December 22, 2021 (Tenrikyo 184)
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister’s Meeting

Let us advance aligning our minds with the words of the Shinbashira

Rev. Kanta Katayama
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister



Reflecting back on the steps we took over the past year, what are your thoughts on our implementation based on the words we received from the Shinbashira at the beginning of the year?

“We are unable to move forward with our work without the support received from God the Parent. When you consider this, I feel, we mutually must firmly and also thoroughly settle the teachings in our minds in order to receive the workings of God the Parent.” (Unofficial translation)

“No matter how much we conduct missionary work, unless we lack in effort for nurturing the members, it will amount to nothing. It is to make steady efforts to nurture your church members, which should have continued without ever changing. Yet, before we know it, I feel we have become negligent.” (Unofficial translation)

As head ministers, let us once again embed these words in our hearts, be straight forward to the teachings, strive to nurture your church members and also strive to align with the words of the Shinbashira.

Next year at the Church Headquarters, it was announced that they will continue to conduct monthly prayer services on the 1st at noon (January will be on the 5th at noon), to put an end to the new strain of the coronavirus.

I would like to request each church and all families to make an effort to conduct this prayer service.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Monthly Sermon

December 22, 2021 (Tenrikyo 184)
Honjima Grand Church Monthly Service Sermon

God the Parent Watches Over Us on this Path

Rev. Michinori Ohgami
Grand church associate board member



It has been 30 years since I completed the 600th term of Shuyoka, the Spiritual Development Course at the Church Headquarters, in June 1991 and made a spiritual resolution to follow the path single-heartedly.

The most impactful memory I have during these 30 years is the year I spent in the Missionary House.

I entered the Missionary House in 1995, the year before the 110th Anniversary of Oyasama. In January of that year, the Great Hanshin Earthquake had happened and in March, there was the Sarin Gas Attack Incident on the Tokyo subway system. Society was very turbulent.

At the end of March, there was a training seminar for new missionaries in Jiba and the Shinbashira gave us the words of encouragement.

He said, “Missionary work takes courage and endurance. It is a path that takes a long time.” I took these words to heart as I left for Saitama Missionary House.

On the very first day, I was tense with nervousness and worry. In a place that I didn’t know left from right, I walked from house to house with my happi coat on, pushing the doorbell. I told myself over and over in my head, “Courage and endurance,” as I walked around doing missionary work. However, I wasn’t able to administer the Sazuke even once.

One of the Missionary House mates advised me, “You have to let go of your ego and let go of your hang-ups.”

On the second day, when I pushed the doorbell and a person came out, I relayed the teachings of the Tenrikyo Sazuke in a somewhat incoherent manner, but I was able to administer the Sazuke for the first time while standing. When I noticed, the door was already closed. I was so nervous that my knees were shaking and I almost fell over.

After that, I was able to move on and successfully administer the Sazuke at a few locations. It made me very happy and uplifted my spirits. I was even able to find a person to whom I could continue doing salvation work. This was completely unexpected from the day before.

Missionary work is a lonely battle. You battle with yourself.

During such times, I would attend the monthly service at the Missionary House, and the guidance given by the head of the Missionary House, Rev. Tokuro Suga, and Rev. Mitsu Kitamura, who was dispatched from the Church Headquarters were like water in the dry desert. I lapped up their words.

“Faith is believing as you go, but it’s also something that changes as you progress on. As you work constantly to improve yourself, your faith becomes stronger, wider, deeper and bigger.” “Missionary work is laying the path in your heart. The quest and the mission are both sides of the same coin; something like the wheels of a car. If one is larger than the other, the wheels will just spin. Finding balance is important.”

Further, I was taught, “The more you had gone through, the more you walked, the more truth you’ve worked for will all come back to you.” With these words of guidance, I tried to improve myself little by little, and made effort to learn ways to lay the path in my heart.

