Hello, everyone! I hope you are all enjoying good health and excellent spirits. Thank you very much for attending today's second monthly service in July.
In 1875, Konko Daijin received a revelation from Kami which, to me, shows the idealized fulfillment of the role of a mediator. "In the same way water gathers into a depression, blessings all gather in this worship hall."
This was one of the favorite revelations of my mentor, Rev. Soichiro Otsubo. He saw in these words the primary task and to his foundation in building both the physical building and congregation of the Konko Church of Airaku.
And so, when we first came to Chicago I was very eager to bring Kami's blessings through Sacred Mediation to as many people as possible who were troubled.
I was as faithful as I could be to the teachings of this Divine Revelation, believing that a mediator should have this kind of vision of the Mediation Place as this kind of recessed collection place where people could bring their troubles for solution. As mediator, it was my place to realize that, in and of myself, I had no power, no ability and no talent before Kami. With this kind of realization before me, for 13+ years I have sought to sincerely leave everything up to Kami. My purpose was to accept Kami's will and do my best to develop peace and joy in my heart.
A couple of weeks ago we welcomed visitors from Japan to Chicago on July 1. They were Mr. Hidemichi and Mrs. Kuniko Fujisawa from Mishima. They lived in America for two years after Mr. Fujisawa retired where they studied in a Wyoming college for two years. Ten years have passed and they decided to visit their American friends. They also moved to Mishima after Mr. Fujisawa retired and from their lovely house they have a view of Mt. Fuji over the Suruga Bay.
They are now the believers of the Konko Church of Mishima. Mrs. Fujisawa volunteers as a translator at the Konkokyo International Center (KIC). They wanted to visit Chicago, because they hadn't been to Chicago on their first visit and they wanted to see our church when they learned one does now exist in Chicago.
Kami is always working brilliantly. The day before I received Mrs. Fujisawa's first e-mail about their visit to Chicago Ms. Sally Takada had visited the KC-CHI seeking Mediation. Sally is a granddaughter of the late Rev. Hiromichi Kimura. Kimura was head-minister of KC Sacramento and had belonged to KC Mishma while he lived in Japan. Rev. Kimura was the first to extend an invitation to me to become an associate minister of KC Sacramento when we decided to emigrate to the US. Although that didn't work out, it did open our way to come to the USA and do missionary work here in Chicago.
The Fuijsawas and Sally Takada were amazed to discover this wonderful arrangement of Kami. They all thought the invisible workings of heaven and earth were very fascinating and interesting. The Fuijsawas stayed a hotel downtown Chicago from June 30 to July 5, and visited our church in the morning on July 1 to seek Mediation.
During their stay in Chicago they walked or took buses and did a lot of sightseeing. They visited the Art Institute of Chicago and Taste of Chicago. They saw the fine views of the city and the Michigan Lake from the John Hancock Center. I offered to take them in my car in the afternoon of July 1, to visit houses built by Frank Lloyd Wright, the birth place of author Ernest Hemingway and the United Center etc.
The next evening my wife & I took them to the Kingston Mines, one of the four main Chicago blues spots. There are two stages and no brake between the sets on them. Both Jazz and Blues spots start live music around 9:00 pm. we wanted to leave there around 11:00 pm, so we chose it. However I thought the first one was not superb, average. Even though I wanted to listen to another group soon, that group's performance lasted longer than usual. Another group started to play around 10:30 pm. They were a foursome, not only did they play guitars & drums, they also had sax and harmonica too. In a word, they were fantastic.
So we stayed there around 11:30 pm. As we enjoyed the music I really felt the difference between the average and the top-quality performers. Even without listening to the live music for a long time, if it is just average we soon lose interest. If it is genuinely entertaining music we want to listen to it as long as possible.
This experience has given me a strong determination to become a genuine mediator to make people's lives happy through by connecting them with Kami. I want to be a mediator like our founder... or my parent minister, Rev. Otsubo. I want to attract people like those who visited them to seek their mediation as often as possible.
One of the remarkable things since becoming a church in Chicago is the number of people that have sought my Mediation through e-mail. I now realize Kami eagerly wants me to become such a genuine mediator that people's faith will be deepened to achieve mutual fulfillment with Kami. There are no limits to Kami's Heaven & Earth, and I can now see that with the Internet, there should be no limit to reaching out not only to the Heart of America but to any spot on the earth where people seek Mediation.
But you are so lucky that you can attend our monthly services and seek Mediation in person. And in return, I want to respond by becoming such a genuine mediator that I will devote all my time & effort to developing peace and joy in my heart through everything that happens first. I always think about living as if my life were at the risk, as described in the revelation Rev. Soichiro Otsubo received from Kami:
May this be my Way... day-after-day...
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