Faith Experience Speech by Setsumi Saltman

Good morning. I would like to thank all of you for taking the time to attend the July Monthly Service here at Pearl Church and thank you for your kind and sincere offerings. I am sure God the Parent and Oyasama are really happy to see you all here today and to have performed the service with joy and in high spirits!

Today we have the privilege of having Setsumi Saltman of Central share her story with us. She is the daughter of the first head minister of Central Fresno Church located in Fresno California. Everyone please welcome Mrs. Setsumi Saltman.


Faith Experience Speech

by Setsumi Saltman

Thank you for allowing me to share my faith experience with you today. I also would like to thank Mrs. Taeko Nakao for translating this speech.

I was born in Hiroshima Japan to parents who were both 3rd generation in the Tenrikyo faith. This is my understanding of how their families were pulled into the faith.

My mother’s mother (my grandmother) was born into a farming family, had tuberculosis at a young age and thus was unable to attend school. My grandmother’s mother was introduced to the Tenrikyo faith when a minister offered to pray for her daughter’s recovery. She showed her sincerity to God by donating her daughter’s kimonos and other valuable possessions to the church. She also accepted an arranged marriage for her daughter to marry a minister who planned to go to Kyushu to spread the Tenrikyo teachings. My grandparents established a church in Miyazaki and focused their whole lives to spreading the faith and helping others. They had 8 children who all established or married into churches and single-heartedly devoted their lives to the faith. My grandmother lived a healthy life to the age of 85.

My grandfather on my father’s side was a fisherman in Osaka area. The family came into the faith after experiencing early death especially in the male family members. My grandfather’s sister married the minister of our parent church. My grandfather donated his home and all of his personal belongings to the church and moved into the church to devote their lives to God. They had 7 children and most of them dedicated their lives to the faith.

My father wanted to be a physician and entered medical school. My grandfather explained about the family experience and advised my father to quit medical school and instead become a minister. Since the root of illness is due to the usage of our minds, his father explained that medicine could only cure the illness but Tenrikyo could save the soul and the whole person. Through helping God, we will also be saved and improve our causality. My father obediently agreed and accepted the arranged marriage to my mother and together they established a church in Hiroshima. All of his siblings were dedicated to the faith and most also established churches. I remember how my father stressed the importance of being obedient to God and doing things before we are told.

Growing up in a church, I have many stories about my parents helping people. I heard about a member who lived with us who had tuberculosis and would use the same utensils and bowls to feed me. Another young man became violent after drinking and later on would stab the minister of our parent church in Osaka. Luckily our minister survived but my father felt indebted to God to do more to apologize for what his member did. This incident may have influenced his decision to move to the U.S. to do missionary when the Shinbashira at the time called for missionaries to go abroad. He moved the family with 4 of us children to California in 1964.

Once we arrived in Fresno California. My father’s acquaintances secured a large vacant mansion on twenty acres to establish our church. We were able to stay there for 10 years without paying rent. Tenrikyo ministers try to support themselves by paying the rent, food, and other experiences. Thus my father assisted an attorney, Milo E. Rowell with maintaining his Japanese garden on his five acre estate. Fresno is hot (100 degrees) in the summer and cold (32 degrees) in the winter. He worked 8 hours/ day and did missionary work in the evening. My mother maintained the church, household and supported the church members when my father was working or away visiting Ojiba in Japan or Dendocho in L.A. They were able to do this without speaking English.

My parents taught us that God created us human beings in order to see us lead joyous lives. We must help each other because we are all brothers and sisters. They encouraged us to rely on God and to find joy in everything around us. They reminded us to work on our shortcomings and to use our bodies to help others. Most of all they showed us how to perform the service in harmony in order to connect with God and to thank and pray that the joyous world can be realized.

My brother the current minister and his wife have dedicated their lives to continue the path set by our predecessors. Together with the minister at the core we can continue to grow together, learn to live in harmony and rely on the teachings to help guide us to the do the right thing. The teaching can help us through difficulties and most of all bring blessings for our children and future generation.

I moved to Hawaii in1991. I lived in Palolo and heard the sound of the service coming from Pearl Church every evening. One day I visited the church and found out that Mrs. Taeko Nakao came from the same Grand Church. I was blessed to find a church here in Hawaii that my children and I could visit. They have been very nurturing and supportive and in many ways remind me of our church in Fresno. I see them dedicated to helping the church members, the community and the activities held by the Church Headquarters. I have been blessed with knowing the Nakao Family.

God states that if we give one tenth, God will give 9/10 in return to help us if we are sincere. Due to my parents’ and grandparents’ planting good seeds I have been blessed with a rich life. I was able to to marry a nice person with a nice family. My in-laws are very pure hearted. My father-in-law is a chemical engineer. My mother-in-law is a sociologist who devoted her life to fair housing. I often tell others that I would have chosen my in-laws to be my own parents.

My husband works as a physician in a community health center taking care of people of varying backgrounds. I have been blessed with a rewarding job as a nursing supervisor in a health clinic supporting physicians and staff. We have been able to send our children to private school and college. So far they have not gotten into social troubles. We are happy to see my daughter interested in pursuing a degree in social studies so that she can help others.

We have had our ups and downs but the teachings have helped me grow through the challenges. My brother passed away with cancer at an early age of 45. I saw my sister in law rely on God to help us get through the passing. She was new to the faith and culture but was able to get closer to God rather than angry as I have seen others do. She is now head of a fellowship.

I believe that the most important thing is to use our minds and bodies in accordance to God the Parent. We can be at ease because God is always watching over us.

Thank you for your kind attention.


  1. The annual Tenrikyo Picnic was held last Monday at Kapiolani Park with 24 of our church members attending. Thank you very much!
  2. On June 28 and 29th Mecury Solar installed 20 solar panels which is producing an average of 25kwh per day our average usage is about 21kwh per day. We’d like to thank John Teruya, a member of Honolulu-ko church and Robert Nam in helping to get this done for us. They want to install a solar water heater as well in the near future. Thank you very much!
  3. Lucas ended his one year and 3 months service at Mission HQ of Hawaii on 6/30 and departed yesterday for Jiba to serve as Oyasato Seminar Lecturer, join the YMA International Hinokishin Corps, the BG Overseas HC and then join the New York YMA and Tenri University Group to aid the continuing relief efforts in the Tohoku region. After returning on August 5, he will depart for LA on 8/8 to serve one year as a missionary at the America Mission HQ in LA.
  4. The MHQ monthly service will be held this coming Sunday on July 15.
  5. Joining Lucas in the YMA International HC will be Moses Nakao & Russell Barre.
  6. I will be attending as the Hawaii BGA chairman, departing on July 19 and returning on July 30.
  7. The annual Tenrikyo bazaar is coming up on Sunday, August 26. And we ask for everyone’s support in selling presale scrips and helping at the bazaar.

せつみ ソルトマン先生












また、酒ぐせの悪い若い男性を住み込ませていました。ある時、飲んで暴  れてから、大阪にある上級の教会長を刃物で刺すという事件がありました。





自分で生計を立てて行かなくてはならず、従って父の場合は Milo E. Rowell という弁護士の所有する5エーカーの日本庭園の庭師となり庭のお世話をしていました。

















ことに娘は、社会学に興味を持ち、大学で専攻していて、将来 人の為になってくれたらと私達夫婦はたいへん喜んでいます。人生には良き時も、よう良からぬ時もありましたが、いかなる時もこの教えを頼りに心の成人ができたように思います。





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