I started to understand the hardships the first head ministers of churches had gone through as I walked for missionary work. I wondered how much hardships they had gone through in order to receive the truth to establish a church. Pondering over our predecessors gave me the strength that I did not have before, and it helped me walk for missionary work with more momentum. I thought the spirit of the first-generation ministers was with me. It was empowering.

I entered the Missionary House in March, and for June Monthly Service at the Church Headquarters, I was able to return to Jiba, blessed with the first Besseki Lecture attendee. There were many difficulties associated with the pilgrimage to Jiba, but I was deeply moved.

I shared this experience on the day of the Missionary House monthly service the following month. Then Rev. Mitsu Kitamura gave me the following words.

He said, “This path is not a path to impress others. It is also not a path to show off. Nor is it a path to brag about. It is also not a path to make testimonies to people. This is a world where God watches over everything in the world.”

I am grateful for this lesson and still to this day, I walk this path with those words engraved in the heart.

Next year, we will be welcoming a milestone of 120th Anniversary of Honjima Grand Church.

Let us think what were the mindset of our predecessors 120 years ago. How did they overcome the knots and laid the path of present Honjima.

Let us look back on the day of origin and appreciate that we are able to walk this wonderful path and let us engage in the service of this path in high spirits next year as well.

Thank you for your kind attention.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Monthly Sermon

November 22, 2021 (Tenrikyo 184)
Honjima Grand Church Monthly Service Sermon

What does it mean to “Follow the Divine Model of Oyasama”?

Grand Church Advisor Rev. Yoichiro Miyamori



Since I was given the opportunity to attend Honjima Grand Church’s November Monthly Service, I would like to speak about a few of my thoughts. Please bear with me for a while.

It is almost 2 years now since we began this coronavirus infection prevention lifestyle that started around the beginning of last year. I believe your lifestyle has changed greatly. And I think there are many people who were not able to come to the monthly service today.

In Jiba, the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba and Sechi Festival were canceled. The Women’s Association, Young Men’s Association and Student Association conventions were also canceled. And above all, there were times when we had to limit indoor worship for the Church Headquarters Monthly Service as well as entry into the precincts.

There was a mess in the beginning. Questions, complaints and strong opinions came to the Director-in-Chief of Religious Affairs office such as, “Why won’t you let us into the sanctuary?“ and the opposite, “Why are you allowing the performance of monthly service at local churches?” There was a lot of chaos in the office of the Religious Affairs.

People around the were stumbling around “in the dark.”

There were times when not only the general public, but even the directly supervised church head ministers were not allowed to enter the Worship Halls, and the Service was performed by just the Church Headquarters Service Performers present.

Is it okay to do such a thing? Will this be accepted by God? Does this accord with the intentions of the Shinbashira? Are we making these decisions based on social trends and how society views us? Many thoughts went through my head.

People offer varying opinions. That makes it even more difficult to make decisions. What can we do as people of the path in such times? There was an answer.

It was the Divine Direction of November 23, 1899. This was in response to the query, “Warning from police to postpone the Autumn Grand Service in order to prevent against the Plague, request to comply.” In summary, God the Parent allowed the postponement of the Autumn Grand Service adding that people’s minds are easily disconnected, so the minds of all should be firmly resolved. The permission was given reluctantly.

I can see that our predecessors, just like us, faced many difficulties, worried, and made inquiries for divine intention each time to make decisions.

I feel as if I learned once again that we can make decisions on anything through the path of the Divine Model of Oyasama and through the way our predecessors sought answers through Divine Directions.

Now, the first item listed of the Goals for Spiritual Maturity, for all of you who are associated to Honjima Grand Church, is “Follow the Devine Model of Oyasama.”

So, what exactly is the Divine Model of Oyasama? And what should we do now to follow the Divine Model of Oyasama?

“Follow the Divine Model of Oyasama”—I would like to come back to this at the end of today’s talk, so please keep this in mind as you listen to my talk.

