Tengen 80th

TENRIKYO PEARL CHURCH SERMON ‘ 2005 May

Good morning! I would like to thank you all for your kind support and sincere offerings. I am sure that God the Parent and Oyasama is pleased to see you today to participate in this May Monthly Service 2005. Today is Mother’s Day so I would like to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers here today and to thank them for bearing and nurturing children.

I would like to thank you all for your support and the opportunity for me and my wife Taeko to be able to attend the activities in Jiba. Which were for her: the Oyasama Birthday Celebration Service, on April 18, the Women’s Association Convention on April 19th, and Tengen’s April Monthly Service, on April 23rd. For me: the Church Headquarters April Monthly Service on April 26th and Tengen 80th Anniversary as a church and 130th Anniversary as a Fraternity Service on May 1st. I was also able to attend the Tenri Forum Steering Committee meeting on May 2nd for which I will explain later.
My father who went on April 21, on business for Dendocho will be returning on Tuesday.

     The big event, of course was Tengen’s 80th Anniversary as a church and 130th Anniversary since it was established as a fraternity in 1875. The highlight was having the honor of attending the event in the presence of the Shinbashira, his wife Harue and the former Shinbashira. It was a surprise to me since he just came three years ago to attend the present Tengen Kaicho’s installation service. In addition he came to Hawaii for Dendocho’s 50th Anniversary Service for which I served as his driver. After service, I was able to thank him for allowing me to drive for him and he thanked me in return. One of the things that made the event meaningful for me was that seven people from Pearl Church was able to attend this event, including my father, my son Moses, my brother Elmer, his son Alex, Mr. Deguchi and also Mr. Arakawa, who started attending the Besseki lectures through meeting Mr. Deguchi at Ikoi no ie hospital in Jiba.

     Some of you may know Mr. Deguchi. He is really a member of Tengen Bunkyokai, but he considers himself to be a Pearl Church member because of the kindness extended to him on a visit to Hawaii many years ago. He cannot forget that kindness.

Mr. Arakawa has tongue cancer and had to have half of his tongue removed through surgery so his speech is impaired somewhat. He is still undergoing treatment at Ikoi no ie hospital everyday for the past week or so. During my stay at Tengen, I was able to administer the Sazuke to him several times and conveyed the teachings to him. On one such occasion, I mentioned to him that Tenrikyo is not just a teaching to understand with your brain, but to understand with your heart by practicing it. It is a religion of putting the teachings into practice. He said he understands that completely and that that is what attracted him to the church. He went on to explain that there was an eighty-year-old Tenrikyo woman in his neighborhood who always cleaned the streets and sidewalk. He said that she led a very simple life. He once told her that since she is old, she doesn’t have to do this cleaning. But she kept on cleaning. When she passed away, he went to her funeral and noticed that the funeral was very simple. Normally in Japan, the funerals are very elaborate costing tens of thousands of dollars, some lasting over several days. But this woman’s funeral was very simple he said. So he was very impressed with her and that attract him to Tenrikyo and during his stay at Ikoi no Ie Hospital in Tenri he was able to meet Mr. Deguchi and expressed an interest in joining the church. Mr. Deguchi suggested that he start attending the Besseki Lectures and so he started attending from about two months ago. Of course if you live in Japan, you can go to the Besseki Lecture just once a month for nine months. If you’re from abroad like us, you can attend twice a day and receive the Truth of Sazuke within a week or so.

     From this story, we can see that people may not necessarily be attracted to the words of the teachings, but rather on how we practice it in our daily lives. The old Tenrikyo lady who lived in Mr. Arakawa’s neighborhood led a simple life, without doing or buying anything extravagant. She just cleaned the streets and sidewalk, practicing the teaching of Hinokishin, giving thanks to God for our borrowed bodies. Without knowing it she was doing nioigake and led someone to the teachings and to Jiba.

Thank you for your kind attention.


Announcements:

1.     I would like to thank those who participated in the All Tenrikyo Hinokishin Day on April 30th at Honolulu Zoo. It was estimated that about 150 people helped to clean the zoo. Thank you very much.
2.     We are in the last year before the 120th Anniversary of Oyasama and I would like to ask all of you to participate by returning to Jiba in 2006. We hope to form a pilgrimage group for the children’s summer pilgrimage and hope that many of you can join us. However, you can return anytime during the year and I or Mrs. Nakao will accompany you. We are continuing our Jiba Pilgrimage fundraising by offering yard services, so if you know of anyone who needs yard cleaning, please let us know.
3.     This year’s Hawaii Shuyokai (Spiritual Development Course) will start next month on June 19th through July 16th. Please encourage anyone who is searching for answers about their life situation or to learn more about Tenrikyo to please attend this course. Masumi audited the course last year and she can tell you how she benefited. We are also hoping that both or at least one of our twin sons will be attending this year.
4.     The 2005 Children’s Pilgrimage will depart from July 19 and return on July 30. I will be going as chairman of the Hawaii Boy’s and Girl’s Association and I encourage you to recommend this very worthwhile activity to friends and family for their children to attend.

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