Good Morning, everyone! Happy new day & week. Thank you very much for attending today's service & a special welcome to our 2nd service for October. I hope you are all enjoying good health and excellent spirits.
Happy Birthday, Tony-san! How sincere you are! I am especially grateful to you for always trying to join each monthly service. I believe Kami-sama is pleased with your sincerity as well. Sincerity is, to me, one of the hallmarks of the Konko Faith.
Konko Daijin had remarkable sincerity. It was because Kami found He could be trusted beyond measure that Kami asked Him to help people who were in difficulties through Divine Mediation.
Last Sunday the Konko Church of Toronto celebrated its 50th Anniversary. Because of the dedication of the ministers and believers for all these 50 years, many people have been drawn to the Konko Church of Toronto and have had their lives fulfilled through Mediation.
About 100 people attended to witness this beautiful ceremony. It was solemnly conducted by eight officiants along with Kibigaku, music and dancing, which fascinated the audience. Our older son, Mitsunori and I drove there along with my wife Kanako, to join in this momentous celebration.
We arrived around 5:00 pm early Saturday evening & met the first 21 visitors from Japan by coincidence. Rev. Nobuyuki Shiragami, head-minister of KC Osaka was among them. I hadn't seen him for 30-some years. We had a wonderful time catching up on happy memories together at a welcoming party. We enjoyed renewing friendships not only with the ministers and believers from Japan, but with friends & new acquaintances from the West Coast of the US to KC Toronto, Canada as well.
Revs. Takao & Toshiko Kishii, Head Ministers of the Toronto Church had been very busy preparing everything for this noteworthy celebration.
After Rev. Kishii went to the hotel where the visitors would stay, I found some more things to prepare for the next day's celebration.
When he returned to the church I asked him what I should do to help. While he was preparing some offerings, I did one important task for the next day's celebration. We worked together for more than two hours. We finished almost all the preparations for it on that celebration a little after 12:30 am & went back to the residence to sleep.
The next morning I woke up around 5:30 am, took a shower & went to the worship hall around 6:30 am to join the regular Morning Prayer service. The minute Rev. Kishii saw me he rushed over to tell me we'd most surly escaped death the night before by a hair's breadth.
When he'd come to the church that early morning he immediately smelled that the church was full of gas. They'd installed a new furnace in the church but no one knew that it needed to be turned off at its main tap.
As I said, we'd be working together until late at night to cut down the preparation time required for the next morning. He said we'd obviously gone back to the house before we became asphyxiated. If we'd stayed there working any longer we could both have easily been killed by the escaping gas.
Kami sees everything in heaven & earth in a single glance & always protects those who have faith. Kami wishes everyone to have faith in order to receive divine blessings.
Sandai Konko-sama, our founder's great grandson often said, "Each day starts fresh." Through fresh shower of potential blessing which fall on us each & every day, let us do our best to deepen peace and joy in our hearts so we can be prepared to manifest Kami's glory in this world - Day-in-&-Day-out - EVERY blessed day.
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