During May and June last year, for 2 months, the Church Headquarters stopped accepting new students for the Spiritual Development Course at Jiba. The Spiritual Development Course started in 1941, but it was the first time to stop accepting applicants for it. Due to the public opinions and the strong demands from the staff members in charge, we had no choice but to cancel the new class. However, I don’t know if that was the best thing to do. There are two reasons.

The first reason is there are appropriate timing when engaging salvation work.

In the Divine Directions it says,

You must not miss even distant places; without exception, without exception. If you tarry you will be too late. If you meet someone to whom the fragrance must be spread, tell it to him even on a street corner. This will be your work from now on. Osashizu: April 7, 1907

This Divine Direction instructs us to convey the teachings even at the street side. That is our mission.

Even in the midst of Covid-19 crisis, the head ministers and the Yoboku of all churches are making effort and struggling to bring someone to Jiba and to the Spiritual Development Course. I regret that we may have missed the moment.

Whether or not if someone was able to invite others to the Spiritual Development Course, I wonder if we may have missed any opportunities, on a daily basis, to spread the teachings or engage in salvation work without realizing it. I think that there will always be an opportunity for something to happen by starting a casual conversation or saying something based on the teachings to someone.

If you had taken some sort of action, something may happen, but if you didn’t do anything, then nothing happens. I think it is okay to think it would be a miracle if even one person listens to me out of 100 people I talk to. Even so, the odds are much better than winning lottery.

The second thing I would like to talk today is that although we always say, “Jiba is the place of where one can be saved,” we did not carry it out accordingly at a critical moment.

In Ofudesaki, we read,

If the heart and the mouth differ in any matter,
never will it accord with the mind of God.
Ofudesaki XII:33

How sincere can we be at a critical moment? I really felt that we should not have a small heart to follow this faith.

The coronavirus has turned the world upside down. We must take every preventive measures. For the outbreak preventive measures and emergency instructions, we need to follow the directions of the experts, and so it was inevitable to stop accepting the Spiritual Development Course applicants, however, I think our hearts had gotten smaller through these experiences.

The verse that follows the aforementioned Ofudesaki is

If your sincerity does not accord with the mind of God,
in vain is devotion, however great it may be.
Ofudesaki XII:134

After resuming the Spiritual Development Course in July last year, we have been able to hold the Course continuously without break, although it was close, there were times of the threat of outbreak.

In the Divine Direction, we are taught,

Sah, sah, for the truth of distant, distant, distant locations, one needs to have a big heart, the mind of four directions. Sah, sah, when you attained a big heart, the four directions will become eight directions.” Osashizu: October 13, 1888 / Trial translation

People are exhausted from the Covid-19 pandemic. However, we have the support from God the Parent and Oyasama. So let us move forward with big hearts.

During this pandemic, I feel that what matters the most is the state of the mind we are in, rather than the results of what we have done or not done, or what we have achieved or not achieved.

Now, three years ago we conducted a relocation construction of my church.

My church was not built by many people gathering as a result of the efforts of salvation work. It was a church that was built through the appreciation of one wealthy person who was saved, and donated the worship hall on the top of his mountain. There was no one for 20 years after its establishment.

Before I was born my parents went to help with the restoration of the church. It was a single building within a mountain, so there was no water supply system or even a water well. You could not even drive a car up to it, and it was in the mountains, surrounded by a bamboo grove. There was not even one person you could call a church member living there. When members finally came, they had to carry their bags as they climbed up the mountain.

Since my parent’s generation, it has been their dearest wish for the church to be relocated to the bottom of the mountain.

However, from the beginning, it was established as a simple church, so not even knowing what it was like to be relocated from the city to the country, being relocated from the mountains to a more convenient place was not as easy as expected.

It took two generations to finally be able to relocate. With this, I experienced sleepless nights and constant worry after worry. Would I be able to find a place to relocate to? Would I be able to pay for the building expenses?

It was a church without a parent church or a subordinate church, so it felt like everything had to be resolved solely by my own. It should have been a construction that would go smoothly according to wishes, yet there were many unexpected occurrences which caused a lot of worry and anxiety for me.

