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Greetings from Rev. Kanta

June 22, 2018 (Tenrikyo 181)
Honjima Grand Church Head Ministers’ Meeting

Focusing on the future, let us nurture our children

Rev. Kanta Katayama
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister

katayama kanta

(Summary)

I would like to share two quotes from the Shinbashira’s message on January 27 at the Boys and Girls Association New Year’s gathering this year.

I would like for you to think in the long term of how we are going to nurture the children who have been given life by God the Parent and how we will we pass the baton to the next stage. Further, when we think of our activities, we need to think of how we want them to grow up.

It takes a long time from the time children are born until they grow up and are able to receive the Sazuke. I think what the Shinbshira is saying is that he wants us to look at nurturing activities with long-terms goals, thinking of how we want the children to grow up even as to what kind of Yoboku we want them to be.

My father could not speak English. When he went abroad, he always communicated with people through an interpreter. That would create awkward gaps in communication. So, thinking about our future, he sent my brother and I to study in America. Thanks so that, though I cannot talk about complicated things, I am grateful that I can communicate in English.

When I was a child, I didn’t understand clearly the reason I was living in America, but I believe that my father thought about what would be necessary in the future and nurtured me with forethought. I am very grateful for that now.

The Shinbashira then spoke about the following:

When a human being matures, there are appropriate ways in which one must communicate with them and guide them depending on their age and level of spiritual maturity.

I believe he is saying that it is important to guide them according to their age, characteristics and virtue not just nurture all of them in one standard way.

Our third son doesn’t like school that much, but since he is big, my daughter says that he looks like a rugby player. We talk about rugby with him.

I don’t know if he will actually join the rugby team when he enters high school, or whether he is even interested in the sport. However, by talking about it around him, we may be opening up a path that can utilize his virtues.

There is an appropriate way to convey the teachings and to guide each person. Look at each individuals’ character and further, look to the promise of the future as we nurture them to become Yoboku who are fitting to be Oyasama’s instruments.

Thank you.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Monthly Sermon

Honjima Grand Church Monthly Service Sermon (Summary)
June 22, 2018 (Tenrikyo 181)

Let us learn from our predecessors’ hardships and develop unwavering faith

Rev. Kuniaki Hasegawa
Grand Church Board Member

Rev.katayamayoshiharu

(Summary)

Our predecessors relied on the path of the Divine Model of Oyasama as they went through very challenging circumstances. The seeds of sincerity that they sowed are still being blessed as they continue to sprout to this day.

I would like to share with you a story about Rev. Sada Hasegawa, the first head minister of NC Church.

Sada Hasegawa and her husband were running a laundry business in Portland. She was going through troubled times as she was suffering from an illness and her husband had a drinking problem. Then, guided by our predecessors such as Rev. Yone Okazaki, Rev. Toyokichi Kikuno, and Rev. Kunie Okazaki, Sada started to learn the teachings.

The passing of her husband was the turning point of her life. Sada attended the 48th term of Bekka (the Spiritual Development Course at the time) in 1933. As soon as she graduated, she made a spiritual resolution to dedicate her entire life to Tenrikyo. She left her daughter in Jiba and began her missionary work in Sacramento.

At the time, Kazumi and Haruko Ishitani were running a laundry business. They had problems - Haruko was suffering from sciatica, nerve pain in her lower back, and their child was suffering from seizures. Sada visited their home every morning, asking to use the restroom.

Ishitani had no reason to refuse, so he let Sada into their home to use their restroom. After about 10 days, he found out that Sada would take out a hand brush out of her purse, stick her hand in the commode and proceed to clean it.

When Ishitani thanked her, Sada said, “Thank you for letting me clean your bathroom.” To this, he was doubly amazed. Till then, he had been a fervent Buddhist, but he was so moved by Sada’s humility and gentle words and actions that he began to listen to the Teachings. His wife’s sciatica got better gradually as well.

