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Greetings from Rev. Kanta

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

Let us parents take the lead and take action to guide the children

Rev. Kanta Katayama
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister

katayama kanta

(Summary)

In this season, there are many swallows flying around the grand church, busily making nests and raising their offspring. Swallows have an admirable style of parenting -- the male and female work in cooperation to raise their young. They lay their eggs around April and May, and mostly the female swallows keep the eggs warm. Two weeks later, they hatch. The male and female birds take turns looking for food and feeding the hatchlings. The parents come and go about 500 times a day to feed the little ones. The young birds leave their nest around the time the rainy season begins.

As I observed them closely, it seems that swallows usually fly in pairs. To me, it looks like a young bird and its parent and the parent leads the young in most cases. I think this format is very important.

It is important to be flexible with a child’s needs. However, I think it is rather difficult to bring out the best of the child’s ability if you are just letting the child have his/her way with everything. To me, the parent should demonstrate how things are done and encourage the child to follow the parent’s lead. It seems to me that the parent bird is teaching the young to relay the same to its offspring once the young bird grows fully. It looks like the parent is demonstrating how it is done by leading the way. It appears that, through demonstration, the parent is encouraging the young to push a bit more and to fly a bit further.

We should not just bend at the whim of our children but guide them by returning to the Jiba, go to our superior churches to worship, and seek out and do various hinokishin, so that they will become useful Yoboku in the future.

It has been a year since we have been shown a knot in the form of the Shinbashira’s illness. Despite being taught the wonderful teachings by Oyasama, are we putting them into practice just as we were taught? Are we performing the service seriously? Are we taking care of material things? Are we living joyously?

I urge you to reflect upon the usage of your minds to see if you are living in accord with the teachings just as it was taught.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Monthly Sermon

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

Let us relay the joy of returning to the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba to as many children as possible

Rev. Ryuzo Iwahashi
Grand Church Associate Board Member

Rev.Iwahashiryuzo

(Summary)

Kodomo Ojibagaeri, the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba, will begin on July 26 and continue for 10 days. Since I have been put in the position of Honjima Grand Church’s Boys and Girls Association Group leader, I have been given the task of “Yakata Lecture” instructor at Church Headquarters. The “Yakata Lectures” is an instructional activity that conveys the teachings of God to children, and basically, the talk is given to one group at a time. Many groups attend the activity every year. Some groups are large and some are small.

One time, a young couple and their baby in a stroller, who looked less than a year old, participated as a three-person group. I spoke the way I usually did for about 20 minutes toward the baby in the stroller. Of course, I don’t think the baby understood a thing I was saying. Then, why did this couple bring their child to the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba, and further, why did they come to the “Yakata Lecture?” I think it was out of their sincere desire for their child to become happy in the future and because they wanted their baby to become a good Yoboku.

Sometimes, adults come to the Yakata Lecture by themselves. This throws me off because there is a script for the Yakata Lecture, which I have memorized, and since I’m not very good at ad-libbing, I end up saying my lines to the adults as if there were other children. It gets very awkward.

When I asked why they were there without children, I found out that a minister had spread the fragrance of the teachings to these adults while he was inviting children to the Children’s Pilgrimage and had brought that person to the Besseki lectures for the first time. They saw the “Yakata Lecture” sign after they listened to the Besseki lectures, so they thought they might as well listen to this one.

The Children’s Pilgrimage is not an event that one cannot attend without children. An adult can participate by him or herself. Although you may not have any children with you, you can think about the future, pray for blessings and participate in it spiritedly. Such is the nature of the Children’s Pilgrimage.

Until I became the Boys and Girls Association Honjima group leader, I had never witnessed the scene of people returning for the Children’s Pilgrimage from local churches.

As I do hinokishin welcoming the ministers who bring back children in the heat, I am reminded of the importance of the Children’s Pilgrimage. I think that it takes a lot of energy to talk to the children, make various preparations, and bring them back to Jiba. But because it requires a lot of energy, I think that God the Parent and Oyasama will reward you with something big.

I hope that you will be able to return to Jiba again this year for the Children’s Pilgrimage with as many children as possible.

Thank you for your kind attention.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

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)

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