A relocation construction is not something done many times during a lifetime. If anyone of you have an opportunity to experience that kind of construction within your parent churches or subordinate churches, I suggest you to actively offer your support. As long as you experience it once, if ever it comes to your church having to do a worship hall construction, that experience alone will teach you something.

To tell you the truth, I feel as though I made a mistake. Even though I say it was a construction for a church, because it was for my church, it was a personal matter for me. It was an obvious thing to worry. It was also natural for me to wake up in the middle of the night because of the worries.

Of course it was only natural that I would worry about myself, yet this was not only about worrying, I was actually anxious of the immediate future.

To be concerned about others is called, “worry.”

In the Divine Directions, we are taught,

The truth of worry creates more anxiety. You create the truth of more worries, which will make you feel down. Settle your mind on one big truth. When a seasonable time comes, the flowers will bloom. Osashizu: May 1, 1892 / Trial translation

You may worry about the future. It is because you have created the situation where you feel you must worry more about it. Then you start to feel down. You don’t feel joyful. But instead, settle on opening your mind. If you rely solely on God, you can broaden your heart to have concern for others instead. Then, you will see positive results bloom. This is what I think we are being taught here.

The mind that worries about the future, will create a more anxious mind. Then it becomes a depressed mind. You make yourself feel suffering. Opening your mind wide means to lean your heart onto God the Parent. Rather late, I feel that I should have left my personal concerns up to God.

The pioneers and those that followed the Path early on undoubtedly had worries that kept them up at night. However, what worried them were thoughts like wanting this person to be saved or having that person receive blessings. It is important to we are not mistaken in what keeps us up—worries about our own matters or about others’.

Everything has its own seasonable time. The construction had its own unique seasonable time. During that time, why didn’t the church reach out to those who live far from it, or to those who had drifted away? Could I have called out to them once, twice or three times? Even now, I regret about this.

In the Divine Directions, we are taught:

Everything has a season. To talk about divine principle, everything has its seasonable time. If the timing is off, even if you plant the seeds, some will sprout and some may not. If the season is off, it leads to uncertainty. Whatever the thing, if the season is off, the flower will die. If the flowers fall after just one petal, It will not do. Osashizu: May 12, 1895 / Trial translation

With these words in mind, let’s make the most of every opportunity we are given. But with each opportunity, let us make sure our hearts our pointing in the right direction.

These opportunities, these chances—they can be small chances that occur daily, or monthly, or even big ones that happen every few years. There are various ones. There can be even a bigger one that occurs once in a lifetime.

You have to bring to life this opportunity that has come your way.

It may be easy to miss the small opportunities that come up daily, so you should take care to closely watch for them. Everyone, there is always something that may happen every day. Please make sure you don’t miss it.

Next year will be the year of the 120th Anniversary of Honjima Grand Church.

In order to make next year a significant one, I am certain you are exerting efforts in making progress in preparations for the anniversary to be held on May 21.

For you, the anniversary of the establishment of the church is a huge opportunity. The preparations must be hard since it only come once in 10 years. However, rest assured, we are taught in the following Divine Directions:

Sah, sah, I bestow, I bestow names in various places. Devotions of many years exist at this place. You need not worry. All of you come together and settle your minds. Truth must exist at a place. You will be able to accomplish everything if your minds are united. You need not hurry, you need not hurry. Those of you at various places unite your minds. If all of you come together and completely unite your minds, then I shall settle truth.
Osashizu: December 11, 1888

It means that, in anything, as long as the minds of all who are associated are united, we can accomplish anything. If all of you, who are associated with Honjima, are united in mind, you should be able to accomplish anything.

“I will settle the truth,” in the last part, means God will support. So you will surely be fine.

For anniversaries, the process toward the day is more important than the day of the anniversary. From today until the day of the anniversary, it depends on how well you can be united in mind. As I mentioned in the Divine Directions I quoted earlier, the success of the event is all depended on how you align yourselves with others and how you use your mind.