Sada adopted a newborn baby that could not be cared for. The landlord whose porch she was renting said, “A Tenrikyo missionary doesn’t have her own house or even food to eat, and now you are bringing in someone’s baby! What are you thinking! Get out immediately!”

Sada had nowhere to go. Tormented and anguished, she ended up in front of the Ishitani residence.

Ishitani was surprised to see Sada standing there with a newborn. Upon hearing her situation, he said, “How strange. To tell you the truth, last night, I had a dream that there was a baby crying in the shed. I thought it was a strange dream, but this must be what it was about.” He readily welcomed her to stay with them.

Haruko took care of the baby, the Ishitani’s supported her financially, and Sada was able to concentrate on missionary work using the Ishitani residence as the base.

Leading up to the 50th Anniversary of Oyasama, Sada had overworked herself and many days, she was bed-ridden. Owing to this, the momentum grew among her disciples to establish a church. May 28, 1935 NC church was granted sanction and was established with Sada Hasegawa as the first head minister.

Following in her footsteps, Haruko Ishitani, who had been doing missionary work in Fresno received sanction to establish the Fresno Church on Dec. 4, 1937. However, Sada’s beloved daughter passed away right after graduating from Tenri Junior High School and Sada passed away soon after in 1939 as if to follow her.

After Sada’s passing, when World War II broke out, most church members were interned. On paper, Mitsuko Okazaki, who was from the superior church, Portland, became the 2nd head minister. However, during that time, the church and objects of worship were being kept safe by board member Shimpei Nakano. After his passing, Hatsumi Shintani received sanction to become the third head minister and to move the church to a different location. She also was not well and in 1972, the fourth son of Kazumi Ishintani, who happens to be me, changed my last name to Hasegawa in order to continue the legacy of Sada Hasegawa and became the 4th Head Minister of NC Church.

Thank you.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Greetings from Rev. Kanta

June 22, 2018 (Tenrikyo 181)
Honjima Grand Church Head Ministers’ Meeting

Let us encourage our children to study in Jiba
where they can receive precious merit

Rev. Kanta Katayama
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister

katayama kanta

(Summary)

A poster entitled “Let’s Study in the Home of the Parent” was handed out to all churches.

My second son is a second-year student at Tenri High School. All the schools in Tenri begin with Students’ Morning Prayer. Tenri High School and Tenri Kyoko Gakuen Seminary as well as Tenri Elementary School, Tenri Junior High School, and Tenrikyo Language Institute-- All the students assemble at once and perform the service, and their school day begins.

There seems to be, among the students, many who go to worship on their own before the Students’ Morning Prayer: doing the Service, then going around to the Foundress’ Sanctuary and the Memorial Hall before getting together with everyone for the Students’ Morning Prayer. My second son was also doing this. I thought that this was a good practice.

It turns out that there was a reason behind his early prayers. Upon asking, he said that he was doing a prayer service for his older brother who went to study in the United States from this month, July. My second son was going to worship earlier than the Students’ Morning Prayer to pray for his brother’s safety while studying abroad.

I had not mentioned a word about doing something like that, so I was very grateful to learn that he is being influenced positively by his school and dormitory, friends and dorm teachers.

Although it is only three years in a high school in the Home of the Parent, one is embraced in the atmosphere of the Jiba, receives religious education, and may receive invisible merit from the friends and teachers with whom they encounter.

For those who are thinking about what high school their child should go to, I definitely would like you to consider a school in the Home of the Parent.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Monthly Sermon

Honjima Grand Church Monthly Service Sermon (Summary)

Spiritual growth comes from serving our spiritual parents

Rev. Satoru Onishi
Grand Church Associate Board Member

Rev.katayamayoshiharu

(Summary)

Rev. Kiyoko Suzuki was serving as head minister of Honsoko Church (the previous church name of Marina Church) in San Francisco.

