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Greetings from Rev. Kanta

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

Let’s participate in the Young Men’s Association 100th Anniversary Commemorative Convention

Rev. Kanta Katayama
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister

katayama kanta

(Summary)

Rev. Yoichiro Miyamori, our church advisor, will be visiting us on October 22nd for our Autumn Grand Service. This is his first visit to our church since he became the Director-in-Chief of Religious Affairs. I hope to greet him with a lot of people, so I would like to ask your cooperation.

On October 28th, the Tenrikyo Young Men’s Association will be celebrating their 100th year since its establishment. The Women’s Association was begun by words of the Divine Directions, but I am told that the Young Men’s Association was begun when a group of people of similar age gathered together to do something for the Path.

Welcoming the 100th Anniversary since their establishment, the members are gathering together in Ojiba for a new beginning. I believe this convention will be a turning point, so I would like to ask you to give the young men’s association members a little push to return to Jiba to participate in the Commemorative Convention. At the same time, let us head ministers also share in the moment together.

This year marks the 90th Anniversary of the establishment of the Tenrikyo Ichiretsukai [Scholarship] Foundation.

The Ichiretsukai Foundation was established by the 2nd Shinbashira, Reverend Shozen Nakayama, on October 18, 1871. He contributed all of the monetary gifts received for his wedding to establish this foundation. One of the objectives stated in establishing this foundation was:

“...So that missionaries can devote themselves single-heartedly to missionary efforts without worrying about the education of their children. Also, to nurture these children, like their parents, to become Yoboku who can devote themselves to the construction of the joyous life world.”

Anecdotes of Oyasama, the Foundress of Tenrikyo

#128 Oyasama’s Room

Until 1883, Oyasama lived in the ten-matted room on the west side of the Nakaminami-Gatehouse, which was on the left as one faced the building. By the window of that room was a large storage chest on which Oyasama always seated Herself. The chest was about three tatami mats in size with a height of eighty centimeters, containing various drawers and storage places. When someone visited Her with children, Oyasama would take sweets out from within the chest and give them to the children.

When I was a child, I think I was in my grandmother’s room a lot. When I look back to that I think it is because she always gave me snacks or something to eat. Even after I was an adult, she would say, “Are you hungry?” “I have something sweet.” I now know that her snacks equaled parental love.

Nurturing human resources is an important duty of ours. It is a duty that we must constantly work at. I think there are many forms of parental love, but just like giving snacks to a child, I hope you will be mindful.

Thank you again, for your participation this month.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Monthly Sermon

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

Spiritual growth comes from serving our spiritual parents

Rev. Michinori Nishiyama
Grand Church Board Member

Rev.nishiyamamichinori

(Summary)

In this year’s Goals for Spiritual Maturity, it says, “Let us raise our consciousness of making repayment to God for the blessings we receive.” Also in the “Activities to Promote,” it says, “Let’s make daily donations.”

In the Divine Directions, we are taught:

“If you understand the teachings theoretically but do not understand the truth behind whatever presents itself each day, this will not do, will not do, will not do.”
Osashizu: April 17, 1889

I personally think that “Daily Donation” is an action you do to express your gratitude for the Ten Aspects of God’s Complete Providence.

We should be thankful for being able to use the body that we borrow from God. We should also be thankful for our parents, siblings, and spouse—all relationships brought together by God. We must feel and be grateful for the life given to us.

 

One of the easiest ways to express that gratitude in action to repay God, I think, is making “Daily Donations.”

Toward the end of my elementary school years, I started a paper route. I would wake up at 4 am in the morning. In the bitter cold winter, the tips of my gloves would be so cold that I would have to stick my hands in my pockets to warm them up until the next house.

In due time, my two younger brothers also got paper routes and the three of us together made about the starting salary of an adult. We were taught the importance of making Daily Donations, and we proudly handed over our earnings to our parents. We were happy to be able to make contributions.

When I was in middle school, the construction of this Grand Church sanctuary was begun. My father sold our church building and property in Muroran and sowed his seeds of sincerity through the Grand Church’s sanctuary construction. In his own way, I think my father made that decision and went through with it in order to be able to sow seeds of sincerity in this season in whatever way he could.

Thereafter, we built a shack in the isolated wilderness deep in the mountains and started to live there. There was no light near our house. No electricity or running water. During the summertime, we were attacked by black flies [otherwise known as buffalo gnats]. Black flies are like mosquito but they sting — and our whole faces got swollen. During winter, snow blew into our shack. For water, we had to go down to the river. As we didn’t have electricity, we used a lamp.

We lived each day under such conditions for three years. Indeed, it was a precious experience. We were overjoyed when we had electricity in the house for the first time after three years. My brothers and I were so happy that for many days, we smiled and stared at the light bulb. This is one of my experiences.

The earthquake that occurred in Hokkaido on September 6 caused a major blackout all throughout Hokkaido. My church also had a blackout for two days and it reminded me of my childhood.

In modern times, it is natural that there is electricity and we have water when we turn the faucet. We live matter-of-factly in this convenient life, and joy doesn’t well up from our minds daily. Thinking of the past, we are should be grateful, but we forget. I think that this causes the regret and the anger of God the Parent.

In his sermon at the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama the Shinbashira said,

“When I ponder how to walk the future, more than anything, I strongly feel the necessity of nurturing human resources who bear the future of the path."