Considering the size of Honjima Grand Church, there must be a lot of people who are associated with this church. So from today, please don’t feel animosity toward someone out of an instinctive or temperamental aversion. God will not support you if you use your mind in such a way.

Now, please look at the person next to you. Are you able to feel you like the person? I would like you to resolve your mind to be humble in anything to anyone, and become a thoughtful person to save people around you. Have you been able to resolve your mind?

Then, where should we align our minds?

What is called the origin, the Jiba is not found anywhere else in the world. The more you ponder, the more profound the truth gets.
Osashizu: October 11, 1895 / Partially trial translation.

“The more ponder,” this is very important.

I will purposely not say what kind of place Jiba is, but I do ask everyone here to evoke what kind of place it is in your hearts. What kind of place is Jiba? I ask everyone to come up with the answer in your hearts... So, how did we do? Whether you have a lot of thoughts or have no idea what Jiba is, I would like you to align your mind to Jiba. I would like all the people from Honjima to be on the same page by shifting your mind to Jiba.

I would like for you to turn your hearts towards Jiba and to the ever-living Oyasama Who resides at Jiba. By doing so, Honjima can be united as one. I would like you to turn your hearts towards Jiba to which we are taught, “The more you ponder over it, the more profound the truth gets”.

Lastly, what do we need to do to “follow the Divine Model of Oyasama?”

Oyasama’s Divine Model include events such as falling to the depths of poverty, opening the path with miraculous salvations such as safe childbirth, spiritedly handling the severe crackdown from the authorities, urging to perform the service until the very end, and Her devotion and efforts to have people that do not know to understand the faith. She was also concerned.

In other words, the Divine Model is effort to convey the faith to people who do not know it. That is what the Divine Model is.

That is the reason why She went through the difficult path from falling to the depths of poverty to handling the severe oppression from the authorities.

To “follow the Divine Model” is to convey people who do not know the faith so they understand and to follow the path with them. That is the Divine Model. Be determined to go through any hardships to accomplish this. That is what the Divine Model is. I would like for you to think of the Divine Model in this way.

Not missing the chances that we encounter in our daily lives. Having the passion to spread the faith. Enduring any hardships in order to fully convey the faith. That is what it means to follow the path of the Divine Model. Just because you walked the Jusan Pass does not mean you followed the path of the Divine Model.

Please, let us all go through all the hardships that Oyasama went through. Let us all do the hard work of conveying the teachings to people who do not know and to people who do not want to know the teachings. In order to do that, how shall we carry out ourselves and think about how we act in our daily lives in order to “follow to path of the Divine Model.”

In Honjima’s “Goals for Spiritual Maturity,” the first item listed is “Follow the Divine Model of Oyasama.”

Devoting our minds to having people who do not know the teachings to participate in performing the service is an important point.

Taking people and having them return to Jiba. This is an important point.

Young people, the successors of the path, just don’t know yet. We need to put in the hard work so they do understand. In order to do that, we need to forget about ourselves and think what we need to do to get them to understand. It is not their fault that they do not understand. It is on us, constantly reflecting on how we use our minds, to thoroughly guide them so they can understand. I would like conclude my monthly service sermon by asking you to put in the hard work that I have outlined.

Although in the midst of Covid-19 crisis, I would like to thank everyone for participating in this month’s monthly service at the grand church.

Thank you for your kind attention.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)

Monthly Sermon

October 22, 2021 (Tenrikyo 184)
Honjima Grand Church Monthly Service Sermon

“Receiving Knots With a Unity of Mind, the Joyous Life are Smiling Faces and Words”

Rev. Kanta Katayama
Honjima Grand Church Head Minister



This month again, together with a great number of congregation present, we were able to complete the grand service smoothly. I sincerely express my gratitude.

According to the original plan, we were to have our church counselor, Rev. Yoichiro Miyamoto present to deliver today’s sermon. However, it was changed to the next month, so I will be delivering the sermon. I ask for your kind attention.

Do you recall the sermon given by Rev. Miyamori a year ago today?

