine Directions September 30, 1890, private translation)

 

I would like to serve my duties so that I can bring joy to the parent, as our Grand Church Head Minister constantly reminds us, and with a mind that hopes to carry some of our parent’s burden. And I would like to connect with my church, the Grand Church and to the Jiba in body and mind, so that I can feel the Parent’s intentions.

Thank you.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Greetings from Rev. Kanta

March 22, 2019 (Tenrikyo 182)
Honjima Grand Church Head Ministers’ Meeting

Let us spread out our mind’s antenna

Rev. Kanta Katayama
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister

katayama kanta

(Summary)

What I want to relay to you today, is that we, and especially church head ministers, should all spread our antennas and make an effort to catch all kinds of information.

Whenever I go abroad for a missionary trip, I visit the Shinbashira and receive his approval before I depart.

In having a commemorative service to celebrate an anniversary of our church, I also receive the Shinbashira’s informal consent before I announce it.

On February 24, I was able to see the Shinbashira, who is recovering from illness, for the first time in a few months. I relayed to him that I wanted to go on an overseas missionary visit at the end of the month and that I wanted to perform the 120 Anniversary Commemorative Service in three years. He accepted both saying, “I understand.”

Having relayed to him what I had come for, I said, “Thank you. Excuse me,” and as I was about to walk toward the exit, the Shinbashira asked in a few short words, “How is your brother’s wife?”

My younger brother is currently serving as the head minister of Portland Church and his wife is fighting a disease. I reported her health condition to the Shinbashira a while back and he remembered it.

I was very moved.

There are more than 16,000 Tenrikyo churches and he has to give consultations on various church matters everyday. Yet, he cares about the wife of one church minister. For such a kind, caring heart, I felt the vast parental heart of the Shinbashira.

In order to respond to such a parental heart, I felt that I must sharpen the frequency of the antenna in my heart and care for all who belong to Honjima.

Thank you very much.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Monthly Sermon

March 22, 2019 (Tenrikyo 182)
Boys and Girls Association, Vertical Mission Seminar (Summary)

Let us relay the joy of faith to our children

Rev. Koji Terakado
Boys and Girls Association Headquarters Board Member

Rev.terakadokoji

(Summary)

This is something that happened to my wife more than ten years ago. She developed breast cancer and had to have a full mastectomy. She had a miscarriage of our 5th child who she was pregnant with at the time. After the surgery, she had continuous rounds of anti-cancerous treatment.

At that time, I was not able to be happy. Although I am a church head minister that was the state I was in. I just could not be happy. However, since we are people of faith, we talked about what God the Parent must be telling us.

It was then that my wife remembered. When our first child, our eldest son, was conceived, we were informed by the hospital that there was a lump in her breast and tests were conducted. She told me, “At that time we were informed that it was not malignant. However, if the breast cancer had occurred when we had conceived our first child, in other words, we had just gotten married, finally became pregnant with our first child, and if we were told that I had breast cancer, had a miscarriage, then gone through full mastectomy, and had to take the anti-cancer drugs-- I don’t think I would have been able to endure the chain of events at that time. But this time, we received the news already having been blessed with four children. I feel as though God the Parent had waited until now for this to happen. When I think of this, I feel so grateful.”

This sort of spiritual awakening is not possible no matter how others try to preach to you about the teachings. It is because we, ourselves realized that it was God the Parent’s blessing, because we realized that Oyasama teaches us that “… the concern of the Parent is only about the means to save you (Ofudesaki XIV:35),” and from that Parental heart, guides us from a large misfortune to a smaller misfortune, that although the circumstances were not a happy one, we were able to savor happiness and joy.

This is happiness that one is only able to savor through one’s faith.

Ever since then, my wife says, “I have one more story to tell to help people with cancer, this is the blessing,” as she walks around doing salvation work.

In order to relay the joy of faith to our children, it is an absolute prerequisite that we have joy that we savor so that we are able to relay it to them.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

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