One day, I was able to accompany the missionary tour of Rev. Noboru Katayama, the chairperson of Young Men’s Association Honjima Chapter at the time, together with his wife and several other young men’s association members. On the day of visiting Honsoko Church, we scheduled the arrival at the church at 1:30 in the afternoon. Thus, we notified Rev. Suzuki that we would have lunch beforehand and that there is no need to prepare anything. We told her twice, once the day before and once in the morning of the visit. Rev. Suzuki replied, “Yes, yes. I can’t do much but looking forward to your visit.”

However, when we got to the church, there were offerings up on the dais as if it were a monthly service. After we offered our prayers and moved to the living room, there, we found a mountain of Inari Zushi. Rev. Noboru said to us, “Every one loves Inari, right?”

Although we had just had lunch, we said, “Yes! Thank you!” and devoured the food.

As we were departing, Rev. Suzuki said in a spirited manner, “Thank you very much. Now I can go on doing more.”

A few days later, I said to Rev. Suzuki, “You do not need to force yourself as you are going through such difficult times.” To this she said very firmly, “I’m not forcing myself, I want to receive “merit.” This sticks with me very strongly.

One time, the representatives of the Young Men’s Association Honjima Chapter was visiting Karafuto Branch Church’s Young Men’s Association in Hokkaido for a missionary visit. Rev. Asao Hirai, who was the church head minister at the time, welcomed the young men in the most formal Haori and Hakama outfit.

A few days later, Rev. Hirai, who was on his way to serve his duty at the Church Headquarters’ main sanctuary said to me, “Mr. Onishi, without merit, there are no blessings.”

Why did he say this to me? He probably sensed that I was someone who was caught up with benefit and loss and appearances and trying to use my intellect, of which I had none, to decide things. So he was probably trying to nurture me.

Spiritual growth comes from serving our spiritual parents.

Thank you for your kind attention.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Greetings from Rev. Kanta

May 22, 2018 (Tenrikyo 181)
Honjima Grand Church Head Ministers’ Meeting

Let us carry out our respective duties to the best of our abilities

Rev. Kanta Katayama
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister

katayama kanta

(Summary)

From a few years ago, I have been a fan of the Tenri University baseball team.

It all started three years ago when 36 members of a little league team from Vancouver visited Japan in March and played several goodwill games through its connection with the head of the Honjima Vancouver Fellowship and the head minister of Seatac Church. They stayed at Honjima Tsumesho and received much assistance from the Tenri University baseball team. It was then that I came to know the manager and became close friends.

Tenri-University belongs to the Hanshin Baseball League. Following their victory last spring and fall they won the league championship this spring again and claimed the title three times in a row.

By the way, when you watch baseball games, they all wear the same uniform, so it’s difficult to figure out who is who. The way you distinguish is by their fielding position. They all wear the same uniform to the game and work toward the same goal, but each of their roles and abilities are different. They are not all home run hitters. And not all home run hitters are good at fielding.

Each player does his best according to his position in fielding and batting and under the circumstances that they are in.

A similar thing can be said of a church. The role of Yoboku is all the same, but depending on the positions we are put in, each has their own roles to play. Head ministers, head minister’s spouses, live-in seinen, all must ponder over what each should be doing in their respective roles. What does God the Parent and Oyasama want me to do in our quest for the Joyous Life?

A different subject: the Honjima Tsushin Editors Room has been remodeled to the Religious Affairs Room. The Besseki papers and Yoboku directories previously stored in the office night duty room have been moved to the Religious Affairs Room.

It also a room where one can come to discuss matters of church affairs, sanctions, corporate law, etc in a private setting.

As for the church administrative matters, Rev. Etsuo Yokozeki and Rev. Satoshi Inoue have been in charge. Going forward, Rev. Takafumi Mukaijo and Mr. Shigeharu Yokozeki will join them. Please be advised that they will be assisting in taking care of administrative matters concerning Sazuke bestowals and other church matters.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

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