The sermon was about happy hormones like Serotonin, Dopamine, and Oxytocin.

I am sure you have heard about energy drinks on the market that contains the ingredient Taurine. Apparently, Taurine is an amino acid that aids in the creation of Oxytocin.

In other words, if you drink that energy drink, it will promote the secretion of happy hormones. However, the effects are only temporary.

If you think the effects of happy hormones feels joyful, don’t you agree we can change this to a continuous state of happiness called joyousness?

In the Ofudesaki is says,

When this main path is truly opened,
Thereafter you will lead a life full of joy and promise.
Ofudesaki IV:77

We are taught, if you settle the teachings of this path in your mind, joyousness will surely emerge.

So today, I would like to proceed with talking about “knots,” “alteration,” and finally, the “mind.”

First, in regards to the “knots,” I will refer to three Divine Directions.

“A knot, a knot. Settle the mind in oneness. Why is this happening: here a knot, there a knot, all kinds of knots? They offer truth for settling the mind, truth for encouraging the mind to settle.”
(Osashizu: September 10, 1888)

When you are shown a knot, resolve your mind. We are taught that these knots are shown to us to make a spiritual resolution.

On October 26, 1838 was a huge knot for the Nakayama family. As Miki had become Oyasama, her husband Zenbei, who had received the will of this God of Origin, God of Truth, whom he had never heard of before then, after working through the anxieties for three days, responded resolutely, “I offer Miki to You.”

Without this firm resolution of Zenbei at that time, this path would not have started.

Even during times of knots, face God the Parent and resolve your mind, making a resolution in your heart first.

Further, in the Divine Directions, we are taught:

“In the absence of a knot, everything goes in one ear and out the other. You cannot listen or understand unless faced with a knot.”
(Osashizu: October 9, 1889)

We are protected by God the Parent everyday through the blessings of “reducing a great misfortune to a small misfortune and a small misfortune to no misfortune at all.” Based on this teaching, if we have no hardships then that must mean that we have had some sort of hardships before, whether big or small.

However, even with God the Parent’s guidance, in terms of the misfortunes that are presented to us as divine guidance, we often, without realizing it, let this divine guidance pass us by and continue with our lives without a second thought.

In order to acknowledge the blessings we receive every day, we are shown hardships. For that reason, shouldn’t we also be grateful for those hardships?

The third Divine Directions I would like to quote is,

When you find yourself in a situation where you think this may be your end, recall that it is a knot. Make a commitment of spirit and stand firm. If you stand firm, the Truth of Heaven will work for you. This I teach.
(Osashizu: August 23, 1904)

Sometimes we say “I feel helpless” or “I could be at a dead end,” unknowingly. We are taught that those are the times of “knots.”

We shall not give up easily. We are also taught that the Truth of Heaven will work for you if you stand firm and make a commitment to stand firm. If you cannot do it alone, contact your head minister or fellow followers, and/or talk to many different people to stand firm.

Through these three Divine Directions, we are taught that, in the face of knots, we are to make spiritual resolution, rediscover the blessings we receive daily and have the mind of gratitude, and to persevere and stand firm.

There is also a phrase, “From a knot, buds will sprout.”

Knots are the opportunities for new beginning. As Yoboku, let us have big hearts so that the knots we may encounter will bear fruits.

Five years ago on January 26, 2016, the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama was conducted.

A year and a half later, on July 26, 2017, there was a major knot of incident in which the Kanrodai was knocked down. At the time, the Kanrodai could not be restored since the mortise were broken. As a result, there was only the only first two layers of the Kanrodai for about a month.

Further in the following year on June 7, 2018, we were shown another major knot in which the Shinbashira has come down with an illness.

For us, the Shinbashira is our spiritual parent who is connected to the everliving Oyasama.

When my father came down with illness, I often received some advice from a reverend, “the illness of a parent urges spiritual growth of children.”

The illness of the Shinbashira is a major knot for us Yoboku to grow more spiritually. Let us accept it as such and strive to grow more spiritually.

