Thank you all for joining your hearts and minds in performing the May Monthly Service here at Tenrikyo Pearl church. I believe that when we perform the Service spiritedly and in unity, as we have today, God the Parent and Oyasama are truly satisfied with our efforts.
Today is Mother’s Day so I would like to wish all the mothers a Happy Mother’s Day and also to Oyasama who has the soul of the first mother of all human beings. Thank you for your love and nurturing. For those of you who, for some reason, never had a mother or never had a mother’s love and nurturing, please read the Life of Oyasama so that you may feel and come to know of Oyasama’s love for you.
Women’s Association 100th Anniversary Jiba Pilgrimage
On April 19th, the Women’s Association conducted their General Meeting and commemorated their 100th Anniversary in Jiba. 170 people from the Hawaii congregation attended the event. From Pearl Church, 7 members, including two infants returned to Jiba plus 7 members who live in Japan for a total of 14 members attended the Oyasama Birthday Service on April 18 and the Women’s Association General Meeting.
To prepare for this day, we asked all Women’s Association members to make a small daily donation to give ours thanks to God the Parent for our daily blessings. It is not that God will bless us big if we make a big donation or grant us a small blessing if we make a small donation. But rather God looks at the sincerity of our mind.
I would like to share an Anecdote of Oyasama #7 “Offering with a Sincere Heart”:
At the end of the year, a follower brought some small, beautifully made rice cakes in the finest of boxes and said, “Please, offer this to Oyasama.” When given to Oyasama, She only said, “Oh, is that so?”
About two or three days later another follower came and brought some rice cakes on a plain kerchief. When brought to Oyasama, She said, “Please offer it to God the Parent at once,” and seemed very pleased.
Later it became known that the follower who had brought the finely made cakes were well to do and as there was some left over, they took them to the Residence as an afterthought. The follower, who came later, was from a poor family and wanted to offer the first freshly made rice cakes to God. Oyasama was able to perceive the minds of the two followers and accepted their offerings accordingly.
In our daily offering of gratitude, it is not the size of the offering, but the sincerity of your mind that God accepts.
For Pearl Church during these three years, we brought your sincere contributions to God, two or three times, and all of it was donated to our upper church: Tengen Church: a total of $360 was collected. Thank you very much for your sincere offerings to God the Parent.
The Tenrikyo WA was established 100 years ago, at the same time the 1st Shinbashira established Yotokuin Orphanage for children who had no parents or had parents who would not take care of them. He wanted to bring up the children in a warm family environment. His policy was, “To followers of this Path, please raise children of other families as well as your own.
In the ten providences of God, for women, Izanami-no-Mikoto has the role of the seed plot. The seed plot is the place where the seed is sowed, raised and protected. When it grows bigger, it is then transplanted in the field and eventually it will grow to bear fruit and be harvested. In the same way for human beings, when the new life starts in a mother’s womb, where it is nurtured and protected with warmth and nutrition, it’s just like a seed plot. The woman has the role to raise and nurture a newly born baby with a warm mind to care about others with love and gentleness. Each and everyone’s peaceful mind will bring about a warm family and peaceful world. However, it is not always easy to maintain a calm mind. Even in our family and with our neighbor, there are conflicts; between family members, with our neighbors and co workers. Sometimes we feel that we’re not doing anything wrong, and we may think we’re doing something good. But later we find out that people are against what we are doing.
Everyone knows the Dalai Lama who is a Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader who is being persecuted by the Chinese government is presently exiled in India. However, he says that when those people torture and oppress the people I reflect and remind myself to be patient and to forgive. It’s time for me to practice forgiveness, tolerance and open-mindedness. It is my time for training. Whoever criticizes me, is my master and it’s a really gracious moment and I’ve come to appreciate that they are my masters and I accept it as a thankful human being.
Most of you know that the late Pope John Paul the XVI was shot and later recovered. He forgave the shooter and practiced the Christian teaching, “Love thy enemy.” These two religious leaders practiced their conviction to accept those people who criticize and attack them.
In the life of the Foundress of Tenrikyo, around 1883, Tenrikyo was rapidly growing. During this time, the police arrested Oyasama 17 or 18 times. Oyasama was a gentle person and offered breakfast once to the police who would came to arrest Her. She always set out cheerfully when taken to the police station. And she was always kind and talked to the authorities in a gentle manner even though the police was rough and strict to Her. During the coldest winter in 30 years, the cold wind blew into the jail with Oyasama sitting Japanese style with Her back straight on the cold wooden floor. During the 12 days detention, She took only luke warm water.
When She was released from prison or police station, many of those who were save by Oyasama, came to greet Her and pay their respects. The people followed Her in rickshaws, several hundred, lining up the road from Nara to Jiba, based on historical records.
The first Women’s Association General Meeting was held in 1910 and attended by 8,000 people.
The 50th Anniversary in 1960 was attended by 28,000 people.
The 70th Anniversary, 1980, 60,000 people attended.
The 80th Anniversary, about 100,000 people attended.
In 2000, just over 100,000 people attended the 90th Anniversary.
This year for the 100th Anniversary, 120,000 people returned to Jiba.
Thank you all for returning to Jiba. The Hawaii chapter chairperson, Mrs. Hamada, wanted to say thank you to all the people at Pearl Church who returned to Jiba. On behalf of Mrs. Hamada, I wish to give her thanks. Let’s continue to cleanse our minds and sweep away our mental dust. Let us become persons who can find joy in whatever our circumstances.
Thank you for your kind attention.
Thank you for bringing your deposit cans and bottles for our fundraising drive. We are still continuing our fundraising efforts for our next project which is the repainting of Pearl Church this summer. Please continue bringing your deposit cans and bottles and any yard work referrals.
We would like to encourage people to attend monthly service practice held on the Thursday night prior to the monthly service at 7pm. Next month it will be on June 10 at 7pm. Please join us so that we may give our best effort in performing the monthly service.
We would like to welcome back those who returned to Jiba during this past Women’s Association 100th Anniversary General Meeting. A total of 14 people from Pearl Church returned to Jiba. I would like to thank everyone for your support in making our participation a success. The Women’s Association has set a goal of 300 returnees throughout this year of the 100th Anniversary so for those of you who have not returned to Jiba this year, I would like to encourage you to return anytime this year or join me in the pilgrimages in July or October.
The BGA Oyasama birthday activity was held with 8 participants from Pearl Church on Oyasama’s birthday, Sunday, April 18, at MHQ.
The All Tenrikyo Hinokishin Day was held on Saturday, May 1st at Honolulu Zoo with 49 participants from Pearl Church which was 6 less than last year but still the most from one church.
Just a reminder that this year’s BGA camp will be held in May, the Memorial Day weekend, instead of in March due to schedule conflict with MHQ activities. The deadline for the early registration discount is next Sunday, May 16, so please submit your applications asap.