Before God the Parent, Tenri-O-no-Mikoto, I, Owen Osamu Nakao, Pastor of Tenrikyo Pearl Church, pray with reverence:
God the Parent, because of Your love for all Your children, You exhaust Your mind in every kind of way (Ofudesaki IV: 63). Out of Your parental love, You laid down the path of world salvation, teaching us the truth of human creation. We are truly grateful for Your protection, for saving us, drawing us to the Path, and allowing us to walk toward the Joyous Life.
The twenty-sixth of this month commemorates the 126th Anniversary since the day when Oyasama shortened Her physical life by twenty-five years because of Her deep parental love that wished for the spiritual growth of Her children.
As we look forward to this New Year, we remember and give thanks for your deep parental love through the blessings of miraculous healings, and the many people who have attended the various church activities. With the pastor of this church serving as chairman of the Boys and Girls Association Hawaii chapter, activities were successfully held without serious accidents. Last year, an average of twenty-one persons attended the Pearl Church monthly service. Twelve persons from Pearl Church participated in the Boys and Girls Association park cleanup and BBQ picnic in January; ten persons helped at the all Tenri Cultural Center Cleanup Hinokishin in February; one child and nine adults attended and helped at the annual Boys & Girls Association Spring Camp and General Meeting; ten persons attended the Boys and Girls Association Oyasama Birthday Activity, twenty-five persons from Pearl Church participated in the All Tenrikyo Hinokishin Day at Honolulu Zoo in April, eleven persons attended the Hawaii Convention 2011 in May of which several held key roles in planning and conducting the convention; seventeen persons attended the annual Tenrikyo Picnic, six persons participated in the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba, sixteen persons helped at the Annual Tenrikyo Bazaar in which the pastor served as bazaar chairman, seven persons attended the Young Men’s Association-Women’s Association-Young Women’s Club Joint General Meeting, and three adult leaders helped in the Boy’s & Girl’s Association Leaders Fun Camp. An average of two persons helped with the weekly yard work on neglected sidewalks and yards of the elderly and physically challenged throughout the year, as well as at the Tenri Cultural Center. The Sazuke was administered a total of 435 times in 2011.
Our most successful church garage sale was held on March 6 to raise funds for the Hawaii Convention and on March 11, a devastating earthquake and tsunami struck northeastern Japan causing loss of life, severe damage to homes and businesses. It was later decided that half the garage sale proceeds of $730 go to the disaster relief efforts. Later donation collection efforts raised over $1,000 from Pearl Church alone.
The pastor of this church served as the Doctrine Class English Instructor second half and Mrs. Taeko Nakao served as the women’s instruments instructor for the first half of the one-month Hawaii Spiritual Development Course held at Mission Headquarters. Also in September, the pastor of this church served as facilitator at the Lay Minister’s Course in Jiba. Lewis Nakao served as hinokishin staff at the Church Headquarters Overseas Department and Lucas Nakao served as live-in staff at the Mission Headquarters of Hawaii. Former pastor dedicated himself to daily hinokishin at the Tenri Library and Tenri Cultural Center.
We give thanks for this past year’s participation and in gratitude and resolve we look forward toward ever greater joy in this New Year.
The service performers, bearing in mind this precious day the portals were opened will express their appreciation and perform the January Grand Service at this church. We children of the Path have gathered to remember the hardships Oyasama faced and sing the Mikagura-uta. Please accept our sincere prayers.
In looking forward to this new 175th Year of Tenrikyo we church members and yoboku will devote ourselves to mastering the Service as Oyasama taught us, administer the Sazuke, engage in nioigake and salvation work, return to Jiba with as many people as possible and work towards the success of the Mission Headquarters 60th Anniversary and Pearl Church 80th Anniversary in 2014. May You, God the Parent, continue to guide us with Your warm parental heart to allow us to convey the path of the Joyous Life to the people around us.
Together with everyone present, I pray for these blessings.