Furthermore, in the world, there is Covid-19 pandemic, which has become another major knot today.

Through the series of major knots both within Tenrikyo and the world after the 130th Anniversary of Oyasama, I have contemplated number of times to seek the truth contained within these knots and I have reached a following word, which is “alteration.”

In Tenrikyo Encyclopedia, “alteration” is defined as following:

Alteration: Also used as a general term. In Tenrikyo Scriptures, especially in the Divine Directions, the term is used in as it generally means, however, it is also used to point out how the history of Tenrikyo changes.
You never know how the world changes.
(Osashizu: November 2, 1893 / Trial translation)

“Alteration” as a Tenrikyo terminology, it is used as following: The Songs for the Service were composed from 1866 to 1875, and in 1882, “Oyasama altered the phrase “Ichiretsu sumasu” (Purifies all humankind equal) to “Ichiretsu sumashite” (All humankind equally purified), without altering the original hand movements. In conjunction with this, the wording “Ashiki harai” (Sweep away evils) was altered to “Ashiki o harote” (Sweeping away evils).” (from the Life of Oyasama)

Further, another interpretation includes not only above but also the confiscation of the stone “Kanrodai” in 1882, in which, the divine intention of God the Parent was altered due to circumstances newly added. As such, it is also said that the alteration of the Songs for the Service is expressed as “alteration.”

In 1882, the construction of the stone Kanrodai came to a halt after completing the first two base layers and the phrase from the Songs for the Service was altered from “Ichiretsu sumasu” (Purifies all humankind equal) to “Ichiretsu sumashite” (All humankind equally purified)

The term, “Ichiretsu,” means from one end to another, all, equal, equally.

Sumasu” means to sweeping the dusts of the mind such as greed and be purified in mind, cleanse the mind, and/or to clean.

In my own opinion, we can say that the “alteration” was to change the order from “constructing the Kanrodai to purify the minds of all humankind” to “purify the minds of all humankind to construct the Kanrodai.”

Due to Covid-19 pandemic, many events were canceled.

According to the announcement by the Church Headquarters, next year’s Sechi Festival will be canceled for the second year in a row.

Further, the Children’s Pilgrimage to Jiba was also canceled, but the Students Spiritual Development Course will be held on a much smaller scale.

As for monthly services at local churches, it will be continuously difficult to perform the service with many people in attendance.

What we can ponder, under such circumstances, is that, I think, there may be God the Parent’s divine intention for us to rather purify the mind of each, rather than focusing on how we conduct activities or inviting many people

In order to purify the mind, the important thing is to connect our hearts with one another and become united in mind.

If each of us use the self-centered mind, then our minds become unclean, and it will not help to become united in mind.

If we focus on connecting with one another and/or put yourself in others’ shoes, then, I think, we will naturally step closer to become united in mind.

In the Goals for Spiritual Maturity, it says:

“If you bind yourselves together in a unity of minds, I shall provide any blessings for you.”

This passage from the Divine Direction was cited by the Shinbashira, in his Grand Service sermon, before he became ill.

I think the Shinbashira was looking ahead of our future and delivered these words for us.

At the time of alteration, both in the world and within Tenrikyo community, it is essential to make effort to unite our minds.

Purified mind is a clear mind. By purifying the mind, I think, you will be able to see and feel more of the kindness and sincerity of others. Then the joy will be bigger than present, and the mind will be brighter as well. This brightness in mind is indeed the “state of full joy.”

There is Main Sanctuary Counseling Section at West Worship Hall of the Church Headquarters.

One day when I was on duty, working as Honbu-seinen, a female reverend told me, “Joyous life is your spoken words and your smile.”

In order for us to bind ourselves together in unity of minds, smiling faces and words are essential.

We only have 7 months until the Honjima Grand Church 120th Anniversary. In order to accelerate our spiritual growth, let us unite our minds and uplift one another with positive words and smiling faces.

Thank you very much for your kind attention.

(Edited by Honjima Tsushin Editorial Staff)