I have been taking these words seriously.

Further, the Shinbashira said at the Spring Grand Service,

“It is not too much to say that the activities of each churches, associations, and departments are all about nurturing and increasing the human resources of the path. Therefore, as long as these activities are conducted in a unity of mind, that is fine.”

In the Divine Directions we read:

“If you bind yourselves together in a unity of minds, I shall provide any blessings for you.” (Divine Directions January 19, 1898)

In order to respond to our Parent’s intentions, I would like for us to be in accord with the intentions of the Shinbashira and being united in mind, I would like for Honjima to proceed in such a way that will bring satisfaction to the Shinbashira.

Thank you for your kind attention.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Greetings from Rev. Kanta

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

Giving thanks to the blessings of fire, water and wind,
Let us repay our gratitude to God

Rev. Kanta Katayama
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister

katayama kanta

(Summary)

This summer, we experienced heat waves and disasters from torrential rain in Japan. For the first time in the history of the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba, a typhoon traveled from east to west during the pilgrimage period.

During a very short period of time, we experienced water damage (water), heat waves (fire) and typhoon (wind) one after another, and I have been wondering where God the Parent’s intentions lie.

We receive the blessings of fire, water, wind every day and all the time so that we can live the Joyous Life. Are we being grateful for these blessings? We say that our Path is one of repayment for the blessings we receive but are we not lacking in the mind of gratitude? I am reflecting on this.

What we eat, what we wear, and all of the things necessary for life are from fire, water, and wind. Once again, I would like to appreciate fire, water, wind in my daily life -- the blessings given to us for the Joyous Life.

Next, I would like to report that the successor to the Shinbashira Rev. Daisuke and his wife Nobue-sama had their first child, a baby girl, on Aug. 13. She has been named “Masae.”

It has been about 50 years since a child has been born into the Nakayama family. From this standpoint as well, it is very auspicious news and a celebratory occasion for all of Tenrikyo. I hope you will relay this good news to those in your church.

I would like to send them monetary congratulations from all our churches like we did last year when they were married. May I ask you for your support in this matter?

September is “Nioigake emphasis week.” Although spreading the teachings is always a big part of our service to God, we are hearing from the Jiba that this is the emphasis month, so let us be more mindful than usual about trying to bring someone to the Jiba or to our own local churches to worship for the first time.

Thank you.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Monthly Sermon

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

The human body is a thing lent by God, a thing borrowed by humans
The mind alone is ours

Rev. Minoru Haraguchi
Grand Church Associate Board Member

Rev.katayamayoshiharu

(Summary)

I received sanction as the 4th head minister of Honkyudai Branch Church four years ago on January 26th, 2014.

Two years ago, my wife and I encountered the greatest knot in our lives. On March 30, two months after the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama was conducted, I was diagnosed with malignant lymphoma and was hospitalized for three months. I left the hospital on July 8, and five days later, on July 13, this time, my wife received guidance through burns all over her body. You would hardly be able to tell now, but at the time, she was wrapped up in bandages from head to toe. Miraculously, both of us received great blessings and we are healthy now. We are so grateful. Every day, we live to repay these blessings from God the Parent. When I was into my third month of cancer treatment, I had no stamina. I love udon noodles, but I could not even eat one strand of udon. In the Life of Oyasama, Foundress of Tenrikyo chapter 3, Kokan tells her Mother that they had no more rice left, to which Oyasama says:

In this world, there are those who are suffering, unable to eat or even The body is the thing borrowed. The mind alone is yours. From just one mind, any kind of truth will appear daily. I except any kind of truth. You must understand the truth of free and unlimited the workings. to swallow water despite food piled high at their bedsides. If we think of them, how blessed we are, for when we drink water, it tastes of water. God the Parent has blessed us with exquisite gifts.

These words really sank deep into my heart.

No matter what kind of situation we are in, God the Parent always provides us with just the amount of daily blessings we need at the time that we need it. I feel that we need to realize that and remember to have a grateful mind.

In the Ofudesaki, we read:

All human bodies are things lent by God. Do you not know the free and unlimited workings of God? (Ofudesaki III:126)

So long as you remain unknowing that the body is a thing borrowed, you can understand nothing at all. (Ofudesaki III:137)

Ponder over it! There is nothing at all which should be called illness. It is but a road sign or an admonition from God. (Ofudesaki III:138)

From God’s perspective, our bodies are on loan to us. God gives us free and unlimited blessings. Further, what we humans call illness are not merely illnesses, but we are taught that they are an admonition and guidance from God.

From the moment we start to dwell inside our mother’s womb, we receive God the Parent’s divine providence and we are not able to live without it for even a minute, not even a second.

The path of repayment refers to these blessings we receive that we are not able to repay, no matter how hard we try.

In the Divine Directions, we read:

With human beings: The body is the thing borrowed. The mind alone is yours. From just one mind, any kind of truth will appear daily. I except any kind of truth. You must understand the truth of free and unlimited workings.(Divine Directions February 14, 1889)

Depending upon our individual attitude and use of mind, we are able to find splendor in our daily lives and find a way of life that can savor the Joyous Life.

Faith is a state of mind that believes God the Parent to be absolute and never doubts that.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

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)

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